RED Hearts: Write Your First Rap!
September 24, 2015
RED Hearts are guest posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today.
Today's RED Hearts is from Zulay Regalado, 26, in Miami, who's not only a good writer, but also a pretty dope rhymer:
I can now say that I have added world-renowned rapper to my resume.
OK, maybe at the moment it’s only office-renowned. But I recently discovered my inner rapper while trying to come up with a memorable way to deliver a message with my team at Clicc Media Inc. Instead of writing a traditional blog post, we wanted something catchy and entertaining. This led us to think, Why not a rap song? It’s a modern form of poetry after all, so you can let your artistic side run wild.
Whether to craft a message at work—or just to crack up a friend—making your own one-of-a-kind rap video can be quick and easy. (Also know that a beautiful singing voice is not required; you can talk your way through this one.) Besides, you’re the director, too. Keep at it till you have a take you’re ready to share.
Here are five simple steps for the starter rapper:
1. Come up with a story and purpose. All the best rap songs tell a story, or at least have a clear purpose. Start out by knowing how your story begins and ends. I once created a birthday rap song for a friend because, really, who doesn’t love a birthday rap song? (This is also a special just-for-you gift idea that they’ll definitely remember!)
2. Find a catchy beat. I chose an old-school hip hop song as inspiration. Not sure how to select a beat? Start by taking your favorite song, rap or not, and mixing it up with lyrics of your own.
3. Write to the music, write in real-time. Listen to the beat as you write. This will help you maintain rhythm—and also inevitably lead to ideas. Write them down as they come to you. If you can’t use a particular detail in the line at hand, it’s likely you can work it in somewhere later.
4. Bust a rhyme (or don’t). Although the lyrics of most rap songs rhyme, there’s no rule that they have to. First, try saying what you want to say without the rhyming element, which might be enough. From there—if you find you’re the kind/ like I’m/ who needs to rhyme/ all the time—you can always use a tool like Rhyme Zone to help.
5. Memorize! Learn it, own it, practice it before you turn your awesome song into an awesome video. You can even show off your new talent by putting on a show for friends. (Bonus points if you can bring someone else in and they challenge you to a rap battle.)
Please, take inspiration—or at least laugh, lessen your beginner’s intimidation—from my debut effort here. Promise to remember you all when my future album goes platinum.