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THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE volume I

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE volume I exclusive secrets on: How to freestyle How to battle How to

exclusive secrets on:

How to freestyle How to battle How to win over any audience

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 2 The Rappers’ Bible Copyright 2009 by Jon Steel All rights reserved. No
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 2 The Rappers’ Bible Copyright 2009 by Jon Steel All rights reserved. No
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 2 The Rappers’ Bible Copyright 2009 by Jon Steel All rights reserved. No
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 2 The Rappers’ Bible Copyright 2009 by Jon Steel All rights reserved. No
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 2 The Rappers’ Bible Copyright 2009 by Jon Steel All rights reserved. No
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 2 The Rappers’ Bible Copyright 2009 by Jon Steel All rights reserved. No

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The Rappers’ Bible

Copyright 2009 by Jon Steel

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Written by Jon Steel

Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.

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THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE table of contents introduction 3 part one: freestyle arsenal 11
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE table of contents introduction 3 part one: freestyle arsenal 11
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE table of contents introduction 3 part one: freestyle arsenal 11
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE table of contents introduction 3 part one: freestyle arsenal 11
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE table of contents introduction 3 part one: freestyle arsenal 11
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE table of contents introduction 3 part one: freestyle arsenal 11

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE table of contents

introduction

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part one: freestyle arsenal

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Weapon 1: Your Words 13 Rhyme 13 Wordplay 15 Punchlines 32 Weapon2:Voice 42 Sound 42 Range 43 Pronunciation 44 Breathing 44 Weapon Three: Your Flow 48 Song structure 48 Thebeat 50 Your personal cadence 52 Rhymescheme 54 Weapon Four: Your identity 58 Your style 58 Your street name 60

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part two: battle strategy

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the essentials 66 Do’sandDon’ts 67 Winning over the audience 76 Women in Battle 80 Performing Order 82 Rap-up 86

part three: scratch zone

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writing is essential. this space is reserved for you to flow on the go. take time to write and rant here

See a special offer from the publisher on Page 87!

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THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 6 Prologue Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity To seize
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 6 Prologue Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity To seize
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 6 Prologue Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity To seize
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 6 Prologue Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity To seize
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 6 Prologue Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity To seize
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 6 Prologue Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity To seize

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Prologue

Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity

To seize everything you ever wanted

One moment

Would you capture it or just let it slip?

—Eminem

introduction

introduction

So you want to be the best freestyle rapper?

Whether it’s because you’ve got a passion for rhyme swirling in your blood or just because you saw the movie “8-Mile” I commend you for jumping headfirst into what could be the most rewarding journey of your life. (And for taking the initiative to find the resources to guide you along the way.)

The reason I wrote this book is because I want everyone with a passion for spitting rhymes to know that they can master the art of freestyling. No matter how intimidating it looks, or how scared you are, you can do it. I know you can. All it takes is some hard work and a lot of commitment, and you will be able to win over any audience, against any opponent, anywhere. Period.

Freestyling is one of the most thrilling art forms there is. It makes you think. On your feet. In front of tons of people you may or not know, who may or may not like you. It forces you to listen to someone else rip you up and gives you a chance to do the same. For me, freestyle isn’t just something to do when I’m bored or don’t have a piece of paper. It’s something that keeps me centered, conscious and aware. It keeps me fresh. It makes me question everything.

Contrary to what you might think, most people aren’t born being good freestylers. Even if they have some

everything. Contrary to what you might think, most people aren’t born being good freestylers. Even if
everything. Contrary to what you might think, most people aren’t born being good freestylers. Even if

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THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE God-given talent, they still need to practice, just like the rest of us,
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE God-given talent, they still need to practice, just like the rest of us,
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE God-given talent, they still need to practice, just like the rest of us,
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE God-given talent, they still need to practice, just like the rest of us,
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE God-given talent, they still need to practice, just like the rest of us,
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE God-given talent, they still need to practice, just like the rest of us,

God-given talent, they still need to practice, just like the rest of us, to keep their minds sharp and their mouths sharper. It takes discipline and hard work. And if you’re willing to put the time in, anyone, including you, can make it happen.

That said, this book isn’t just a manual to read or flip through when you have a few minutes of down time at work or on the bus. It’s something to refer to. To sink into. To review and think about, and write about, and then think some more. In that sense, this is more than

a book. It’s a living testament to your journey into the freestyle method.

This book is full of resources, tips and exercises, all designed to help you get better at your craft. It’s full of places to jot down your ideas, your fears, your concerns — to analyze kick-ass rhymes and learn from them, over and over again, until they become engrained in your brain.

I don’t care if you are black, white, yellow or green.

If you put in the time, you’ll be able to take on any

rapper, in any battle, anywhere in the world (language requirements permitting). Still, I know it can be hard to take that leap when you’re trying something new. To help give you the little extra push you need, we want you to tear out the form at the bottom of the next page (yeah, I realize I’m asking you to defile my work, that’s how much I care about this). Read it. Re-write it. Sign it. And hang it on your mirror, your car door, your refrigerator handle or wherever else you’re bound to

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introduction

see it all day, every day, and remember that you are on the verge of freestyle greatness.

What, you don’t trust me? Then trust this: studies have shown that if you write your goals out, you’re 80 percent more likely to achieve them. Not to mention, writing is a huge part of rhyming (and this book), so you better get used to it.

In fact, before I start, I want to mention that I strongly recommend that you start writing, every single day, about whatever is on your mind. Consider it your freestyle homework. Do it on the bus, in bed, wherever you have space to be alone with your thoughts. Getting comfortable with writing is a huge step in allowing your thoughts to unravel creatively. You need to do it if you want to get better at rhyming. In fact, I’m even allowing space for you to write, whenever you feel like it, at the end of this book.

All right, now that that’s over with, let’s get started. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. Are you ready?

We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. Are you ready? my freestyle pledge to

my freestyle pledge to Me

I

to practicing for

per week so that I can fulfill my dream of

becoming the best freestyle rapper who

ever lived.

, am committed

days

hours

signed:

date:

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my dream of becoming the best freestyle rapper who ever lived. , am committed days hours
my dream of becoming the best freestyle rapper who ever lived. , am committed days hours

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it take a few moments to write down your
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it take a few moments to write down your
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it take a few moments to write down your
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it take a few moments to write down your
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it take a few moments to write down your
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it take a few moments to write down your

check it, and reflect it

take a few moments to write down your thoughts right now, at the beginning of your freestyle journey.

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and reflect it take a few moments to write down your thoughts right now, at the

freestyle arsenal

PART ONE:

freestyle arsenal

If we’ve said it once, we’ll say it a thousand times: no one is born an amazing freestylist. Just like any other skill, it takes lots of practice to get better. Luckily, there are tons of helpful tricks to help you hone the craft. Better yet, most of them are absolutely free. All you need is some paper, a pen and some presence of mind.

Presence of mind? What the hell’s that about? It’s about being aware of details happening all around you, every moment of the day. Those details are going to be the thing that separate you from your opponents in any freestyle battle. They’re the things that are going to make your audience cheer, your friends brag, and your mama proud. That’s because the present moment is what freestyle is all about.

Unlike traditional rap music, freestyle prides itself in forcing artists to spit in the moment about the people and the things around them. Thus, unlike traditional rap music, you don’t have days or weeks to come up with killer rhymes. You have to think of them on your feet, on the street, on the beat — and they gotta be sweet.

Still, even though it takes a tremendous amount of skill (and will win you a lot of respect), freestyle won’t necessarily make you a millionaire. Though some of the world’s most popular rappers, like 50 Cent, Eminem

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won’t necessarily make you a millionaire. Though some of the world’s most popular rappers, like 50
won’t necessarily make you a millionaire. Though some of the world’s most popular rappers, like 50

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE and Lil’ Wayne, do freestyle, most freestyle rhymes don’t sell records on their
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE and Lil’ Wayne, do freestyle, most freestyle rhymes don’t sell records on their
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE and Lil’ Wayne, do freestyle, most freestyle rhymes don’t sell records on their
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE and Lil’ Wayne, do freestyle, most freestyle rhymes don’t sell records on their
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE and Lil’ Wayne, do freestyle, most freestyle rhymes don’t sell records on their
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE and Lil’ Wayne, do freestyle, most freestyle rhymes don’t sell records on their

and Lil’ Wayne, do freestyle, most freestyle rhymes don’t sell records on their own. (When was the last time you saw a freestyle battle on the Billboard Top 100?) So, you might ask, why bother to flow?

Because doing so will drastically improve your rhyming skills, make you a smarter, sharper, more lethal competitor (and person), and gain you tons of credibility in your rapping community. It will also teach you a lot about song structure, flow, and the English language (or whatever language you speak) in general.

At one time, modern freestyle was considered more of a free flow of unrelated ideas rather than a flow of organized, cohesive, spot-on rhymes meant to comment on (or diss) the world around them. (For a good rundown on the history of freestyle in the United States, check out Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme, which is available online in its entirety (all 75 minutes of it).

But that’s neither here nor there. All that matters now is how you flow, how it go — and the tools you got to make it show. So, here we go.

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freestyle arsenal

freestyle arsenal weapon 1: words

You’ve undoubtedly heard the saying that rap is poetry. Oh, you didn’t like English class? Well you better get over it because the freestyle incorporates tons of elements you probably snored over in class. (Not only that, but by the end of this chapter, you’re going to see why they kick so much ass.)

rhyme

Hands down, one of the most important elements of creating phat rap tracks is just that: rhyme. Rhyme is the basis of your flow in any cipher or battle, and (assuming they are completely original and not obvious) rhymes pack a punch in freestyle unparalleled by any other type of music. That’s because in freestyle, they happen at a moment’s notice, making your audience, and your competitor’s, mouths drop.

making your audience, and your competitor’s, mouths drop. keep it in your back pocket: fallback rhymes

keep it in your back pocket: fallback rhymes

Although off-the-head rhyming is a huge part of freestyle, most successful freestylers do have a number of explosive (yet general) punchlines that they can bust out when they need to. These are often called “Fallback Rhymes” and help any freestylist in a pinch. In fact, it’s recommended that you always keep some one-liners up your sleeve that you can use as openers, closers or time-buyers if you need to. Just don’t advertise that you’re doing it.

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that you can use as openers, closers or time-buyers if you need to. Just don’t advertise
that you can use as openers, closers or time-buyers if you need to. Just don’t advertise

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE There are two main types of rhyme that you’ll find in freestyle: exact
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE There are two main types of rhyme that you’ll find in freestyle: exact
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE There are two main types of rhyme that you’ll find in freestyle: exact
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE There are two main types of rhyme that you’ll find in freestyle: exact

There are two main types of rhyme that you’ll find in freestyle: exact rhyme and slant rhyme. The following is a breakdown of each.

Exact Rhyme: Two words that have exactly the same sound:

Cat / Hat

Can / Man

Please / Bees

Exact rhyme is a huge part of any successful freestylist’s arsenal. Over time, however, artists discovered that having to use precise rhymes all the time was far too limiting. Thus the introduction of slant rhymes.

