Here is a guide on how to be a rapper broken into simple steps. These steps will help you build a foundation for starting your rap career and developing a music brand.
What Is Rapping?
The art of rapping is not all about how cool and fast you can rap. It’s about how well you can make listeners feel something.
Rap music provides a way to express how someone feels, what they think, or how they see the world around them in a rhythmic fashion that flows easily from one word to another.
Rap lyrics are generally made up of couplets and verses with no limit on the number of syllables for each line, as long as it fits rhythmically within the time frame established by the song’s beat.
A rapper also needs to be able to deliver their lyrics so that listeners understand what is being said while at the same time sounding good over an instrumental track provided by a DJ or music producer.
Read on to learn how to become a rapper.
Related: 15 Websites For Free Rap Beats
How To Become A Rapper
To be a rapper, one must have the passion and dedication to rap. It is not simply a talent that some people are born with- it takes hard work and practice to perfect the craft.
The following steps will guide beginners through learning how to rap.
1. Study Successful Rappers
Beginners need to listen to how other successful rappers deliver their lyrics—understanding how your favorite artist’s rap will help you decide how you want to sound like a rapper.
You need to pay close attention to how your favorite rappers use their voices and how they incorporate other sounds into their music. This will give you many ideas on being a good rapper and finding your rap style.
2. Learn How to Rhyme
To be a rapper, you need to understand how rhyming works. Rhyming is an essential part of rapping as it provides a way to string words together and make listeners feel certain emotions by using rhyming techniques.
Some rappers choose not to use rhymes in their lyrics, but beginners need to start linking words with rhyme. Whether you decide to incorporate more advanced rhyming techniques later on or not is up to you.
Related: 15 Best Rap Courses Online
3. Write Rap Lyrics Daily
The best way for beginners to learn how to rap is by writing lyrics every day. Those serious about learning how to rap should constantly be writing lyrics to help you find your style.
One should never write rhymes but instead focus on writing lyrics that tell a story and convey a feeling. Highlighting specific details from the day or writing about how someone feels can help you better understand writing lyrics.
4. Learn How to Count Bars
A bar in rap is typically a sentence of rap lyrics, followed by a second sentence that rhymes. This is the most common way to structure rap lyrics, but it can be challenging for beginners to understand how bars are put together.
It’s essential to learn how to count bars when writing lyrics. This will help you understand how songs are structured and where the chorus is in each specific rap song.
So whenever you hear someone referring to 16 bars, this usually means 16 sentences. The typical verse of a rap song is 16 bars. Here is an example of 16 bars from Eminem’s “Godzilla”.
- I can swallow a bottle of alcohol, and I’ll feel like Godzilla
- Better hit the deck like the card dealer
- My whole squad’s in here, walking around the party
- A cross between a zombie apocalypse and B-Bobby “The
- Brain” Heenan, which is probably the
- Same reason I wrestle with mania
- Shady’s in this b*tch; I’m posse’d up
- Consider it to cross me a costly mistake
- If they sleepin’ on me, the h*es better get insomnia
- ADHD, Hydroxycut
- Pass the Courvoisier (Hey, hey)
- In AA with an AK, melee, finna set it like a playdate
- Better vacate, retreat-like a vacay, mayday (Ayy)
- This beat is cray-cray, Ray J, H-A-H-A-H-A
- Laughing all the way to the bank, I spray flames
- They cannot tame or placate the
5. Learn Basic Song Structure
Once you start learning how to count bars, it will be easier for beginners to understand how rap songs are structured.
Understanding the basic structure of rap songs is essential for beginners. The typical song sections are the intro, verse, hook, bridge, and outro.
The intro of a rap song is typically the first 20 seconds. This helps catch the audience’s attention and familiarize them with the song.
A verse in rap is typically 16 bars long, but this can vary depending on the rap song. The verse is where the lyrics are most important since it takes up more time than other sections in a typical rap song.
