Complete Guide to Writing Rap/Hip Hop Lyrics

Posted in: Composition by William Campbell on February 13th, 2008 | 27 Comments

A guide to writing hip hop/rap lyrics with instructional pointers to improve you writing abilities.

One of the first things you need to know to be successful at writing hip hop/ rap lyrics is flow. The flow is the rhythm in which your words meet the instrumental. For instance, if the rhythm of the instrumental has a faster drum sequence then your lyrics are going to have to be faster paced, in order for your lyrics to splice well over the beat. One of the best ways to distinguish your flow is to listen to popular hip hop songs, and use a mc flows as a reference. Remember, always be original, and NEVER copy the flow from another song. I’m simply telling you to use the song as a reference Intel you get a feel for how to flow on curtain instrumentals. Another way is trial and error. Write lyrics, and try them on various beats Intel you find one that clashes correctly. To tell that you’ve found the right one just listen, and if it sounds like the rhythm of your lyrics “rides” the rhythm of the instrumental then you’ve found the right one.

Another important skill is rhyme scheme. Rhyme scheme is well, the scheme of rhymes you use through out the song. For example if in your first line/bar the lyrics are “I’m sicc with the mic/, your next line/bar will be something that not only rhymes, but rhymes is the same sequence. Example “I’m sicc with the mic/, I’m in a position to shine./ Notice how the second bar the rhyming is in the same pattern as the first. This is not required but makes the lines/ bars clash together better. In some songs the scheme stays the same throughout the whole song, others it changes frequently. It doesn’t matter whether it changes on not, as long as you use the same scheme for four to eight lines/bars.

The next thing we are going to cover is topic. The topic of the song is what the song is about. In most rap/hip hop songs the key is to stay on topic. This not only makes the song sound better, but makes more sense for your general audience. Remember, the song cannot only make sense to you, it has to make sense to the people listening to it. Also its likely your songs are going to get more listeners if the topic applies to more people then just yourself. Common hip hop/ rap topics usually include violence, murder, theft, narcotics and extortion. Remember that your song doesn’t have to contain any of these in order to be successful. Write about a struggles you deal with in everyday life, or a traumatic experience you had to endure. Something people can relate to that does promote or encourage violence.

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27 Responses to “Complete Guide to Writing Rap/Hip Hop Lyrics”
  • silversurfer September 3rd, 2008 at 7:27 am

    hey i think wat has been written is tyt
    i started writin rthymes since childhood-reason-i was listening to a lot of rap so first thing you need to do is listen to alot of rap and get used to a wide variety and come up wit yo own style
    second rthymes and lyrics
    third flow
    fourth story

  • leslie_nath September 5th, 2008 at 10:54 am

    the article match to the idea of what i thought

  • The chesse man September 22nd, 2008 at 1:33 am

    I like cheese!

  • EL LEON (THE LION) October 27th, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    I WAZ IN A CAR ACCIDENT IN 2007 WHICH BASICALLY ALMOST KILLED ME
    BUT I PULLED THROUGH SUM HOW N IT MESSED UP MY DREAMS OF PLAYIN SPORTS:( BUT DEN MY BOY FABIAN TOLD ME BOUT RAPPIN I THOUGHT A BOUT IT N THOUGHT MAYB I SHUD MAKE A CD WHICH I AM DOIN!! ITS GONNA INCLUDE HOW MY LIFE IZ AFTA I WITNESS DAT TERRIBLE TRADGEDY PPLZ LOOK OUT 4 MY CD LiFe AfTa tRaDgEdY

  • yung rod December 9th, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    i is real talk who ever wrote this.

  • deaundre walker January 14th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    yo man yeah i get it but i try to and it work sometimes yeah i got a song out alread its on my myspace i got two so im going to give them to you its deaundrewalker1@yahoo.com and the other one is deaundre_walker@yahoo.com so hit me up man

  • arthur January 20th, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Writer needs ti improve spelling and there is no word called multies. Bad advice

  • Anonymous January 23rd, 2009 at 5:02 am

    yo arthur, i think you’re the one needing some spelling lessons, bro.
    so watcha watcha watcha want?