Slant Rhyme: Two words that rhyme — almost.

slant rhymes. Slant Rhyme: Two words that rhyme — almost. Can / Have Heart / Star
slant rhymes. Slant Rhyme: Two words that rhyme — almost. Can / Have Heart / Star

Can / Have

Heart / Star

Cheese / Steam

Most all rap music, freestyle included, uses a combination of exact and slant rhyme nowadays, if only to mix things up and allow artists a wider vocabulary pool. Take the following lyrics from 50 Cent’s hit “In Da Club”:

I’m into having sex, I ain’t into making love So come give me a hug if you into to getting rubbed

Though none of the words in the final three lines are exact rhymes, they work to keep the flow going. What’s

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freestyle arsenal

more, the verse would probably sound pretty forced (not to mention awkward) if 50 hadn’t incorporated a few slants into his rhyme scheme. For instance:

I’m into having sex I ain’t into making love So come give me a dove If you into the above.

Unless you really like doves, it just isn’t sexy.

Like we mentioned, however, it’s not just important that your words rhyme (or almost rhyme). They also need to be original and surprising or the audience will get bored. Which brings us to wordplay.

word play

Once you’ve got the hang of rhyming, you’ll need to take those rhymes and put them into explosive combinations that help your audience feel and imagine what’s in your brain. There are tons of ways to do this,

what’s in your brain. There are tons of ways to do this, what the ? words

what the

? words that suck

OK - so we’ve made the case for rhyme being an important element of rap and freestyle proper. But what about words that just don’t seem to have a rhyming partner? Check out the rhyming dictionary at RhymeZone.com. It’s perfect when you’re in pinch for rhyming a difficult word (or even an easy one). We’ve all been there.

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. It’s perfect when you’re in pinch for rhyming a difficult word (or even an easy
. It’s perfect when you’re in pinch for rhyming a difficult word (or even an easy

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it use the space below to practice your flow.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it use the space below to practice your flow.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it use the space below to practice your flow.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it use the space below to practice your flow.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it use the space below to practice your flow.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it use the space below to practice your flow.

check it, and reflect it

use the space below to practice your flow. look around you, wherever you are at this moment. Take some time to write down what you see, and then brainstorm words (or phrases) that rhyme with those things, until you can’t rhyme any more. Push yourself to look beyond the obvious!

EXAMPLE:

Chair. Bear. Stare. Wear. Care. Dare. Pear. There. Teddy bear. Taxi fare. Alaskan brown bear. Multimillionaire. Out of thin air. Inspect and repair.

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Dare. Pear. There. Teddy bear. Taxi fare. Alaskan brown bear. Multimillionaire. Out of thin air. Inspect

freestyle arsenal

and most artists will use a combination of a bunch of them when spitting their freestyle. Chances are, after you’ve been rhyming for awhile, you’ll start to develop some favorites. They include:

Similes and Metaphors Two of the most important ways that freestylists (and rappers in general) incorporate wordplay into their rhymes is through simile and metaphor.

I know: your eyes are glazing over just seeing those words. But regardless of the bad memories you might have of your last Shakespeare quiz, similes and metaphors are huge in hip hop, and if you want to be hot, you have to master them.

So, similes and metaphors: what the hell’s the difference? In layman’s terms, a simile is generally a phrase that compares one thing to another using the words “like” or “as.” A metaphor isn’t so subtle. It calls it like it sees it and just says what “is.”

For instance, take a look at the following. Both sentences have a similar idea, but they use different ways of expressing it:

Simile: Your voice is like a siren in my ear. Metaphor: Your voice is a siren, I can barely hear.

Sure, it’s a small difference. But it opens up lots of different doors in terms of potential phrasings. Not only that, while both sentences have similar meanings,

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up lots of different doors in terms of potential phrasings. Not only that, while both sentences
up lots of different doors in terms of potential phrasings. Not only that, while both sentences

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it similes and metaphors are a fundamental part of
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it similes and metaphors are a fundamental part of
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it similes and metaphors are a fundamental part of
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it similes and metaphors are a fundamental part of
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it similes and metaphors are a fundamental part of
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it similes and metaphors are a fundamental part of

check it, and reflect it

similes and metaphors are a fundamental part of free- style and rap in general. take a moment to create your own similes and metaphors in the space below.

EXAMPLE:

Your hair is like snakes slithering around your head. Your hair is a pile of rope , hanging itself.

Your voice is like:

Your voice is:

Your eyes are like:

Your eyes are:

Your anger’s like:

Your anger is:

Your house is like:

Your house is:

Your girlfriend is like:

Your girlfriend is:

Your hands are like:

Your hands are:

Your car is like:

Your car is:

Your rhymes are like:

Your rhymes are:

Your vocabulary is like:

Your vocabulary is:

Think of some more on your own, based on the things around you.

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are: Your vocabulary is like: Your vocabulary is: Think of some more on your own, based

freestyle arsenal

they also both have different beats. Thus, depending on the situation, you may prefer one over the other, not just because of the grammatical structure but because of your overall cadence (i.e. the rhythm with which you naturally speak). Using either type will make your rhymes more interesting, fresher and funnier all around, and believe me: the crowd will eat them up.

Words with the same starting consonant sound Another way to add strength to your rhymes is to use what is called (in English class) “alliteration.” Yeah, it’s a big long word, and I don’t care if you remember it. But I definitely want you to remember what it means.

Alliteration is when you run a string of same-sounding words together. For instance: “The rascal ran around the rock.” As you can see, in this instance, the sound can even show up in the first stressed syllable (around), rather than the first letter, and it has the same impact. Say the following examples out loud to feel the flow that a little alliteration can add to your words:

the flow that a little alliteration can add to your words: myth busta myth: you shouldn’t

myth busta

myth: you shouldn’t try to freestyle until you’ve mastered writing rhymes

Hell, no. Though you might feel awkward or embarrassed at first, you need to start freestyling as soon as you can, about as many things as you can. Make up rhymes about your clothes. Your dog. Your food. About the person standing in line in front of you at the store. After awhile, it will feel as natural as trying to catch yourself when you fall.

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in line in front of you at the store. After awhile, it will feel as natural
in line in front of you at the store. After awhile, it will feel as natural

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE The c at k icked the k itten and the k id c
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE The c at k icked the k itten and the k id c
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE The c at k icked the k itten and the k id c
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE The c at k icked the k itten and the k id c

The cat kicked the kitten and the kid cried. The man made a million making mittens. The hen had a heart and her heart had a head.

Words with similar vowel sounds Rather than focusing on consonants, “assonance” focuses on repeating similar vowel sounds throughout a phrase. It has the same impact as the above, and adds major cred to your flow. For instance:

Silly Jill killed Bill but he didn’t have a will. I won the gun but it wasn’t any fun.

The above is also a good example of overall internal rhyme, which we’ll discuss a bit later when we get to your personal flow.

discuss a bit later when we get to your personal flow. Phrases based on fables, proverbs
discuss a bit later when we get to your personal flow. Phrases based on fables, proverbs

Phrases based on fables, proverbs & other well- known sayings A way to get the crowd to feel your rhymes is to use phrases with which they are already familiar. Apologues, or phrases based on fables such as the tortoise and the hare, are a great place to start. For instance:

“I stayed steady like the tortoise, I’m ahead of the hare.”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know the story of the tortoise and the hare, so you’ve got built- in crowd appeal. Not only that, you didn’t even have to think of the simile on your own.

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freestyle arsenal

Not sure what other fables are out there? Google the Web for a list. But be careful: if you choose an obscure one no one has heard of (like “The Frogs Who Desired a King”) you might hear crickets when you spit.

Regardless, this technique can be applied to other well- known phrases besides fables, as follows:

I see London, I see France, Your flow’s so bad I’m in a trance.

Patty cake, patty cake, baker’s man:

My words hit so hard you can barely stand.

Mary had a little lamb. He looked like you, without a tan.

And the beat goes on

He looked like you, without a tan. And the beat goes on tips from the pros

tips from the pros

Read. Period.

Think reading’s not cool? Then you don’t stand a chance in freestyle. All freestylists (and rappers in general) need to read to expand their vocabulary and to stay current with the world around them. With a limited vocabulary, you’ll run out of rhymes within a few months. Some rappers have even been known to read the dictionary or thesaurus religiously, just to amp up their game. Not sold? Just try it. I guarantee you’ll see an impact.

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or thesaurus religiously, just to amp up their game. Not sold? Just try it. I guarantee
or thesaurus religiously, just to amp up their game. Not sold? Just try it. I guarantee

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE Slang Hip-hop’s known for creating tons of slang words, from boo to cheddah.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE Slang Hip-hop’s known for creating tons of slang words, from boo to cheddah.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE Slang Hip-hop’s known for creating tons of slang words, from boo to cheddah.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE Slang Hip-hop’s known for creating tons of slang words, from boo to cheddah.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE Slang Hip-hop’s known for creating tons of slang words, from boo to cheddah.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE Slang Hip-hop’s known for creating tons of slang words, from boo to cheddah.

Slang Hip-hop’s known for creating tons of slang words, from boo to cheddah. Using some well-known (and current) slang phrases in your freestyle will add some flavor to your rhymes, and (so long as you don’t use “groovy” or other out-dated terms) will show that your rhymes are modern and relevant. Not to mention, the crowd will eat them up. Some examples of common slang (a.k.a. colloquial) expressions: Ride the beat. Drop it like it’s hot. Get down. Crackalack. You get the picture.

When you think of slang, think big picture: alternative pronunciations of words (ala “mo” instead of “more” and “ho” instead of “whore”) also give a nice reprieve from the standard when you’re in a rhyming pinch.

Words that sound like

If you want to add some punch into your lyrics, give them the sound they were born with. It’s called Onomatopoeia (onamonnawhatta?), and it goes like this:

sounds

I roll down the street in my vroom vroom vroom Too bad your car goes click bam boom

By using the sounds that a cool new car (or a shitty old one) would make, you breathe a lot of life into your rhymes. (Not to mention, it gives you a lot more words to rhyme with.)

Words that are spelled the same but have different meanings OK, I could have just said “Homonyms & Homophones,”

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freestyle arsenal

which are words that are pronounced or spelled the same way but have way different meanings. For instance:

Eight / Ate Bare / Bear

Hair / Hare Wrap / Rap

Why are homonyms and homophones cool? Because they allow you to play on not just the word you mean to use, but its homonym, too. For instance:

You tell me that you’re rapping, But you ain’t got no presence.

By the way, the above has two examples of homonyms/ homophones in action: rapping/wrapping and presence/ presents. Damn, I’m good. And you can be, too, if you master this technique.

Words that personify Personification means giving human qualities

that personify Personification means giving human qualities keep it in your back pocket: thesaurus It’s always

keep it in your back pocket: thesaurus

It’s always good to have a good foundation of unique rhymes for situations you’ll commonly find yourself in during battle. Get a thesaurus and brush up on some different ways to say:

Fat

Gansta

Skinny

Poor

Stupid

Bitter

Angry

Ugly

Rich

Slutty

Etc.

