I'm forever learning and that's why I'm always able to create new styles and new dimensions of hip hop. - Doug E. Fresh
There are different types of music genres which have had their time of popularity in the music industry. However, there are some music genres which have successfully been in the limelight for quite a while now. One good example to be considered here can be of hip hop music. The hip hop music trend has been existent since the 1980s. Also called rap music, it basically consists of vocals which are simply sentences recited in a rhythmic and melodic manner. Since there is no specific way of singing a rap song, mastering the skill requires a lot of practice and determination. Besides, composing a hip hop song is even more difficult, as you need to decide on the lyrics, beats, and especially the flow. Below is an explanation on writing hip hop song lyrics, assigning beats, and setting the song structure.
Writing Hip Hop Songs
Writing hip hop lyrics is not at all an easy task. One essential requirement to write a hip hop song is to have a great vocabulary. The main difference between writing a hip hop song and a standard song is that you need to add more words to a hip hop one than a normal song. This is because you have to accurately fit in and match sentences in a beat. You need to set a theme for the hip hop composition, as the lyrics would completely depend on it. Rap songs with vaguely written lyrics would not be worth listening to. Therefore, you need to decide on a theme which may be associated to any aspect of the society, a story, a personal experience, or any other inspirational subject.
Rap songs certainly sound good when the lyrics are in rhyme. You might have observed this in many of the songs from professional rappers. After you have decided on the main point of focus in the song, you need to decide on the lyrics. Take a note of the end word of every line, since this would be where the rhyme would connect. You can think of a wide range of rhyming patterns such as 'AABB' or 'AAAA'. In the AABB rhyme scheme, the last words of the first two lines would rhyme, with the same rule going for the last two lines as well. Whereas in the AAAA rhyme scheme, all last words would sound in rhyme with each other.
Deciding on the Beat and Rhythm
Decide whether the song would be fast, slow, or at a medium pace. You can use the Beats Per Minute (BPM) function in the keyboard for doing so. After you have set the tempo, it is time to decide on the rhythm. Choose any kind of rhythm you find suitable to the groove and theme of the song. Choosing the rhythm would be easy at this point, since by now you might have thought of how the song will go rhythmically. The next step would be to divide and arrange lyrics into the selected rhythm. Here, you have to pay attention to two main things. First, the end should be in rhyme according to the rhyme scheme, and second is the sentence should get over before or at the end of the bar or a part of the bar.
Adding Music to the Song
Now it's time for some music! Nowadays, you will find hip hop songs using heavy sound effects and drum beat patterns. Since it is your first time writing a rap song, it is better if you stick to not too solid effects and rhythms. Start the song, and choose a particular scale, which can be a major or a minor. Find out chords as you change the tune of the rap. If you are not comfortable with this, you can ask for help from a musician. Once you are well set with the basic format of the song structure and chord structure, you can move on to adding sound effects. You can include scratching and beat boxing and various synth effects to the music to make it fuller. Synthesizers are useful instruments for selecting musical pieces and effects for hip hop songs.
Setting the Final Flow - Verse, Chorus and Bridge
After you're done with the lyrics, rhythm, and music; you can set the flow to the whole song. The flow of the song includes a particular arrangement of the verse, chorus, and bridge. Traditionally, songs start with the verse and then move on to the chorus, coming back to the second verse and then shifting between the bridge and chorus. Since this is a hip-hop number, you can start the song anyhow, either with the verse or the chorus. But distribute the number of verses and the chorus appropriately. The flow also depends on the number of verses you have to sing. For example, if you have six small verses, you can set the chorus after every two of them. In case there are just three, you can sing the chorus after every verse. You can set the bridge at the end of the song.
A good and complete hip hop song is composed by syncing together the lyrics, rhythm and tempo, sound effects, and music. Just for the sake of practicing, you can write a song with a 4-lined verse and chorus and add simple music and rhythm. This will give you a fundamental idea of how to go about with the whole composition process. The most important things to write a rap song are having a decent vocabulary and creativity, and basic knowledge of music.