If You Wanted To Learn How To Rap and Didn’t Know How To Start…
In today’s article, we’re going to discuss what I would do if I wanted to learn how to rap…
…And maybe even become a professional artist…
And didn’t know where to start.
I’m doing this article because someone who’s been rapping for over 15 years now and more specifically coaching rappers from around the world for more than half a decade…
I’ve seen a lot of people in the community feeling confused by what are the best steps to start their journey and rap…
…And with so many videos from myself and others, sometimes it can get overwhelming.
So, if you’ve wanted an easy-to-follow guide on how to start rapping and learning how to do it to a point that you could go full-time…
…This is the video for you.
Now, before we begin as you read, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, “How To Rap” because we drop weekly videos that introduce you to the world of learning rap and becoming a rapper…
…And if you’re ready to start your journey in rap RIGHT NOW, be sure to check out our 100% free “How To Rap Dictionary” which will give you the top 100 words EVERY aspiring rapper MUST know to become a full-time artist.
1. Have A Clear Idea of Why I’m Starting
The first thing I would do if I was brand new to rapping is have a clear understanding what ARTIST, SONG, PERSON, or PERSONALITY TRAIT inspired me to do this at all.
The reason this is important is that learning rap is SERIOUS creative work like any other artistic endeavor such as becoming a Picasso-level painter, becoming a world-class Elon Musk level engineer, or becoming a Lebron James-level player.
I wouldn’t want to fall into the trap of believing just because there are examples of “rich rappers” who aren’t very good…
…That that means I SHOULD approach this like a joke.
The fact of the matter is outside of just rhyming words together over a beat, becoming a rapper requires a level of discipline from consistently going into a studio, performing raps in front of crowds of people from 10 to 10,000’s, beat selection, song structure, and MUCH MORE.
Even the most lyrically simple rappers have a ridiculously full schedule that requires a level of discipline that I would understand I need to be prepared.
The only way in my personal opinion I’d be able to maintain that discipline is to have a very clear understanding of WHY I want to learn rap and why I’ll enjoy it.
Did An Artist (or Song) Inspire You?
A very common way to get interested in rapping is to have an artist or song that helped inspire you to want to try it yourself.
Ideally, this would be somebody that I was OBSESSED with… not just mildly interested.
Obsession is important because it needs to be a controlling enough thought in your brain that it makes you want to PUSH THROUGH the self-doubt and “pain period” of early rapping enough to make you keep going and become closer to that artist or that song.
Did Someone You Know Personally Inspire You?
Another useful thing to anchor yourself to is maybe the first time you saw somebody freestyle off of the top of the dome, heard somebody’s song, and saw somebody win a rap battle at school, etc.
It’s always good to have real-live in examples of people rapping and doing it well outside of just famous artists, so that you can see that you don’t have to be from MARS in order to become a rapper.
The truth of the matter is that music marketing is designed to make artists seem UNATTAINABLY cool in a way that makes you feel like you can NEVER reach them.
We’re talking about high fashion clothes, world tours, the most epic Instagram photos, etc.
If you only have THOSE as examples as a rapper… you might feel like you can NEVER be as cool as those people.
If, on the other hand – you’ve seen somebody REGULAR rapping well or performing something you feel like is OUT OF THIS WORLD like freestyling…
You’ll believe that YOU, another regular person can do it too.
I know in my personal experience I can remember when I was around 9-10 years old, I saw an “older kid” (I’m talking like 12-13) freestyling in a car and I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. That helped pushed me to want to learn.
Do You Have A Personality Trait That Works Well With Rap?
Look – I’m a person that loves words. I obviously write these articles and shoot these videos. I have an English degree in college, etc.
In hindsight, this personality trait really has helped me choose “rap” as my favorite genre even though I like other ones.
Knowing this about myself makes me more and more interested in learning rap.
