Rap songs often come off as effortless, but they actually require a lot of time and effort to write. You need lyrics that are catchy yet real. You also need top-notch rhyme and rhythm. In a way, writing rap is not all that different from writing poetry. If you are struggling to write a rap song, then this wikiHow is for you.
- Let your ideas brew for a while. Carry a notepad around with you so that if you get a flash of inspiration while you’re on a bus, working out, or buying groceries, you can capture the moment and hopefully expand on it.
- If you’re having trouble coming up with something out of the blue, riff off of or respond to a line you love from another rap song. Just don’t copy anything outright or you may find yourself in legal trouble. “Drop it like it’s hot” was originally a throw-off line from a Hot Boys single in the early 2000s, but Snoop Dogg turned it into a huge hit several years later.
- Stay out of your own way. The biggest mistake you can make when you first get started writing lyrics is that you want to “say” something, and force abstract concepts into your lyrics. Be specific. Use concrete words, phrases, and images in your words to keep your idea in the background.
- If you really want to write a rap about something you don’t do, make sure you make them as ridiculous as possible. Buff up the braggadocio; exaggerate to insane levels. Don’t do it often, and not in serious songs, but have fun with it. Be creative.
- Focus on the most memorable lines and images, and cut out everything that doesn’t match that theme, that tone, or that story. If you’re having trouble figuring out what works and what doesn’t, try to rewrite the song from memory, without looking at it. This will act as a kind of strainer–you won’t be able to remember the less effective bits, and you’ll have to fill in stronger material for what you can’t remember.
- The average song will have 2-3 verses of 16-20 bars each, and 3-4 chorus sections of a variable number of lines. Try to aim for trimming down your output to that amount.