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ways to say: Fat Gansta Skinny Poor Stupid Bitter Angry Ugly Rich Slutty Etc. 23
ways to say: Fat Gansta Skinny Poor Stupid Bitter Angry Ugly Rich Slutty Etc. 23

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it word play is a huge part of rap.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it word play is a huge part of rap.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it word play is a huge part of rap.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it word play is a huge part of rap.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it word play is a huge part of rap.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it word play is a huge part of rap.

check it, and reflect it

word play is a huge part of rap. take some time to practice some of the methods reviewed in the past few pages by coming up with some of your own examples of the following. spend as much time as you need. refer back if you need a reminder.

Words with the same starting consonant sound

Words with similar vowel sounds

Phrases based on fables, proverbs & other well- known sayings

Slang

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s ound Words with similar vowel sounds Phrases based on fables, proverbs & other well- known

freestyle arsenal

Words that sound like

sounds

Words that are spelled the same but have different meanings

Personification

Oxymorons

Unexpected succession

like sounds Words that are spelled the same but have different meanings Personification Oxymorons Unexpected succession
like sounds Words that are spelled the same but have different meanings Personification Oxymorons Unexpected succession

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THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE (figuratively) to inanimate things in order to paint a really vivid picture for
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE (figuratively) to inanimate things in order to paint a really vivid picture for
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE (figuratively) to inanimate things in order to paint a really vivid picture for
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE (figuratively) to inanimate things in order to paint a really vivid picture for
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE (figuratively) to inanimate things in order to paint a really vivid picture for
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE (figuratively) to inanimate things in order to paint a really vivid picture for

(figuratively) to inanimate things in order to paint a really vivid picture for the listener. For instance:

“The streets whispered.” “The skies cried.” “His actions spoke.”

Clearly, the streets didn’t actually whisper — that would be insane. But by saying they did, you’re allowing the audience to see and feel your message, not just hear it.

Words that contradict An oxymoron is a phrase that seems to contradict itself. While at first that might seem like a bad thing, it can actually add a lot of depth to your writing. For instance:

The silence was deafening. The tall midget The short giant

The concept of oxymorons is popular in creating stage- names or nicknames. For instance, the name Tiny is often given to someone extremely large, while the name Killer is often given to someone (or something) small and unassuming (like a Chihuahua). Oxymorons add some mystery to your persona and engage your audience right from the start.

Unexpected succession A great way to win the crowd with your freestyle is to take them by surprise by using phrases they think they know and mixing them up. For instance, rather than

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sticking with the tired old “one, two, three, four,” try:

“One, two, three, snore - Your beat makes me sleep, I can’t take it no more.”

Finding clever twists for these types of phrases can really mix up your beat.

Some other tips for making it flow:

Switch it up: In school, we learn a lot about grammar and the way that words should flow. But in rap, and freestyle specifically, being able to juxtapose or rearrange certain words into an order that will fit your rhyme and get your message across is a killer skill that will take you a long way in any battle or cipher. What do I mean?

For example, take the phrase, “In the beginning, God created earth.” That’s a well-constructed sentence, right? It must be, it’s in the bible. But there could be other cool ways to say the same thing by mixing up the sentence flow:

“In the beginning, God did the creatin’ He made the earth round, it was his for the takin’”

Suddenly you have a phrase with a lot more pop, a much better rhythm, and lot more potential rhyming partners than the original. Try it with any sentence you’re having a difficult time with. Chances are, you’ll

27

partners than the original. Try it with any sentence you’re having a difficult time with. Chances
partners than the original. Try it with any sentence you’re having a difficult time with. Chances

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE find another, even cooler way to say it, and it will help you
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE find another, even cooler way to say it, and it will help you
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE find another, even cooler way to say it, and it will help you
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE find another, even cooler way to say it, and it will help you
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE find another, even cooler way to say it, and it will help you
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE find another, even cooler way to say it, and it will help you

find another, even cooler way to say it, and it will help you keep your flow.

Think opposites: Sometimes when we think of rhymes, it’s easy to get stuck on thinking of words that are similar. Instead, try thinking of words that are different, and from there, discover some new phrasing possibilities.

For instance, say you want to communicate that your opponent is a slow rapper. You immediately start to think of words that would reflect something slow: a tortoise/turtle, molasses, your grandma. Somehow, though, all of those rhymes seem pretty tired and played out.

Instead of thinking of things that are slow, think of things that are fast and find a graphic way to disrupt them. For instance, you’d generally think of a gun as being fast. But by adding some imagery, you can make it sound not just slow, but stunted, as well:

“You spit slower than a gun that’s plugged.”

The possibilities are endless.

Find different ways to say it: One of the best parts of freestyle is that you have the chance to incorporate current events and pop culture into your rhymes. But in order to do that, you need to be able to phrase them in different ways that will fit your flow in that moment. That means that you need to be adept at rephrasing

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the same thoughts to give them a new feeling, beat or flow at any moment.

For instance, at the time this book was written, Michael Jackson had recently passed away. That’s something you could clearly mention in a battle to give your rhyme some relevance. The following is a list of ways to mention Michael Jackson’s death in your flow. Granted, some are more sensitive than others, but that’s all part of the fun.

You’ll meet Michael at the pearly gates. Now Jackson’s up in heaven. I saw Jackson’s hearse outside your door.

Simply going through the process of re-working various sentences will go a long way in helping you think outside the box when it comes to your rhymes.

Use other languages: If there’s one thing that’s true of any city in America, or the world, it’s that there are tons of cultures around us every day. And part of that

are tons of cultures around us every day. And part of that why they’re called “current”

why they’re called “current” events

As we mentioned above, incorporating current events into your rhymes is one of the best ways to show your audience that you are rapping off the head. Still, in order for your references to be relevant, they actually need to be current, meaning they need to be happening now, and the audience needs to know about them. The best way to stay in the know? Read. Make it part of your daily ritual to check out at least one newspaper or magazine every day.

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to stay in the know? Read. Make it part of your daily ritual to check out
to stay in the know? Read. Make it part of your daily ritual to check out

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE culture includes language. It’s not uncommon to hear English-speaking people use terms like
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE culture includes language. It’s not uncommon to hear English-speaking people use terms like
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE culture includes language. It’s not uncommon to hear English-speaking people use terms like
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE culture includes language. It’s not uncommon to hear English-speaking people use terms like
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE culture includes language. It’s not uncommon to hear English-speaking people use terms like
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE culture includes language. It’s not uncommon to hear English-speaking people use terms like

culture includes language.

It’s not uncommon to hear English-speaking people use terms like “agua, hola, adios,” etc. in every day speech. In fact, tons of words in other languages are recognized as part of our vocabulary, which opens up

a whole new world (literally) of possibilities for your

rhymes, especially in instances where you are having difficulty finding rhyming partners. For instance, say you wanted to say that someone being born was an

accident. Damn, accident is a hard word to rhyme with.

So you might look to Espanol for a little inspiration. All of a sudden, Accident becomes Accidente, which has

a much cooler beat and a much better rhyme scheme. From a dead-end rhyme, you could get:

Your mama told me that you’re an accidente. She popped you out while she was jailed in San Clemente.

Not bad. Just remember that when you reach into another language for inspiration, you always need to pick words that the majority of your audience will actually know. Throw “conseguir” or “encontrarse” into the mix, and you’ll be the only one laughing.

Make up a word that sounds good: Face it: a lot of words (especially names) are hard to rhyme. That doesn’t mean you have to avoid them or use a rhyming dictionary to find something to partner with them. When in doubt, make up a word that goes with the flow. You’ll be surprised how often it works, especially if it keeps the

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check it, and reflect it

we’ve gone over a lot, and we’re not even through the first section of the book. take a moment to reflect on what we’ve discussed on word play, and how you plan to incorporate it into your rhymes.

take a moment to reflect on what we’ve discussed on word play, and how you plan

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take a moment to reflect on what we’ve discussed on word play, and how you plan
take a moment to reflect on what we’ve discussed on word play, and how you plan

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE flow going rather than letting it flop. “You think you’re a gansta? I’ll

flow going rather than letting it flop.

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE flow going rather than letting it flop. “You think you’re a gansta? I’ll
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE flow going rather than letting it flop. “You think you’re a gansta? I’ll
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE flow going rather than letting it flop. “You think you’re a gansta? I’ll
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE flow going rather than letting it flop. “You think you’re a gansta? I’ll
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE flow going rather than letting it flop. “You think you’re a gansta? I’ll

“You think you’re a gansta? I’ll make you go bang-sta.”

“My name is Jessica, and I do make a mess-ica.”

Got it? If so, then enough with the English lesson. Now for the fun part: making punchlines with your words.

punchlines

By far, one of the most fundamental parts of freestyle, battles and rap in general is the punchline. A well-timed, well-rhymed punchline can shred your competitor and gain a roar of applause from the audience. Thus you must master the art of the punchline if you want to make it as a freestyle battle artist.

So, you’re not a comedian: where do you start? By and large, there are a few different techniques that you’ll commonly see in freestyle battles when it comes to creating explosive punchlines:

Set up/Smack Down: The set-up/smack-down is a standard method for unleashing dangerous rhymes during a battle. Typically delivered in direct succession, the set-up is designed to draw the audience in, while the smack-down draws their applause and approval.

Set up: “I respond back like a restaurateur:

Smack down: Leave your ass feeling served while you’re eating your words.”

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Because they are used so frequently, audiences will know right from your set up line that you’re planning a punchline or insult on your competitor. They’re waiting for it. They’re salivating for it. So, no pressure, but it better be good.

Some other popular ways of delivering punchlines include a combination of simile/metaphor and cause/effect. These types of set-ups provide a good launching point and critical structure, especially for new freestylers. Keep them in your back pocket for any situation:

Line one (“You doing [blank] is like [blank]”):

“You driving girls crazy is like me driving Miss Daisy — The only girls you get are either old, blind or lazy. “

Line two: (“You couldn’t[blank] if you [blank.]”) “You talk all day ‘bout your gat and your bling — You couldn’t get arrested if you were Rodney King.”

Take a moment to try to think of some now.

Rodney King.” Take a moment to try to think of some now. word on the street

word on the street

battling with somebody, you do anything you can to strip their manhood away.

—EMINEM

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word on the street “ battling with somebody, you do anything you can to strip their
word on the street “ battling with somebody, you do anything you can to strip their

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE The Reversal: Another type of commonly used punchline is the reversal. This is
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE The Reversal: Another type of commonly used punchline is the reversal. This is
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE The Reversal: Another type of commonly used punchline is the reversal. This is
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE The Reversal: Another type of commonly used punchline is the reversal. This is
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE The Reversal: Another type of commonly used punchline is the reversal. This is
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE The Reversal: Another type of commonly used punchline is the reversal. This is

The Reversal: Another type of commonly used punchline is the reversal. This is especially useful when you have the advantage of going second in a freestyle battle, as it allows you to take whatever disses your opponent made on you and turn them around on him.

For instance, if someone calls you a nerd, you could reverse it as follows:

“This guy says I’m a nerd, well I guess that’s true. A nerd with words and verses much smarter than you.

Just like that, you’ve taken a jab that probably got your competitor some crowd support and stripped it away in your favor. Not a bad comeback.

Punchlines that cut deep Regardless what method you use, because freestyle is about wherever and whoever you are with at the moment, you need to make your punchlines as personal as possible. While it’s sometimes difficult to know a lot about your opponent in a moment’s notice during battle, knowing even a small bits of information about his family, where he’s from (or what he finds embarrassing) will take you a long way toward taking him off his game (and winning you the crown).

