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How to make a rap song

Updated on April 23, 2016
Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg


You daydream about being a rapper but lack the confidence or resources to do so. Your stuck on ideas on how to write a song or a beat. You may be wanting to market your music and become famous. If these descriptions apply to you then you've come to the right place. Whether you want to pursue a musical career or not, i will provide some tips that i have used and worked for me as an artist.

What you will need:

  • Internet access, You will need to be able to research online for your music.
  • USB drive, It would be very helpful if you stored your beats, recordings, and projects in a USB drive in case
  • Pen and paper, Lyrics and ideas may instantly pop up in your head so writing them down helps you remember them for

The Rapper's Handbook: A Guide to Freestyling, Writing Rhymes, and Battling (by Flocabulary)
The Rapper's Handbook: A Guide to Freestyling, Writing Rhymes, and Battling (by Flocabulary)

"Whether you're a beginner who's never spit a verse in your life, or a veteran trying to expand your lyrical mastery. Flocabulary gets your rhymes to the next level. From wordplay to punchlines, from metaphors to multisyllable rhymes, The Rapper's Handbook covers all the crucial elements of freestyling, writing rhymes and battling. Each chapter features lyrical examples and advice from professional rappers. Lyrics are analyzed under a microscope to figure out exactly how the best emcees craft their lines. Written by the creators of Flocabulary, whose innovative hip-hop has been featured in press throughout the world, the tips in this book have helped thousands of emcees gain the confidence and skills to rock the microphone."


Step 1:

Reflect on who you are as a musician – Before you do anything at all, think about who you are. You can rap about the same things average rappers do. You can copy their flow and lyrical style. However the chances of you making a lasting impression are slim. You must take the time to analyze your experiences, your voice, how you want others to see you, how you see yourself, and the message you want to send. What are you good at? What have you been through in life? What kind of person are you? Write down these kinds of questions and answer them.

Step 2:

Find your voice – Your rapping voice must never be the same as your talking voice. If you mumble your words when you speak and use that same voice to rap, your going to get very boring. If you want to be different than most rappers, you must have a unique flow and vocal projection. Flow is basically how your voice sounds when rapping. How do you want to vocally rap each of your lines? Decide if you want to emphasize rhythm, melody, tempo, etc. The best way i can explain it is if you listen to various rappers. What makes T.I different from 50 Cent? What makes Tu Pac different Biggie Smalls? What makes Eminem different from Kendrick Lamar? Write down the differences in terms of lyrics, flow, tempo, word pronunciation, vocal projection, rhythm, melody, and so on.

Eminem - The Way I Am

Step 3:

Determine what emotions you want to evoke – How do you want to vocally present your lyrics? Aggressive? Funny? Serious? Sad? Angry? You want to connect your music to the audience. You don't want to rap in a sad tone to a happy beat. You don't want to sound like a robot all the way through the song. Skilled rappers are able to display various emotions and adapt their tone of voice to their lyrics.

Listen to Eminem's “The way i am” and notice his tone of voice. When he raps, he emphasizes his frustration and anger.

Step 4:

Make your own studio – Alot of people recommend investing alot of money in buying the equipment for your home studio. I personally don't think you need to. There are great sites with online studio programs that you can use for free. If you have a phone or PC, you should have a recorder app to go along with it. You can save alot of money and still make great quality music if your smart about it. Once you've learned how to mix and master, edit, add effects, so on, your ready to start producing music. You can make beats from scratch or simply research free copies online.

Step 5:

Write lyrics – Your lyrics can be personal and inspirational, lyrically creative, or both. Tu Pac wasn't a lyrical genius, but he was very influential. It helps to research poetry online or at your local library then incorporate it in your raps. A rap song should focus on one topic telling a story with a beginning, middle, or end. The chorus should be catchy and sum up the whole message. Your rap song can however be informal. Your songs should not use too many words. Each verse should have at least 20-30 bars and be 16 syllables long. You might want to use this example as your outline.

Topic - How you became a rapper

Hook – Grab the reader's attention with a catchy phrase or provoking lyrics.

Beginning – Talk about your struggles as an amateur and describe what you felt, what you thought, who you were, so on. If you were desperate and distressed, your voice should sound desperate and distressed rapping the first verse.

Chorus – You may want your chorus to make a profound statement on life and hard-work as it ties into your story. Perhaps it would help if you used fewer simpler words.

Middle – Express your new mindset and determination to be a successful rapper. Rap about your goals as an artist and how you resolved your conflicts. Rap about how you kept practicing despite your flaws. Be enthusiastic and energetic when rapping.

End – Summarize how your life changed becoming famous and having fans. Discuss how your life is like as a professional rapper. Your final verse should end with a strong statement that leaves listeners in awe of your music.

Step 6:

Practice rapping – Once you've written your lyrics and have the beat ready, you should start practicing your song. Figure out how you want to flow to a beat and vocally project your words. Decide what tempo you want to rap to and what rhythm you want to create. Memorize your lyrics for a better natural sounding recording. Make sure your rapping on beat. You don't want to rap quick to a slow paced beat. Sometimes it works but only if the beat's rhythm permits it.

Step 7:

Record – When you feel you are ready to start recording, simply rap along to the beat. Do not simply rap as if you were rehearsing your practice session. Make sure that you perform your very best. You may want to rap a little louder than before or put more emphasis in some lines. You may want to be more emotional. Perhaps you may be so connected to the music, you'd want to freestyle more or do the chorus one more time. Do whatever the music compels you to do. Do not record in different time segments as your mood is likely to change quickly. For example, if i energetically record the 1st verse then wait later to record the chorus and i'm exhausted, there's going to be a huge inconsistency in my song. Make sure that you record everything in one go.

Step 8:

Finalize your song – Make sure you put the finishing touches to your vocal recording and beat. Remove any unnecessary noise from your recording using your editing program. Enhance the quality of your recordings. Add vocal effects appropriate for the song's mood. Add sound effects to your beat. You may need to cut out unnecessary parts like unwanted sounds in the background. You may need to record some verses again in case you make mistakes. Above all, make your song sound professional.

A few concluding thoughts:

Once you've produced your song, congratulate yourself as a published rapper. Upload your music and share it with friends or the public. If you feel you could sell your music then i strongly suggest you sell yourself. Join rap battles to win promotion. Be prepared to submit your best songs to other artists and desired record labels to promote your music. Expect to face rejection when selling your name. However with the proper resources and persistence you should eventually sell your records.


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