Rap Performance – How To Overcome Stage Fright – {Tips For Rappers}

by Dan Hartnett // August 18 //

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A lot of rappers and rap artists have a hard time overcoming stage fright. Some call it performance anxiety, others view it as communication apprehension.

No matter how they call it, stage fright is something that needs to be resolved. Good thing, there are various ways on how you can overcome stage fright.

Conquering stage fright :  Effective Ways To Cope With Rap Performance Anxiety

If you are a newbie hip hop artist, for instance, rap stage fright is definitely one of the things you are concerned with.

The truth is, even seasoned professional performers experience performance anxiety.

The main point is, almost all performers feel some degree of stage fright when preparing to perform in front of an audience. 


It must be noted that stage fright should not be viewed as a negative feeling.   As a matter of fact, experts say that it is healthy and necessary at the same time.  

Having the feeling of performance anxiety can help you stay focused on your performance. For those who cannot overcome stage fright, do not worry because it can be tamed.

It only takes the right manner of dealing with it. So, read on and find out more.


Perfecting Your Rap Performance
"Fear Is Just In Your Head"

As they say, it is just about a mind-over-matter type of situation. Remember that your brain is very powerful. The more you think you will screw up, the higher your performance anxiety levels are.

In other words, you have to think that you can do it. Always remind yourself that you are a great performer and you got something to show to the audience. Never allow fear to swallow you. 


​​​​Being Prepared For A Live Rap Performance Is The Key

The next thing you should do is to be prepared. It is just a simple thing but it is a very important phase of overcoming stage fright. Make sure that you have familiarized and memorized the songs or every song. 

Be mental, physically and emotionally prepared for your performance. If you are well-prepared, your mind will tell you that you can do it. Being prepared is synonymous to having enough confidence to go on stage and give your best shot.


Repetition & Practice

If you are going to perform on stage, remember to repeat your song over and over again.

This way, the song will be embedded deep in your mind. As a result, it becomes your second nature. 


A better way of doing so is by singing your song while doing other tasks in the house or anywhere you go. Singing in the shower can also help.

Overcoming stage fright can be a daunting task. However, increasing your exposure can help you overcome rap performance anxiety. Ask your family and friends to join you in a Karaoke bar, a street promenade, and other venues.

Allow them to be your audience. Practice singing in front of them because it will definitely help you boost your confidence and fight stage fright. If possible, encourage them to critique your performance.

This way, you will be able to improve it. Have an open mind when it comes to their comments or feedback. Remember that they are with you to help you become a better performer on stage.

Moreover, you need to perform and be yourself all the time. The audience will truly appreciate the real you. Yes, performing is about entertaining your audience. However, it is also about expressing yourself and your music.

3.  Do Not Forget To Have Fun

Try to calm down and be loose. In other words, have fun on your performance. Everyone is bound to make mistakes sometimes. Even the most professional performers commit mistakes while performing on stage.

The most important thing is you know how to have fun on stage.



An Important Note To Remember Indeed, there are different ways on how to overcome performance anxiety. Yes, you can fight stage fright, however, you need to remember that there is no such thing as overnight success.

In other words, you need to practice and learn how to perform your best under pressure. Stage fright is a natural reaction to a big crowd, concert or an audition.

The tips mentioned above are a collection of techniques, principles, and psychological skills for you to overcome performance anxiety.

Live Rap Performance Guide – Confident Stage Presence

In this Section, I’ll be teaching you guys some amazing tips on how you can be confident on stage as a rapper and still provide the crowd with a solid live performance. 

You don’t want to be the person that has a show and only a handful of people show up. You’d not only lose even more confidence but you might go on an unwanted hiatus.

Why do you need to be confident on stage?

No one wants to watch a shy and awkward rapper in front with vocals very low, being drowned by their hip hop instrumentals or the live band, right? Not even you would want to do that. That’s why a confident stage presence is an essential part of being a rapper.

That’s what we’re going to try and avoid with the help of this article.

You’ll not only need to be confident on stage as professional rap artist. You’re also going to need to be entertaining enough that the fans will continue cheering you on even until the end of the show. Hearing the crowd shout your name is a major confidence boost.

So I’ll first give you some tips on how you can improve your rap performance at your live show.

  1. Find Your Own Rap Artist Persona {Examples, Kanye Kid Cudi, Eminem, 2 Pac, Biggie}

This is especially helpful when you’re rap is based on a story telling scheme. You’ll need to get into character so that you can deliver your rap lyrics better. Break out of your shell and focus on your music, but don’t forget that you have fans that are watching you.

Don’t worry about what other people are thinking. They’re there to watch you be the best you can be, so do what you think is the best and push yourself to do even better.

