Bars On I 95 FreestyleQueens rapper Grafh freestyles on Bars On I-95. Grafh 's been relatively quiet in the past few months but that's because he's been locking in. The rapper came through with "Blow" ft Benny The Butcher at the top of the year and now, he returns with a little freestyle over an underrated Jay-Z track.
Today, I spent my practice time once again constructing freestyles around a list of randomly generated words (via ). Like the Bars on I 95 past couple of days, I used these random words as a forcing constraint to guide me into new, exploratory freestyle territory.
To keep this freestyle moving forward, I leaned on the groups of rhymes that I practiced and fleshed out yesterday I will continue building out a strong set of filler rhymes” that I can use to augment the rest of my performance. Importantly, each of the listed words needs to be the punchline rhyme (i.e. the second rhyme of the rhyming pair), so a set-up rhyme needs to be crafted first.
Here's a short video of today's attempt, rapped over a free beat from YouTube. Interestingly, a week ago , I declared that I was confusing my comfortability with the words on with good freestyling skills”. Lin perfectly represents the first approach to freestyle rapping: Punchline-driven Freestyling.
Punchline-drive freestyling can be effective even with very minimal or basic rhymes, as long as the last word of the punchline lands smoothly. Today, I reviewed the footage from the past week of my freestyling practice sessions, and have found particular sets of rhymes that I naturally tend to lean on more heavily.
So today, I untethered myself from the random word generator, and practiced freestyling more cohesive raps. Today, I went back to the piano to accompany my attempt at three minutes of competent freestyle rapping. Sometimes, my conscious brain will shutoff, and I'll do the freestyle equivalent of daydreaming, only realizing many minutes later that I was rapping the whole time.
As I discussed yesterday , this month, I'm trying to improve my freestyle rapping abilities (effectively from scratch), so that I can continuously freestyle for three minutes. Essentially, in order to effectively land rhymes within a freestyle, you need to source your words directly from your subconscious.
In other words, the instrumental forced me to explore new territory and new possibilities, breaking me out of my metronome rut. These sets of rhymes are centered around the self-referential and very hip motifs of I am a good rapper” and Watch me as I flow so good”.
In particular, I tried to incorporate members of the crowd and people walking by into my rhymes in real-time. In other words, I've never freestyle rapped in front of a group of people before. I would argue that this level of freestyling was in me at the start of the month, and all I have done in the last week is slowly chip away at my inhibitions.
Nevertheless, there seems to be two main reasons why this month didn't require too much training time: 1. A large part of becoming a better freestyle rapper is simply committing to freestyle in a serious and unfiltered way, and 2. In a typical, fully-focused, 15-minute training session, I could work through about 200 rhymes, which is significant, especially since I found the English language to be highly contained in terms of word types and rhyme types.