How to Rap : The Art and Science of the Hip-Hop MC

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  • Edition: Original
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 12/1/2009
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press
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Examining the dynamics of hip-hop from every region and in every formmainstream and underground, current and classicthis compelling how-to discusses everything from content and flow to rhythm and delivery in relation to the art and craft of rap. Compiled from the most extensive research on rapping to date, this first-of-its-kind guide delivers countless candid and exclusive insights from more than 100 of the most critically acclaimed artists in hip-hopincluding Clipse, Cypress Hill, Nelly, Public Enemy, Remy Ma, Schoolly D, A Tribe Called Quest, and will.i.amunraveling the stories behind their art and preserving a wealth of the genre's history through the words of the legends themselves. Exhaustively detailing the many complex aspects of rappingsuch as utilizing literary tools and devices to strengthen content, battling, imagery, similes, metaphors, analogies, slang, performing both live and in the studio, word play, controversial content and punchlines, and constructing beats, singles, and freestylingwith emphasis on enunciating and breathing for unique vocal style, this remarkable book will benefit beginners and pros alike with its limitless wealth of rapping lore and insight.

Author Biography

Paul Edwards holds a master’s degree in postmodernism, literature, and contemporary culture from University of London and has done extensive research on rappers and their creative processes, musical theories, and lyrics. Kool G Rap is one of the most influential MCs of all time, with Eminem, Jay-Z, Big Pun, R.A. the Rugged Man, and many others citing him among their influences. Frequently on “greatest MCs of all time” lists, he has appeared on tracks with numerous artists, including Eminem, Nas, AZ, Mobb Deep, Busta Rhymes, Big L, Ghostface Killah, and Canibus.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. vii
Introductionp. ix
Content Topicsp. 3
Real-Life Contentp. 5
Fictional Contentp. 9
Controversial Contentp. 10
Conscious Contentp. 14
Club/Party Contentp. 19
Content Formsp. 23
Braggadocio/Battling Formp. 25
Conceptual Formp. 30
Story Formp. 34
Abstract Formp. 37
Humorous Formp. 38
Content Toolsp. 41
Imageryp. 42
Similes, Metaphors, and Analogiesp. 44
Slangp. 47
Vocabularyp. 50
Wordplayp. 56
Punch Linesp. 58
How Flow Worksp. 63
The Flow Diagramp. 67
Beats and Barsp. 68
Syllables and Stressed Syllablesp. 70
Fitting the Lyrics to the Beatp. 71
Restsp. 73
Overlapping Barsp. 75
How Is the Flow Diagram Useful?p. 76
More Examplesp. 78
Rhymep. 81
Perfect Rhymep. 82
Assonance (Vowel Sound Rhyme)p. 84
Alliteration and Consonancep. 86
Compound Rhymes (Multisyllable Rhymes)p. 87
Coming Up with Rhymesp. 92
Rhyme Schemesp. 95
Types of Rhyme Schemep. 99
Extra Rhymesp. 103
Number of Rhymes in a Barp. 104
Rhyme Placementp. 107
Rhythmp. 111
Coming Up with Rhythmsp. 113
The Pattern Diagramp. 116
Patterns of Rhythmsp. 118
Restsp. 127
The Writing Processp. 133
Researchp. 134
Ways of Writing Lyricsp. 139
Places to Writep. 152
Times to Writep. 156
How Long Does It Take?p. 157
Writing in One Go or in Piecesp. 162
Keeping or Changing the Processp. 165
Beats and Freestylingp. 167
Writing With or Without the Beatp. 167
Picking Beatsp. 174
Rapping and Producingp. 177
Freestylingp. 181
Structuring, Editing, and Selecting Lyricsp. 185
Song Structurep. 185
Editing Lyricsp. 197
Selecting Which Lyrics to Usep. 201
Selecting Singlesp. 204
Writing with Other Peoplep. 211
Writing in a Groupp. 213
Guest Verses and Other Short-Term Collaborationsp. 220
Ghostwritingp. 227
Producer Writing Inputp. 231
Vocal Techniquesp. 239
Breath Controlp. 239
Enunciationp. 244
Vocal Stylep. 246
Taking Care ofYour Voicep. 260
In the Studiop. 263
Reading or Memorizing the Lyricsp. 264
Practicing the Vocalsp. 269
Deciding Where to Breathep. 271
Guide Vocalsp. 273
Recording over Several Takes or in One Takep. 274
Number of Takesp. 280
Doubling Up and Ad-Libsp. 282
Further Editing the Lyricsp. 283
Producer Vocal Directionp. 285
Performing Livep. 289
Confidence and Showmanshipp. 293
Using the Mic and PA Systemp. 294
Rocking the Crowdp. 295
Being Spontaneous, Improvising, and Freestylingp. 300
Adding Something Extrap. 302
Working with a Hype Man, DL or Groupp. 303
Learning from Other Artists' Performancesp. 305
Rehearsingp. 305
Final Wordsp. 311
Interviewed Artistsp. 315
Indexp. 335
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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