1. Callous
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    Callous New Member

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    Writing Hip-Hop Lyrics

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Callous, Sep 30, 2010.

    Alright so I'm a fairly new independent Hip-Hop artist. My first album of songs(Which is not released yet) were alright. I liked them but the fact of the matter is I can't rhyme correctly to save my life.

    I can rhyme in general like a rhyme scheme like...

    "I will never get my claim to fame,
    While I am stuck in this window frame."

    In which each word on the end is rhyming with the next or the other scheme where it goes

    Line A
    Line B
    Line C
    Line D

    A Rhymes with C and B rhymes with D.

    What I want to learn how to do is Multi-Syllabic rhymes and other forms of rhymes and just generally improve my rhymes. Lately I've felt like I have so much I wish to write down that might go into my second album(If I release my first) but I simply don't find my lyrics are on par with the level I'm trying to reach using the two most basic forms of schemes. I could just be over analyzing things and being too hard on myself but I just feel I need to improve my lyrics to improve the quality of my work.

    One thing I've been using to try and get better at rhyming in general is...

    I take two pieces of paper. On one I write four words and on the other I write all the rhymes I can think of for those words. Then I repeat with another set of words. lastly I take a look at all the rhyming words decide on a basic flow and try and create a multi rhyme such as...

    "Sick of myself and all I have done today I Part-With-Rage,
    Pick up a pen and let the ideas flow from within Start-The-Page"

    That actually was not that bad for me but I really need to learn to use all the different techniques MC's use. Music is my life at this point and without it hell I don't got ****.
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Callous:

    I certainly can't write poems or hip-hop lyrics or anything like that. Only thing I can suggest is study how some others do it. Are you familiar with Tech N9ne? He uses some rhyme schemes that are quite varied across his songs. If you look on Youtube for songs like Come Gangsta, I'm a Playa, Hope for a Higher Power, Welcome to the Midwest, Black Boy, Midwest Choppers, etc. you'll find a wide variety of rhyme schemes.

    Also, maybe Point of No Return, by Immortal Technique. That has more conventional rhyming than a lot of Tech N9ne, but it does change up a bit and might be a good example.

    Other than studying what is out there, I don't know what advice to offer :)
     
  3. Benevolent Pudding
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    Benevolent Pudding Member

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    Whenever you're alive and awake, make it a point to create a short, two-to-four line rhyme about anything you see; whether it be a banana, a bus, a chair, an old guy, etc. Just make a rhyme about everything you see, feel, hear, taste, smell, etc. and your rhyming ability will improve.

    That, and briefly scan a thesaurus for alternatives to more cliched rhymes that people, and just to have an idea of what kinds of words rhyme with each other. No, I'm not telling you to memorize the entire thesaurus, but in time, your vocabulary, as well as the word pool you can choose from when writing, will increase.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    among other things, i'm a full-time poet, i write song lyrics, and i mentor lots of aspiring poets and lyricists... so if you want help learning how to improve your rhyming skills, just drop me a line any time...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  5. Quorum1
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    Quorum1 Member

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    Can you get a rhyming dictionary? Not to depend too heavily on, just to expand your vocabulary and learn new ways to rhyme.
     
  6. Callous
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    Callous New Member

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    I am currently very poor and I am trying to save up for the recording equipment I need along with a few other things.


    Thanks. I will no doubt hit you up sometime soon :)
     
  7. Benevolent Pudding
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    Benevolent Pudding Member

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    Google has all the dictionary resources you'll ever need. Ever.
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    With writing, you read talented authors to help yourself; if you're a film director, you study film. You can have 1000 dictionaries, thesauruses (thesauri?), or whatever, but if you really want to improve I think you're going to have to study people who are good at this.
     
  9. JZydowicz
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    JZydowicz Member

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    Get to know assonance well. It can give phrases a punch that they wouldn't have if worded otherwise. I'm not an expert on hip-hop, but I do know that many authors have the very refined skill to make their words lyrical. Reading works by certain authors will help you see how to do this, since a lot of the word-based arts borrow from and lend to each other. In particular, I'm thinking of Don DeLillo's Pafko at the Wall.

    Pay attention to how the words sound. Read it aloud, preferably. See how he connects words from sentence to sentence and within sentences (not just words at the end, like a typical rhyme).

    I hope this helps. I wish I knew more about hip-hop lyrics so I could offer suggestions more relevant, but maybe this works.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    here's the free online rhyming dictionary i use:

    http://www.rhymezone.com/
     
  11. JZydowicz
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    JZydowicz Member

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    To clarify, here's a more specific idea of what I'm talking about.

    Opening lines:

    He speaks in your voice, American, and there’s a shine in his eye that’s halfway hopeful.

    Shine and eye are assonant (same verb sound) and halfway and hopeful are alliterative.