Some common punches include:

Jabs at his rhymes: Accuse your competitor of using pre-written stuff (even if it’s not true). Be as specific as possible (that you heard him practicing it in the

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bathroom, etc.) As we’ve mentioned, on-the-spot rhymes are much more respected in battle. Simply having the crowd doubt the authenticity of your opponent will lose him points (and confidence) during the event.

Talk shit about his family: Hey, we’ve all got family shit, and it almost always rattles us to talk about it. If you know anything about your opponent’s family, think of creative ways to use it against him. Or, at least make him wonder if it could be true. Try something like:

“Your mom told my mom that you’re a mistake.”

“Don’t you think it’s funny you don’t look like your dad?”

Accuse him of having embarrassing diseases:

In battle, STDs are almost always funny (unless, for instance, it’s a battle benefiting HIV/AIDS or something like that). Use your judgement, but feel confident that accusing your opponent of having herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia or another embarrassing affliction will make

chlamydia or another embarrassing affliction will make bust it! broad punches vs. personal punches In battle,

bust it!

broad punches vs. personal punches

In battle, there are two types of punches you’ll hear: broad punches (which are often pre-written and could apply to any competitor, a.k.a. fallback rhymes) and personal punches (which are clearly freestyled in the moment, and pertain specifically to your competitor). Most battle freestyle will include a mix of both. As such, it’s always good to have a few good “broad punches” in your arsenal. Still, remember that when in battle personal is always best.

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to have a few good “broad punches” in your arsenal. Still, remember that when in battle
to have a few good “broad punches” in your arsenal. Still, remember that when in battle

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE the crowd scream (and, most likely, wonder if your opponent is contagious). Make
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE the crowd scream (and, most likely, wonder if your opponent is contagious). Make
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE the crowd scream (and, most likely, wonder if your opponent is contagious). Make
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE the crowd scream (and, most likely, wonder if your opponent is contagious). Make
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE the crowd scream (and, most likely, wonder if your opponent is contagious). Make
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE the crowd scream (and, most likely, wonder if your opponent is contagious). Make

the crowd scream (and, most likely, wonder if your opponent is contagious).

Make fun of his nickname: Street names are a source of pride in the freestyle scene. As such, making fun of someone’s name is a great way to rattle him in a battle. If your competitor calls himself the King of Death, for instance, call him something sweet like Cupid. If he calls himself Tough Muthafucka, say you saw him shopping for teddy bears at the mall. It’s guaranteed to piss him off (and it will make your audience die laughing.)

Know where he wouldn’t want to be found (and say he was there): This is extremely helpful if you both live in the same city or scene. Think of places (or situations) that would make your competitor lose mad credibility, and place him there. If it’s embarrassing to shop at Gap in your town, say that. If it’s embarrassing to have to ride the bus to school, say that. The point is to cause some humiliation, get a reaction from the audience, and rattle your opponent as much as possible.

Whatever the case, always stay present in battle, and always incorporate as much real (and true) information from your current surroundings and current opponent as you can. It will ensure the crowd that your rhymes are real.

Still, at the end of day, what matters most in any battle isn’t how clever or funny you think your punchline was — it’s how much the audience liked it. That said, you need to pay particular attention to the types of things

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freestyle arsenal

that make your audience respond. Is it humor? Anger? Flow? Whatever it is, incorporate (or not) as much as possible. And don’t forget to take note of what triggers your opponent’s emotions, be it anger, nervousness or whatever else. If it’s his girlfriend, talk about her. If it’s his mama, talk about her. A rattled competitor is a losing competitor. I guarantee it.

What’s off the table? When it comes to freestyle, and battles in particular, embarrassing your opponent is the name of the game. Still, you need to use your own judgment about what is appropriate and funny (and what’s not), especially in light of the mood of the audience. For instance, making fun of someone because their mom was killed in a car accident — probably not the best way to win crowd support. Making fun of someone for being such a bad driver that they’ve run over five dogs in the past month — that’s another story. (Unless you’re performing at an animal rights convention.)

Timing and delivery OK, so you have some explosive stuff to say. Now you just need a good way to say it. Timing and delivery are two critical parts of delivering successful, effective punchlines in any battle. This isn’t necessarily a secret in and of itself. Comedians and other performers have known the

importance of timing since the beginning of

just because you know that timing is important, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve mastered the skill.

time. Still,

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just because you know that timing is important, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve mastered the skill.
just because you know that timing is important, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve mastered the skill.

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE In comedy, timing gives the audience a chance to recognize a joke and
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE In comedy, timing gives the audience a chance to recognize a joke and
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE In comedy, timing gives the audience a chance to recognize a joke and
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE In comedy, timing gives the audience a chance to recognize a joke and
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE In comedy, timing gives the audience a chance to recognize a joke and
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE In comedy, timing gives the audience a chance to recognize a joke and

In comedy, timing gives the audience a chance to recognize a joke and to build suspense before the punchline comes. It can also be used with physical aspects of comedy, again, to increase audience reaction. But how does it play into freestyle?

Imagine you were watching someone perform freestyle, and the person performing it never paused to stress an important part of a sentence. Imagine if he never took a moment to react with his body to how he felt in the moment (or what caused him to say the line). In the end, all of the words would blend together. It wouldn’t be interesting, and it certainly wouldn’t feel interactive.

Thus, timing and delivery in freestyle help the audience connect with the emotion of your rhyme, help them react to the humor behind it, and get a better sense of your personality. Once again, you’ll need to pay attention to what your audience most responds to. If they’ve already indicated in past rounds that they don’t respond to anger, for God’s sake, don’t open with an angry punchline.

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for God’s sake, don’t open with an angry punchline. 38 analyze this! Check out the following

analyze this!

Check out the following scene from a freestyle battle in the movie “8-Mile.” What strategies (reversal, for instance) worked, and what didn’t?

What techniques did Lotto and B. Rabbit use to get the best of one another?

What got the crowd most excited? Write about it now.

freestyle arsenal

They’re always giving you clues to what they want. Taking note of them is up to you.

Incidentally, these tips on timing and delivery are true not just about the delivery of certain lines, but how much time you take between verses, how much time you take to introduce yourself and your songs, and pretty much anything you do on stage.

Last but not least, when it comes to timing and delivery, always start strong and finish stronger. Otherwise, your opponent will have a great set up (“Just like march, you

go out like a lamb

”)

for his next round.

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Otherwise, your opponent will have a great set up (“Just like march, you go out like
Otherwise, your opponent will have a great set up (“Just like march, you go out like

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it now the fun begins. we’ve just learned lots
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it now the fun begins. we’ve just learned lots
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it now the fun begins. we’ve just learned lots
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it now the fun begins. we’ve just learned lots
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it now the fun begins. we’ve just learned lots
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it now the fun begins. we’ve just learned lots

check it, and reflect it

now the fun begins. we’ve just learned lots of great tips for ripping your opponent down. to get a little practice before going to battle, try this: find a picture of someone online and use that person as the basis for a freestyle packed with punchlines. go after everything you can:

from what they’re wearing to their entire attitude. use the space below to make notes on how you’d rhyme.

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freestyle arsenal

freestyle arsenal 41

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freestyle arsenal 41
freestyle arsenal 41
freestyle arsenal 41

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE freestyle arsenal weapon 2: voice Your words aren’t the only thing that will
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE freestyle arsenal weapon 2: voice Your words aren’t the only thing that will
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE freestyle arsenal weapon 2: voice Your words aren’t the only thing that will
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE freestyle arsenal weapon 2: voice Your words aren’t the only thing that will
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE freestyle arsenal weapon 2: voice Your words aren’t the only thing that will
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE freestyle arsenal weapon 2: voice Your words aren’t the only thing that will

freestyle arsenal weapon 2: voice

Your words aren’t the only thing that will determine your ability to become the ultimate freestyle king. Think of some of your favorite rap or freestyle artists. Eminem. 50 Cent. Lil’ Wayne. What do all of these artists have in common? They have extremely unique voices that you can recognize as soon as they hit your ears. That kind of sound, combined with phat rhymes, has allowed them to stand head and shoulders above their contemporary competitors.

Let me be clear: When I say “strong voice,” I don’t necessarily mean that you need to be able to sing opera music. I don’t care if you can Do Re Me your way out of a paper bag. But you need to have a voice that is strong, recognizable and adaptable to a variety of situations. Not sure why? Check this out:

a unique (and strong) sound

When you’re up on stage, you need a voice the audience can hear and respect. (If they can’t hear you, or if they hear you squeaking like Peter Brady when he hit puberty, I guarantee you won’t make it til the next round.) A weak or nervous voice will detract from your flow, no matter how sick your rhymes are.

That means that even if you’re nervous (and I realize that it can be intimidating to perform freestyle in front of a crowd), you need to find a way to channel that nervous energy elsewhere, besides your voice. This is

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easier said than done, clearly, but it is possible with a lot of practice.

Beyond that, it helps if your voice is different and recognizable. I’m not saying you should make up a stage voice; that is likely to come off as unauthentic and annoying, and you’ll probably slip in and out of it once in awhile by mistake. Whatever the case, you at least need to amp up your natural voice in such a way that you sound strong, your rhymes are clear, and audience won’t forget you or get you confused with the next guy over who looks just like you.

range

Besides the general sound of your voice, your voice also needs to have some range. Again, I’m not talking about the music scale. I’m talking about being able to change your voice from funny to sexy, to confident, depending on the situation, and to draw your audience along with you on the journey. If you don’t have range, all of your rhymes will sound exactly the same. And

range, all of your rhymes will sound exactly the same. And bust it! learning to spit

bust it! learning to spit quick

In order to spit sick, you gotta be able to talk quick. To help train yourself to do so, try this:

Walk into a room and start trying to name every single thing you see, as quickly as you can.

At first, you will probably stutter. But the more you practice, the faster and more graceful you will be. Once you master one room, move into another.

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But the more you practice, the faster and more graceful you will be. Once you master
But the more you practice, the faster and more graceful you will be. Once you master

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE that, my friend, is no way to win a battle. clear pronunciation This

that, my friend, is no way to win a battle.

RAPPERS’ BIBLE that, my friend, is no way to win a battle. clear pronunciation This goes
RAPPERS’ BIBLE that, my friend, is no way to win a battle. clear pronunciation This goes
RAPPERS’ BIBLE that, my friend, is no way to win a battle. clear pronunciation This goes
RAPPERS’ BIBLE that, my friend, is no way to win a battle. clear pronunciation This goes
RAPPERS’ BIBLE that, my friend, is no way to win a battle. clear pronunciation This goes

clear pronunciation

This goes back to the first item in this section: people need to understand you if you want them to follow what you’re saying. This means you need to speak quickly, clearly, emphatically and dramatically, and you have to keep beat with the words you’re saying.

