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How To Write A Rap Song

Updated on August 25, 2014

How To Write A Rap Song

How To Write A Rap Song

With the popularity of rap music in this day and age there are many young and old that want to know how to write a rap song. So what is a rap song? It is a type song usually set to an uptempo beat that is easy to dance to. This genre of music is very versatile in a way where the tempo of the instrumental can change the mood of the song. Using chords from an organ and deep bass drums can make a rap song dark. But on the other hand using a xylophone and snare drums can liven up a beat.

Now that we have covered that let's get into the meat and potatoes of creating a rap song.

Rap Song Intro

First we will start off by learning how to write a rap song intro. What exactly is an intro you ask? Well to be specific it is the very beginning of a song where the first chords of the track begin or the vocals start. The intro is normally an 8 bar introduction into the song where the rapper will say a few words foreshadowing what the content of the song will be. Many rappers brag or smooth talk in their intros.

The rap song intro can also be in the form of the hook of the song. A number of songs that you hear on the radio will open up with the hook as the introduction. This makes recording a rap song easier because you know exactly when the hook ends and where you will be queued in to begin rapping. However there are occasions where a rapper's lyrics will start immediately as the beat begins which eliminates the need for a rap introduction.

Rap Song Verse

A rap song verse is the part of the song that comes after the intro but before each hook (chorus). In order to write you verse you will need to have a subject to rap about. The way that I like to do my verses is to come up with a hook first. The content of the hook will give me ideas to brain storm on what to write about.

A rap song verse is usually 16 bars and yes this is the same as a “hot 16”. In this style of rap verse you will have 16 lines or 16 bars where every two lines will rhyme with each other. So lines 1 and 2 will rhyme. Lines 3 and 4 will rhyme. Lines 5 and 6 will rhyme. And so on until line 16 will. Below is and example of this kind of rap song structure.

Steps To Writing A Rap Song Video

16 Bar Rap Verse Example

  1. Betty had her little boy dressed in blue.
  2. Red bow tie and a touch of red in his shoe.
  3. She kept him so nice all her friends envied her.
  4. And all the people in the neighborhood did concur.
  5. She was bad either always made heads to turn.
  6. You want to copy her style you have a lot to learn.
  7. And she was firm with her little man don't get dirty.
  8. Because we're going to the circus at about 6:30.
  9. And the little boy smiled all filled with joy.
  10. Betty always had been proud of her baby boy.
  11. From toys to game she gave him all the best.
  12. For parent of the year she would have no contest.
  13. She said you're growing so fast little boy of mine.
  14. One day you'll be a man and treat your wife fine.
  15. And you can call me on the line for a little advice.
  16. Just remember all I taught you and you'll have a good life.

The above 16 bar rap verse is how you can structure you rap song. Use this as a template to craft your hot 16.

Rap Song Writing And Recording Equipment

Every rapper needs equipment to record his rap song vocals. The most important instrument for a rapper is his microphone. As far as a microphone for recording raps I recommend the CAD GXL2200 condenser microphone. This is the probably the most frequently used mic by rappers in their home studios. Visit the link to the right to buy the best microphone for recording your rap songs at home.

How To Write A Rap Song Hook

In order to write a rap song hook you will need to understand a few things. The hook is the same as the chorus. To me the hook is the most important part of the whole rap song structure. I say this because it will summarize the entire song into just 8 lines or 8 bars. The usual structure of a hook is 4 bars looped twice to make it 16 bars long. However some rappers will make 8 bars and no loop or repeating of bars during the chorus.

If you think about all of your favorite rap songs I would bet that you would find that they all have a singular thing in common. That is the hook is the most memorable part of the song. Often times you will not know the lyrics in the verses but the chorus will be the part that is stuck in your head. You find yourself singing it and not being able to get it out of your mind. That is the importance of the hook. Because it makes the song memorable.

