Learning how to rap can be a difficult process, IF you are forced to learn the hard way. Lord knows I did.
What aspiring rappers miss out on is someone who breaks down the fundamentals for them. After all, if you want to learn to play basketball, you gotta learn how to dribble, shoot, pass, set picks, etc.
The same is true when learning how to rap. You've got to learn rhyme schemes, battle skills, vocal technique, how to count bars, songwriting, false development, hooks, recording methods …
In the words of Keanu Reeves: "Whoa."
Here are a few points for those learning how to rap:
1. Exercise. I can almost hear you now: "Say what! Exercise will make me a better rapper! Look at Biggie, Big Pun or Fat Joe … THEY did not exercise at all!"
True. However, exercise will help strengthen your lungs, which brings you from gasping for air while rapping. Outkast used to go jogging and practice their songs to make sure they could make it sound tight on stage. Think about it … How often have you seen someone live and been completely unimpressed with their performance? In order to rap, you need air. You can not get much more fundamental than that.
2. Strengthen your voice. Rappers are meant to be heard, not seen. Before your freestyle or record a song, do a simple warmup. I've created a 14 step vocal warmup, but that's outside the scope of this article. You will notice a difference in the quality of your voice if you try humming at different pitches. Make sure you feel the vibration in your chest when warm up, then try to keep that feeling when rapping. Trust me, this does wonders …
3. Ice cream. Yep. So many rappers grab the top of the mic (thinking that it makes them look cool) only to muffle their voice. Remember: hold the microphone like an ice cream cone (do not touch the "ice cream") and you'll sound like a pro.