How To Improve Your Rap Flow {Rap Exercises & Examples}

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10 Tips For Improving Your Rap Flow

 

If you are into rapping or an aspiring rapper, you are definitely aware of what a rap flow is. However, some people do not know how to improve rap flow while rapping. If you are one of these people, then you have found the right article with 10 top tips to teach you techniques on how to improve your rap flow.

 

I created this article to help young and aspiring rappers begin with the basics and learn to practice in order to progress in the rap career. 

 

But what is flow in rapping? Flow is considered as the drum patterns over an instrumental in word form. Most of the time, your beautiful lyrics are useless if you don’t have a good flow and cannot deliver your song the right way. So do your best to prevent that from happening. Below is a list of tips and techniques you can follow.

 

krs 1 rapping tips1. Do Freestyle Rapping First – If you want to improve your flow, one of the most effective techniques you can do is freestyle rapping. Freestyling allows you to rap off the top of your head. Just going with the flow depending on your current mood.

 

This kind of technique can help you develop your mental creativity as a rapper. At the same time, it is effective in helping you deliver your lyrics just like a pro.

 

Freestyling offers you the freedom to express yourself. This way, you’ll be able to discover what particular flow that suits your song. There are 2 main rules in freestyle rapping.

 

If you make a mistake don’t stop and make sure to enunciate your words. So rap slow at the start. Make sure your words are clear and people can understand you. Notting sounds more unprofessional like a rapper who stops in a freestyle or try’s to rap fast when they can’t pronounce their own lyrics.

 

The Pioneers of boom bap old school beats

slow-rap-beats-j-dilla-9th-wonder

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Looking For Slow Rap Beats Click Here To Visit My Beat Store

 

 

2. Start With Slow Beats – Another excellent way to improve your flaw is to start writing slow rap beats. It is good practice at the start of your rapping career not to jump straight into the deep end.

 

Find some hip hop beats that are similar to old school boom bap beats like the ones that J Dilla or 9th Wonder create. These old school beats are normally at the 85-90 bpm mark. This will make it much more easy for you to grow confidence in your own rap flow.

 

To do this, you may begin writing rap songs with plenty of spaces to breathe and fewer words per bar or line. In other words, you have to start with the basics until you can handle the complicated ones.

 

As you move further, you can proceed with medium paced beats then followed by fast paced beats.

 

This means that you can experiment and practice with beats of different speeds. This way, you can see how you can improve in every beat speed.

 

 

Creating Confidence In Your Rap Flow 

 

rap flow

 

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3. Don’t Be Predictable – If you want to get the attention of your listeners, you need to avoid being predictable. But first you have to establish a rhythm to serve as your guide specifically in the writing process. Create different rhythms for your song to make it more interesting.

 

Create different rhythms for your song to make it more interesting. Feel free to be creative in creating the rhythms.

 

Just make sure every rhythm suits your song. Sometimes like to create songs based on interesting stories I heard on the news or online. This takes the emphasis of me and my life. Not having to be interesting all the time.

rapper

So the perspective is on someone else and you are just the conduit of that message. 

 

4. Pick A Subject – If you want another great idea, what you can do is to choose a subject you like. It could be about home, your childhood, a girl, your favorite sport, and other things you love to write about.

 

The moment you are done choosing a topic or you have already come up with a topic, start writing the lyrics with simple rhymes. Opt for simple words in your lyrics. Rap experts say that a good rap is composed of two parts – flow and lyrics blended together.

 

 

Rap Writer's Block Cure

 

kanye west rap flow5. Showcase Your Creativity – In order to improve your rap flow, you can try rapping in different accents such as French, English, etc. You may see yourself weird and awkward but just continue with it. Doing so can help you figure out what particular rap style really fits you. You don’t need to perfect everything right away.

 

It takes time and effort to be able to improve your rap flow. A big mistake that young artist does constantly is pushing themselves too fast without perfecting the basics. You never see Eminem or Kanye, when they may have struggled at the start. But eventually, they practiced over and over again to perfect their craft.   

 

 

6. Practice And Practice Some More – Never get tired of practicing. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Every chance you get, practice rapping. Whether you are in the car, your bedroom, or just about anywhere you want, try and try to achieve better flow.

 

If possible, try rehearsing your own rap songs and use a variety of rap styles and speeds. This way, you can practice better. And then, try to record yourself rapping to see where you need to improve and which ones should remain as is.

hip-hop-counting-bars

 

As you follow the tips and techniques above, keep in mind that it takes time before you can perfect a good rap flow. There won’t be an overnight success. However, as you go on with these tips and techniques, you will surely improve over time.

 

 

 

If you are really passionate about rapping, it will be a lot easier for you to do anything to improve your skills in the craft you have chosen. Never hesitate to experiment and just be yourself as you practice.

 

If you liked this article on how to improve your rap flow, maybe you like to take a look at another similar article here. How To Rap Like Eminem 

 

 

7.Discipline, Time and Dedication Perfecting Your Craft 

 

 

Sometimes it’s hard to explain what a rap flow is. It comes from the beat, the words you have chosen to work with and you experience. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect.

 

Sometimes you just have to power through the hard times, when everything doesn’t sound perfect. I remember when Tyga started off with Young Money, he rapped with a lisp. You don’t hear that in his voice anymore.