The hook is the catchy and repeating part of a rap song. It typically lasts less than 16 bars, and it helps to make a rap song memorable.
The bridge is where there are tempo changes, which can give the song more energy. It typically lasts less than 16 bars and can transition between parts of a rap song.
The outro in a rap song is the final part of the song. It typically lasts 16 bars and is used to close out the rap song.
6. Develop A Unique Style
One of the most important things for beginners to understand is developing a unique style. Whether you choose to rap about social issues or personal experiences, you need to find your rapping style.
To create a unique rapping style, beginners should pay attention to how rappers in their area rap and learn from the best.
Learn what slang the youth in your city use.
You should also learn what is unique about the city you live in and incorporate those elements into your rapping.
Nothing is impossible when it comes to learning how to rap, but beginners should use their creativity to develop a style that hasn’t been heard before.
7. Practice! Practice! Practice!
You’ve learned all of the theory; now it is time for you to put that knowledge into action. Now that you have your style in mind, you should start rapping in your spare time.
There are many ways for beginners to practice rap lyrics without using an instrument or recording themselves.
One of the best ways to practice rap lyrics for beginners is freestyling. Freestyling allows you to express your emotions and ideas and will enable you to practice your delivery.
8. Learn How to Record Music From Home
Once you’ve mastered making lyrics, it’s time to start recording yourself. Beginners often want to use studio equipment to record rap music, but the truth is you don’t need anything fancy to record your first songs.
Once you have mastered making rap lyrics, it’s time to start recording your songs. You can use your computer to record the rap beats you create.
You can also use simple recording equipment like a microphone, headphones, and pop filter. These will help beginners record rap songs at home without spending money on professional equipment.
Suggested Tools & Resources
- Best Condenser Microphones
- Best USB Audio Interfaces
- Free Music Production Software Apps
- Best Over-Ear Headphones
9. Create Music ( A Lot Of Music )
After you’ve recorded yourself rapping, it is time to create an album with your music. An essential part of learning how to be a rapper is to create a large number of songs.
This will allow you to find out what topics you need to talk about most often and how you should deliver your lyrics.
10. Put Your Music Online
Once you have practiced rap and recorded music, it’s time to share your music with the world. Putting your songs online is one of the best ways to get your name out there and establish a fan base.
Use a site like SoundCloud to upload your music and share it with fans. You can also create a YouTube channel to promote your songs differently.
11. Pick a Rap Name
One of the essential steps for beginners to be a rapper is to choose a rap name. A rap name will help you stand out from other rappers and make you memorable to fans.
It’s important to choose a unique name that tells people what kind of music you make.
12. Build An Online Fanbase
To make a living as a rapper, you need to attract fans. One of the best ways to attract new fans is by marketing yourself online.
Social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will allow you to interact with fans and share your music. Create posts that build hype around your music and encourage fans to check out your new songs.
13. Collaborate With Music Artists
Once you have learned to be a rapper, it’s time to collaborate with other artists. Collaborating with music artists is beneficial for your career because you will gain exposure to larger audiences.
This can also benefit music artists who want to create a new song that takes their career in a new direction.
14. Practice Your Stage Presence
Once you’ve mastered rap and created a name for yourself, it is time to practice your stage presence. Your stage presence refers to how you act when performing at shows.
It is important to practice how to rap in front of people because this will help you understand how to interact with fans to make them feel appreciated.
15. Try To Book Shows to Perform
Once you have mastered rap and created a solid online presence, it’s time to book shows. Booking shows is one of the best ways to get your name out there and perform in front of a live audience.
With social media, it’s easier than ever to book shows and share your music with larger audiences. Several websites exist where you can meet other musicians and book shows for local audiences.
16. Get A Manager
Once you’ve learned how to be a rapper and performed live at shows, it’s time to get a manager to represent your music. A manager will help you book more shows and develop your career in the best direction.