People, in general, are notoriously bad about speaking clearly. We’re lazy. We slur. We run words together and speak shorthand assuming people will understand what we mean. There’s no room for that kind of laziness in freestyle.

breathing

While it’s cool for the Big Bad Woof to huff and puff, it’s not cool for you to do it on stage. (Even if you decide to use Big Bad Wolf as your stage name.) No one wants to hear you panting in the microphone. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that freestyle is a tremendously physical and demanding thing. You need to have strong lungs, and be able to carry a flow from start to finish, otherwise you lose the audience. (Imagine if Eminem had to take a breath every other word. It doesn’t matter how good his rhymes are, no one would have the patience to listen to them.)

So, how do you improve lung capacity? Exercise. It’s the best way to build up your lungs, outside of daily practice (which I know you’ll be doing).

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Sometimes, your nerves alone can cause you to breathe a little crazy, as well. In that case, you need to wrestle with your issues and get comfortable rhyming off the head in public. That’s not the easiest thing for a lot of people to do, which makes freestyle that much more challenging.

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in public. That’s not the easiest thing for a lot of people to do, which makes
in public. That’s not the easiest thing for a lot of people to do, which makes

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it take some time to focus on your voice.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it take some time to focus on your voice.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it take some time to focus on your voice.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it take some time to focus on your voice.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it take some time to focus on your voice.
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it take some time to focus on your voice.

check it, and reflect it

take some time to focus on your voice. speak into a tape recorder and play it back if you need to. use the space below to reflect on what makes your voice strong, unique and memorable, and what you need to do to improve it.

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space below to reflect on what makes your voice strong, unique and memorable, and what you

freestyle arsenal

freestyle arsenal 47
freestyle arsenal 47
freestyle arsenal 47

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freestyle arsenal 47

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE freestyle arsenal weapon 3: your flow Rhymes are great. Just ask any two-year-old
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE freestyle arsenal weapon 3: your flow Rhymes are great. Just ask any two-year-old
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE freestyle arsenal weapon 3: your flow Rhymes are great. Just ask any two-year-old
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE freestyle arsenal weapon 3: your flow Rhymes are great. Just ask any two-year-old
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE freestyle arsenal weapon 3: your flow Rhymes are great. Just ask any two-year-old
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE freestyle arsenal weapon 3: your flow Rhymes are great. Just ask any two-year-old

freestyle arsenal weapon 3: your flow

Rhymes are great. Just ask any two-year-old reading Dr. Seuss. However, it takes more than great rhymes to make a great freestyle artist. A lot of it depends on the artist’s use of flow.

In general, flow is a combination of four things:

1) A general structure that we as humans expect to hear when listening to a “song”

2) A beat (such as a background beat being playing during a battle) that serves as the song’s foundation

3) An artist’s personal cadence, including the way he or she pronounces certain words, rhymes, stresses certain syllables, and fits words together for impact

4) Overall rhyme scheme

By themselves, none of the above would be considered flow. But together, they make up something unique and indescribable, and they will have a huge impact on your connection with the audience. Let’s take a closer look at each element now.

song structure

You don’t have to be a famous music producer to know that most songs, not just rap or freestyle, follow a certain structure. Over time, the public has come to expect this structure in the music it consumes.

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freestyle arsenal

Generally, this includes an introduction, verse or two, a chorus (or memorable “hook”), and a bridge that mixes the song up a bit just when the audience is about to get tired of the pattern. Rap songs are no different.

Because your audience is so accustomed to this structure, it’s important to keep it in mind when you’re building your rhymes. While it’s definitely possible to explore away from the norm, it’s worth noting that when you do so, you risk losing the audience. For instance, if you go into another verse when they are expecting you to go into a chorus they want to sing along to, it will make for some disappointed fans. And even though it’s not something you set out to do, it’s likely that your switch will irritate them.

Thus, when building your rhymes, keep the following structure in mind and build or change it as needed:

(Introduction) First verse Chorus/hook (the part of the song people sing to) Second Verse Chous/Hook Bridge Chorus

Granted, a full song structure won’t always be relevant in freestyle. But what is always relevant is what is at the base of every single song that has ever been written: the beat.

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But what is always relevant is what is at the base of every single song that
But what is always relevant is what is at the base of every single song that

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE the beat You could go to school for years and still not know
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE the beat You could go to school for years and still not know
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE the beat You could go to school for years and still not know
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE the beat You could go to school for years and still not know
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE the beat You could go to school for years and still not know
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE the beat You could go to school for years and still not know

the beat

You could go to school for years and still not know everything there is to know about music theory. So while I won’t go into details about counting this and stressing that, there are some fundamentals of music theory that you need to understand, and they involve beats.

If you think of your voice as an instrument, it’s easy to see that in any music genre, your voice needs to match the feel of other instruments (guitar, drum, bass) present in order for the song to sound “right.”

In freestyle, your voice is an even more important instrument, as it (and the backbeat if there is one) are the only things that the audience will hear. As such, they need to be tightly tuned to one another.

What does that mean? If you listen to your favorite song, you’ll undoubtedly feel yourself dancing or swaying to the song’s deepest, lowest beat. You’re not the only one following it, however. The artist is forming his or her words around that beat so that they fit together like a tight, hard-hitting glove. It doesn’t matter if the beat is fast or slow — the words and the beats need to dance together in order for the song to flow.

In music theory, everything (generally) revolves around the number four. When counting the number of syllables in a line, chances are good it will need to end in a multiple of four, regardless of whether you’re using words or silence to fill the space.

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freestyle arsenal

This becomes important when you take a look at the structure of rap songs. Generally, rap songs have 16 bars, with each bar being a line, and each line having two beats. What the hell does that mean? It means that generally, when writing, each line you say will have two words that are stressed, and those words will need to fit with the drumbeat over which you’re styling. Yeah, math sucks. I get it. If your head is rejecting this information, just remember that in general, the words you stress in each bar will match the beat.

Open this clip from Lose Yourselfby Eminem and follow along with the lyrics below to understand what I’m saying. Pay attention to the beat in the song and see how it syncs with the words in bold below:

His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready To drop bombs , but he keeps on forgetting What he wrote down, the whole crowd goes so loud

What he wrote down , the whole crowd goes so loud bust it! download some beats

bust it! download some beats

Don’t have access to a beat box? Check out the following links to download some hot loops and backbeats and practice talking smack. Try a good mix of fast, slow and medium beats to get a good sense for how it changes your flow.

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beats to get a good sense for how it changes your flow. www.20dollarbeats.com www.beatslab.com www.itunes.com 51
beats to get a good sense for how it changes your flow. www.20dollarbeats.com www.beatslab.com www.itunes.com 51

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out He’s choking how,
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out He’s choking how,
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out He’s choking how,
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out He’s choking how,
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out He’s choking how,
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out He’s choking how,

He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out He’s choking how, everybody’s joking now The clock’s run out, time’s up over, bloah! Snap back to reality, Oh there goes gravity Oh, there goes Rabbit, he choked, He’s so mad, but he won’t give up that easy, no he won’t have it.

Notice that the words in bold also carry the rhyme throughout the bars. That’s not a coincidence. It’s flow.

I hope this isn’t overwhelming. Although it sounds complicated, much of it will come naturally after awhile.

So, you’ve seen how beats and words work in action. But that’s not the whole story. Some beats are fast. Others are slow. In battles you won’t always know what they’re going to be ahead of time; you’ll need to adapt to whatever is on in the background at that moment. For that reason it’s important to spit in lots of different paces to get used to how they feel.

By far, fast beats are the hardest because, especially when freestyling or battling, they give you precious little time to get your thoughts together before your next punch (and precious little time to get them out of your mouth without stumbling over the words). Still, all in all, you should come to think of the beat as a trusted friend. It will guide you, keep you on track, and make sure that the audience follows you every step of the way.

Your personal cadence In addition to the items listed above, your own personal

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freestyle arsenal

style will impact the overall flow and sound of your rhymes, and it’s what will distinguish you from other competitors in the scene. How you deliver a line, where you stress or pause, how you rhyme, how loud or soft, how fast or slow, it all adds a personal touch to your freestyle. It’s an important part of who you are.

to your freestyle. It’s an important part of who you are. bust it! practicing your flow

bust it! practicing your flow

The best way to get used to rhyming to various flows is to practice rapping to your favorite artists. Sing along and see if you can keep up. Better yet, buy a karaoke version of the song and see what happens when you bust it solo. Don’t worry if you’re a little awkward at first. There’s a reason those guys are already famous.

Take time to learn from those artists. Write down their lyrics. Think about what went into their thought process when they put the song together. What techniques did they incorporate? I guarantee it will be an interesting lesson.

Not into karaoke? That’s OK. Another great way to practice flowing super difficult words is to flow tongue twisters over one of the beats you downloaded in the last exercise. Some difficult ones:

“Sixth sick shiek’s sixth sheep’s sick.” “Squirrel Hill is near hear.” “A proper cup of coffee, from a proper copper coffee pot”

Search online for others. There are tons of them, and all of them will challenge your chops in different ways.

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pot” Search online for others. There are tons of them, and all of them will challenge
pot” Search online for others. There are tons of them, and all of them will challenge

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE In fact, the reason most rappers fail is that they try to copy
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE In fact, the reason most rappers fail is that they try to copy
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE In fact, the reason most rappers fail is that they try to copy
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE In fact, the reason most rappers fail is that they try to copy
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE In fact, the reason most rappers fail is that they try to copy
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE In fact, the reason most rappers fail is that they try to copy

In fact, the reason most rappers fail is that they try to copy someone else’s style. But if you have 20 people rapping in a battle, and all but one of them says or does the same thing, wouldn’t that one who veered away from the norm gain your respect (not to mention your attention)? If you look at some of the most popular artists today, from 50 Cent to Jay-Z to Lil’ Wayne, you’ll see that while all of them are equally loved, none of them are exactly the same. That’s why it’s so important to find what makes you you.

rhyme scheme

The last important element that will affect your flow is your rhyme structure. Granted, this is something that you can change from bar to bar and song to song, but many rappers will tend to use one structure more than another in their work. You’ll notice over time which

feels most natural to you. Options include:

Rhymes at the end of the line: Fairly standard, especially for beginners Jack and Jill Went up a hill

Internal: Rhymes inside the line. Take this example from Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang”:

Well I’m peepin’, and I’m creepin’, and I’m creep-in But I damn near got caught, ‘cause my beeper kept beepin’

Every word: Words throughout the bar rhyme. Check out this example from the song “C.R.E.A.M.”

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freestyle arsenal

by Wu Tang Clan:

And running up in gates, and doing hits for high stakes, Making my way on fire escapes

Multis: By far the hardest, multis include multi- syllable rhymes and generally indicate an extremely skilled rapper (wth a large vocabulary). Take this example from Eminem from his song ‘Without Me’”:

A-tisket a-tasket, I go tit for tat with anybody who’s talkin this shit, that shit Chris Kirkpatrick, you can git your ass kicked worse than them little Limp Bizkit bastards

Take some time right now to think of some examples of your own to fall into each rhyme scheme. Use the next few pages to brainstorm about them, and other aspects of flow, now.

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own to fall into each rhyme scheme. Use the next few pages to brainstorm about them,
own to fall into each rhyme scheme. Use the next few pages to brainstorm about them,

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it you’ve learned a lot about flow in this
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it you’ve learned a lot about flow in this
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it you’ve learned a lot about flow in this
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it you’ve learned a lot about flow in this
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it you’ve learned a lot about flow in this
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it you’ve learned a lot about flow in this

check it, and reflect it

you’ve learned a lot about flow in this section. take some time to journal about how you see your personal flow, and how you feel after reading this lesson.

