How To Rap Like Eminem For Beginners
In today’s article, we’re going to give you five easy steps as a beginner to learn how to rap like Eminem.
As a lifelong fan of Eminem in addition to having coached rappers from around the world for more than five years now…
I’m confident that the content here will be a helpful and easy to follow guide for you to learn how to rap like Eminem whether you’re just a big fan of his music or a beginning rapper yourself.
So, if you have ever wondered the very fundamentals of how Slim Shady has created such an illustrious career, this is the article for you.
Now, before we begin be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, “How To Rap” with notifications because we drop weekly videos breaking down many of the greatest artists in Hip-Hop history, how they create their art, and how you can too…
…And if you’re interested in becoming a professional rapper yourself, be sure to check out our 6-week artist development course “Rap Tycoon”, where I’ll show you how I went from my Mom’s basement to a world-tour just from rapping… more info on that can be found HERE.
Beginner To Expert In 5 Steps
Now, as we start this process, I want to make sure you’re able to get the most value out of this article…
…So we’ve organized this article as a “countdown” with the hardest content at the end, so be sure to stay for the whole article…
So that you are able to follow along the journey of information on Eminem and go from beginner to expert, hopefully, just through the content of this video.
With that being said… let’s start with number 5 and then work our way to the most advanced topics on Shady.
#5 Background Sounds (“Ad-Libs”)
The first thing that will instantly make your music sound more like Eminem if you’re trying to learn how to rap like him…
…Or if you’re a fan that wonders why you’re so fascinated with his tracks…
…Is to understand his usage of background noise, known as “ad-libs” in order to “fill out the track” of his rap songs.
“Ad-Libs” As Background Noise
An easy way to think of an ad-lib is that it’s noise or voices in the “background” of the rap that helps either fill out the “dead space” of the instrumental or helps ENLIVEN the content of the main rap.
So, if Eminem for example references a chainsaw in a song – which he does very often – when you listen to his rap, double-check if you don’t actually HEAR a chainsaw in the background. You usually will.
If Eminem mentions his daughter Haley… which again he does very often… check again and I bet you’ll hear a baby’s voice (and sometime HER actual voice) in the background.
Those are known as ad-libs.
Almost as common if not more common than having sounds in the background of his raps, Eminem always makes copious use of actual VOICES as ad-libs.
“Ad-Libs” As Background Voices
The most common version of this is where he will create a “character” or reference a celebrity and then have a vocal “impersonation” of the character or celebrity in the background.
Three very useful tracks to see this in action are:
- “Guilty Conscience”
- “My Fault”
All throughout those tracks, he is having “characters” like the girl in “My Fault” or the many characters of “Guilty Conscience” and “Criminal” to “act out” the lyrics he’s saying in the main vocal.
NOTE: If you need some more definitions on common rap industry terms like “ad-libs” to help expand your knowledge of professional rapper lingo, check out our free “How To Rap Dictionary” by clicking HERE… it’s got over 100 free definitions…
#4 Voices and Characters
Which brings us to step #4… adding impersonations and characters in your rap.
It is more common for rappers to just have their “main voice” be the vast majority of the track.
In contrast, Eminem is constantly “acting out characters” whether that be an actual celebrity…
…Remember the many Christopher Reeves impressions he did…
…Or somebody Shady completely made up like Ken Kaniff.
If you want to utilize a similar style to Eminem, you’ll have to work on your ability to create different voices, practice accents, and how you think somebody would sound if they had the job you’re describing such as The Preacher on “Criminal”.
What adding voices and characters does for Eminem’s raps is that add an audiovisual component into the rap that many other rappers lack.
If I am describing as a rapper a fight I had with my wife, and I just simply rap the story in my own voice…
…It can be very powerful… but if, like Eminem, I actually have her “saying” things in the song, as he did with his wife on “Kim”, it becomes much more visually compelling…
…And when I say visually compelling I mean it makes it easier for the audience to visualize the actions being described in the rap.
#3 Hyper-Visual Lyrics
Eminem does this by describing situations in a way that other rappers would just say what’s happening…
…He actually takes the time to “flesh out” the situation visually.
An excellent example of this is from the second verse of “Criminal” where he describes a bank robbery gone wrong.
Most rappers would simply say something simple and direct like, “I’m pulling off a robbery and ain’t nobody stopping me”.
Eminem delivers a hyper-visual set of lyrics that paint a picture so vivid it could be in an actual movie…
…I’ll underline the hyper-visual parts for emphasis:
“Windows tinted on my ride when I drive in it
So when I rob a bank, just run out and dive in it
‘Cause I’ll be disguised in it
And if anybody identifies the guy in it…
…I’ll hide for five minutes…
Come back, shoot the eyewitness
Fire at the private eye hired to pry in my business”
So, as we see here, Eminem is not simply saying the “I’ll rob the bank profit and shoot anybody who stops it”…
…He really takes the time to visual expand how exactly that robbery looks like and what characters would be involved in that process.
#2 Internal Rhymes
Now, another thing that quote we just discussed uses extensively is “internal rhymes”, which is one of the more advanced techniques Eminem uses throughout his career.
If you notice in the first two lines… “Windows tinted on my ride when I drive in it, so when I rob a bank just run out and dive in it”…
Rather than just rhyming “drive in it” and “dive in it” he is also rhyming “ride” with “drive and dive” and “tinted” and “in it”.
These are called “internal rhymes” which essentially means rhymes that correspond with the last rhyme of each bar…
…Which for the purposes of this video simply means “line of rap”.
So, if you are beginner and you are only rhyming one word per bar, or line of rap… you’re probably behind the ball when it comes to rhyming at an advanced level like Eminem.
You should practice increase the amount of rhymes you can fit in a bar to make the rap more layered and sound more complex.
Another quick example of this would be the very first lines of verse one of “My Name Is”…
I’ll underline the internal rhymes to make it clear…
“Hi kids! Do you like violence?
Want to see me stick nine inch nails through each one of my eyelids?”
Notice that the “hi” in “hi kids” also rhymes with the internal rhyme of “like” in “like violence”…
Which already rhymes with “nine inch” and “eye lids”!
So, the extensive use of internal rhyme will help you increase your ability to keep up with Shady in the rhyming category.
#1 Multisyllable Rhymes
…And so with this we land on the most advanced concept of this article and probably the skill Eminem is MOST known for Hip-Hop history…
…His ability to utilize “multisyllable rhymes”, or as we often call them, simply “multi’s”.
Going back to our example from “My Name Is”, notice how in the line “hi kids, do you like violence?” He is not only rhyming “hi” with the first syllable of “vi” in the word “violence”…
He is also rhyming “kids” with the second syllable “-lence” of the word “violence”.
Similarly, “nine inch” has TWO syllables rhyming with “eye lids”… which stays on the same rhyme scheme.
So, in essence, rather than just rhyming ONE syllable at a time, like most beginning rappers do…
…He is rhyming MULTIPLE syllables at a time, which adds to the complexity of the rap as a whole.
Now, Eminem has made an entire career using this tactic going back to his first underground album, Infinite, so we won’t spend the whole article on JUST this one topic…
…But rather I will point you to a article where we DO breakdown the entire process of making your own multi-syllable rhymes by clicking HERE…
5. Background Noise
4. Voices and Characters
3. Visual With Rhymes / Cues
2. Internal Rhymes
1. Multisyllable Rhymes
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