If you’re a fan of rap music, you might have envisioned participating in a freestyle battle. Thanks to Chicago’s BattleYou, this doesn’t have to remain a fantasy—you can experience the rush through an online competition! While you might be eager to spit the best lines, this team of rap aficionados believes the best lyrics take time and patience to deliver successfully. If you’re hoping to walk away from a rap battle with your head held high, consider the following guide.
3 Stages of Preparing for a Rap Battle
The planning stages are all about letting loose and getting creative. Depending on who the opponent is, you might have to battle against a variety of styles, so be prepared for all of them. If the other rapper takes a solemn, intense approach to their lines, you might benefit from bringing humor into the freestyle.
If your partner gets personal, you’ll need to have an arsenal of comebacks at the ready. Try to come up with disses that can apply to anyone, but if you know who the opponent will be, brainstorm lines that are specific to them—the way they rap, act, or even walk. When writing, use similes and metaphors to strengthen lyrics, as well as references to current events.
Of course, planning and writing will only do so much when preparing for a freestyle rap. To win, you’ll need to think on your feet. When practicing, make a mental outline of the freestyle. While you can drift off to other topics that may arise, or respond to disses an opponent makes, it pays to have a plan to return to if you get lost.
Practice with friends who will challenge your skills and use the few minutes while they are rapping to come up with the next round of lines. Once you can confidently beat friends, try to start rap battles at parties, at parks, or with anyone who may bring you out of your comfort zone.
As time goes on, you’ll learn what lines receive the best reaction. When the real rap battle rolls around, keep these in your back pocket—it’s best to save them for the end of the rap battle, or in a situation where you are losing. When the time comes, remember to keep your head up, as looking down may make you look insecure or unprepared.
The key to winning a rap battle is confidence, so even if you’re unsure of the next line, try to appear as if you’re always in control. Don’t use all of the best pre-written lines at once—look around and take inspiration from the environment. You may be inspired by the beat, the crowd, the opponent, or a friendly face in the audience.
If you think you’re ready to take on a rap battle, try your skills in an online forum first. BattleYou is based in Chicago, but they cater to music enthusiasts all over the world—from guitarists to hip-hop lovers. Register for an online rap battle today and receive constructive criticism to further your craft. For more information, call (574) 306-6701 or like them on Facebook.