Songwriting Advice

How To Start Writing A Rap Song

how to start writing a rap song lyric assistant

Everyone has a story to tell, and there's no better way to share it than through the powerful and captivating art of rap. But where exactly do you begin when it comes to writing a rap song? With so many different elements to consider, it can feel daunting to create your unique masterpiece. However, fear not because Lyric Assistant is here to help! In this blog post, we'll break down the process of writing a rap song into manageable steps, ensuring you have all the tools you need to create something truly unforgettable.

1. Find Your Inspiration

Before you start crafting your lyrics, take a moment to think about the message you want to convey. What are you passionate about? What do you want your listeners to take away from your music? Sometimes, the best inspiration comes from our own experiences, whether it's love, heartbreak, or even injustice in the world. No matter what you choose as your subject matter, be sure to tap into the emotions that drive you so that your words resonate with others.

2. Choose a Style

Rappers have their distinct styles, from the smooth and deliberate flow of Nas to the quick, percussive delivery of Eminem. Consider how you want your rap to sound and the beat that will best complement your lyrics. Will your rap be aggressive and in-your-face, or are you aiming for a more laid-back vibe? Be true to your vision and remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to crafting your style.

3. Write Your Lyrics

Now that you have a clear idea of what you want to say and how you want to say it, it's time to begin putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to draft your rap. Start by jotting down any ideas or phrases that come to mind, and don't worry about making your lyrics perfect just yet. Focus on expressing your thoughts and getting creative with your word choices. Remember, rap is poetry set to a beat, so don't be afraid to explore metaphors, similes, and other poetic devices to elevate your lyrics.


Suppose you’ve chosen to write about the struggles of growing up in a challenging environment. Your opening lines could be:

“Born and raised in a concrete jungle,

Life's a game, an everyday hustle.”

4. Organize Your Lyrics

Once you have a collection of lines, thoughts, and ideas, it's time to organize them into coherent verses and hooks. Typically, a rap song consists of three main parts: verses, hooks (or choruses), and a bridge. Verses usually contain your main narrative, while hooks feature a catchy and memorable phrase that can hook your listener in. As you arrange your lyrics, keep in mind that consistency is important for a smooth flow in your song.

5. Practice Your Delivery

With your lyrics organized, it’s crucial to practice your delivery. Remember, your flow and delivery can make or break your rap, so take the time to perfect your performance. As you practice, focus on your pacing, tone, and enunciation, as well as any unique stylistic elements you want to incorporate. Don’t be afraid to record yourself and give yourself constructive feedback.

There you have it – the essential steps to start writing your very own rap song! Remember, practice, and perseverance are vital to honing your craft, but don't forget that Lyric Assistant is here to help you along the way. From fleshing out your ideas to polishing your lyrics, let Lyric Assistant be your go-to resource for creating an incredible, unique rap song that tells your story. So, are you ready to write your next hit?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the first step to writing a rap song?

To begin writing a rap song, start with a topic or a theme you're passionate about. This will give you a solid foundation to build your lyrics on and ensures that your message will be authentic and resonate with your audience.

Do I need to know how to play an instrument to write a rap song?

No, you don't need to be proficient with an instrument to write rap. However, having a basic understanding of rhythm and rhyme can enhance your writing process. Instrumental beats can often be sourced from producers or beat libraries if needed.

How important is the chorus in a rap song?

The chorus, or hook, is critical as it's usually the most memorable part of the song. It should be catchy and encapsulate the main theme of your rap, providing a respite from the verses and tying the whole piece together.

Can I write a rap song without a chorus?

Yes, you can. While conventional rap songs include choruses, some artists choose to write rap verses that transition seamlessly without the need for a hook, focusing more on the lyrical content and flow.

What's the best way to create a flow in rap?

Experiment with different syllable counts, rhythm patterns, and rhyme schemes. Listen to how your favorite rappers flow and practice freestyling to develop your unique cadence. Remember, the flow should complement the beat and the energy of the lyrics.

