Beats! What are they? Whether it is Hip-hop or any other genre, music survives on beats. When a rapper makes his rap song, how well the audience will receive it depends on the number of factors such as beats, rap flow, lyrics, and delivery. For you to rap on the beat, you need to learn how to identify beats.
Why is rapping on beat important? This is a question often asked by people who are just beginners at rapping. Simply put, you won’t be able to engage your audience. Sure! Few rappers have made rapping offbeat their style, but that does not always work. So whether you choose to rap on the beat or offbeat, learning about beats is definitely important.
Staying on the beat may come easily for some people and maybe difficult for others. So the only way to go forward is to practice. Few rules will help you stay on beat and develop your control over it.
Pronounce & Enunciate
Learning how to pronounce and enunciate each and every word in your lyrics is the golden rule. Never mess it up. Practice making your Enunciation smooth like a glider. For rappers, enunciating one word after another in succession is something that needs most practice.
So even if you cannot stay on beat, make sure your enunciation is correct. Do vocal exercises to help you with that.
Fast Beats are Cool!
Yes! They are! But not if you are a beginner. Listen to the old-school rap. They ride on slow beats and their flow change isn’t too drastic but the rap is still phenomenal. So make sure to start with slower beats. Rapping on beat is crucial. Go old school! Listen to Biggie. He is a smooth rapper – takes it slow and still manages to convey his message in the dopiest way.
Let’s say the tempo is high. No need to match the tempo instead do half-time. It will sound better than going off the beat while trying to match the tempo.
Usually, there are 4 beats in a bar for a rap song. Learn to time each bar. Depending on the time you have for a particular bar, decide the speed and the way you will enunciate your words. A certain bar may have more time than another. Depending on that, decide whether you need to speed up your delivery for that bar or slow down and drag out a word or two. Once you learn to manage time, rapping on the beat will become easier.
Who Comes First? – Lyrics or Beats
If you are a beginner, then always go with the beats firsts. A lot of time, new rappers write down their lyrics and then try to place them into a beat. You either get lucky or you will just waste your time. Create few beats and then write down lyrics.
Usually, rappers who write lyrics as well as produce the music for their song, prefer writing the music first and then the lyrics. If you have a concept for your lyrics, write it down but don’t start working on lyrics. Go for the beats. Make them your priority!