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Don’t Give English a Bad Rap Project

Rapping is a musical form of vocal delivery that incorporates "rhyme,

rhythmic speech, and street vernacular", which is performed or chanted
in a variety of ways, usually over a backbeat or musical accompaniment.


1. For this project, you will be creating your own rap song in teams of two consisting of a
chorus and one verse which you will perform over a beat.
2. In order to write your rap, you should start by picking a topic (ex: school, friends, work,
the environment, love, etc.).
3. You should talk about your topic for a minimum of 20 lines in rhyme (rhyming in
couplets is the most common in rap music).
4. Your rap song should evoke a theme about your topic (ex: Rap about working hard at
school and how hard work pays off).
5. Rapping is an art which utilizes language, rap music therefore employs many literary
devices which help enhance the lyrics and theme being evoked. You will therefore be
required to include at minimum of 8 literary devices in your own rap song, in order to
enhance your theme.

You will be given class time to work on writing your rap, and time to record your rap over a
musical beat using technology. You will then be required to present your rap song to the class
(performed live or by presenting your recording). Along with your presentation, you will hand
1. An annotated written copy of your rap song.
2. A 250-word reflection discussing the choice of topic and stating the song’s theme.
3. Your recording.

Your rap song should include all of the following components:

1. At least 20 lines.
2. At least one verse and one chorus.
3. A rhyming scheme (couplets or other).
4. A minimum of 8 literary devices (chosen from the Literary Devices Bank provided
5. Your rap song should discuss a topic and evoke a theme about that topic. Your rap
song should shed light on something you find important, and make people want to
6. Your lyrics should be rapped over some kind of musical background.
Your rap song should also not contain any of the following:

1. Swearing or inappropriate language.

2. Defamatory (harmful lies) or derogatory (insulting, hurtful) words or statements.
3. Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic… words or statements.

Literary Devices Bank:

Allusion Metaphor Simile Alliteration Personification Diction Foreshadowing

Flashback Imagery Repetition Symbolism Onomatopoeia Hyperbole Irony

Glossary of Terms:

 Verse: The verse is the primary part of the song where the rapping occurs and where the
artist makes his point.
 Chorus: The chorus sums up the main idea of the song, and choruses are usually repeated
to help listeners remember the song. Choruses are catchy to the ear and are often called
hooks because they hook the listener's attention.
 Rhyme: correspondence of sound between words or the endings of words, especially
when these are used at the ends of lines of poetry (or rap).
 Couplets: Most rap songs are rhymed in ‘couplets’. That means lines rhyme two at a
time. Lines one and two rhyme with each other, but not with the other lines. Lines 3 and
4 rhyme with each other, but not with the other lines. And so on. The two lines that
rhyme together are a ‘couplet’.