Drop a Beat Like Jay-Z: 7 Easy Steps

The wait is finally over for celebrity gossip enthusiasts – Jay-Z and Beyonce are now proud parents of their first child together, Blue Ivy Carter.  And as any hip hop artist should, Jay-Z announced the birth by releasing “Glory,” a new track dedicated to his newborn baby girl.

While it may seem simple to put together a bunch of words without a melody, writing rap lyrics – when done right – is often more of an art form.  If you’re thinking of trying it out, check out these 7 great tips for writing your rhymes:

1. Get inspired. Pick a topic for your rap song that you have a unique perspective or understanding of to share with your audience. Without inspiration, your lyrics won’t have very much meaning.

2. Write a hook. If you were writing a term paper, you’d start with a thesis. But this is a rap song, so start with a hook. The hook should summarize the entire inspiration for the song.

3. Brainstorm. Start to make a list of every concept, unique perspective, or point you can think of related to your inspired topic. This will become the content of your song.

4. Write lyrics. Go through each of the points from your brainstorm list and express them in rhyme. Of course, this is where your skills as a lyricist will show through.

5. Pick a beat. If you don’t make beats yourself, search for a beat on YouTube or download from the internet. Pick a beat that invokes the emotion that inspired you to write your song.

6. Structure the song. Now that you have a good idea of the sound your completed song will have, arrange your rhyme into verses (16 bars apiece). You can start each verse with nearly any rhyme, but it’s a good practice to end with a rhyme that makes a point. This way your verse doesn’t seem to be left hanging. A popular song structure is: Intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, verse, middle 8 (breakdown), chorus, outro.

7. Rap and refine. Practice rapping your song on your chosen beat to work out the bugs and optimize your written verses. Cut out as many words as possible and then cut out some more. Remember, a rap song is not an English paper. Only use the words that are needed to make your point, nothing more. Don’t be afraid to add a pause or two, as this can help to enhance a certain point in the song.

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You might also like…
- Lyrically Stuck?  Think Like Eddie Vedder
- 10 Proven Steps for Writing Lyrics That Stick
- How to Break Into the Music Biz Without Even Playing a Note

 

Image courtesy of wikipedia.org.

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