9 Signs That You’re Getting Better At Rapping
In today’s article, we’re going to give you a little bit of motivation for these trying times by describing 9 specific signs that you’re getting better at rapping.
Over the last decade and a half of rapping and half decade of COACHING rappers, the signs I’m going to list seem to be the most common indicators that someone is really “getting it” when it comes to improving their rap skills…
…And the best part is everyone of these signs can come at ANY point in your experience level, from beginner to advanced as an artist.
Now, before we begin the BEST sign you’re getting better at rapping is (of course) being subscribed to our YouTube channel, “How To Rap” by clicking HERE because we drop weekly videos on everything related to learning to how to rap…
…And being sure that you’ve checked out our brand new course “Song In 60 Minutes” where we’ll show you how to write an unlimited number of professional rap songs, basically on command, in one hour or less by clicking HERE.
9. You Wake Up In The Morning With Original Music In Your Head
I wanted to start off with this because it’s a really good sign that you’re getting somewhere with this rap thing regardless of your “skill level” as an artist.
When I began taking rap more seriously, I began to notice that when I woke up or started daydreaming, choruses, entire lines of rap, or even “beats” would just pop into my head while my mind was wandering.
I think the reason for this happening is that once you’ve been rapping a lot and “restructuring your brain” to THINK IN MUSIC…
…Your mind starts to get into a “hyper creative” mode where you now create music almost automatically without “trying”.
I use the word “original music” in this sign because it’s important to know that you should be hearing YOUR ideas for music stuck in your head as opposed to just waking up with somebody else’s song on the radio stuck in your head…
…Because everybody even musicians get popular songs stuck in their head.
But if YOU get YOUR music stuck in your head… that’s an AMAZING sign you’re getting better at rapping.
8. It’s Hard To Focus On Conversations Because You’re Thinking of Rhymes
This is somewhat similar to #9, but the difference is that it’s more rhyme focused and it’s a sign that lyrically you are starting to advance from beginner to intermediate.
Intermediate and advanced rappers have again “restructured their brain” through repetition and drilling to think of rhymes QUICKER than a beginner.
One of the main signs of BEING a beginner (or out of practice rapper) is that thinking of rhymes is harder than someone more experienced.
So, if you are someone that can create QUICKLY and AUTOMATICALLY even mid-conversation, it’s a great sign that you are getting better as a rapper.
Eminem is notably on the record as saying that he often struggles to focus on normal day-to-day conversation because his gut reaction is to think of a million rhymes based on the last thing a person looking at him is saying.
Now, no pressure here by telling you this story for you to have the expectation you need to be a “zoned out on rhymes” as Slim Shady, especially not right now, but understand that many of the GOAT level rappers have a mind that have been REWIRED to think in rhyme form.
So, if you find yourself thinking that way, that’s a great sign you’re getting better at rapping.
7. You Can No Longer Listen to “Famous Rap” The Same
Building on #8’s point about making it hard to focus after you’re getting better at rapping…
After I started writing rap more regularly and really became “immersed” in the obsession to become an expert rapper, I could not listen to rap songs without thinking about the fundamental components that it takes to become a professional artist.
To this day whenever I’m in a club or a social event where there is loud rap music playing, I definitely struggle (much like Eminem with the rhymes) to focus on whatever conversation I’m having because I’m subconsciously trying to follow the order of the song and if I can’t “steal any ideas” from that track…
Even while I’m out in public.
So, are you a person that yet subconsciously picks out the fundamental components of great rapping while listening to the music?
Fundamental components like great song structure, unexpected rhyme choice, and witty lines.
Just to break how this might feel a little bit…
When it comes to great song structure, it’s a sign you’re getting better at rapping when your first gut reaction on hearing a new banging track, “That’s a FANTASTIC chorus, let me listen more intently to how they structured it and why they decided to place it in that particular part of the beat”.
The reason this would be important for you to hone in on is because every great rapper makes a very focused decision on WHY to place the chorus in a certain place to improve the chances it comes off as “catchy” to the audience.
Additionally, having unexpected rhymes and witty lines also helps the song to come off as “original” and something new and fresh to the listener.
So, the better that you get at actually paying attention to the song’s fundamental components as a REFLEX, the more likely you are at getting better at rapping.
6. Friends Introduce You As A Rapper
This is a HUGE sign that you are improving as a rapper.
