How To Come Up With A Second Verse In Rap

How To Come Up With A Second Verse In Rap

In today’s article we’re going to help you conquer one of the most annoying aspects of being a beginning rapper or somebody who is relatively new to writing rap regularly: 

This issue of how to come up with a second verse in rap. 

Now, here at Rap Game Now we call this concept, the “Verse 2 Blues”.

Verse 2 Blues is the times where you’ve found a beat you love, came up with a great first verse and chorus, but then you get stuck on verse two. 

Often this is because you’re nervous about making the second verse as good as the first…

…Or the beat is programmed in a way that confuses you on how to handle the second verse, or any other number of concerns you have about finishing the whole song. 

With that being said, let’s give you some rap song ideas and break down some simple steps you can use learn how to effortlessly know how to come up with a second verse in rap. 

Our “How To Come Up With A Second Verse In Rap” YouTube training!

NOTE: Before we begin, be sure to subscribe to our How To Rap YouTube channel by clicking HERE because we drop weekly videos on how to come up with the most original rap music possible… and if you’re serious about upping your songwriting this year, check out our free video course “The Top 20 Songwriting Secrets of Professional Rappers” by clicking HERE

Step 1: Be Mentally Prepared 

The first step when facing the verse 2 blues and wanting to know how to come up with a second verse in rap is to know that it is extremely common for beginning artists to struggle with this. 

When I first started rapping over 15 years ago, I would often just write one long verse with no chorus or give up after the first verse, cut the beat off and call it a “freestyle” or “freeverse”. 

(I’m sure many readers can relate to that) 

The problem with this is that you are training your rapping abilities to GIVE UP on perhaps the most important part of the song… especially if you quit before writing a chorus.

As Denzel Washington famously said in an interview, “anything you practice, you’ll get good at” and by giving up before writing the second verse or chorus… you are PRACTICING – in other words – GETTING GOOD AT – giving up. 

Certainly if you have any aspirations to become a famous or even TALENTED rapper, you cannot consider yourself an artist if you’re not writing full songs, so you need to be mentally prepared to PRACTICE getting over the hurdle of the verse 2 blues. 

Songwriting “Blocks” 

Additionally understand that overtime it will become easier and easier to come up a verse 2 quickly if you PRACTICE pushing through it. 

The way that I personally do this is organize my songwriting sessions into “blocks” where my only goal is to come out with a COMPLETED song in a given amount of time. 

In other words, rather than most new rappers who just write rap when they feel like it or wait for “inspiration”, I tell myself “I will sit down for 2 hours and by the end of it, I will have a FULL SONG” done. 

Not 2 hours of just writing random verse… 2 hours of a FULL SONG being created.

The more I do these songwriting blocks of time, the more I am reprogramming my brain to write in FULL SONG CHUNKS rather than stopping and starting by having half finished songs. 

Anything you practice you get good at. Practice finishing songs.

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Step 2: Switch The Flow and Rhyme Scheme From The Start of Verse 1 

One of the fastest ways to “roll into” a second verse both as a writer and performer is to use a different FLOW or rhythm of your words along with a different rhyme scheme. 

In other words, if you start verse 1 using “stacked rhymes” such as… 

“This is VERSE 1, I’m HURT THEM, see what my WORK’S DONE” 

You might consider starting verse 2 with a more simple “end of the bar” rhyme scheme instead of stacking rhymes. 

Or if you started verse 1 with a slow, methodical 2Pac style of flow, you can decide to start verse 2 with a choppier more energetic flow. 

This is one of the main tricks that I use to quick push through verse 2 blues, personally. 

When I feel that I’m nervous I won’t know how to come up with a second verse in rap, I simply replay what I’ve already recorded (or look back at what I’ve written if it’s not recorded yet)… 

…Listen to the flow I’ve chosen to start verse 1, and then think of a different flow that I can use on the same beat to start off verse 2. 

Step 3: Consider Rearranging The Beat 

If step 2 doesn’t work fully for you, you can also consider rearranging the beat into something that will help accentuate a different flow or rhythm for your words than the beat in verse 1. 

This is one of the most underrated tricks I find with new rappers trying to learn how to come up with a second verse in rap. 

Newer artists think they need to be “tied to the beat structure” that was presented to them when they first heard the song on BeatStars or YouTube or another site. 

Look – don’t feel like you have to be the beat’s “b***ch”. You can take charge and rearrange it to something more favorable to the rhythm of words you’ve already written. 

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Being able to choose the best sections of the beat for the song YOU want to write is one of the main components of going from an amateur to professional artist as a rapper. 

Additionally, it’s very common at the elite level of rap production. 

When I did my last album with Purps of 808 Mafia (who notably did a lot of production on Juice Wrld’s last album), I would often tell him that we should move different break downs and sections of the beat to another part depending on how the song I was creating was structure. 

