A lot of people have been asking us to share some tips on how to freestyle. Well, the time has come. Doing a freestyle is not as difficult as some people try to make it look.
First of all, let’s be clear on what does it mean to actually freestyle? It doesn’t mean to rap something, which you have already written, but never recorded-this is just rapping.
Freestyling is strictly from the top of the head. This is the only art in the hip hop culture, which is powered by improvisation-creating the lyrics as you go. You start with a bar and then you keep going until your rhymes run out. That’s freestyling.
How to do it?
The first time I saw a guy freestyle I was really amazed. I thought that he was some sort of a genius, straight up. Having the ability to think faster than you talk is really something. Once you get behind the curtains, you understand the mechanics of it all.
What I do is I memorize my sets.
What are sets? That’s the set of rhymes. For example, I think of a word-“cat” and then think of all the words which rhyme with “cat”, for example “hat” “that” bat” “fat”. Okay, then I write the set down. Like that:
After I’ve written it, I repeat it as many times as I have to, in order to memorize it.
After a while, when someone says hat, your brain is automatically responding by giving you the other words from the set. Do you
see what is happening? So what I do is I memorize as many sets as possible and then I just start with a bar, having a rhyme from one of my sets and then it all goes down from there.
You have to understand that it’s much easier to put together the words in-between the rhymes, when you have the actual rhymes memorized. It’s too hard to think of both the rhymes and the words in-between. You have your sets and from then on, you can rap about anything-just fill in the words in between the rhymes from the set. Easy.
Once you do that for a while, you’ll be able to go from one set to another and mix them and what not. This happens over time though. Try doing that in the beginning and you’re toast.
Also, one thing you have to know is that if you don’t freestyle for a while, the whole process gets more difficult. You start forgetting the sets and your brain just finds it hard to cope. I was freestyling so much at one point and I was pretty decent at it. As soon as I got busy, I stopped freestyling and now I’m as rusty as Nicki Minaj’s vagina. If you want to be good at freestyling, you have to constantly do it.
So, that was my tip for today. If you want to freestyle, memorize your sets and then practice filling up the space in-between them. Give it time and you’ll get better.
So what do you think? What is your technique for freestyling?