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How To Improve Your Rap Song
4 Qualities That Will Help
When creating your rap/hiphop song having the following 4 qualities will help you get your music replayed, shared, and downloaded by your listeners. Note that having only a few of them will decrease your chances of making a hit. You need the whole package to succeed.
- Catchy high quality instrumental/beat
- Great first impression
- Catchy/simple hook (or chorus)
- Lyrical flow
1. Finding Beats For Your Song
You can have awesome lyrics, but if you rap them onto a non-catchy/boring/low-quality beat your song will not become a hit. The beat is just as important (if not, more) than the lyrics itself. Before you say a word on your track people listen to the vibe of the beat first and then determine if they're going to like the song. You know it's true (I bet you do it).
You would think to make a hit song you would have to copy someone that is already famous and use a beat similar to theirs. Except, in the past the majority of the hit songs were unique for their time. Also, if you're going to be a serious artist you will need to invest in your music (which includes paying for your beats). This will open doors for you in having a better selection of high quality instrumentals.
2. First Impression Is Crucial
Similar to having a good beat, your first impression is extremely important if you want to have your listener continue listening. Besides having a good beat intro, you can do other things to make your intro interesting, such as:
- Adding effects to your vocals during the intro (filters, reverb, etc)
- Add motivational/famous audio clips
- Start with a skit/funny scenario
- Long, dramatic anticipation
- Skip the intro (no one said you needed one)
Helpful tip: Write the intro last. By writing it after you finished your verses you can summarize what your song is going to be about with your intro phrases. By not doing this you could limit yourself on what you want to say for the entire song.
Special Effects To Vocals Example
Meaningful Intro Example
Funny Skit Intro Example
Dramatic Intro Example
3. Make Your Hook Catchy!
You can't have a complicated/long hook. No one will remember it and it won't flow off their tongue even if they do try to sing it. The hook is the part that people remember and it summarizes the whole song within a few sentences.
It should be noted that it should stand out from your verses (such as adding more reverb, delay, chorus, etc) to let the listener know that the hook is playing. Also, anticipation before/after the hooks help the listener know when it will start/end.
Don't get lazy when writing your hook, because if you don't get it perfected then the whole song will be ruined (even if you have a dope beat with dope verses). It's either all or nothing.
Helpful tip: Before officially publishing your song online, show your friends/critics your track so you can take constructive criticism. Just make sure they're completely honest so you can make the best song possible so that the majority of your audience enjoys your song.
Great Hook Example (Nate Dogg)
4. Perfect Your Flow
So you got your perfect beat, you wrote down the dopest lyrics, and now it's time to record. If your flow is off tempo your listener will most likely turn your track off. It is very important that you perfect your timing when you rap over your beat. This is what distinguishes an amateur from a pro.
Also, try changing your flow a little throughout the song to keep things fresh. Of course there are exceptions on when you want to keep everything consistent, but by speeding/slowing down your flow it'll will make your song more exciting and interesting.
To practice rapping on time, try finding different hiphop/rap beats with different tempos and rap to those to help yourself adapt to different BPMs (beats per minute). Over time, it'll become easier to write to any type of beat you end up finding.
Some great examples of rap artists that have great flow in their rhyme schemes are Eminem, Tech N9ne, and Rittz.
Helpful Tip: When practicing to freestyle, you can play a game where someone gives you random words (or Google "random word generator") while you try to connect the words together while rhyming.
Well Established Flow Example
I'm not saying by having these 4 qualities that will automatically have your song into a viral hit, but this will increase your chances because the quality of the entire track will be ready to be shared with the world.
There is much more to having your music go viral. Promotion plays a major role in this, but for now I'll leave that topic for another article. Hopefully you learned something new and if you have any suggestions leave them in the comments!