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How to Write a Rap Song


Career of a famous hip hop artist starts with one good song. Easier said than done, huh? Unlike stupid pop songs that can consist of as little of several simple lines, a rap song is all about outstanding lyrics, catchy beat, and perfect manner of rapping. Of course, there is no one-fits-all formula for writing awesome rap songs, but there are some common tips you may find useful. If you feel like writing your first rap song, feel free to use some advice.



Beat&lyrics relation

Rap song consists of the beat and lyrics, and it's up to you what comes first. Obviously, beat determines the lyrics and vice versa. Many musicians start with composing the beat and picking the subject matter depending on it: if this is a fast tough beat the lyrics would be more aggressive; if it's slow the topic would be kinda sad.


Make the beat

Next, you want to pick the beat. There is an eternal question: what makes the song: the beat or its lyrics? The vast majority of people agree that beat is a primary element. It defines the mood and the soul of the song, so you need to do a good job picking your beat.


First verse

Most rap songs are 16 bar verse and 8 bar chorus (most of the time there are 4 bars repeated twice). You want to start with the first verse. It's the opening part and it should be really catchy and hook your audience from the very first tunes. It should grab your listener's attention, especially if the song doesn't start with the chorus. Basically, you can change the manner of the chorus and use the same words but in a different key. Usually, people who don't know you will play the song, hear the first seconds of beat, then the first lines of rapping, and if it's not spectacular, they would just skip it.


Second verse

The second verse repeats the structure of the 1st one and continues the subject line. You want your song to have at least 2 or 3 verses broken by the chorus. The typical semantic structure of a rap song is the Who, the What, the When, the Where, the Why, and the How.



Chorus is the nuclear part of the song, and that's where you should do a really really good job. It should be really catchy and melodic, you want a listener to whistle it all day long.


Practice rhyming

If you are new to rhyming, practice as much as you can. Rhyme random words and phrases during the day just to get more confidence. And besides, you never know when a good rhyme can come into your head - why not in the toilet? Use compound syllables when you rhyme. When you rap, try to be fast, but not faster than the beat of course.



Most rap songs are begun with an intro and finished with an outro. Write both after the actual song is written. You can't introduce something that doesn't exist. So, make it short, witty, and not too clustered.


  • Don't be caught in being lyrical and saying nothing.
  • Don't get stuck on one definite word. Sometimes you may want to use some definite word that you think is really perfect for the situation and really powerful, but it doesn't have enough syllables (or has too much syllables) and doesn't fit into the line. In this case, you may try to find a synonym or, alternatively, edit the neighboring lines to make it fit.



And finally, do it from the bottom of your heart. People are very sensitive to fake, so be sincere and rap about something that's close to you at the moment. Don't try to write songs about something that's you think is cool but you have no experience with.

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