Managers are incredibly beneficial for beginner rappers who are just starting to create a name for themselves.
17. Learn About The Music Industry & Music Contracts
Learning about the music industry is essential for any rapper who wants to maintain success in their career.
It’s also beneficial for beginners to learn about music contracts because this will allow you to understand how you are paid for your recorded songs.
Learning about the music industry will also help you understand how to market your music and maintain a professional relationship with other artists.
Related: What Are Masters In Music
18. Be Unique to Stand Out!
The music industry is full of artists who all sound similar. Beginner rappers need to be unique when writing lyrics to stand out from other artists.
When writing music, try to be original and have fun while coming up with lyrics that you feel passionate about.
19. Learn How to Market Your Music
Once you’ve learned how to be a rapper and have built a career for yourself, it’s essential to learn how to market your music in the best way possible.
Marketing your own music will allow you to expand your career and find new ways to connect with fans. Also, you can use your marketing skills to create better connections with other artists and music producers.
You can market your music using several social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Plus, you can use other sites, including YouTube, Spotify, and SoundCloud, to connect with new listeners.
Additionally, you must have a website that your audience can visit to learn more about you and check out your newest songs.
20. Take Control Of Your Music Career
Being an independent artist means that you are the only person controlling your music career. This may seem scary at first, but if you do it right, you can learn how to be a rapper and experience success without the help of other people.
The main thing that an independent artist must do is to learn how to market their music effectively. It’s also crucial that you know how to manage your finances and create a plan for your career.
This will help you control your success and create a unique path for your music career.
I’ve covered an immense amount of ground in this article, delving into everything from writing lyrics to successfully navigating the rap industry.
As you embark on your journey, remember whether you’re an aspiring rapper or a veteran, you are on a unique path. As an artist, your own voice matters, just as Lil Wayne, Young Thug, and Lil Baby have shown us.
It’s your very essence that will bring a unique sound to your music, making you stand out in the hip-hop scene.
As you progress, refine your writing skills and look for new and creative ways to express your thoughts. Kendrick Lamar didn’t become one of the best rap artists overnight.
He honed his craft, always striving to write better, more evocative lyrics. When you feel ready, consider investing in studio time to record your first song.
You may also want to learn how to produce your own beats, adding another dimension to your music.
There’s no denying the rap game is competitive. However, some of the most successful artists today, such as Jay Z and Snoop Dogg, started as upcoming rappers. As you put yourself out there, remember to always stay true to your craft and your vision.
Whether you’re posting SoundCloud tracks or creating YouTube videos, always strive to make as much music as possible. This dedication to your craft can help you to become a professional rapper.
While becoming a rapper can be challenging, with the right set of skills and a basic understanding of the industry, you can certainly make your mark.
Look for feedback, both positive and critical, and use it to grow. Remember, every famous rapper once stood where you are now. Learn from their journeys, but also carve your own path in the rap culture.
As a bonus tip, always remember that your brand extends beyond your music.
Your stage name, album art, and even your social media presence all contribute to your image as a hip-hop artist. Maintain consistency across these platforms to strengthen your brand and make a lasting impression.
In conclusion, success in the rap industry is not solely about making rap music; it’s about crafting a successful music artist’s career.
By understanding and implementing the different aspects involved, from your unique sound to securing a record deal, you will be well on your way to establishing a successful professional rapping career.
Remember, you’re not just a rapper; you’re an artist, a storyteller, and a unique voice within the vast tapestry of hip-hop. Like any craft, rapping requires patience, practice, and persistence.
But with hard work and passion, you could very well be the next big name in the rap industry. So, start writing, start rapping, and above all, start making your dreams a reality.
Learning how to be a rapper can be difficult, but beginners need to learn the basics of how to rap before they attempt to start their careers.
I’ve tried to guide you through the steps for how to be a rapper, and we hope that our suggestions help you understand the process of how to become a rapper.