Introduction: How to Be a Good Rapper

Rapping can be traced back to Africa  centuries before hip hop music existed, the griots of west Africa were delivering rhythmic poetry over drums and other instrumentation. Rap or Hip Hop in its purest form is essentially poetry that is performed with a beat.Throughout this insrtuctable I will give you all the necessary steps to become a good rapper. If  you follow all the steps necessary you could be making rap classics in no time.

Step 1: Do Your Homework!

To become a great rapper you have to take notes from the greats and see what makes them special. Instead of listening to verses from your favorite rappers, take time out to sit and dissect their lyrics. Often time we hear a line in a song that we really like, but have you ever wondered as to why you thought that line was so amazing? Or what literary device was utilized? You can't perfect something if you don't understand it. Also, it is important to understand and respect the history of rap, even if the times have changed.

Step 2: Practice Make Perfect!

Every great rap artist had to practice to be where they are today. When you first begin to write it may be frustrating because your rhymes don't come out sounding like anything off Jay Z's album. It is vital to understand that when you first begin to write your lyrics WILL suck. Nobody sounds like Nas their first time writing a rap. It takes time and patience and after a while you notice that you are gradually becoming better. Eventually you will develop as a artist, but you have to practice as often as possible.

Step 3: Originality

It can be extremely difficult to be recognized in the rap industry, because it seems as though everybody wants to be a rapper. So, in order to separate from the pack we're going to have to use a little thing called originality. Originality is the main thing that will get your noticed in a industry full of recycled artists. Don't be afraid to be yourself, even if you think it might be perceived as strange. If you're avid about what you're talking about you will gain respect. Hip Hop needs more insular artists to push the genre forward so it can continue to thrive. The more original and talented you are the more you will be recognized.

Step 4: Introspection

Rappers have to be able to make a connection with their audience on a personal level. Sometimes that requires an artist to be vulnerable and delve into their psyche. Which is hard for a majority of rappers to do, because rapping has been associated with toughness. However, when introspection is done correctly you gain die hard fans because they can relate to you on a personal level. That's the difference between having your 15 minutes in the spot light, and leaving your mark in Hip Hop forever.

Step 5: Be Creative!

Go where no other artist has dared to venture into. Hip Hop is still a relatively new genre waiting to be explored by new talents. Don't think for one second that once you find your sound you have be confined to that box. You are an aspiring Hip Hop ARTIST, and artists push boundaries and knock down barriers. The epitome of reinvention is Kanye West, he continuously surprises his audience and almost sounds like a new artist with every release of an album. If you didn't know who Kanye West was and just listened to all of his albums you would think each album was from a different artist. Come up with creative concepts, and captivate your audience.

Step 6: Controvery

Hip Hop is the art of story telling, often told by but not restricted to the point of view of black males. Hip Hop has ruffled feathers more than any other genre because it penetrated the households of suburbia. With that being said don't be afraid to say anything you feel is necessary to progress society, that's not to say you should go on a lyrical rampage and offend people, but you should definitely exercise your artistic license.

Step 7: Delivery

Delivery is key in keeping the listener entertained. Being able to time your words to build suspense and force the listener to pay closer attention to your words can make or break a hip hop artist. Delivery in Hip Hop is the equivalent of comedic timing, with the correct timing any joke becomes funnier. However if a comedic pause is too short or too long then it kills the jokes pun. Masters of delivery were Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, each very different but equally as potent.

Step 8: Swagger

Hip Hop is a very egotistic and braggadocios genre. An artist has to have a swagger about his or her self. Not to say you have to be the trendiest rapper in the game but you should certainly rock whatever you do wear with the upmost confidence. Because that is what swagger truly is, being bold enough to be true to whom you are. However it doesn't hurt if your flossing quite as hard as Jay Z, his influence is off the charts. I vowed to never pop another molly after listening to "Tom Ford".

Step 9: Personality

Personality goes a very long way. One of the biggest personalities in hip hop history belongs to Eminem aka Slim Shady. His persona swept across the nation and grabbed hold of teenagers everywhere. His edgy, "Don't give a fuck" attitude made people care about what he was going to say next even more. Its common to see rap artists with a lot of personality, rappers often make alter egos so they can give the audience all the personality they can handle. 

Step 10: Stage Presence

A rapper should be able to control the crowd. Don't stand in one spot awkwardly clutching the microphone. You won't last long as an artist if nobody wants to see you perform. Practice having stage presence and interacting with the crowd to make them feel like they're part of the show as well. If you have a great presence on stage then people will be dying to come to your concerts. Watch out though, some fans get really attached.

Step 11: Significance                                                                                                                                          A mark of a great rapper is having lyrics that are so significant that they transcend time. Tupac Shakur is still a prevalent artist to date because of the cultural significance of his lyrics. When someone is so influential its hard to let them go, which is why there is a Tupac sighting about once a month. If you want to be remembered find a issue you feel passionately about and let your voice be heard. You don't only represent yourself anymore you are a voice for people who feel the same way you do.