Eps 5: How to have a better rhyming vocabulary for your rap songs

Oppressed Dynasty Entertainment Show

Host image: StyleGAN neural net
Content creation: GPT-3.5,


Sean Brown

Sean Brown

Podcast Content
The best way that I found for getting my head in a rhyming place is listening to lots of rap songs you enjoy. You can find Rap songs using all kinds of different beat patterns and structures, but if you are starting out, stick with basics.
To a certain extent, the way you go about writing your rap songs is going to depend on which lane you are in -- lyrics vs. vibes vs. both. Having several verses with two different rhyme schemes may add complexities to your freestyle rap song. I am going to begin with one example so that you get a feel for how you can use different stanzas and rhyme schemes.
That is, there are lots, lots of ways of writing out rhyme schemes, like alternating them , or rhyme 4-6 lines of the same word . One way to rhyme words that do not rhyme is to write out the words themselves again in order to keep the rhyme.
The 3-line S-Rhyming Scheme puts a rhymed word at the beginning and the end of the two lines, with no inner rhyme. To make your lines slightly more complicated, you could put the third rhyme either halfway through one of the bars, or in the second beat.
A really interesting way of doing that is to begin a bar with the previous bars rhyme, then finish that bar with another rhyme scheme. For this to work, you have to make sure that the first and last lines of the bar are different. This is a neat trick that I often use in cutting off one part of the bar in order to let listeners hear where a rhyming rhyme is relative to other parts of the bar.
You could experiment with the various possible rhyme schemes, and it sounds damn cool when the end rhymes all begin with the same letters. There are tons of songs out there that intentionally avoid using the end rhymes at specific places, and it sounds awesome. Try using compound rhymes where possible -- rhyming multiple-syllable words together, or rhyming a single-syllable word with multiple-syllable words, etc.
Always try to come up with fun/cool ways of saying words, so that you can rhyme them together with words that are not actually meant to rhyme together. Then, find the main words you use often in your writing, and try to think of as many words as possible to rhyme with those. Then, you can simply map out the idea of your song with the potential words/phrases that you might use, and then work them into the flow of the song that you are freestyling.
Eventually, lines that you love come together to tell the whole song, and it can be a good way to practice your rhymes. You do not want to just write a line just to have rhymes in it -- you get to say something that moves listeners along, deeper in the song. If you are trying to BE IN THE BEAT, and have crammed too many words into the line, it is going to fall outside of the musical bars, and sound sloppy.
If you cannot fit as many words as you would like into the bar, cut a few out or say things in different ways to make them fit. If you want your verses to add some shit a few things here and there, just to make you rap better.
Nothing you write is ever going to be perfect, but once you get a rap that you are happy with, then start practicing it out loud. To begin writing good lyrics, you need to put on a beat that juices up your brain and starts thinking up crazy rhymes. If you are trying to match your pre-written lyrics with the instrumental, start with the words that are part of a rhyme scheme, and as you are catcalling, put this word on about the 4th beat.
Start with one word and then scat as you are including sounds from words that you want to rhyme. If you continue doing the same exact perfect syllables that fit into each rhyme scheme, the scheme becomes predictable and dull. To counter that, you can either play around with different rhyme schemes each verse to indicate growth, or use similar ones to show there is no growth.
Your rhymes may be straight up to the beat, or syncopated, meaning a little bit off-beat or displaced. Some rappers first outline their songs in paragraph form, and then they will write their songs and rhymes in accordance with that overall framework. Most rappers these days will find a beat online they are comfortable with, then begin writing their lyrics on that track.
In rap music, the most common rhyming occurs via slant rhyming, which involves rhyme words sounding similar, but are not the same. This is incredibly common in rap, as how the words are said/sung makes them sound a lot more alike. In both rap and poetry, flawed, tilted, near-rhymes are used so that artists can be freer.
Even in his best-known, most pop-friendly track, The Show Goes On, Lupe finds more space to make rhymes out of words that do not connect. While the vast majority of rappers opt to rap like this, those that go a more poetically risque route, creating rhymes from words that have no connection, show a higher level understanding of the language surrounding their art.
Even the most common rhyme schemes--the smaller poems added together create the complete, four-line verses of most rap rhyme schemes. The reason this rap song contains such an easy chorus is that this is an extremely easy rhyme scheme for fans to memorize.
I noticed some of the most successful rap songs start off with the hook -- the catchiest part of the song -- in order to capture listeners attention at the beginning. Your goal is to vary up the pace of your words or your melody just enough to catch a listeners attention.