ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Rap punchline construction

Updated on September 15, 2015

Making a battle rap punchline:

Punchlines in battle rap are a set of bars with the last one having the most impact. They are a bit difficult to create but with practice, you'll be a punchline genius.

A punchline first and foremost has a set up. The set up is made of the bars leading to the punchline.

The set up:

The mistake rappers make is they're too focused on delivering the punchline and rush their set-up. The result is a few set of forced bars that is lower in quality than the final bar. Your punchline will not make much of an impact than if your set-up is poorly made. What should every set-up have? Anticipation. As an audience, we should be eagerly trying to predict what your going to say next. Forget the filler bars, instead choose high quality words in every line.

One notable example of a punchline is Fresco vs. Kid Twist. Fresco's set up points out Kid Twist's losing streak then transitions to the punchline.

“Five losses in a row and suffer any other rapper

You don't make money or music so i guess it doesn't matter!”

Uno Lavoz is known for his jokes in punchlines.
Uno Lavoz is known for his jokes in punchlines.

Elements of a punchline:

Punchlines can have several things 1) A bold statement 2) A joke 3) A timeless law of wisdom 4) A metaphor.

1) A bold statement – A notable example is "What used to be hot is what an emcee said, now hip hop don't respect you unless your platinum or dead" by Rass Kass. Bold statements are straight to the point and have some truth to them. In battle rap, it's a good idea to observe a certain flaw in your opponent then make a statement on reality. For example, you may want to make a bold statement on why their bars on guns are below average. Don't sweat it, just spit raw energy.

2) A joke – Punchlines can be extremely humorous. The trick is to be a natural comedian, building up to the climax of a joke. Some battle rappers exaggerate their opponent's physical features or rapping to enhance the punchline. Others love to use clever similes, metaphors, or Wordplay to create impact. Figure out what works best for you.

3) A timeless law of wisdom - “You reap what you sow” is an example of a timeless law of wisdom. Timeless laws of wisdom should be used as a true statement dissing your opponent. For example, i've battled a 13 year old kid who knew i had a problem with a girl i liked. I knew he would probably use that in a battle so i did my research. I came up with the following (names have been changed to protect identity):

“I made mistakes with Lucy, but learned from em, i got love charted

Because nice guys finish last and my boy you haven't even started!

It was a hard hitting diss because of it's truthfulness, using a proverb for a freshly new meaning. As a man, i've had more experience with woman compared to a 13 year old hitting puberty.

4) A metaphor - A metaphor incorporated into your raps shows skills as a lyricist. An example of this could be "It's hard for a tree to grow/When father figures leave" written by Common. A metaphor simply a comparison made without the words like or as.

Are you satisfied with your punchlines?

See results

Do your research:

The more you know about your opponent, the higher the quality of your punchlines. However simply knowing your enemy isn't enough. Your skills depend on how well you use words as a poetic artist. Before you do anything, you must research your opponent. Go online and surf the web for their Social Media networks via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo. etc. Take note of everything about them enough to where you can make a few punchlines. Next is researching to gain inspiration. Idioms, phrases, proverbs, symbols, movies, shows, current events, are all sources of ideas for your punchlines.

Keep practicing:

Punchlines take alot of practice to perfect. The more energy you can muster up, the better your punchlines will be. Discipline yourself to create tension in the set-up until your punchline lands a devastating impact on your opponent.

Was this guide helpful?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Miran Shuleta 

      3 years ago

      This is where most rappers these days fail in delivering punchlines of true quality. Rap has become filled with mediocrity with rappers like French Montana, Chief Keef, Birdman somehow becoming popular for delivering absolute crap.

      Kendrick Lamar, Hopsin, ASAP Rocky, J Cole, Future, Childish Gambino and Lowkey right now are holding the bar high, Lamar and Hopsin being personal favourites, great hub.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)