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section. take some time to journal about how you see your personal flow, and how you

freestyle arsenal

freestyle arsenal 57
freestyle arsenal 57
freestyle arsenal 57

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freestyle arsenal 57

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE freestylearsenal weapon 4: your identity The last large part of your freestyle arsenal
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE freestylearsenal weapon 4: your identity The last large part of your freestyle arsenal
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE freestylearsenal weapon 4: your identity The last large part of your freestyle arsenal
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE freestylearsenal weapon 4: your identity The last large part of your freestyle arsenal
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE freestylearsenal weapon 4: your identity The last large part of your freestyle arsenal
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE freestylearsenal weapon 4: your identity The last large part of your freestyle arsenal

freestylearsenal weapon 4: your identity

The last large part of your freestyle arsenal to set you apart from your competitors is your personal identity.

When I say this, I’m not just talking about a tough name you think of to use in battle, although that is one part of it. I’m talking about what kind of rapper you are, and what you want to spit about.

yourtype

Generally, there are seven main types of rappers. Most artists will fall into one of these categories, although it’s possible that they will sometimes rhyme about things outside their general domain. Whatever the case, the groups are as follows:

Hustler The hustler spits most of his rhymes about hustling to make it on the street. He talks about selling drugs, stealing things, dealing things, wheeling things, you get the picture. His rhymes are more “me” focused and deal with growing up hard.

Bragger The bragger likes to talk about materialistic things and let everyone know how much of them he’s got. Cars, jewelry, girls, houses, boats, and definitely money are all at the top of his list of words to rhyme with.

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freestyle arsenal

Storyteller Unlike the previous two rappers, the story teller actually talks about something with a plot. Sometimes it’s love, sometimes it’s life, sometimes it’s something bad that happened to a friend. Each song is different, depending on the theme of the story.

Politician The politician likes to talk about what is happening in the country and around the world. From people getting laid off to people starving around the country, they have a lot to say, and they use their rhymes to do it.

Gangster Ah, yeah. A gangster is kind of like a hustler, but a lot more violent.

Lyricist Most songs you hear on the radio are lyrical songs. They talk about love or life or other things that people can relate to.

love or life or other things that people can relate to. word on the street “

word on the street

To me, rappers are liars until I see that their actions coincide with what they said through music.

—50 Cent

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To me, rappers are liars until I see that their actions coincide with what they said
To me, rappers are liars until I see that their actions coincide with what they said

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE Religious Religious rappers talk about God and the influence God has in their
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE Religious Religious rappers talk about God and the influence God has in their
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE Religious Religious rappers talk about God and the influence God has in their
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE Religious Religious rappers talk about God and the influence God has in their
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE Religious Religious rappers talk about God and the influence God has in their
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE Religious Religious rappers talk about God and the influence God has in their

Religious Religious rappers talk about God and the influence God has

in their every day lives. There’s a big market for this, but

unless you’re into

God, it’s not a scene for everyone.

So you’ve read the descriptions above, and you probably have an idea of the kind of rapper you want to be. But before you go there, think about the type of person you already are. I say this because a huge part of freestyle is about authenticity. Rapping about something that isn’t you to the core is going to make you look stupid. People will call you on it, and you won’t sound honest. If you love dogs, rap about dogs. Don’t rap about having a gun when you’ve never seen one.

yourstreetname

By and large, you’ll find that when you enter a battle, the people you freestyle against won’t be known as “Bill” or “Susie.” Most people enter battle with a street name that speaks to both their personality and their cred in the local community. It doesn’t have to be a tough name; in the movie “8-Mile,” Eminem’s character was named B. Rabbit. The same is true for his street name in real life.

Still, while there are no rules about what you can and can’t call yourself, it’s important to pick a name that will stick. That said, if your friends give you a name (rather than you thinking of one on your own) go with it. Even if it isn’t your favorite, it’s better than asking people to call you “Hard Ass Killa” (and having them keep calling you Johnny).

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check it, and reflect it

take a look at the prompts below and think about what kind of rapper you are, authentically, and what type of street name would suit you.

what kinds of things do you care about:

what makes you different than other people:

what words best describe you:

what kinds of things do you write about:

what makes you different than other people: what words best describe you: what kinds of things

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what makes you different than other people: what words best describe you: what kinds of things
what makes you different than other people: what words best describe you: what kinds of things

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 62 “You got no rap, but you want to battle. It’s like havin’
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 62 “You got no rap, but you want to battle. It’s like havin’
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 62 “You got no rap, but you want to battle. It’s like havin’
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 62 “You got no rap, but you want to battle. It’s like havin’
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 62 “You got no rap, but you want to battle. It’s like havin’
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 62 “You got no rap, but you want to battle. It’s like havin’

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“You got no rap, but you want to battle. It’s like havin’ a boat, but you got no paddle.”

—Public Enemy

battle strategy

PART TWO:

battle strategy

Chances are, if you’re trying to raise the bar on your freestyle game, you’re not doing it because you want to spit cooler rhymes to your cat or dog. Freestyle is about the thrill, and the challenge, of the live performance. Thus, mastering the techniques in Part One is just one part of becoming a freestyle master. You still need to master letting your skills flow in action, and that means participating in battles and ciphers.

Battles have gained a lot of popularity recently due to the movie “8-Mile” about freestyle genius Eminem’s rise to local fame at battles throughout his hometown of Detroit. Still, battles aren’t limited to Detroit. They can be found anywhere around the country, and the world, in basements, schools, churches, street corners, warehouses, and any other place large enough to hold

warehouses, and any other place large enough to hold take it outside. er, online Online battles

take it outside. er, online

Online battles have become quite popular as of late, as they allow freestylists all over the world to compete against one another in real-time wars of words. While I won’t discuss them in detail in this book, they are a great way to practice your skills live against other skilled competitors. Visit www.LetsBeef.com for an example. The site features audio, video and text battles, ciphers and more.

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Visit www.LetsBeef.com for an example. The site features audio, video and text battles, ciphers and more.

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE a crowd and pound a beat. Still, what are battles? They’re competitions in
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE a crowd and pound a beat. Still, what are battles? They’re competitions in
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE a crowd and pound a beat. Still, what are battles? They’re competitions in
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE a crowd and pound a beat. Still, what are battles? They’re competitions in
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE a crowd and pound a beat. Still, what are battles? They’re competitions in
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE a crowd and pound a beat. Still, what are battles? They’re competitions in

a crowd and pound a beat.

Still, what are battles? They’re competitions in which two freestylists spit against each other, usually using

a lot of disses and ripping each other apart, in order

to win the crowd’s support. Winners of each round move on to another round to battle an even more experienced or respected freestylist, until one person is declared the winner.

Though the structure of battles can vary widely, there are some general rules or guidelines that you most follow.

1) Time limits: To keep things fair, both contestants in

a battle are given time limits (such as 45 seconds, one

minute, etc.) to freestyle. Once the MC gives the sign, they need to stop — whether they were spitting a really good line, or a really bad one. Thus, timing becomes an incredibly important part of battles, and you always want to end on a high note.

2) Back beats: During a battle, there will usually be

a beat (one not chosen by you) that you’ll need to spit

to. Because you won’t know the beat in advance, you’ll want to take special care to practice flowing to lots of different beats (as we mentioned in the last section) so that you feel comfortable working it fast or slow in front of your audience.

In some cases, a backbeat won’t be provided. In that instance, you’ll need to rely on your own sense of beat

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and rhythm to create a flow your audience can follow. It will need to be clear and consistent (something they can bob or shake their heads to).

3) Take turns: Throughout the battle, two rappers will take turns spitting to the audience. Because there are two of you, that undoubtedly means that one of you will have the unwitting pleasure of going first. This is a disadvantage we’ll touch on more thoroughly a bit later; rest assured it happens to all of us, and there are some ways to make it work to your advantage.

OK, so now that you know what freestyle battles are, you need to know how to win one. Which takes us to our next section.

to know how to win one. Which takes us to our next section. word on the

word on the street

It’s important to get a reaction and jerk some kind of emotion out of people when they listen to what you’re doing.

—DR. DRE

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to get a reaction and jerk some kind of emotion out of people when they listen

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE battle strategy the essentials In the first part of this book, we talked
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE battle strategy the essentials In the first part of this book, we talked
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE battle strategy the essentials In the first part of this book, we talked
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE battle strategy the essentials In the first part of this book, we talked
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE battle strategy the essentials In the first part of this book, we talked
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE battle strategy the essentials In the first part of this book, we talked

battle strategy the essentials

In the first part of this book, we talked a lot about wordplay, punchlines, flow and the other types of things that serve as your “arsenal” of weapons in a freestyle battle. Still, having a gun isn’t the same as knowing how to use it in a life-or-death scenario. In this chapter, I’m going to cover some specific strategies for making sure you’ll be able to use those weapons to their fullest in a real live battle.

Pay attention The thrill of any freestyle battle (and freestyle in general) is that it forces you to comment on the people and things happening right then, in that moment. That said, you can’t possibly spit a killer rhyme or punchline about something happening in the moment if you aren’t paying attention to what is happening around you.

Yeah, I know: it’s easy to zone out, especially when you’re trying to think of cool shit to say, and you know you only have a minute to do it. But if you aren’t listening to what your competitor said (or what he’s wearing, or what his name is, etc.) you won’t have anything specific to make fun of during your session. How can you use his rhymes against him if you don’t know what he said?

Not only that, but how is the audience supposed to know that you are using real, off-the-head stuff and not something you wrote in your bedroom last week, if

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battle strategy don’t be stupid: what NOT to do in a battle What you don’t do
battle strategy don’t be stupid: what NOT to do in a battle What you don’t do
battle strategy don’t be stupid: what NOT to do in a battle What you don’t do
don’t be stupid: what NOT to do in a battle What you don’t do in

don’t be stupid: what NOT to do in a battle

What you don’t do in a battle is just as important as what you do do. So, make a note of the following no-nos. Engrain them in your brain. Any single one of these could be your downfall in a battle. Two or more, and you might never be able to show your face again.

more, and you might never be able to show your face again. Don’t give your competitor

Don’t give your competitor a punchline. Meaning, leave your teddy bear at home. Avoid tripping when you get on stage. Look in the mirror before you start. The fewer obvious things he has to make fun of you for, the better.

Don’t focus on you. No one wants to hear about how great you are. Battles are about dissing the other person. Talk about yourself too much, and the audience will be bored (and probably boo you offstage.)

Don’t get defensive or take it personally. The audience will give major props to your competitor for making you upset (and you likely won’t be able to compose yourself by the time it’s your turn to spit.)

Don’t sacrifice your flow for one good punchline. You might sound cool for a second, but you’ll lose the audience in the process.

Don’t fake. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Your opponent will call you on it, and you’ll look like an idiot every time.

Don’t mumble. Like I said, the audience needs to hear you to know how cool your rhymes are. So don’t mumble, slur, scream or any other thing that makes it hard to hear you. (And don’t drink too much beforehand if it brings out any of these qualities in you.)