A good analogy might be if you starting going to the gym to get “swole”… the first few weeks nobody would notice any difference, even if you did…
But after you’ve put in enough time and consistency… you’d start to hear comments like, “You look like you go to the gym” or “Hey man, do you work out?” Or even your friends would start saying things like, “I’m just trying to get swole like you…”
A very similar phenomenon happens when you start getting better as a rapper. Eventually when you are dope enough, your friends will say things like, “This is so and so my homey… he is a rapper… you should check him out…”
…Or probably the BEST example is when, if you’re a MALE watching this… your male homies tell a hot GIRL that you are a rapper..
‘Cause that’s pretty much shooting himself in the foot game-wise if he makes YOU look cooler than him to a girl he’s interested in, be he can’t help it ‘cause you’re getting better.
Overall if you get good enough as a rapper, eventually people will WANT to brag about knowing you because it will make THEM look better for being your friend…
…So watch out for that sign.
5. You’ve Played Music For Your Family And They Actually Brag About It
This one is a bit tricky because of course we all know family members who NO MATTER WHAT will want you to be a doctor or lawyer…
…So you need to experiment with this with a large number of family members…
But look, after I took music very seriously and had been doing it for years, I can remember my stepfather coming down to the basement while I was making a song and he looked like I had just discovered GOLD in the basement.
Even if there isn’t an overt statement by the parent or family member that YOU’RE GONNA MAKE IT…
…Look for the signs of increasing interest in your devotion to rap as you get better and better at rapping.
Pro-Tip: Make a few tracks that are more family friendly to entice them to support you. That may mean a track that literally has no curses, but if you’re from the East Coast of the USA like I am, cursing isn’t a dealbreaker… but regardless, make some tracks your fam will likely think is cool to help along with this process.
4. Friends Ask You To Rap At Random Points
This is another common occurrence once you start to become pretty good at a rap.
Similar to friends introducing you as a rapper to make themselves look cool, when you are getting better at rapping they’ll ask you to rap at parties, when y’all are chilling, or whatever.
Essentially what has happened is your rapping has gotten to a point that it’s something of VALUE you to OTHERS…
…And that’s really the first waypoint you want to reach in order to really call yourself a rap “artist”.
Often as a coach when people ask me about marketing secrets, branding, or how to make money from rap…
…I have to slow them down and explain to them the first thing they need to make sure of is that their music is something of VALUE to the PUBLIC because no amount of marketing will promote something people don’t want.
I can put two scoops of dog doo doo into a Louis Vuitton purse and try to sell it you as a gift for your girlfriend, but I doubt she’s going to want to because dog doo doo is of no value to her.
Marketing is the Louis Vuitton Purse, bad music is the dog doo doo. So make sure your music is of value to others.
3. You Find Famous Rappers You Think You Can “Take”
This one can get a little dangerous because we ALL know delusional rappers who think they’re better than everyone else…
…But if you start hearing songs in the radio often that you know HOW the rappers made it, HOW they thought of the rhymes, HOW they structured the songs, etc.
That’s a good sign you’re getting better.
NOTE: There is a crucial difference between THINKING you’re better and KNOWING how to do what they do.
You can THINK you’re a better boxer than Floyd Mayweather and still get beat up. If you know how reproduce Mayweather’s moves in a boxing ring, you are starting to get better at boxing. Same thing here.
2. You Start Canceling Things To Go Rap
This is another underrated sign that up-and-coming rappers need to take heed of.
Of the people who come to me for coaching, something like half of them think I as the coach should be “motivating them” to go rap.
That’s not how art works. John Lennon didn’t need to be “motivated” to pick up a guitar. Picasso didn’t need to be “motivated” to pick up a paintbrush.
John Lennon IGNORED other things in his life to get better at music. Picasso STOPPED doing other things to make art. I’m sure for those geniuses it became easier and easier to cancel other parts of life once they got GOOD.
Same thing with you: once you start wanting to do RAP more than OTHER things… you are getting better because you are “self-motivated” by YOUR skills improving.
Not somebody telling you that you SHOULD do it.
1. People Start Asking If You Have Music For Sale
I saved the most common sign for last.
Most article that cover this topic start with this and I wanted to make sure that I gave you some more original, experienced notes before going with something so OBVIOUS…
…And yes it SHOULD be OBVIOUS that if people are PAYING for your music, you are getting better…
…But again it surprises me how many people try to research marketing, copyrighting, branding, etc. when they have NO evidence anyone wants to PAY for their services…
…Which in this case, your service is music…
So, if you are being asked consistently where people can BUY your music, you are clearly on your way to getting better as an artist.
Be sure to always keep that in mind when your mind is telling you to watch more music marketing tips. The STREETS will tell you when you’re ready, YOU can’t just tell yourself.
Food for thought.
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