I run a small recording studio and therefore I come into contact with a lot of artists of all different types. Because the major genres I deal with are Hip Hop and R&B, I interact with a whole lot of rappers and singers. I myself started rapping at an early age went on to win competitions and awards in my home country, on my way to becoming a producer and audio engineer. Over the years I’ve gained some insight into what it takes to become a better rapper (or singer for that matter), and I want to share a few points here:
- Read more. Sounds basic but it’s important. The more you read, the more you get familiar with words and the nuances of language, enunciation and cadence. These are essential tools for any vocalist.
- This is related to point 1. Expand your vocabulary. Learn more words and what they mean. Especially for rappers, this helps you to have a bigger arsenal when writing or freestyling.
- Stay up on current affairs. Again it’s about feeding the mind so that you will have sources of inspiration and knowledge to draw from. Some of the best lyricists in rap are also some of the most socially aware and intelligent members of the community.
- Don’t practice in isolation. This is why having a circle of like minded individuals around you is very important. Your crew should be able to keep you sharp via friendly competition and constructive criticism. Don’t stay alone in your corner and not expose yourself to other opinions and stimuli.
- Practice a lot and try new things. Don’t settle for doing the same thing over and over again. Challenge your abilities. It’s a good way to grow.
- Vocal training (yes rappers need this too). Not only should you have a vocal coach teach you correct breathing techniques and such like, but you should also take good care of your voice since it’s your instrument of choice.
- Search for and use beats that suit the type of artist you want to be. There are almost infinite resources to choose from, especially when buying beats online, so listen through your options and choose what sounds and feels right.
I know that was a mouthful but I felt as though it needed to be said. Here’s to better music and better music careers for all of us!