Should I write the lyrics or the beat first?

This is a personal preference. Some writers prefer to start with lyrics and then find a beat that fits, while others may find inspiration from a beat first. Experiment with both to find which works better for you.

What are some common rhyme schemes in rap?

Common rhyme schemes include couplets (AA, BB), alternating lines (ABAB), or multi-syllable patterns (AABB). More complex schemes can involve internal rhymes or slant rhymes to create a denser lyrical texture.

How can I improve my rhyme skills?

Practice regularly, read poetry, listen to a wide variety of rap styles, and challenge yourself to rhyme unusual word combinations. Freestyling can also be a great exercise to enhance on-the-spot rhyming abilities.

What topics are good for rap songs?

Rap is a versatile medium, so you can write about anything from personal experiences, social issues, dreams, and aspirations to storytelling or purely braggadocious content. Authenticity is key—the best topics are those that you're genuinely invested in.

How much time does it take to write a rap song?

Writing a rap song can vary significantly in time, from a few hours to several weeks. It depends on your writing process, experience, and the complexity of the song. There's no rush; take the time needed to polish your lyrics and flow.

Can I use a rhyming dictionary while writing?

Yes, a rhyming dictionary can be a valuable tool to find rhyme pairs or inspiration when you're stuck. However, it should not replace your own creative process; use it as an aid, not a crutch.

What tools do I need to write a rap song?

Basic tools needed are a pen and paper or a digital device for writing down your lyrics. A recording device to capture your flows or beats can also be helpful. Eventually, a beat or instrumental will be needed for structuring your song.

How do I structure a rap song?

A common structure for rap songs is the verse-chorus format, featuring two or three verses, each followed by a chorus or hook. Some rap songs also include a bridge or breakdown for added variety. Tailor the structure to best tell your song's story.

What if I can't think of anything to write about?

Take a break, find inspiration from life experiences, listen to different types of music, or try writing exercises to kickstart your creativity. Inspiration can come from unexpected places, so keep an open mind.

Is there a specific tempo or beat I should follow?

Rap music can encompass a wide range of tempos and rhythms. Choose a tempo that suits your lyrical style and the mood you want to convey. Faster beats can create an energetic vibe, while slower tempos can provide a more laid-back or intense atmosphere.

How do I know if my rap lyrics are good?

Quality is subjective, but good rap lyrics typically have a strong message, are relatable, and showcase technical skills like complex rhymes and a solid flow. Ask for feedback from peers or mentors and be open to iterating on your lyrics.

Should I focus on freestyling or writing?

Both skills are important. Freestyling can improve your improvisational skills and help you think on your feet, while writing allows for more thoughtful composition and wordplay. A balance of both practices can make you a well-rounded rapper.

How do I match my lyrics to the beat?

Listen to the beat's rhythm, its rises, and falls in intensity. Write your lyrics to flow with these patterns, changing your delivery or wordplay to accentuate the beat. Practice rapping to the beat to find the best fit.

Can I write a rap song in a language other than English?

Absolutely. Rap is a global genre, and writing in another language can lend authenticity and reach a different audience. The principles of flow, rhyme, and rhythm apply to any language.

What makes a rap song stand out?

Originality, strong lyrical content, a unique flow, and a beat that complements the rapper's style all contribute to a rap song's memorability. An emotional connection with the listener can also make a rap song stand out.

How can I protect my rap lyrics from being stolen?

Copyright your work to legally protect your lyrics. You can do this by registering your song with a copyright office. Alternatively, publicly releasing it through an established channel like Soundcloud or YouTube also establishes a date of creation.

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About Toni Mercia

Toni Mercia is a Grammy award-winning songwriter and the founder of Lyric Assistant. With over 15 years of experience in the music industry, Toni has written hit songs for some of the biggest names in music. She has a passion for helping aspiring songwriters unlock their creativity and take their craft to the next level. Through Lyric Assistant, Toni has created a tool that empowers songwriters to make great lyrics and turn their musical dreams into reality.

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