the first question you have to ask yourself is whether you have a decent rap voice
if not, you will sound like a fucking tool, like most of the people who try to rap
Honestly, I don’t think that’s why most people who try to rap sound like tools. Most people who rap sound like tools because they don’t have the confidence and are constantly checking themselves in their minds. As a result, their flow is disrupted. Either that, or they sing/talk fast instead of rapping. That’s about 90% of the toolage right there.
Many famous rappers have annoying voices. A lot of people hate Eminem’s voice; I, personally, dislike Lupe’s rapping voice and I remember a lot of people feeling this way when he was on his way up; I don’t like Celph’s voice. And, FFS, Guru only raps in one tone. I’m sure there are even people who can bear Freeway’s voice.
Eminem’s definitely a better rapper than Kanye structurally, he’s easily one of the best ever at that (his first verse on “Renegade” is still one of the best things I’ve heard as far as structure goes), it’s more depth and complexity of personal expression that sets him and Kanye apart from many good underground MC’s. I thought structurally Relapse was very good, and better than The Eminem Show and Encore, but his choice to put the most emphasis on the Slim Shady/less serious part of his persona made it a disappointing album.
Kanye’s flow is pretty average and his rhymes can be unimpressive if not bad at times. But as far as personal expression goes I think he’s up there with Em. Like Eminem he’s not really afraid to discuss himself well outside of the posturing most big rappers use even when describing their lives before fame.
It’s probably why there’s a distinct break in the quality of their albums after the sophomore albums. These two make it a point to talk about themselves, so after their first two albums you see the quality drop as they come to grips with their fame. It’s a bit harder to relate/sympathize with them after that, even if their songs are still good technically (Eminem) or still have good production (Kanye). And it’s probably what makes people forgive them for what would otherwise make them stick out as jerks. I mean, you either have to be an asshole or a genius to make a song about your wife like “Kim”, or to make a full album (albeit with subpar lyrics) about breaking up with a specific girl (808s & Heartbreak), knowing full well that millions will buy your album and hear the songs.
I guess what I’m saying with the example of Em and Kanye is to weave serious themes into the context of your own life. People wonder why a lot of very talented underground rappers with serious topics to discuss don’t get popular, and usually the excuse given is that most pop fans are “too stupid” or that the industry pushes bad rappers into stardom, but truth is a lot of those rappers can’t get regular people to relate to what they’re talking about, and since they can’t do that, they’re just preaching to the converted.
But yeah, I see what you mean with Em being a better technical rapper than Kanye, and with that in mind I agree that he’s probably a better rapper to emulate.[/quote]
Points well taken. Honestly, I’ve never viewed Kanye as being expressive in that way; maybe I just block out his lyrics most of the time, because they do get to be awful at times, lol.
Haha, I actually like the song “Kim,” and was listening to “97 Bonnie & Clyde” the other day. I haven’t listened to Relapse yet; honestly, never liked his material that much post SS and MM. I’m gonna pick up Relapse and 808’s & Heartbreaks this week actually and give both a spin.
Also, cool point about the underground rappers… I never looked at it from that angle. I think that, at the end of the day, you have to rap or really be into the music genre to appreciate certain things, e.g. battling or a lot of the underground artists. I’m not going to listen to Immortal Technique, because I prefer reading to hip-hop as a source of information. Same with a lot of freestyle rappers - they can freestyle well, but their actual flows are so generic and bland that listening to the battles gets stale, fast.
Are you active on any hip-hop boards? I used to be a lurker at sohh.com but left because 90% of the threads were just dumb as hell. I’ve picked up quite a lot from you already, so thanks again.
[quote]D Public wrote:
this is me at 15(5yrs ago)
I can’t believe it’s been 5 yrs since i made this…listening to this is so funny lol…Especially near the end LOL! If you guys want to hear more i’ll upload some more…I stopped rapping at 15 though, so I never got really good…I could write better than I could rap pretty much…[/quote]
Wow, man, that’s really good. How long did it take you to get to that point? Are you sure that’s the right file? That doesn’t sound like any 15 year old I know, lol. From where I am now, it’ll probably be a few months of regular practice until I get to where you were at 15 :(.