 



You have to give yourself time to develop as a rapper. Then your rap flow will come naturally.  Certain rappers have different styles to the way that they rhyme.

 

Certain people define it as the way a rapper interacts with the beat, the mood of the beat, how the feel at that time and the 16 bars that they have written about.

 

8. Examples Of Famous Rap Flows and Why We Remember Them ?

slickrick2

People have noticed that Nas rapped from the back of his throat, while old school rappers lick slick rick and Shock G rapper using their soft {nasal palette} from the back of the mouth. Biggie liked to bounce to the beat, jumping from bar to bar.

shock-g



Most OG’s look as 2 Pac as one of the greatest because his flow was an inspiration like a pastor at a church. He himself was inspired by historical black leaders like Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X. You can hear it in his lyrics.

 

2 Pac bleeds his words, you can feel the emotion and power in the words he uses in his rap verse and the way projects them with his rap delivery.

2-pac-and-biggie



Eminem’s flow, on the other hand, is lyrically and sonic schizophrenic, depending on his mood the beat and the song. Thus we have Eminem and Slim Shady. It’s ironic that Eminem raps with a nasal palette since he has a deep voice when he speaks.


Slim Shady’s vocals and flow sound much more laid back, and tend to bounce to the beat on his more theatrical verse. In these songs, he sounds more high pitched and tends to use the nasal palette.



A good example of this is to look at the video of Eminem rapping to the beat with his friend Proof in a car. You can see where he got his for “The Real Slim Shady” or “Forget About Dre”

 



On darker and deeper side you can hear much more aggression in his vocals, like in “The Way I am” , “Lose Yourself“ “Stan” and “Forever”.

 

Here he uses his tongue more and tends to open his mouth more to accentuate the words more proficiently. He kind use the sound “OOONNN” more. The tone of Eminem’s delivery compared to Slim Shady’s flow, all comes from the mood of the beat.



When you compare the old school guys, like biggie and 2 Pac, it’s clearly evident, they are story tellers. Whereas with Eminem or slim shady you can always see them as battle freestyle rappers because of the lyrical content and they ride the beat.



The story telling rappers tend to be slower and have shorter sentences, whereas Eminem/Shady developed his 2 different styles, where can change it up to a faster flow like what we hear on his verse “Forever”. Here he doesn’t take as many breaths and tends to use longer sentences in each bar.

 

Eminem Forever Gif

 


This is a common thing that new coming rappers want to strive for with their flow. They want the fast raps. So the neglect learning the early skill set that you get from practicing will old school hip hop beats and slow hip hop beats.



There is nothing wrong with having a goal of becoming a fast rapper. Take you time try and experimenting with slow rap beats tend gradually start pushing the tempo gradually out of your comfort zone. Like, take a rap beat at 85 bpm.



Perfect your raps and the flow of the words that you use at instrumentals original tempo. Then once you are confident move the temp to 91 BPM and then 96 BPM and then 100 bpm.  

 

Each time you boost the tempo change up the words by adding a new bar that’s fast to match the tempo of the beat at it new tempo. See how many new words you can fit into each bar at its new tempo.

9.THE POWER OF THE PAUSE 

Pause In Rap

 

 

The pause in your raps can be your friend. Sometimes saying nothing like a pause in your flow can deliver the lines beforehand, with much more conviction. It’s like you go into the next bar locked a loaded.

 

This gives you a chance to deliver the next lines of that bar or the next 2 bars of that verse.

 

Breathe



Drake likes to use the pause a lot in his bars. Since he raps on a lot of more modern high tempo trap type beats, he still has a storyteller flow, using the pause, letting the beat play so can build up the intensity up the next in the next bars.



Drake’s flow changes up due to the nature of his mixture, rap skill with his singing. His vocals carry melodic weight. This why is why some of his b-side records or diss songs tend to get major radio play and media coverage.

 

drakes-flow

Even his flow on “Back To Back”, has the undertone of pop melody.

 

 

10. Modern rap flows , learning from what’s current and mainstream



Having a more melodic sound is not a bad thing when it comes to creating your rap flow. Your main goal is to get people to listen to the song.



This does not mean watering down your lyrics to the point you have lost all meaning. It means you should experiment with different types of flow. Use pauses and changing your lyrics to match what the beat is telling you.

 


If certain lines in you rap lyrics are hindering you while you are catching the beat, start humming some raps until you find the right words that match the lyrical content of the song and the way you accentuate the words.

 

Tech N9ne says that he styles his raps to help to perform. Where many rappers today start off in the bedroom, recording verses they tend to forget back about when it’s time to put in performance.



It’s important to use the pause and the breaths to help deliver the next lines. He also says that most of his flows come from inspiration the drums used in certain songs. So he might hear a conga or bongos playing in a certain tribal song and put words to the way those congas move within the beat.

There is nothing wrong with the slow rap flow. Famous rap careers were built using that slow flow. Like 2 Pac , Biggie , Rick Ross.

 

One reason the slow rap flow was popular is that it enabled story telling rappers to rap about their lives with words that meaning. When using very descriptive words it’s important that you have articulation. So that their raps can be heard.

 

A great example of having a great second level flow is that of the theme song to the Fresh prince of bel air. The song has simple words to remember but the flow is a bit fast for the rookie rapper. This a great place to start practicing if you want to speed up you rap flow.

 

Rap Writer's Block Cure