All of the successful hip-hop artists had to find their unique style, and if you want to find success in hip-hop, you will need to find your unique style.
Hip-hop music has become a global phenomenon over the years, and it’s easy to see why. The infectious beats, clever rhymes, and unique style of the genre have captured the hearts of millions worldwide. But with so many aspiring rappers trying to break into the scene, how can one stand out? The answer lies in developing a unique flow and style that sets you apart from the competition.
Before we begin, it’s important to understand that developing a unique style takes time and effort. It’s not something that can be achieved overnight, and it requires a great deal of experimentation, practice, and self-reflection. So, if you’re serious about standing out as a rapper, you’ll need to be prepared to put in the work.
In this post, we will explore some tips and techniques that will help you find your unique flow as a rapper. We will cover the following topics:
- Understanding the hip-hop scene in Nigeria
- Listening and analyzing your favourite rappers
- Experimenting with different techniques
- Practise writing and recording
- Seeking feedback and criticism
- Developing confidence and stage presence
By the end of this post, you will have a better idea of how to find your unique flow as a rapper and express yourself through your music.
Understanding the Hip-Hop and Rap Scene in Nigeria
The first step to finding your unique flow as a rapper is to understand the hip-hop scene in Nigeria. Hip-hop is a global culture that has many influences and variations. Nigeria has a rich and diverse hip-hop scene that reflects its history, culture, and identity.
As a rapper, you need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and styles in the Nigerian hip-hop scene. You need to know what’s popular, what’s innovative, and what’s authentic. You also need to know who your audience is and what they expect from you.
Some tips on how to stay informed and engaged with the Nigerian hip-hop scene are:
- Listen to local radio stations and podcasts that play hip-hop music. Understand the kind of sound that the market wants and what people are saying about the music
- Follow Nigerian hip-hop artists and influencers on social media. This would plug you into the lifestyle of the successful ones and help you witness their story to fame. You would gain a lot of insight from this.
- Attend live shows and events that feature hip-hop acts. Lets you access the local Nigerian community and link up with people in the business.
- Join online forums and communities that discuss hip-hop topics. You will gain more awareness about what the scene is like and what hip-hop means to critics and consumers alike.
- Network with other rappers and producers in your area. So that when you want to make a song, you know whom you will call on.
By understanding the hip-hop scene in Nigeria, you will be able to find your niche and position yourself as a rapper.
Listening and Analyzing Your Favorite Rappers
The next step to finding your unique style as a rapper is to listen to as much rap and hip-hop music as you can, and not just your favourite ones. Listening to your favourite rappers may help you develop a style that you like. But when you listen to as much rap music as you can, you will you learn from a wider variety of skills, techniques, and styles.
Go across genres of rap and listen to not just the best but also the average and the worst. You will be able to identify what makes them successful and what makes them unique.
But listening is not enough. You also need to analyze their flow and style. Analyzing their flow and style will help you understand how they craft their lyrics, how they deliver their lines, and how they create their mood and tone.
Some specific things to listen for when analyzing your favourite rappers are:
- Their rhyme scheme: how they structure their rhymes and how they use internal rhymes, multisyllabic rhymes, slant rhymes, etc.
- Their rhythm: how they syncopate their words with the beat and how they use pauses, stresses, accents, etc.
- Their vocabulary: how they use words that are relevant, creative, or unusual
- Their imagery: how they use metaphors, similes, personification, etc., to create vivid pictures in the listener’s mind
- Their voice: how they use pitch, volume, tone, inflexion, etc., to convey emotion and personality
By listening to and analyzing rap music from different artistes, genres and subgenres, you can learn from their strengths and weaknesses and incorporate them into your flow and style. You do not have to like the music; you just have to learn from it. This is how you school yourself on the technical aspects of rap.
Check out Kulture with OBP to keep up with hip-hop in Nigeria.
Start with our playlists on Rhyme and Reason to get the best picks of the month.
Experimenting with Different Rap Techniques
The third step to finding your unique flow as a rapper is to experiment with different techniques. Experimenting with various techniques will help you expand your repertoire and discover new possibilities for your flow and style. You will be able to challenge yourself and push your boundaries as a rapper.