You’ll need to be focused on your rap lyrics and not what the crowd is thinking, anyway.

A good way to do this is to read over your lines repeatedly and you could even record yourself. If you hear your voice back and don’t think it’s good enough, then you know that you can do even better.

Do this with every live show so that when you feel like the butterflies in your stomach are getting out of control, you can easily hone in on yourself and do an amazing job.

  1. How to perform at a live rap concert {Answer : Get the crowd involved}

It may be your live show, but they did spend their money to watch you. So why not get them involved? Tell them to scream and shout, tell them to jump in every other hook, wave their hands in the air, go crazy during your rap verses, anything and everything that you can think of that makes them a part of your show and not feel any sort of segregation.

Even people in the very back or those with the cheapest tickets can feel like they’re a part of the show if you start doing this.

It’s going to stick in their minds that you made them feel included and that means that they’ll always come back for more, and even bring a few friends along to get you hyped up in their circle.

This is one of the most important things that you need to do when you decide to do live shows.

Have the crowd feel included and closer to you than they really are, distance wise.

  1. Be nice to the sound technician(s)

These guys are going to be an integral part of your live shows. They’ll be the ones to handle your background music. If you treat him terribly, he can easily destroy your live show by either playing your music poorly, play a different backing song, or just not play anything altogether.

You’ll need to be overly nice to him/her, but not to the point that you get called a creep.

Just enough that you sort of establish a friendship so that he’ll make sure your sound gets played the way it should sound and not like it was recorded inside a tin can.

The technician(s) can easily make or break your show, so be sure to show them that you’re thankful for what they do. Or else.

  1. Get there early and get your sound checked

If you want to be taken seriously, then act professional and courteous towards everyone inside the venue. No one wants to work with an ass, so don’t be one. You’ll need to get to your venue early or else you’ll risk rushing through everything that needs to be taken in stride.

This includes getting your sound checked, the lighting fixed just right, and the mic to be working properly. If you skip any of these things then you better prepare for a show that’s sure to make headline news for all the wrong reasons.

Making sure your live goes well falls into not only your hands, but also the hands of the people helping you and making your show is a success.

  1. Interact with fans after the show

Everyone wants to feel appreciated, and that includes your fans. Make time and go up to them, thanking each one that came and wish them well, along with telling them that you hoped they had a great time and to come back in case you ever decide to do another show.

As mentioned before, kindness goes a long way, not just with the people you work with but with the people that follow you and give you a living. It not only gives them a reason to love your music even more than they already do, but it gives them a reason to love you as a person.

Shake the hands of fans that you can meet and make sure that you get everyone. You don’t want to be the person that ignored a fan when in reality, you just didn’t seek out every fan that came to your event.

Now that you know what to do to make your live shows more memorable and amazing, your fans will have more reasons to watch you and cheer you on, boosting your confidence and your want to please them.

Next thing you should do, is learn how to gain a confident presence on stage. I’ll be teaching you guys what to do.

  1. Realise that it’s not all about you

Yes, it may be your show and it may have your name on it, but it doesn’t mean that you should act all high and mighty and don’t bother about your fans or band (if you choose to use a live band.)

You’ll need to do everything you can for them to focus on you, so that you can take them away with the power of your music.

Don’t ever make them feel like they’re worthless, especially when they spent their hard earned money to come and support you and your music. They are your fans for a reason, so don’t give them one to not support you anymore.

  1. Leap out of your comfort zone

You’ll need to be out of your comfort zone for people to take notice of you. Confidence is always key when it comes to having everyone’s eyes on you.

If you know what your weaknesses are, pinpoint them out and figure out a way to get over them so that it won’t hinder your live performances.

No one is perfect, so remember that everyone has his or her own weaknesses. Even the most famous of rappers have theirs, so don’t feel less like a person because you have yours. Instead, improve on those weak points and focus on pushing yourself with your strong points.

  1. Find Confidence In The Rap Artists That Have Inspired you...

Everyone has a part of themselves that they wish would take over their bodies and come out to play all the time. You know what I mean; the strong, confident, no-fears person that is buried deep inside you that makes you fearless. 

That’s what your fans want to see from you: the confident and independent rap artist that you show you are through your music. Find out what that part of you is and make it special to be able to bring out the inner rap god.

The ability to switch between your performing rap persona is an essential key in being confident on and off stage.

  1. Move! Don’t stand still!

Your fans will end up yawning if all you do is stand still like a flagpole. Most singers/ rappers tend to miss this important step. You need your fans to be moving along with your every move so that they can stay hyped up until the end of the show.