If you have musical experience, a cool voice, or something else that really would help in your rap journey, it’s great to have a clear understanding of that going in to help your self-belie
2. Start Blocking Off Time To Rap
Over the last 6-7 years of coaching, one of the biggest difference makers I see between people who “get it” and start actually getting good at rapping…
…And the people who fail or never progress…
…Is that the people who get good SIT DOWN, START WRITING (OR RECORDING), AND DON’T STOP UNTIL THE RAP IS DONE.
On the other hand, people who hit me up for coaching and start the convo with, “Well, I start writing a rap… but then I get stuck, and I just stop…”
They almost never get good because the truth of the matter is they are only practicing STOPPING… they’re not practicing RAPPING.
I call these people “start stoppers” because what they do is they START writing a rap…
…But at some point they just STOP and then just go back to their regular life.
The funny part about these folks is that they will sign up for coaching and then they will ask…
“Any tips on when you just get stuck and STOP rapping after you started?”
…And I always answer, “They are no TIPS and TRICKS to when you just GIVE UP. You push through it like ANYTHING in life. Are there any tips when you want to get muscles, you go to the gym, and then after picking up ONE weight… you go home? No. There are no tricks. You PICK UP MORE WEIGHTS.”
Solution: Block Off Time
The solution to this problem is to start blocking off time where you’re doing nothing but rapping. It can be 30 minutes to start and then grow to an hour and more.
The reason to do it this way is that you will have some kind of consistent thing to TRACK so that you can see yourself improving and speeding up over time as you get better.
When you first start this process, it will be slow, somewhat difficult, and tiring, but overtime you will notice yourself being able to write faster, think of better rhymes in that amount of time, etc.
In science, they call this a “constant variable”. It basically means when you are doing an experiment, you want to eliminate the number of things that are CHANGING on each experiment so that you can TRACK very specific things.
So, for example, if you were trying to experiment to see how good you were at shooting free throws in basketball…
…And each time you shot the ball, you changed the WEIGHT of the ball…
…One ball is the perfect weight, one is really heavy, one is deflated, etc.
It would mess up your experiment because that “variable” – the weight of the basketball – would be changing so much you’d have no idea how good you are at SHOOTING.
The same goes with rap. To lower the chances you don’t know how well you’re writing…
…Set a SPECIFIC length of time you will write and then judge your progress based on that steady measurement.
3. Spend Most Of Your Time With Other Rappers
The last thing I would do is start “hanging out” with other rappers.
Now, because of what’s going in the world, it might be harder to find other rappers to link with in person.
With that in mind, I would suggest finding out internet communities full of rappers and people learning rap to help compare and contrast your style to.
In fact, right now How To Rap is working on one of those communities, so one of the best ways to go about this is sign up for our free dictionary mentioned at the top of the article and with that you’ll get access to our newsletter so when we announcement the community you can join.
Click HERE to get the dictionary and join the newsletter.
In any case, the reason to spend a lot of time with other people who are learning how to rap is that you will, much like step #2, begin to see the act of rapping and learning how to rap as more normal.
If you’re anything like a lot of the people I’ve coached in the past, you probably have people in your life who discourage from learning how to rap or find it kind of a daydream.
If that’s the only type of people you are speaking to, you’re going to find it difficult to feel like this is a good decision or a normal piece of life because you’re only talking to people who find it odd.
So, if I was starting over again, I would just surround myself with other people who are REALLY into rap as well.
That will help with the component of obsession that we talked about in the beginning.
What this all really comes down to is a mixture of obsession and tracking.
You want to track your progress so that you feel like you’re growing and improving…
…Which will help with becoming obsessed enough with this rap thing enough to get good…
…And then by surrounding yourself with people and a clear vision of what inspires you…
…You’ll become more obsessed and be more disciplined when it comes to tracking yourself and your progress.
This “positive cycle” will help propel you in self-belief and action to a put that you will start getting REALLY SCARY good, and then the other more fun parts of rap like making money, gaining fans, and feeling proud of yourself will start to come naturally…
…And feeling like we’re improving and feeding ourselves from this music thing is the whole goal right?!
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