Rap Song Rapper

When writing a rap song hook or chorus you need to have subject in mind. The subject that you rap about should be summarized into your 8 bar chorus. This will make writing a rap verse a breeze. Many times your hear songs where the verse seems to go off subject. That is mainly due to not having the proper structure of the song in the beginning. The rapper may just write to the beat before the hook is actually constructed and when the hook is added to the song then the song is not cohesive.

The proper way to write your rap song is to start with a beat. Let the beat play and then use to pattern of the beat to pattern your lyrical delivery to. This is called you flow. First construct a hook. This will set the tone for everything else and make things far easier. Each verse in your 3 verse rap song will have elements of the subject of the hook incorporated into them. So for instance if you are rapping about fruit then you chorus should be broadly about fruit. And then each verse should go into detail about fruit such as type, taste, satisfaction, etc.

Doing it this way will also help to ward off the dreaded writer's block.

Write A Rap Song Outro

The rap song outro is often the most overlooked part of the song to write. The outro is usually 16 bars long. Many times the it is just the 8 bar hook being looped twice to make a 16 bar outro. Most rappers seem to put no emphasis on this part of the rap song. There are exceptions though. Tupac seemed to make a science out of the outro. He would often talk his way to the very end of his songs. He perfected being able to squeeze content out of every second of a rap song. If you have things that you could not fit into your verses then use the outro to talk about them.

The outro can be used to brag about something, tell fans about your up coming projects, or even shout out your homies or the people that helped you to put the rap song together. Use the outro to get your complete message across or as advertisement. Many rappers overlook this important component but you don't have to.

How To Write A Good Rap Song

How To Pick A Subject To Rap About

How to pick a subject to rap about is the most frequent question that I get asked by far. And my answer is always the same. You can rap about anything. Literally! There are an infinite amount of subjects that are waiting for you to tap into.

If you are a gangster rapper then the street life and struggle that you have been through is a tried and true topic to rap about. If you are a ladies man then you can rap about how much you love women and what things you would like to do with them. That genre alone can yield scores of subject to rap about. If you are into weird things then rap about those weird things as well.

Another topic to rap about is products. You can use your favorite products to create jingles for the companies that sell them. All a jingle is is basically a very short rap song. The format of a jingle is similar to a single 16 bar rap song verse. You could create a number or these about something such as a soda and pitch it to the company. Who knows you may be hired to do commercials for them. But that's getting into a whole other area to be covered later. Here just a few subject to rap about:

Subject To Rap About

Subject To Rap About
Summary Of What To Rap Write About The Subject Topic
The Club
Rap about the fun you have while out a the club.
Cars
Rap about the cars you have or would like to have and their features.
Clothes
Rap about all of the fly and stylish clothes you go to the malls to shop for.
Women
Rap about how much you love women and how they feel about you.
Hanging Out
Rap about chilling with the homies and hanging out.
Sex
Rap about you sex life with the women or a certain woman.
Jewelry
Rap about the gold and diamond jewelry that you have.
Politics
Rap about what is going on in the government that you may or many not like.
Poverty
Rap about the poverty that you came from and how you had to overcome it.
Crime
Rap about the crimes that you were involved in and the consequences that stemmed from it.
Rap topics are all around you. You just have to be in tuned to what is going on that is relevant to your rap fans. I hope this brief tutorial helps you to learn how to write a rap song.

Conclusion of Writing a Rap Song

At this point you have a completed song and you can tweak it however you would like to. You can think of words to add to the end of a song to extend it like a closing. Similar to the intro. If you chose to do so then the hook needs to loop enough times to fit in any additional vocals you add.

Practice singing the song several times to get familiar with the words so that it gets to a point where you have memorized the song and you no longer need your lyric sheet. Once you have done this then it's time to try reciting it to a few friends to gain some feedback. Now if you want to make it really a challenge your can record your new rap live in studio. Who knows, you may turn out to be the next Lil Wayne!

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