Some examples of different techniques that you can experiment with are:
- Double-time: rapping faster than the normal tempo of the beat
- Triplet flow: rapping in groups of three syllables per beat
- Switching flows: changing your flow mid-verse or mid-song
- Offbeat flow: rapping slightly ahead or behind the beat
- Melodic flow: rapping with a tune or singing parts of your lyrics
Try combining different techniques to create your unique style. For instance, you can rap in double-time with a triplet flow or rap offbeat with a melodic flow.
When you combine different techniques, you will find what works for you and what doesn’t. You will also be able to develop your signature flow and style as a rapper. This takes a lot of practice, so be patient with yourself.
Writing and Recording Your Own Rap Verses and Songs
The fourth step to finding your unique flow as a rapper is to practice writing and recording regularly. Writing and recording practice will help you improve your skills and refine your flow and style. Youcano test your ideas and see how they sound in reality.
Some tips on how to improve your writing and recording skills are:
- Write every day, even if it’s just a few lines or a freestyle
- Write about topics that interest you or inspire you
- Write with a clear purpose and message in mind
- Write with a specific audience and tone in mind
- Write with different rhyme schemes, rhythms, and vocabulary
- Record yourself using a microphone and a software
- Record yourself using different beats and tempos
- Record yourself using different vocal techniques and effects
- Record yourself multiple times and compare your takes
- Record yourself with feedback and criticism from others
Analyze your recordings by listening to them over and over again. Identify what works and what doesn’t in your flow and style. Spot your strengths and weaknesses and work on them. Finally, be honest and objective with yourself and not be satisfied with mediocrity. To practise, you will need various kinds of beats to experiment with. Check out Freebeats, Epidemic Sound and Traktrain for free beats and paid beats you can use. YouTube is also another great source of free beats.
By practising writing and recording regularly, you can hone your craft and master your flow and style.
Seeking Feedback and Criticism
The fifth step to finding your unique flow as a rapper is to seek feedback and criticism from others. Seeking feedback and criticism will help you learn from your mistakes and improve your flow and style. You will be able to get different perspectives and opinions on your music and how to make it better.
Some tips on how to find constructive feedback and criticism are:
- Ask knowledgeable and honest people about hip-hop music questions you need answers to.
- Talk to people who are supportive and respectful of your goals and aspirations
- Ask for specific and actionable suggestions to get a better
- Talk to people who can give you positive and negative feedback
- Consult people who can give you feedback and criticism regularly
When receiving feedback and criticism, be open-minded and humble. Take criticism as an opportunity to improve, not as an attack on your ego. Listen carefully and respectfully to what others have to say and not argue or defend yourself. You need to thank them for their time and effort and not take them for granted.
By seeking feedback and criticism from others, you will be able to grow as a rapper and polish your flow and style.
Developing Confidence and Stage Presence
The sixth step to finding your unique flow as a rapper is to work on your confidence and stage presence. Confidence and stage presence will help you perform better and connect with your audience. You will be able to showcase your flow and style in a more effective and engaging way.
Some tips on how to improve your confidence and stage presence are:
- Practice performing in front of a mirror or a camera
- Practice performing in front of friends or family
- Practice performing in front of small or friendly crowds
- Practice performing in different venues and settings
- Practice performing with different beats and sounds
You also need to work on your body language, facial expressions, eye contact, gestures, movements, etc. Always look confident, comfortable, and relaxed on stage. You need to look like you are enjoying yourself and having fun. And that you are in control of the situation and the crowd.
By developing your confidence and stage presence, you will be able to impress your audience and make them remember you.
Finding your unique style as a rapper is not an easy task
It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and experimentation. But it is also a rewarding and fulfilling journey that will help you express yourself through your music.
We hope that this post has inspired you to continue working on your flow and style as a rapper. Remember that finding your unique style is a personal process that depends on your preferences, goals, and personality. There is no right or wrong way to rap, only your way.
Thank you for reading. We hope you enjoyed it. Now go find your unique flow as a rapper!