If you’re not rapping, why not jump around, or even dance if you feel like it. Get the crowd involved and have them jump along with you. Run around the stage to get your blood pumping and their heads banging to your music.

Just remember that the way you move should compliment your rap music.

  1. Have fun with the band and the audience

Remember that there are other people in the room other than you. Don’t ignore your audience, or even your band for that matter. If you have the chance to have a live hip hop band, interact with them and get the people watching you, laughing and clapping to your interactions between one another.

If you plan on interacting with your fans, you’ll need to get their attention and have all eyes in the room, on you. To do that, you can choose to either ask them a question, tell them to do something, or even ask one of the crowd members to join you on stage for a few minutes of fun and cheer.

  1. Share the spotlight

This tip goes well with the previous one. If you already have all eyes on you, then why not add some variety to the show and have the crowd watch your band members as they play on stage. Watch your piano player as he starts getting into a solo. 

Doing anything that isn’t typically done in a live show will always get reactions. You just have to choose which ones to do. Don’t ridicule your live hip hop band members or hip hop DJ, but instead have them bask in all the attention you usually get from your fans for them to get just as pumped up as you are until the end of the show.

How do rappers Overcoming Stage Fright?

Everyone gets stage fright, even the most famous of artists still get stage fright, so it’s not something you should be embarrassed about. It’s fine to have a little stage fright now and then, but you shouldn’t let it take over your whole mentality and ruin the whole show for both you and the audience.

If you don’t feel nervous, that’s when you should be worried. You could either be over confident, or you’re not worrying over the quality of your performance, which is a bad thing altogether.

So first, let’s go into why you’re feeling nervous, or scared, or even mortified of getting on stage. There are a lot of things that you could be scared about, but I’ll be going over the more common things that people get nervous about.

  1. How To Be More Confident As A Rapper?

This is normal, especially when you’re just start performing at live rap events. Having confidence is a crucial part of being a rap artist. You’ll need to find one thing to focus on so that you can gain confidence on stage. If you naturally have confidence, then this shouldn’t be a problem for you, but if you’re an introvert, then you’ll need a little more help.

I have a blog post about how you can be confident during your rap performances so you should go over there and read more about it. You’ll quickly learn about the dos and don’ts of performing live and what you need to do to gain a boost to your confidence.

  1. How do i Stop Making Mistakes When Rapping Live?

Everyone fears making mistakes, be it artists, dancers, cooks, and the most famous of singers and rappers. You shouldn’t have to worry about making mistakes because everyone makes mistakes. We’re all human and we make mistakes because we are not perfect. You’ll need to keep that in your head, or else you’ll always focus on your mistakes and not the amazing live rap performances you’ll be giving the crowd.

One way to get this out of your head is to kill your self-doubt. If you don’t keep out the negative thoughts in your head, it’ll be seen and will be very obvious to the crowd watching you each and every night.

  1. Insecure

Maybe you’re insecure because you think your skills are sub-par, or maybe because you’re afraid of all the eyes staring at you in the darkness. Or maybe you just don’t think too highly of your skills and compare yourself to famous and the top artists on the billboards.

Stop comparing yourself to everyone around you. Your only competitor in everything is you and your mentality. You should bring yourself up instead of putting yourself down because you don’t think you’re as amazing as Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, etc. Only you can do the things you do because you are you.

  1. Don't Over think about your live rap performance

Overthinking is one of the most terrible things you could do before you go on in a live hip hop event. When you’re thinking about every little detail that you could blow up, or even thinking about all the things that you should be doing while performing is something you should avoid at all costs.

Focus on your live rap performance, and not think ahead of the moment. You’ll stumble and fall on your own feet if you continue to think about what you should do next. “Should I jump here? Should I run over there?” These are thoughts that you should not be thinking about. Better yet, you should be thinking about your hip hop lyrics and your songs in your set.

Now that I’ve told you guys about the things that you might be nervous about, let’s go into what you should be doing to get those butterflies out of your stomach.

  1. Collaborate With Other Rappers. Learn From Your Piers

    One way to gain confidence is to break out of your shell. Being more social means that you can interact with more people much more easily. If you start going out to talk with other rappers that play live. Collaborating with other rappers that are just above your level, will help you to stay focused and gain encouragement from.

    But don’t be overly friendly, or you’ll come across as something much more sinister.

    Start working on song with other hip hop artist's. Then when they carry out a live rap performance they might ask you to come and perform at their rap gig. This is the perfect way to dip your feet in to live rap performances, if you haven't performed live before. 

You should be able to come out of your shell so that you can be more open with your audience whenever you perform live, because they’ll see that your friendly enough to get close to them and aren’t afraid to be interacting with them during the show and maybe even after the show.