Don’t forget your audience. By this time, we hope you already know that. We’ll talk more about that soon.

you.) Don’t forget your audience. By this time, we hope you already know that. We’ll talk
you.) Don’t forget your audience. By this time, we hope you already know that. We’ll talk
you.) Don’t forget your audience. By this time, we hope you already know that. We’ll talk

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you.) Don’t forget your audience. By this time, we hope you already know that. We’ll talk

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE you don’t incorporate anything about the building, the people in the audience, your
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE you don’t incorporate anything about the building, the people in the audience, your
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE you don’t incorporate anything about the building, the people in the audience, your
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE you don’t incorporate anything about the building, the people in the audience, your
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE you don’t incorporate anything about the building, the people in the audience, your
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE you don’t incorporate anything about the building, the people in the audience, your

you don’t incorporate anything about the building, the people in the audience, your competitor or the beat into your flow? Thus, you need to find a good way to brainstorm while staying extremely present (and calm) when your competitor is spitting.

I know this probably sounds obvious, but it’s difficult, and it’s something you need to practice. If you don’t, you can forget writing a good comeback. You won’t even be invited back to the next battle.

Stay cool Even though they’re called battles, one of the most

important elements of being a freestyle battle artist

is your ability to stay calm and collected during your

competitor’s session. If you show the audience that you are upset by what your competitor is saying about you,

it will just add credence to his rhymes, and win him

support — not you.

Know this: the audience is its own judge, and it has the gift of objectivity. If they think something is inappropriate, they won’t cheer for it. They’ll have your back. If not, you need to realize that tearing people apart is what battle is about. If you can’t handle getting made fun of, you shouldn’t be doing it.

That said, the act of staying cool and collected during

a battle won’t just ensure that you don’t lose audience

support, it can also really piss off your opponent. By acting like what he is saying is funny or ridiculous, or acting extremely unphased by his flow, you will make

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battle strategy freestyle focus: ciphers If you’ve never battled, but you want to get your feet

freestyle focus: ciphers

If you’ve never battled, but you want to get your

feet wet with live freestyle, try joining a cipher.

A cipher is a (generally) less formal type of freestyle

where small groups of artists (three or more) rhyme off the head in a circle. Of course, there are definitely situations where super-skilled freestylers may be operating in a “closed” circle (i.e. not willing to let new less-skilled rappers join in). Still, outside of those, each person takes their turn and passes (usually graciously) to the next person.

In fact, unlike battles, ciphers don’t typically center around people dissing eachother. They’re just an open forum to practice real freestyle, and certain etiquette (such as not hogging the floor, not making fun of your fellow rappers, and not speaking over others) are enforced.

Not only are ciphers a great way to practice, they’re

a great way to learn from others who may be more

experienced than you are. They’re also free, can be organized almost anywhere, and are a much better

way to use your brain than playing video games or watching TV.

e l c r i c r e h p i c
e
l
c
r
i
c
r
e
h
p
i
c

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a much better way to use your brain than playing video games or watching TV. e

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE him get angry and risk losing the audience’s support. It will actually work
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE him get angry and risk losing the audience’s support. It will actually work
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE him get angry and risk losing the audience’s support. It will actually work
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE him get angry and risk losing the audience’s support. It will actually work
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE him get angry and risk losing the audience’s support. It will actually work
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE him get angry and risk losing the audience’s support. It will actually work

him get angry and risk losing the audience’s support. It will actually work in your favor.

Still, don’t kid yourself: it’s hard to listen to someone tear you apart and have the audience cheer for them. But it’s something you need to get used to if you’re going to win any battle. To help, have your friends scream a bunch of mean (but true) stuff at you while you spit to get you used to it. (I can’t guarantee this part will be fun, but it will definitely be helpful.)

Make them laugh By and large, one of the most effective aspects of any winning battle rapper is his ability to make the audience laugh and cheer. This means, to some degree, that you actually have to be funny.

The thing is: not all of us are funny, naturally. As we discussed in the last section, truly effective punchlines aren’t just clever words. They rely heavily on timing and delivery. If you aren’t sure how to deliver effective punchlines, study some battles online and (hell, why not) watch some Comedy Central to see what works. While there’s no clear recipe for being funny (i.e. wait three seconds before delivering your punchline), you will notice some things that work consistently, including physical humor, voice inflections, pregnant pauses, etc. Play with them and see what works for you.

In addition to how they’re delivered, funny punchlines also need to be true. If you make fun of your competitor’s hair, and his hair is actually kind of cool,

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the audience will boo you. This is one of the things that makes freestyle so challenging, and ensures that audience that you really are making up your rhymes on the spot, rather than in your bedroom.

Practice Yeah, it’s obvious. But you’d be surprised how many people think they can rhyme in battle just because they write some cool stuff in their notebooks on the way to school. In order to stand up to your competitor in a real live battle, you need to practice not just writing, but actual freestyle flowing, about anything around you, in any situation.

Practice alone. With your cat. At dinner. At work. Practice having your friends yell shit at you while you flow, having them respond (for real) to what you’re saying with cheers (or boos). Have them make up stuff for you to respond to on a moment’s notice. These are all the types of things you need to be prepared for in a battle.

the types of things you need to be prepared for in a battle. bust it! practice

bust it! practice makes (punchlines) perfect

As we already mentioned, in order to win a freestyle battle, you need to pay attention to what is happening around you in that moment, and respond to it. To practice, pull out a rap track (preferably one you don’t already know too well), and pretend it’s your competitor. During the song, listen to the words and think of comebacks to use when it’s your turn. Once the music starts, pretend it’s your turn to flow, and go for it.

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of comebacks to use when it’s your turn. Once the music starts, pretend it’s your turn

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE Fitting in with the above, you’ll want to participate in as many live
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE Fitting in with the above, you’ll want to participate in as many live
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE Fitting in with the above, you’ll want to participate in as many live
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE Fitting in with the above, you’ll want to participate in as many live
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE Fitting in with the above, you’ll want to participate in as many live
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE Fitting in with the above, you’ll want to participate in as many live

Fitting in with the above, you’ll want to participate in as many live ciphers as you can, with friends or fellow rappers. A cipher is a less formal, less competitive type of freestyle event, where a small group of rappers will start spitting together, one by one, in a circle or other group element. They allow you to learn from others around you and give you a great chance to practice, live, in front of other people, spitting good rhymes off the top of your head. See page 69 for an up-close discussion of ciphers.

Do your research I don’t care how sick of a writer you are, or how good you think your flow is. One of the most important parts of being a great stand-out battle artist is be able to recognize what works (and what doesn’t) in battle. The only way you can learn that is to do your research. Attend local battles in your community, download videos or songs, and study them closely.

It’s easy to get an attitude or write your competitor’s off just because you don’t like them or don’t want to admit they’re as good if not better than you. But the best artists will learn from those around them. Suck it up. Be a sponge. Learn from what they do well (or do poorly). The more you know, the stronger rapper you’ll be.

And of course, as we mentioned, don’t just do research about freestyle. As soon as you find out who your opponent is going to be, do as much research as you

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can about him. Find out his name, where he’s from, what his family issues are, where he works, and any other personal information you’ll be able to use against him in a battle. This is essential in forming hard-hitting, personal punchlines during the event.

Start and finish strong I can’t possibly stress enough how important it is to start strong and end strong during a battle. If you come out weak, you’ll lose the crowd before you even have a chance to spit out your killer punchlines. If you end weak, you’ll lose your biggest opportunity to gain crowd applause, and possibly win the battle. As such, strong beginnings and endings are essential.

Just like effective comedy, there isn’t necessarily a clear cut recipe for starting or ending strong. I can’t say, “Always start with a joke about his clothes, and always end with a joke about his mom.” Still, you know in your head, while you’re paying attention (and I know you will be, per tip one) what your strongest lines are going to be, and what angle you are going to use to get the best of your opponent. Be sure to bang out one of these lines from the start, and (being conscious of how much time is on the clock) think of how you can lead up to a strong ending so you can end on a high note. Seriously. There is absolutely nothing worse than ending on a lame rhyme. It’s embarrassing, and it will cost you the battle, every time.

Speak clearly No one can possibly realize how brilliant your rhymes

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and it will cost you the battle, every time. Speak clearly No one can possibly realize

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE are if they don’t understand what you are saying. It is absolutely essential
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE are if they don’t understand what you are saying. It is absolutely essential
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE are if they don’t understand what you are saying. It is absolutely essential
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE are if they don’t understand what you are saying. It is absolutely essential
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE are if they don’t understand what you are saying. It is absolutely essential
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE are if they don’t understand what you are saying. It is absolutely essential

are if they don’t understand what you are saying. It is absolutely essential that you learn to annunciate, stress and speak clearly during battle.

I know it’s hard to do that when you’re spitting shit off the top of your head. It’s even harder if you feel nervous or rattled. But without the ability to speak clearly, you may as well be speaking Japanese to an audience of Martians. So, if you think this is something you need to work on, revisit the tongue twisters and other speaking exercises we discussed in part one.

Be confident You know that the confident guy always gets the girl, right? It’s the same in battle. The more confident and self-assured you are, the more likely the audience is to feel a natural tendency to trust and support you throughout your flow.

Easier said than done, right? You might be thinking, “Oh, I’m not confident. I’m probably too insecure to battle. Maybe I should forget it altogether.” That’s crap. Confidence is something you build over time, and it’s based on you proving to yourself that you know your shit, and you’re doing it well.

Take note: there is a difference between being confident and being cocky. No one likes a pompous person, let alone artist. So learn to believe in yourself and in your skills, but don’t let them go to your head. Doing so is a recipe for disaster.

Make every word (or beat) count In battle, you only have a limited amount of time

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(and a small one at that) to gain the support of your audience. Because of that, you need to make sure that every word you say is strong, clear, explosive and makes the absolute most of your time on stage.

Is this to mean that every line needs to be a set up to a punchline? No. But every line (or pause) needs to contribute to the overall feeling of your flow, and give the audience a reason to cheer for you. Whether you use that time to respond to something your opponent said, get your audience involved or rip your opponent down, that’s up to you. But don’t spend half of your allotted time setting up a punchline — especially one that isn’t that good.

In regular rap, this rule is a little more flexible. For instance, take this line from Eminem’s “Without Me”:

“So the FCC won’t let me be, or let me be me, so let me see.”

Can you imagine spitting this line in battle? By the time you finished it, your time would be halfway over. No, the words Em uses here are mainly to carry on the beat of the song, not to give it meaning. This just wouldn’t fly in a battle. And I’m sure Eminem knows it.

Win over the audience Last, but definitely not least, you need to win over your audience. In fact, this is so important that we’re going to focus on it exclusively right now.

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need to win over your audience. In fact, this is so important that we’re going to

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE winning over the audience As I’ve mentioned a ton of times by now,
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE winning over the audience As I’ve mentioned a ton of times by now,
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE winning over the audience As I’ve mentioned a ton of times by now,
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE winning over the audience As I’ve mentioned a ton of times by now,
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE winning over the audience As I’ve mentioned a ton of times by now,
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE winning over the audience As I’ve mentioned a ton of times by now,

winning over the audience

As I’ve mentioned a ton of times by now, winning over the audience is essential in battle. It doesn’t matter how cool you think your rhymes are. If your audience doesn’t feel you, it’s over. So you damn well better get used to the idea of flowing with an audience in mind.

