How To Write Rap Lyrics (For Beginners)

How To Write Rap Lyrics (For Beginners)

How To Write Rap Lyrics (For Beginners)

Rap, like I always say, is one genre that is really versatile because it can be infused into any other genre without losing the authenticity of such genres: Opera, country, rock, Afrobeats, gospel, spoken word, pop… the list goes on.

However, one has to be creative enough to be able to apply rap to these genres. So before you decide to infuse rap into any of these, start with the basics. Learn how to rap then learn how to write.

Basically, the first step to writing a rap is to listen to rap songs. Dissect them. Understand them. What’s the message? Does it resonate with you or do you just fancy the melody? These are some of the things that people don’t really consider.

The reason why this should be taken into consideration is that it serves as a guide and enhances your creativity. You can pick up styles and refine them. Heck, you can even create yours! When that is done, you can then proceed to take the following steps:

Choose a topic

What message do you want to pass across? This is what your song is about. It could be about anything. Love, heartbreak, hope, determination, abuse, your struggles e.t.c.

Unfortunately, these days a lot of what we hear talk about sex, drugs, gangs, and money— and these are some of the reasons why some people would rather not listen to rap. But the truth is, rap songs do not have to pass across negative messages.

Use a beat

I strongly recommend that you have a beat before you write a rap as it allows you to clearly map out the song structure. It also allows you to distinctively understand how your lyrical rhythm and cadence should be.

Another reason why you should use a beat to write your rap is that it makes it easier for you to rehearse and you know exactly how long your song should last. Simply put, you’d easily know where and when to start and end your song. I hope this makes sense.

If you want to use beats without copyrights issues, I recommend using beats from YouTube Audio Library. However, you have to make sure that you check the license type. The license type lets you know whether or not attribution is required.

If you are using any other beat outside YouTube Audio Library, I strongly recommend that you have the consent of the composer so you don’t get slammed with a lawsuit (if you intend to monetize it later in the future) or better still, create your own beat if you can.

Another option is to buy beats if you can afford to. I personally haven’t bought any beats online so I can’t recommend any to you. If it’s something you’re interested in, just do a search and be sure to make an enquiry about their terms and agreements (if they have any).

Determine the structure

How do you want the song to be? Are you starting with an intro or a verse? Would you prefer to start with a hook or a chorus instead? Or would you just like to rap all through?

Similarly, you need to consider how many lines per verse you’d like to have as well as the rhyme scheme (learning a bit of poetry will do you a whole lot of good). This will be a lot easier to write when you are working with a beat.

Write down the lyrics

Writing lyrics generally can be difficult for some. If you have trouble doing this, you can write out a story that talks about your message. When you’re done, pick out important points from your story and write them in lines.

You can dissect your story in parts. What happened? How it happened? What’s happening? So if you intend to have three verses, each one could represent a verse.

And no, it doesn’t necessarily have to follow this format. You can come up with something else– do you!

Get creative

Play with words. Work on your imagery. Get rid of clichés. For example, suppose I’m writing a rap about heartbreak and I want to talk about how I was dumped, instead of saying, “he dumped me and left me for another”, I can say, “he tossed me like a used diaper cause he thought she was better”.

The difference between the two is that one is overused (cliché) while the other creates a powerful image in the mind of the listener. This is how you stand out.

Revise till you’re satisfied:

Edit. Ask for opinions from others and see if you’d like to make changes based on their responses. Keep editing until you feel good about it. But at the same time, do not edit to the point where your song loses the vibe. Simply put, don’t let it lose its originality.

Conclusion

I know this is lengthy but I believe it’d be worth it. You can check out my Youtube channel and use it as a guide if you want. I’d recommend you listen to Wolverine, You are Enough, Before You Judge and The Black Tale. These should help you understand how the beat can influence the song structure and cadence.

There you have it! Have you tried writing rap lyrics? How did it go? If not, is it something you’d like to try? Drop comments below!

Previously on How To’s: How To Start Over In Life

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Viano Dee

Viano Dee is a non niche blogger, poet, songwriter and a hardcore romantic who believes that life is something that we all should be positive about. She writes about life generally with the hope that positive change will occur even if it's just in one person. Her write-ups could take any form: poetry, articles, and even songs in ways that'll inspire you, resonate with you, or tell a story while keeping you both informed and entertained.

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Mandy @ Money Mending
25 days ago

I was totally wondering how somebody would explain the instructions for this, but you nailed it! Makes me want to try.

Arti
25 days ago

Hey great post. Sharing this with my nephew who is young but very much into rap. Thanks for sharing

Jen @ Jenron Designs
24 days ago

I love the way you have laid out the creative process for yourself, it is similar to writing poetry as well just with a beat.

Nishtha
24 days ago

This is great break down and step by step for anyone trying rap for the 1st time. Will check out your youtube videos.

Smiley
23 days ago

Now, this is interesting! I just published my first poem on IG so should try some beats to go with it;) But first, I’m going to check out your YouTube channel!

Michael
23 days ago

An interesting topic indeed. I can really process a few words when hearing a rap but its the first time I will analyze writing such lyrics. Great job.

Amalia
22 days ago

This is great, I think it must be so hard to come up with the lyrics, great job with this list!

Nisha
22 days ago

Wonderful post very nicely described how to write rap lyrics. Adding a beat before writing the rap and then mapping the song structure is a great idea!

Ivan M. Jose
19 days ago

Thanks for the tips. I love to write blog posts but I’ll have to admit that writing lyrics is a completely foreign field for me.

Lori Bosworth
19 days ago

Those are very clear instructions I like many rap songs, especially by Drake!

Lyosha
19 days ago

great post. It actually helps to understand rap better even if you don’t have plans to write by youself.

Khushboo
Khushboo
18 days ago

Wow what a helpful post. I like listening to raps and didn’t know how they rap. This is very informative post

Regan Thacker
18 days ago

I have a friend who writes short little raps. I’ll share this post with her to see if helps with her creative process or if she does something similar.

Archana Singh
18 days ago

I am not a rapper but these are such great tips for budding rap artists. Great post. Thanks for sharing

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