The truth is that if you’re not spending a lot of your time rapping over instrumental rap beats then you’re really wasting your time. If you harbor any ambitions of being a rapper or putting out any type of music that people will pay money to hear then you had better get it into your head right now that you’ve got to up your game. Rap is so much more than just being able to spit a sick freestyle. And it’s so much more than just being able to write some good lyrics. You’ve got to be able to put together the whole package and the only way to do that is to spend some quality time alone with the instrumental rap beats.
The reasons you want to spend time with instrumental rap beats is so that you can learn the timing of music in general. There’s more to rapping than rapping fast. Likewise there’s more to rapping than rapping slow. You’ve got to know how and when to blend the two. And you’ve got to know how to make transitions from one emotionally evocative part of the song to another.
What this last part means is that you want to build up an emotional expectation in your song and then fulfill it with a change up. The simplest example of a changeup in music for emotion effect is the chorus of a song, which will often change tempo only to return later to the original sound of the instrumental rap beat. But the point is that you are looking to learn how to build songs.
And don’t just be a slave to old forms and conventions in music. You’re not only looking to build new music that people will want to hear, but you’ve also got to learn to distinguish yourself with a distinctive sound. Getting that distinctive sound is one of the more difficult things to do in the world of art. One of the surest ways to prepare to create a unique sound is to spend a lot of time working with rap beats in their rawest instrumental forms.
Of course you should also listen to a lot of music that’s out right now and see what they are doing, but you want to be careful with this approach as it will often lead to imitation. And imitation is not innovation. And what you want to be doing is innovating. If there is a sure way to get yourself noticed above the fray then you’ve got to innovate in any way you can. Now innovation doesn’t mean that you’ve got to invent your own style but it does mean you’ve got to do things in a different way from how people are used to hearing them done. By listening repeatedly to the different instrumental rap beats out there and not just rapping to them but understanding their timing and what would sound good over them and why, you can really come to refine your style.