This might sound simple, but it’s a hard thing for a lot of people to do. There’s a lot of attitude in the rap industry (and the entertainment industry in general). You’d be surprised how many decisions are based purely on ego. But in freestyle, you need to let that go. It’s not about you getting angry and yelling at your opponent for what he said. It’s about responding to it in such a way that your audience feels it. The following are a few tips for doing that.

Pay attention to what they like (and don’t) Like we mentioned earlier, paying attention and being present is one of the most fundamental parts of any battle. Part of that includes taking note of what the audience is responding to. No two audiences are the same. What you did last week won’t necessarily get a cheer this week, so you can’t just recycle past material or use the same game plan you had before just because it worked for you once.

A lot of your observations will come from your opponent’s session (do they cheer when he makes jokes? Talks about getting violent? Talks about their city?) Some of it will also come from their reactions, in

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real time, to what you are spitting. (If you make a joke about your opponent’s mom, do they laugh or cheer? If not, it’s time to take another avenue.)

This means that throughout the battle, you’ll be trying to gauge how effective your rhymes are, and thinking of alternative methods if they aren’t working for you. It means you need to be aware, quick on your feet, and adaptable to whatever situation. Hey, I never said it was easy.

Do they feel you? Guess what: your audience won’t always like you. In fact, if you’re an underdog, or someone new to the area, they might boo you (or worse) as soon as you get on stage. That said, if you start out strong, you can win them over quite easily. But you have to do it in a way that is respectful and draws them in.

If they boo you, don’t get defensive and start with, “Hey, this audience is stupid. I’m awesome. You’re

“Hey, this audience is stupid. I’m awesome. You’re a note on hecklers Look: hecklers happen. They’re

a note on hecklers

Look: hecklers happen. They’re everywhere, and chances are you’re going to get a few, whether you’re the new kid on the block or a favored contender. So what’s the best way to deal with them? In almost any situation, the best way to deal with hecklers or anyone else giving you a hard time during a battle is to stay calm and ignore it. You’ll never be able to please everyone all the time. Just keep flowing, and let it go.

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to stay calm and ignore it. You’ll never be able to please everyone all the time.

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE cupid.” That certainly isn’t going to win you any favors. Realize that you
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE cupid.” That certainly isn’t going to win you any favors. Realize that you
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE cupid.” That certainly isn’t going to win you any favors. Realize that you
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE cupid.” That certainly isn’t going to win you any favors. Realize that you
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE cupid.” That certainly isn’t going to win you any favors. Realize that you
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE cupid.” That certainly isn’t going to win you any favors. Realize that you

cupid.” That certainly isn’t going to win you any favors. Realize that you need to gain their trust. Show them you’re on the same page.

Talk to them Everybody likes to make a connection. If you show the audience that you’re just like them, or you understand where they are or what they’re going through, they won’t be able to help but support you.

Take this example from “8-Mile.” An underdog in his own right, B. Rabbit starts his flow addressing the crowd entirely. He says:

“Everybody from the 313, put your mother fucking hands up and follow me. Everybody from the 313, ”

put your mother fucking hands up

Not only does Rabbit play to a source of pride (the city/ area code where the people are from), he buys himself some time to think of a killer opening. That, my friends, is a smart rabbit.

Know when to call it a day No one likes someone who overstays their welcome, and everyone prefers to see someone go out on top.

That said, just because you’re feeling a flow, don’t keep going just because you think you can. You risk running out of shit to say and looking like a stupid show-off, rather than looking tough. Not to mention, just because someone liked hearing you spit for two minutes, it doesn’t

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mean they want to hear you spit for two more. Don’t let the cheers go to your head. Always end on a high note, and always stop spitting when the music ends.

Get physical No matter how hot your flow is, it’s going to be boring if you stand on stage like a piece of wood. In addition to adding inflection to your voice, you need to add inflection into your moves. Work it. Be dramatic. Roll your eyes. Act bored. Anything you incorporate into your own flow will undoubtedly be a crowd-pleaser. Anything you do while your opponent is rhyming will piss him off. Both fall into your favor.

In addition to pantomiming, many rappers will have signature moves that they tend to use when they’re performing. These can range from pointing to chopping, and all give a different sense of the person’s unique individual style. Thus, while it’s possible to copy the move of someone you think is cool, it’s best to do whatever comes naturally to you. See what happens when you start flowing, and amp it up. If you tend to put your hand on your head, do that, with a lot of emphasis. If you tend to shake your head, do it decidedly. Think of it like theater make-up. You need to go big for the audience to see it.

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to shake your head, do it decidedly. Think of it like theater make-up. You need to

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 80 specific thoughts for women rappers Just like the “real” bible, this bible
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 80 specific thoughts for women rappers Just like the “real” bible, this bible
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 80 specific thoughts for women rappers Just like the “real” bible, this bible
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 80 specific thoughts for women rappers Just like the “real” bible, this bible
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 80 specific thoughts for women rappers Just like the “real” bible, this bible
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 80 specific thoughts for women rappers Just like the “real” bible, this bible

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THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 80 specific thoughts for women rappers Just like the “real” bible, this bible

specific thoughts for women rappers

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE 80 specific thoughts for women rappers Just like the “real” bible, this bible

Just like the “real” bible, this bible tends to use “He” as a general catch-all for both men and women. That’s not to say that women don’t have their own well-earned and much- needed place in rap (or freestyle in particular). Still, there are some things to keep in mind if you’re a women new to the freestyle or rap scene.

It’s a male dominated field. I’m not going to lie. The world of rap is most definitely dominated by men, and (just like the rest of the world) some of them don’t respect women. Still, that doesn’t mean they won’t respect a women with mad skills. It’s just important to realize that you might encounter some discouragement, and you need to keep plugging away in spite of it. (And it makes it that much more important to practice the build your arsenal of skills and strategies discussed in this book.)

Chances are, men won’t be too creative when trying to down you. As such, it never hurts to have some fallback rhymes/responses for jokes you know will be made. (About your menstrual period, not being strong, having long hair, shaving your legs, being a slut — whatever.) As we mentioned in Part One, use popular culture references to well-known women to mix things up.

“Who cares if I got lips like Angelina Jolie. I use them to spit and kick you down quickly.”

battle strategy

If you don’t focus on your sex, they won’t either (eventually). Yeah, it’s likely that the “girl” words will be tossed around for awhile when you first make it onto the scene. If you don’t focus on your sex in your rhymes (i.e. “Oh, you like to beat up on girls? You wanna make out with me? etc.”) they won’t have a reason to either. After all, in freestyle, a lot is based on responding to what the other person just said. So if you keep it straight, they’ll have to keep it straight, too.

Be aware of your weaknesses. That isn’t a sexist statement:

it’s true for all of us. Still, it’s been proven that women have a proclivity to doing certain things, such as ending their sentences in a questioning voice, that will detract from creating a confident, strong image. Know if you have any of these weaknesses, and work on them. (Don’t worry — men have weaknesses they need to work on too.)

Your voice can be feminine, but it must still be strong. Yeah, a feminine voice will definitely make you unique in the rap world. But it also needs to be strong, as we mentioned in the voice section previously. The audience still needs to hear you (and so does your opponent).

Lastly, just realize that, as with any other battle, the crowd could go either way. So focus on your shit, pay attention to what’s going on, practice your skills and do your best. If you do, you’ll be fine.

on your shit, pay attention to what’s going on, practice your skills and do your best.

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on your shit, pay attention to what’s going on, practice your skills and do your best.

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE performance order As I mentioned previously, having two people battle against each other
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE performance order As I mentioned previously, having two people battle against each other
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE performance order As I mentioned previously, having two people battle against each other
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE performance order As I mentioned previously, having two people battle against each other
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE performance order As I mentioned previously, having two people battle against each other
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE performance order As I mentioned previously, having two people battle against each other

performance order

As I mentioned previously, having two people battle against each other means that, inevitably, one person will have to go first. Traditionally, this means that the second person to perform in a battle has an extreme advantage over the first because they have a chance to respond, challenge or diss the things the first person said.

Still, if you end up first, it’s not a death sentence. The following are some tips for killing your opponent before he even has a chance to start:

Take the punchlines out of his mouth: If you know that your opponent will likely make fun of you for certain reasons (i.e. your hair, your lack of girlfriend or gainful employment, etc.), do it before he has a chance to. That way, he doesn’t have anything to say by the time his turn comes around.

Analyze this: Click to analyze this battle in which B Rabbit was forced to battle first against Papa Doc, but still ripped apart his opponent. What techniques did he use to silence the competition?

Appeal to your audience: Refer to the tips we mentioned on winning over your audience. Ultimately they will decide whether they will support you or forget you once your opponent has a chance to take his run.

So, we just made the case for going first, which is traditionally a kiss of death. What about if you go second?

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While it’s definitely an advantage to start second in a battle, a lot of responsibility comes along with it. You have an unsaid obligation to respond to what your opponent just said. That puts you under even greater pressure to think quickly and incorporate punchlines (and good ones) throughout your session.

you under even greater pressure to think quickly and incorporate punchlines (and good ones) throughout your

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THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it Pretend you just got chosen to go first
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it Pretend you just got chosen to go first
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it Pretend you just got chosen to go first
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it Pretend you just got chosen to go first
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it Pretend you just got chosen to go first
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE check it, and reflect it Pretend you just got chosen to go first

check it, and reflect it

Pretend you just got chosen to go first in a battle against a well-favored opponent. This is your first time battling in this city, and a lot of people don’t know you very well. What are some things you’d say in your first rhyme to win over the audience? What are some things you wouldn’t say?

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battle strategy 85

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battle strategy 85
battle strategy 85

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE “rap” up Congratulations on making this journey into the world of freestyle. You’ve
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE “rap” up Congratulations on making this journey into the world of freestyle. You’ve
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE “rap” up Congratulations on making this journey into the world of freestyle. You’ve
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE “rap” up Congratulations on making this journey into the world of freestyle. You’ve
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE “rap” up Congratulations on making this journey into the world of freestyle. You’ve
THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE “rap” up Congratulations on making this journey into the world of freestyle. You’ve

“rap” up

Congratulations on making this journey into the world of freestyle. You’ve done a lot of hard work to get to this point, and I’m proud of you. Freestyle isn’t easy. In fact, it’s extremely challening, on numerous different levels. Just the fact that you’ve taken the initiative to learn more about it puts you steps above lots of other writers and artists.

But please: even though this is the end of our book, please don’t let it be the end of your freestyle chapter. Use the pages following (or buy your own notebook) to keep writing. Revisit the exercises throughout this book; many of them can be done over and over again just by moving to a different room, printing a different picture or imagining a different prompt, word or song to get you started.

Most importantly, stay true to you. What makes you unique is what will make you successful in freestyle, and in life in general. When and if you do make it big, remember what got you there: a love for rhyming, and for being the best. And never, never stop flowing.

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THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

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freestyle arsenal

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THE RAPPERS’ BIBLE

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