See guys, being a rapper is a calling, you don’t force it, it’s not about going to studio or spitting some “bars” anywhere you go. Read this piece and know what being a real rapper means. RAP means Rhythmically Applied Poetry, it is not just a genre, it’s an art, therefore there are certain rules, laws and basic factors that guide and determine how good at the art you are. Based on this, i have gathered the most popular factors that make a good rapper.
1. Lyrical Content: Figures Of Speech It’s a lot of words filling up each 16 bars. The content in there and construction of these words are a half of what makes up a rapper’s style. Messages in a song’s content could be best expressed artistically through figures of speech like similes, metaphors, word plays, hyperboles, etc. In hip-hop, these are referred to as “Punchlines”.(And note: No be every jam must get punchline inside, don’t force it). A rapper don’t necessarily have to master all figures of speech, but being highly skilled in at least two puts you on a higher pedestal than rappers who drop lame lines (straight sentences).
2. Content/Subject Matter: Staying In Context On Songs Some rappers you’ll rate as “wack” are actually good, problem they have is they stray on songs too much! The ability to pick a topic for your song and perfectly deliver on it without straying to other topics just to beef up your content makes you a master of the art.
3. Delivery: Flow/Clarity/Diction This is what makes up the second half of a rapper’s style. Having a rap delivery that is unique to you is what gives you your own niche and identity. If your flow is top-notch, diction is exemplary and you’re clear enough for your audience to hear? That’s a good rapper!
4. Versatility A rapper that can bend in numerous directions and still be original is bound to hold your attention a lot longer than one who is rigidly facing just one direction, because the possibility of him boring you is slim when he’s able to switch from for example, story-telling to battling, to flossing, to love-rap, to party-rap, etc. A versatile rapper can be featured a hundred times, on different songs from different genres, by any kind of artistes, and still deliver without sounding like he was struggling or sounding too rigid on the song.
5. Commerciality In business-environments/record-label-offices, this comes before anything else. It’s not so respected in hip-hop but at the end of the day, it’s a rule we all have to obey. In business, you don’t put money on a product that won’t yield returns, so why should anyone put money on an artiste who isn’t connecting with his own market? The ability to keep it real and still be able to sell your music is what cements your status as a successful rapper.
6. Sound Some really gifted rappers have come and gone without having so much to show for it. This isn’t because they’re not good, but because they kept spitting on the wrong beats! The beat is the foundation on which the song lays. It’s mostly the first thing that catches your ear/attention so if it not the right one for the song, it can neither connect the way it should nor stand the test of time. Selecting the right beats for songs is a step in the right direction but the big picture itself is not just selecting the right beats but selecting the right beats all the time! That’s how you create your own sound.
7. Originality Rap music is a conscious genre which relates directly to people and what they go through, therefore most times the kind of songs you make are a reflection of who you really are. How much of yourself do you put in the music? Or perhaps how much of things you feel the people want to hear do you put in the music? Yes, you should be able to make money by finding a way to commercialize your sh*t but then when you’re all about what the people want to hear rather than what you feel within you, you don’t stand for yourself therefore don’t deserve to have a following.
8. Longevity One hit single don’t make you a good rapper, neither does one good album/mixtape. The ability to go from one album or mixtape to the other and still maintain or even surpass the standards you’ve set for yourself on all the elements of being a good rapper as listed above, is what makes you a rap LEGEND.