    But there's more. Say this aloud several times. Listen to what he does at the end of the sentence. There's a shine - Three quick syllables that slide. in his eye - matches up with the previous chunk. Three quick syllables. Now pay attention to how it changes at the end for the punch: That's halfway hopeful. Five syllables that are slower, more abrupt, and don't blend into each other like the three syllable sections. So it ends up being 3 (fast)-3 (fast)-5 (slow, harsh). Tap your fingers or foot as you follow the beat. If you think this is by chance, it isn't. DeLillo is as concerned with sound as any hip hop or spoken word artist, but here, it becomes invisible.


    Here's more:
    It’s a school day, sure, but he’s nowhere near the classroom. He wants to be here instead, standing in the shadow of this old rust-hulk of a structure, and it’s hard to blame him — this metropolis of steel and concrete and flaky paint and cropped grass and enormous Chesterfield packs aslant on the scoreboards, a couple of cigarettes jutting from each.

    Longing on a large scale is what makes history. This is just a kid with a local yearning but he is part of an assembling crowd, anonymous thousands off the buses and trains, people in narrow columns tramping over the swing bridge above the river, and even if they are not a migration or a revolution, some vast shaking of the soul, they bring with them the body heat of a great city and their own small day — men in fedoras and sailors on shore leave, the stray tumble of their thoughts, going to a game. - Parts of this paragraph sound like lyrics. It doesn't need to rhyme to sound noticeably beautiful.

    The sky is low and gray, the roily gray of sliding surf.

    I hope that makes it a bit more tangible.
     
  12. Conscription
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    Conscription New Member

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    In my opinion no one does this better than Eminem. Study every one of his songs as he has some serious syllable rhyming going on in many.

    Keep in mind that this is incredibly hard to do because you have to find words that first rhyme together but at the same time make sense for a flow of story.

    An example of something I've used is

    Now the matter of fact is
    I don't lack this
    cause I I practice

    I realize its only 2 syllables but study is the only way to find words that meld properly.

    My best would be this

    To do anything I set my mind to
    To set anything to my mind I do

    It doesn't all rhyme buts its identical syllable/bar scheme.

    Here is some research I did for Slim Shady and this is exactly what you are looking for. Study this and it should help give you and idea of what you need to do.

    I’ll puke eat it and freak you, battle?, I’m to weedy to speak to

    The only key that I see to defeat you would be for me to remove these two adidas and beat u and force feed you em both and on each feet is a cleet shoe

    I lift you off your feet so fast with a round house you’ll think I pull the ****in ground out from underneath you

    I aint no ****ing g I’m a canibal I aint trying to shoot you I’m trying to chop you into pieces and each you

    Wrap you in rope an plastic stab you with broken glass and have you with open gashes strapped to a soaken mattress Koke and acid black magic cloaks and daggers **** the planet till it spins on a broken axis I’m so banana’s I’m showin up to your open casket to fill it full of explosive gasses and close it back with a lit match in it while I sit back and just hope it catches blow you to fragments laugh roll you and smoke the ashes
     
  13. JoeyBoy718
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    JoeyBoy718 Member

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    So, you've recorded a complete album, yet you don't know how to rhyme? It's really not as difficult as you're making it out to be, and you don't need 9 different sheets of paper to write a rhyme. First off, since it's music, you have to have rhythm. If you know where the syllables are supposed to hit, you just fill it in with words. I can't believe I'm even responding to this.
     
  14. Conscription
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    Conscription New Member

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    I can't believe you responded either. Instead of giving constructive criticism you've just given criticism. Guy asked for help and it seems to me you don't even have it figured out enough to give him a proper understanding of anything you just said.

    How do you get rhythm? By following bar structure of 4, 8, or 16. I'm still new to this knowledge and their could be more. Maybe 6, and 12?

    Where are the syllables supposed to hit? at the end of bars.

    Also based on the fact the guy mentions he is recording and making albums he obviously knows how to rhyme. He was asking how to figure out syllable rhyming which
    (bar) I doubt you yourself, know how to do beyond simple one word rhymes (bar)
    (bar) I shout to give help, to teach a person due to living in some rude times (bar)

    Then its just a matter of connecting it with the rhythm of the music. Speed it up or slow it down.

    Also I think having pages of different rhymes is an excellent idea but you'll have to pick the right ones to tell a story and there is nothing wrong with reusing simple words to tell a story. Eminem - Kim (Very repetitive ryhmes but amazing story)
     
  15. JZydowicz
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    JZydowicz Member

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    JoeyBoy, I disagree. Yes, rhyming is rhyming, but a lot of the times it's a lot more complicated than that. For example, Dr. Seuss. His books seem simple and his rhymes straightforward. But do you know why they sound so perfect to our ears? He carefully tuned the meter and the syllabic emphasis in each of his poems. He used complex meter schemes like anapestic tetrameter. It's actually incredibly hard to write, and that's why few people have been able to replicate his style. Maybe a reason it seems so easy is because when we hear it, it sounds so smooth and fluid. But really, rhymes and meter are meant to sound pleasing yet invisible.
     

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