Music - The Power of Free-styling in Rap Culture Essay

1609 Words 7 Pages
The Power of Free-styling in Rap Culture

For any avid consumer of hip-hop music, the timeless question of how to judge rapping skills is often brought up. Just as sports fans argue over who are the best players, rap fans argue over who is the best rapper. Instead of comparing touchdowns or homeruns, songs and verses are compared. The two major ways of judging someone's rapping ability are the free style rap and the written rap. Although mainstream, or written, rap does not lend much airtime to true free styling, mainstream rappers are finding a way to combine free styling with written rap.

There is an unwritten rule that all true rappers must possess the ability to freestyle with comfort. The basic concept of
…show more content…
A written rap usually tells a story, or contains metaphors and similes as well as punch lines. The written rap lets the rapper use all parts of their brain to create a great rap verse. In one example of creativity, Nas, a rapper from Queens, NY turned himself into a gun and told a story about his owner and the things he'd seen as a gun. Writing a rap lets the rapper explore their creative side, whereas a free style forces the rapper to keep things very basic. The Notorious BIG, who died four years ago, is known as one of the greatest rappers ever based on his story telling ability alone.

Rap music, is divided into two major sections, the underground and the mainstream. Mainstream artists can be heard on the radio and seen on TV and in movies. Underground rappers are not played on the radio and they usually can't afford to make videos to put on TV. The freestyle carries the most weight in the underground, where rappers are more concerned with lyrical content and true ability. The quickest way to show you have true ability, in the eyes of the underground, is to freestyle with content. Underground rappers value writing just as highly as free styling. For underground artists, their raps are much more personal and self expressive. Underground rappers aren't making their music to sell records; it's more of a pride issue for them. Most mainstream rappers are more concerned with writing a good song that will sell a lot of copies.

Related Documents