7 Rap Flow Secrets That Show How To Rap Better
In today’s article we’re going to demystify rap flow by giving you 7 simple truths about how long it should take…
What will make learning rap flow easier…
…and how to improve the chances you’re MASTER it.
We’ll organize this in a rapid fire format so that you can learn a lot about rap flow QUICKLY and get back to writing, so…
…If you’ve been struggling to master rap flow and want to make sure you stay motivated with in through 2020, this is the article for you!
Now if mastering rap flow is your MAIN priority right now, don’t forget to subscribe to our “How to Rap” YouTube channel by clicking HERE because we drop two videos a week on rap flow, starting a rap career, and all things how to rap…
…And be sure to check out our “God Flow Bootcamp” three-hour rap flow course where we’ll break down EVERYTHING related to mastering a rap flow in one day, more info on that can be found HERE.
Rap Flow Truth #1: You DON’T Have To Be “Born With It”
One of the most demotivating things you read in comment boxes of some of our How To Rap videos is people saying “You’re either born with it or you’re not”…
…Usually when I look these people up they either
- DON’T make music at all and are just talking nonsense
- HAVEN’T coached anyone to rap in their life (whereas I’ve coached 1000s)
- DO make music and it’s terrible
The fact of the matter is that music, rhythm, cadence are not NATURAL evolutionary skills the way that like running or something is.
…That doesn’t mean that some people don’t PICK IT UP quicker than others, but it means that you don’t have to believe if it’s DIFFICULT for you at first, that you won’t master it.
Rap Flow Truth #2: Learning Simpler Flows Then Building Up Is Best
I don’t know if I’ve ever admitted this before but the real way I learned rap flow was from 2Pac.
I spent about two years writing rap and somewhat inherently knowing I was off beat but I couldn’t figure out what the problem was until I started listening to 2Pac alot…
…And I noticed his bars always ended roughly at the same spot, and his verses felt very organized.
As I studied more I realized that he was organizing his rhymes and “flow” into a simple, to follow structure that I could emulate and then pepper in more complex flows as a got better.
After making that realized I was able to “ride” the beat easily after only a few months.
If you are struggling with staying on beat, one of the best ways to learn is take a simpler, old school rapper and master THEIR flow and then you can speed up.
You can even hear the development of rappers like Eminem in this way.
If you check out his early Infinite album or even up to Marshall Mathers LP… his flow was much simpler, and as he kept rapping even as an adult… he became more complex over time.
If you keep rapping you will ALSO speed up but you first must master a simpler flow to “learn your way around a beat”…
…Then you can expand your repertoire.
If you want to speed up that process even more, we have a free rap flow techniques playlist that you can check out by clicking HERE where we’ll walk you through how to choose a flow for a beat, counting out, and much more.
Rap Flow Truth #3: Write To The Beat Or Your Flow Will Sound Wack
This is another common debate I get into with beginning students.
I didn’t even think this was an actual issue until I began taking on clients and overtime I would notice certain clients’ flow would sound FULLY out of sink with the beat…
…When I asked them what they were doing they would often say, “I wrote the song and then found a beat I liked” as opposed to WROTE to the actual bed of music…
…This does NOT work when you are learning how to rap.
The only way you can get away with it is when you are already an advanced rapper and you have a simple “internalized flow” that people can make beats TOO…
…But if you are just learning HOW TO RAP you will need to first master how to organize your syllables and cadences TO beats provided.
So I would say for the first one or two years of your rapping, be sure to write to the beat or your flow will sound wack.
Rap Flow Truth #4: Playing A Musical Instrument Helps
If you have ever reached any skill level of a musical instrument… it will DEFINITELY help with your rap flow.
The reason being that learning instruments requires some of the same rules of meter, tempo, and rhythm that flow requires and having coached 1000s of rappers over the last half decade…
…The people who always “get flow fastest” are people who have played an instrument before.
Most specifically, people who have played drums.
One of our earliest videos was called, “What is rap flow?” Where I defined rap flow as “drum patterns in word form”.
I still stand by that definition, and funny enough at the time I had NO idea that people who had drum experience would be the students of mine who would learn the fastest…
…Now if you’ve haven’t learned drums that’s okay, all instruments help, but if you are currently a student I would suggest PAYING ATTENTION in music class even if you don’t go the whole way and learn an instrument.
Rap Flow Truth #5: Going Off Beat Too Much Is Like Double Dribbling
Occasionally you get people saying that they just “rap off beat” ‘cause that’s their style… or that they don’t want to sound to stiff…
…To me I’ve always thought that going off beat is like double dribbling.
You can say you’re playing basketball but truth be told nobody will want to play with you after awhile ‘cause that’s basically not the same sport.
The reason I bring this up is again you should learn how to handle a beat and stay on properly and THEN you can mess around with going off beat occasionally as a stylistic choice.
Rappers from Jay-Z to Drake to Nas OCCASIONALLY going off beat to make a point but it’s not the main WAY they are rapping.
So don’t lean on the “it’s my style” excuse. When rapping, be sure to write to the beat.
Rap Flow Truth #6: The More You Write The Easier It Will Be To Hear When You’re Off Beat
This is more of a motivating point.
On top of learning from the 2Pac style of a simple flow then converted into more complex bars, as a I wrote more and more and recorded more and more I began to tighten up HEARING when I was off beat.
Often I see a lot of new rappers come in for coaching and I notice that they are struggling with flow issues…
…and the first thing I tell them is simply keep writing and recording more and more because even just the reps in the gym will help them know when they’re off.
Recording in addition to writing is an important point though: you need to be forcing yourself to rap the words out loud in addition to what you write so that you can hear when you’re “bunching” the words too much and sliding in and out of beat.
Rap Flow Truth #7: Prewrite Your Breaths Into The Flow
This should be it’s own article and it will be at some point, but overall yet another thing I learned from 2Pac was that you should be writing in spaces for you to breath when you are deciding on your flow.
A lot of beginning rappers are just writing extra long bars with no spaces and wondering why they’re running out of breath.
Part of the reason for that is that they’re not PREWRITING their breaths into the rap, and it’s making it hard to flow properly and stay on beat.
So, write with the breath in mind as you tighten up your flow.
Let’s review the 7 truths that we learned about rap flow today:
- You DON’T Have To Be “Born With It”
- Learning Simpler Flows Then Building Up Is Best
- Write To The Beat Or Your Flow Will Sound Wack
- Playing A Musical Instrument Helps
- Going Off Beat Too Much Is Like Double Dribbling
- The More You Write The Easier It Will Be To Hear When You’re Off Beat
- Prewrite Your Breaths Into The Flow