If you plan on interacting with your fans after the show, always thank them for coming so that they feel appreciated and will be sure to come back for more fun.

  1. Practice Your Live Rap Set In Front Of smaller Crowds like {Universities, College Shows Small Venues}

Practice is key. You should practice your whole live rap set repeatedly until you either perfect the whole thing to heart, or feel confident enough to take on a medium sized crowd. If you have enough time, why not practice your whole live rap set list the whole day before your event so that you can feel much more accustomed to your set and to the flow of the whole event.

The best way to do this is to practice until you make no errors. If you have a 45 minute set, practice the whole set until you perfect it completely. If you have a 50 minute set, practice the whole fifty minutes, but make sure to take a few breaks here and there. You’ll need rest too, so don’t overwork yourself.

Again, this is the most crucial part of being a rap artist. If you aren’t confident enough in your ability to be an amazing live performer, then you can’t be confident in your own music that you’re promoting during your live event. It will be both a terrible show for the fans and for you, and you might even lose fans in the process.

Confidence is always key if you suffer from stage fright as a rapper. We tend to make fewer mistakes when we’re confident. Obviously, it’s never a good idea to be overly confident, so make sure to know where the sweet spot is. Ignore anything negative that comes to mind or even happens during the event. It wouldn’t be a good idea to worry about forgetting your rap lyrics while you’re already rapping to your audience, right? But, mistakes happen. Don’t worry too much.

  1. ​Downplay the situation.

You should be properly prepared in this case. Rap stage fright is always a mental battle, so instead of trying to gain control back physically by trying to hype up the crowd and running around the stage, it’s much easier to pretend that the event isn’t a big deal and you should be thinking about it as a typical day in your life.

Pretend like you’re just walking down the street, or maybe think about you singing in front of your family and friends. Just let things go as they’ve been going so that you don’t seem like you’re being affected by the situation. It’s when things start getting to you during the live is when people start to notice your mistakes.

  1. Record your raps when you are practicing.

This is very helpful if you think you’re making a lot of errors. While you’re practicing your set, you should be recording yourself so that once you’re done, you can play it back and listen to yourself.

If you feel like there are things that you can change then you can practice and record yourself again until you feel like you’re at the point that you, yourself feel is an amazing show.

You can choose to do this even when you’re not going to perform so that you can slowly learn more about yourself and the things that you should and shouldn’t do during a live and grow from the mistakes you made and might still be making.

Having familiar faces in the crowd is a good idea to do especially when it’s your first time performing in front of a large group of people. You’ll be able to focus on giving your family and friends a good time and in turn, giving your audience a great time during your live.

Another way to have your family and friends help is by practicing a live rap performance by performing in front of them. They can then give you some useful feedback so that you can incorporate it into your actual live performance. You can even invite your friends over for karaoke night.

This will easily boost your confidence and your fans will enjoy your shows much more if you’re enjoying yourself.


      It’s completely natural to be scared. Even the biggies get stage fright every so often. But the one difference that you can do apart from everyone else that has stage fright during their own live, is that you can have fun and relax. You should be able to enjoying your time and your crowd’s cheering just because you’re not thinking too much about the negative things.

  1. Exuding confidence as soon as you hit the stage is going to get your fans cheering loudly from start to finish. It’s easy to spot when a performer has the jitters as soon as they get on stage, so make sure to leave a lasting impression that will benefit you for the whole show.

    To have the fans still feel your confidence until the end of the show, thank them for coming and let them know you’re grateful for having them stay until the end of the show. With this, you not only come off as confident, you also come off as humble and you show your audience that you care about them.

If you’re having fun, it will reflect in your actions and your fans will be enjoying their time much more. Doing a live performance isn’t that different from doing rap freestyles in front of a smaller crowd of people. The only difference is that there’s a stage, a microphone and some speakers.

Don’t think about the people judging you, because remember that they came here to watch you perform, so that means they already enjoy you and your music.

!WAIT! Check Out

"The Rap Lyricists Handbook

Click to play

"The Rap Lyricists Handbookis not just another book to skim through. It's a powerful resource designed to be your go-to companion on your journey to rap mastery. 

With 250 colourful pages of curated advice, practical exercises, and proven strategies, you'll have everything you need to create hit songs that resonate with your audience.

This Over-The-Top Offer Expires Completely In:


You missed out!

Daniel Hartnett Admin
About the Author Dan Hartnett

My aim is to create a songwriters hub of information, my plans will also include information from other songwriters and rap artists on how they create their work and the skills they have acquired over the years in the music industry.

I hope you enjoy the Blog from Dan - The Admin

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