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Thread: Can't get the flow right

  1. #1
    Turtlesauce's Avatar 2016 Writer of the Year
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    Can't get the flow right

    So when I write raps, either the lyrics are shit and it sounds good, flow wise

    or the lyrics and references are fine, but actually rapping the verses sounds bad.

    How do I write raps to make them better sounding when actually spoken?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    I will delete this forum.

  2. #2
    Lancer's Avatar Senior Member
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    Have a rap instrumental playing as you write lines. They have to hug a beat, you know?

    Give me an example of bad flow lyrics, and let me see if I can tidy them up for you and give pointers that way.
    Graphic Designer / YouTuber. Usually known as Mancha!

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  3. #3
    Turtlesauce's Avatar 2016 Writer of the Year
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    Quote Originally Posted by GLaDOS View Post
    Have a rap instrumental playing as you write lines. They have to hug a beat, you know?

    Give me an example of bad flow lyrics, and let me see if I can tidy them up for you and give pointers that way.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Batman View Post
    Geralt:
    This isn't personal, just a contract from a man with a problem
    Said there's a self-righteous monster terrorizing Gotham
    Let me slap some sense into you, you've probably forgotten
    Does your "one rule" not apply on the Joker and Robin?
    You went bat-shit crazy because your parents died. Chill
    You can't lie to me, It's not for justice, but for the thrill
    I don't need Witcher's sense to figure out what you are, I'm not fooled by your charade
    I gain pieces of your "superpower" after each contract, ha, I can toss away my silver blade

    Batman:
    It's over, Witcher. I'm doing you a favour, your place is in Arkham
    Like your Hexer movie, you're best left forgotten
    Your spells are a Joke, I've seen better magic tricks
    There's nothing to plough in the Asylum, you'll be in quite the fix
    When I kick up my feet, put on the Wayne mask, grab a scotch
    And when I get Triss into bed, you'll have my permission to watch.
    These two verses just sound so bad to me, I tried putting them over a standard beat, that works with anything, and they completely sucked.

    But I should try writing them over a beat next time
    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    I will delete this forum.

  4. #4
    Lancer's Avatar Senior Member
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    Alright, here goes. For beat, I'm using one of my personal favorites, http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12618512

    I'd record your version on it, but it's 2:30 am and my good mic is a couple states away.

    Now, most beats are 4/4 time, meaning you can count a steady 1-2-3-4 and then repeat, each 1-2-3-4 being one line of a verse. You need equal coverage of the line on all parts, with exceptions for emphasis, flow, or fast rapping. Rarely you'll employ it in that way, but a situation where it works is the lines from Terminator vs Robocop:

    Quote Originally Posted by Robocop
    I got the mic control like alt delete
    Your move creep
    Timing that out, we get the beat segments at

    ----------1------2-------3----4
    I got the mic control like alt delete
    12-------3------4
    ---Your move creep

    Thus, the words mic, control, alt and delete are all on the four major beats. In the next line, there's a two-beat rest, and then Pete starts back up with Your Move, Creep! When the lines deviate from using all four beats, he still makes sure to use the ones he needs to.

    ---
    Now, I'm going to annotate the Geralt verse to how I'd rap it on this beat. Bold indicates word that is on the beat.

    This isn't personal, ||| just a contract from a man with a problem
    Said there's a self-righteous monster ||| terrorizing Gotham
    Let me slap some sense into you, ||| you've probably forgotten
    Does your "one rule" not apply ||| on the Joker and Robin?
    You went bat-shit crazy ||| because your parents died. Chill
    You can't lie to me, ||| It's not for justice, but for the thrill
    I don't need Witcher's sense to figure out what you are, ||| I'm not fooled by your charade
    I gain pieces of your "superpower" after each contract, ||| ha, I can toss away my silver blade

    Anything black can flow correctly.
    Everything else is either too rushed, or too strung-out.
    The red lines are too rushed, the blue strung out.

    The fix here is simple, you need to add or remove syllables to flow correctly in a verse. Add in a blue, remove in a red, so there's a balanced set on each half of the line, since lines often split into two parts except for fast raps, which this is not. In this, you can split every line in half, which I did.

    It's a bit erratic.

    I rewrote it a bit to flow better, apologies if I lost a reference in there, haven't played Witcher.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geralt, Manchisled
    Nothing personal, Batsy, my contract is a single problem
    Vain Wayne came from the skies and now he's terrorizing Gotham
    Reeks of guano, ego's rotten, it seems this batshit boy's forgotten
    that, shoot, his golden rule was lost on both the Joker and your Robin
    It's a-parent that you're batty, man, the alley holds your dreadful fate
    See through your lies! You're "justice" blind as the bats you love to emulate
    Leave you beWitched, which sensibly, shows your charade's not fooling me!
    I toss away my silver blade to fight this vigilante!
    It may not seem like it flows, so I'll do the same as I did above.

    Nothing personal, Batsy, my contract is a single problem
    Vain Wayne came from the skies and now he's terrorizing Gotham
    Reeks of guano, ego's rotten, seems this batshit boy's forgotten
    that, shoot, his golden rule was lost on the Joker and your Robin
    It's a-parent that you're batty, man, the alley holds your dreadful fate
    See through your lies! You're "justice" blind as the bats you love to emulate
    Leave you beWitched, which sensibly, shows your charade's not fooling me!
    I toss away my silver blade to fight this vigilante!

    (Vigilante is drawn-out and such.)

    See, the difference here is that there's a lot more continuity on where the beats exist within each line. Here, they're all very close, since they all flow similarly. You can't have too many words, either shorten a line or make it into two to get your point across-and only the latter when you've got a GREAT joke.

    Hope this helps, I'm going to bed now, so I'll reply sometime tomorrow.

    Edit: If you want, I can MaNCHisel Batman tomorrow, but I recommend you NEVER do 6-line verses, keep it a multiple of 4 unless you're doing a back-and-forth sort of 1/2 line verse.
    Last edited by Lancer; 07-06-2015 at 03:07 AM.
    Graphic Designer / YouTuber. Usually known as Mancha!

    @comicsansation

    Retired Moderator, as well as creator and owner of UBERocity on YouTube. Check us out!



  5. #5
    Turtlesauce's Avatar 2016 Writer of the Year
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    WOW, MANCH

    Thanks a lot, I'm saving this post in my computer, I need it for further reference. Thanks for everything. I won't change this battle now (even though you verse is better than mine, but hey, you're a pro!) but I will use all your advice for my next one.

    Thanks, dude, you rock!
    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    I will delete this forum.

  6. #6
    Lancer's Avatar Senior Member
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    No problem, memerino. I just opened a new request thread, so if you'd like me to chisel something in the future, send it down.
    Graphic Designer / YouTuber. Usually known as Mancha!

    @comicsansation

    Retired Moderator, as well as creator and owner of UBERocity on YouTube. Check us out!



  7. #7
    Turtlesauce's Avatar 2016 Writer of the Year
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    Mat4yo now has some serious chiseling competition
    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    I will delete this forum.

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