Needless to say he totally understood the desire for that level of creative freedom, and sometimes he would offer his own changes in structure once he heard my vocals.

The last thing I should say on this point, however, is that you need to READ the licenses provided by the producer when you buy the beat (if you plan to buy it) regarding changing the song around.

Some of the lower-level cheap licenses producers give out do NOT allow for changes in the beat, but as you get to higher priced, more exclusive licenses, you can do what you want. But it depends on the producer, so read the fine print on that. 

Step 4: Events, Environments, Emotions (“The Three E’s”)

“The Three E’s” is a concept we came up with a few years back to help rappers with writer’s block come up with new ideas. 

Essentially what in means is that almost every great rap song has either: 

  1. An Event that it’s describing 
  2. An Emotion that it evokes or illustrates 
  3. An Environment it takes place in or is played in 

In fact, often the best songs have all three. 

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Let’s give you a couple examples to flesh this out. 

Let’s say you have a club anthem you’re writing. The beat is your typical 808-heavy club fare. You’ve gotten through verse 1 and your chorus and you love it, but you don’t know what you should say next for verse 2. You’re experiencing the verse 2 blues.

Now, one way to approach this using the Three E’s is to ask yourself what EMOTIONS do I typically feel within a club that I haven’t already described in verse 1 or the chorus? 

Do I feel excited at the fine ladies I see? Do I feel annoyed because the music’s too loud? Do I feel confused ‘cause I’m so drunk?

You can tailor your description to the theme of the song or even better make multiple songs on different emotions, depending on the beat type. 

OR you can think of EVENTS that typically happen in a club, like VIP bottles being popped, DJ’s playing records, etc. 

It’s up to you to pick and choose based on what type of rapper you are and what kind of song you want to make but the main idea is using the Three E’s as a “prompt” to foster new ideas. 

Just to make this abundantly clear… on the other hand if you had a “street banger” gangsta type beat, you could think of the environments that song might be played in like the projects, the corner, etc. and describe them, or the emotions people in the streets feel, etc. 

The Three E’s is an excellent way to break through writer’s block or verse 2 blues, so use it! 

Step 5: Additional Song Sections – Bridge, Post-Chorus, Refrain, etc. 

Our last concept you can use to break through verse 2 blues is consider shortening your verse 2 a bit and placing a different song section that isn’t a verse or chorus at the top of what is normally reserved for verse 2. 

In other words, you can have something like a 16-bar verse followed by an 8-bar chorus followed by a 4-bar BRIDGE and a 12-bar verse 2. 

That will allow you to focus on just writing a nice catchy 4-bar bridge, and then your verse 2 will be much shorter. 

The advantage to this is that you aren’t forcing yourself to think of a super complex verse 2 and thus sort of “postponing” your verse 2 blues, while additionally making your song structure more original and unexpected by having another section.

This is another very common way of handling “what to do with your second verse” as a rapper, and now that you know this trick, you can “hear” when rappers do this at the top of verse 2. 

Rappers who particularly use bridges and refrains to their advantage this way include Kanye West, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and many others, so study their work for more examples…

…And be sure to pick up that free video course I mentioned in the beginning the “Top 20 Songwriting Secrets of Professional Rappers” because that’s exactly the kind of content we cover in that (click HERE to pick up your free copy). 


Conclusion

Let’s review exactly what we covered here today on how to come up with a second verse in rap. 

Step 1: Be Mentally Prepared 

Understand that “verse 2 blues” happen to everybody and the more you practice FINISHING, the easier it becomes. 

Step 2: Switch The Flow and Rhyme Scheme From The Start of Verse 1 

One of the fastest ways to “roll into” a second verse both as a writer and performer is to use a different FLOW or rhythm of your words along with a different rhyme scheme. 

Step 3: Consider Rearranging The Beat 

If step 2 doesn’t work fully for you, you can also consider rearranging the beat into something that will help accentuate a different flow or rhythm for your words than the beat in verse 1. 

Step 4: Events, Environments, Emotions (“The Three E’s”)

Use the Three E’s to come up with new lyrical ideas to spur a creative second verse. 

Step 5: Additional Song Sections – Bridge, Post-Chorus, Refrain, etc. 

Consider shortening your verse 2 a bit and placing a different song section that isn’t a verse or chorus at the top of what is normally reserved for verse 2. 



COMMENT: What’s the fastest time you’ve ever written a full song?

Drew Morisey, @drewmorisey on Instagram and Twitter

3 thoughts on “How To Come Up With A Second Verse In Rap

  1. Am i lil kid just 15 very intrested in rapping i watch a lot your video love it
    A kid in my school name boma he make a song which make him popular and e know nothing about songwriting or rapping i cant just sit down and form raps how will i go about it

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