How To Write A Chorus For A Rap Song (Fast!)

How To Write A Chorus For A Rap Song (Fast!)

In this article, we’re going to explain some of the easiest ways for learning how to write a chorus for a rap song. 

We’ll provide you with two examples for each concept to help you write better raps based on MAJOR artists such as Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and many others… 

…We’ll also give you practical tips for each one so that you know how to write better rap lyrics in record time. 

Feel free to return to this article any time you’d like so that you can always know and remember how to write a chorus for a rap song anytime! 

Our “How To Write A Chorus For A Rap Song (Easy!)” YouTube Training

Overview

“Now Do” Chorus

The first chorus type we’re going to explain to help you write better raps is what we call a “now do” chorus.

This type of chorus is used when giving an order or a command to the audience or listener

These are very effective when making songs that have a hard, edgy, or crowd-based concept associated with them. 

We’ll use Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble and J. Cole’s “A Tale of Two Citiez as examples of this to help you along when learning how to write better rap lyrics.

“Talk To” Chorus

The second hook style we’ll explore is the “talk to” chorus. 

This is where you’re using a conversational tone of voice in your chorus to help draw the listener in… 

…Imagine what you say in a conversation to write a chorus of this type. 

Eminem’s “Cleaning Out My Closet and Drake’s “Best I Ever Had are excellent examples of the “Talk To” Chorus.

“Wide View Chorus” 

One of the best ways to learn how to write better rap lyrics is practicing how visual your lyrics can be. 

With the “wide view” chorus, what you’re doing is find a common, but LARGE visual image to paint a picture for your audience in the hook. 

You can think of Kanye West’s “All of the Lights or Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind as great usages of the “wide view chorus”. 

Write Better Raps Like Kendrick
Kendrick’s Humble uses the “Now Do” Chorus

Write Better Raps Using The “Now Do” Chorus

The “Now Do” chorus is best explained by imagining how you would ORDER or COMMAND your target audience to take an action. 

You can also think of how you would tell your opponent or enemy what to do in a tense situation to help you consider how to write better rap lyrics using the “Now Do” chorus.

A great example of this is Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble”. 

In the hook for this song, he is addressing an egotistical opponent or enemy and COMMANDING them to “now do” something… in this case, BE HUMBLE!

“Sit down… be humble!

“Sit down… be humble!”

When thinking of how to write better raps in developing your chorus abilities, consider creating an imaginary opponent or enemy in your mind to address in the chorus, as Kendrick Lamar does here.

Similarly, you can simply address the audience and order them to take an action. 

This is one of the most common ways rappers have done things since the beginning of time… you remember the old “put your hands in the air, and wave ‘em like you just don’t care” line, don’t you?

J. Cole himself uses the same tactic in his banger, “A Tale of Two Citiez”:

“Hands in the air now!

Hands in the air! RUN IT!”

Additionally, J. Cole creates an enemy that he is address in the line before, much like Kendrick did in “Humble”

“I pulled up on my n****a at the light like…

Nice watch! RUN IT!”

In this way, J. Cole uses both the imaginary opponent AND commanding the audience components of the “Now Do” chorus. 

How To Write A Chorus For A Rap Song: The “Talk To” Hook

The second option for learning how to write a chorus for a rap song easily is to use the “talk to”, or conversational, style of chorus. 

In this case, your goal is to write a chorus that uses the EXACT words you would say when address the subject of the song. 

Eminem uses this tactic with expert effectiveness on his classic ballad, “Cleaning Out My Closet”

“I’m sorry, mama…

I never meant to hurt you

I never meant to make you cry…

But tonight, I’m cleaning out my closet”

Essentially what Eminem has done here is use almost the EXACT words he would say when apologizing to his mother for the contents of the song.

How To Write Better Rap Lyrics Like Eminem
“Cleaning Out My Closet” Uses The “Talk To” Chorus

You can do this yourself as well: 

You can write down some of the words you said in the interaction you’re basing the song off of, and then format them into a flow and melody that helps fit the track.

On a lighter more romantic note, Drake uses the same tactic in the chorus for his first major hit, “Best I Ever Had”:

“Baby you my everything… you all I ever wanted

We could do it real big, bigger than you’ve ever done it…

You the best I ever had”

Drake is again use the exact same words he would say to a woman that he’s romantically interested in for the lyrics of the song.

Consider using the conversational tone of a “Talk To” chorus when learning how to write better raps in your choruses. 

How To Write Better Rap Lyrics: The “Wide View” Chorus

Another notable tactic in chorus-writing with rap is to take an image that describes the scenario the song illustrates and make that the main concept of the chorus.

In “All of The Lights”, Kanye West (through Rihanna’s singing) uses the images the best nightlife possible… cars, stars, lights, etc… to describe a beautiful life lived:

“Fast cars, shooting stars 

All of the lights

Until it’s Vegas everywhere we are”

By simply listing wide view images of the lifestyle, any fan can instantly put in their vision of success and fun along with the lyrics of the track. 

How To Write A Chorus For A Rap Song Like Jay-Z
Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” Uses The “Wide View” Chorus

Jay-Z (through Alicia Keys’ singing, in this case) uses the same sort of thing in his #1 single, “Empire State of Mind”

“In New York, 

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of 

There’s nothing you can’t do

Now you’re in New York…

These streets will make you feel brand new

Big lights will inspire you…” 

What better way to describe a larger-than-life city than to take a wide-view lyrical lens and cover the entire image that the audience thinks of when describing New York?

When you think of New York, you definitely imagine… concrete, lights, streets, and so on. 

The “Wide View” chorus is great when thinking of how to write better raps on a topic that seems “too big to handle”!

Conclusion

Some of the easiest ways to learn how to write a chorus for a rap song is to choose one of these three options:

Write A “Now Do” Chorus

Command or order the audience (or your opponent) to do something in the chorus.

Examples: 

  • Kendrick Lamar – “Humble”
  • J. Cole – “A Tale of Two Citiez”

Resource:

  • Hit Records, Hot Beats” Song Structure and Beat Selection Masterclass (access after you fill in your email)

Create A “Talk To” Chorus 

Write a chorus that has a conversational tone with the words you would literally say to the person you’re talking to

Examples: 

  • Eminem – “Cleanin’ Out My Closet”
  • Drake – “Best I Ever Had”

Resource:

  • Hit Records, Hot Beats” Song Structure and Beat Selection Masterclass (access after you fill in your email)

Do A “Wide View” Chorus 

Describe 3-5 images that encompass an entire “wide view” of the song topic

Examples: 

  • Kanye West – “All of the Lights”
  • Jay-Z – “Empire State of Mind”

Resource:

  • Hit Records, Hot Beats” Song Structure and Beat Selection Masterclass (access after you fill in your email)


COMMENT BELOW: 

Which is your favorite style of chorus? 

Drew Morisey, @drewmorisey on Instagram and Twitter

3 thoughts on “How To Write A Chorus For A Rap Song (Fast!)

  1. What’s up my man, like the video, here today to pick up where I left off, like the concept, and the brake down,

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