  • lil mark February 4th, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    all yal suk

  • the guy that is cool May 14th, 2009 at 10:07 am

    im cool
    o yea

    u aint all that and a bag of potato chips

  • C.4.P May 30th, 2009 at 10:17 am

    ths is rly cool man. Sometimes i encounter difficulties wen writing lyrics.. any 1 who wanna hook up wit me email zeeakacox@gmail.com

  • Jay See Official June 12th, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    to the person who said multies isn’t a word, well it’s a multiple rhyming skeme like what eminem mostly uses and now T.I., rappers call it multies for short though,,, if you can use multies well enough it can turn the average day rapper into a lyrical beast, also metaphors are a real important part too, combine multies with metaphors and you will have an insane flow,,, but if you use like or as it’s a simile not a metaphor, i rap and my music is everywhere on the internet just google me, JAY SEE OFFICIAL

  • CASPER July 8th, 2009 at 9:53 am

    U ARE ALL FOOLS

  • AChild August 19th, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    can i get a better example of a “multi” other than the one on the authors pages cause im just not really understandin’ what it is….

  • AR420 August 26th, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    hit hoes
    split nose
    piss goes
    listen holmes
    my prison home

  • Lil J September 3rd, 2009 at 11:16 am

    honestly as a recognized rapper i feel this article is useless. If you need someone else to tell you how to rap, then you shouldn’t be rapping, straight up. your either born with the flow or not.

  • Jay See Officia September 6th, 2009 at 12:04 am

    i rap too so i mean it’s always good to get someone else’s view on stuff wit the whole music thing… i agree that u can try all you want but if you don’t have the certain spark then you won’t be nothing more then someone tryin to be somethin he ain’t… i use multi’s in some of mine but i mostly use the rhythmic style with breaks and speed and etc… otherwise i use high vocabulary sorta how Nas does.

  • dj Andy Rave October 16th, 2009 at 2:37 am

    im tweaking my 808’s ,i got dat boom boom fo dat ass
    hit me up all u so called MC’s, lets make a milli …….

  • flygrow November 22nd, 2009 at 10:19 am

    this is really helps me.
    but sometimes its hard to write a good lyrics also flow at the beat,
    coz i have made a lot of beat and still dun get the flow man..

  • Poet March 23rd, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Metaphors don’t start with like or as. That’s a simile.

  • peter April 5th, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    iono mehn stil kinda confused ma tone aint always flowing sometimes dnt kno wen 2 change flow nd rhyme.hook me up on ma email.peterelosia@rocketmail.com

  • patty April 12th, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    no, multies is a proper term in writing raps. Don’t critisize on a topic you don’t know about.

  • ASHTON FERGUSON May 30th, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    yo i need some help i can’t flow.hit me up at ashtonferguson14@yahoo.com

  • Slick ~13%er~ June 13th, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    This is bullsh*t…
    Dumbest stuff ive ever read…

  • red spyda September 23rd, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    i also have difficulties in writing a reasonable lyrics,but am just trying hard to learn 4rm you guys
    big up

  • JaySeeOfficial January 8th, 2011 at 2:10 am

    sorry about the whole metaphor simile thing. i knew it was one of them, anyways like people in earlier posts have said, you are either born with the talent or not, yeah if you arent born with it you can try to develop a flow but it’ll never really admit to much, when you produce a beat if it’s hot then you can flow to it, if it ain’t then delete it or better yet send it too someone who can. that’s the only advice i can give you but if you want more tips hit me up jayseeofficial@live.com

  • smoke January 30th, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Ive choked necks
    Str8 broke necks
    Homie im a fuckin wreck
    i hear voices in my mind
    all of the time
    Tellin me to commit heinous crimes

    Freestyle. Just fuckin around

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