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Home » Books & Magazines, How to Rap, Learning to Rap, Rap Lyrics, Rappers, Rapping » Tips for Rappers – The Case Against Rap Dictionaries

Rap is about rhyming. Period. If you can’t string together a few solid rhymes, you can’t be a rapper. Sure, there are plenty of rappers who have become quasi famous on less than stellar rhyming skills, but these guys get little respect or success. The best rappers out there (Jay-Z, Eminem, Tupac, 50 Cent, etc.) all have killer rhyming skills.

Thus, when aspiring rappers talk about getting rap dictionaries to make rhyming a bit “easier”, I naturally balk. A rap dictionary is literally ‘cheating’ in my book. It kills the very soul of the music. It says, “I have no skills or interest in working hard to be a rapper. I just want a quick fix solution that will make me semi-famous”. Such a hack mentality can’t take you very far in the rap game.

Of course, I’m not saying that you need not consult a dictionary at all. A strong vocabulary is, after all, a cornerstone of rap. But for that, I would really recommend a regular dictionary over a rap dictionary. This is for the reason mentioned above, and because rap dictionaries tend to be very genre specific and lack the killer words that can make or break a song.

Most importantly, if you follow the rap dictionary too closely, you will start sounding like the hundreds of other rappers who took the advice of the dictionary. Instead of sounding original and fresh, you will sound like another soldier in an army of rapping clones. Surely you don’t want such a reputation to be associated with you or your art.

The best rhymes involve words that are complicated and are not commonly found in most rap dictionaries. Longer words with more syllables make for great rhymes, but are unfortunately missing in such dictionaries.

Try this out: pick up a dictionary (a regular one) and write down a dozen words you have never even heard before, let alone know the meaning of. Make sure that they are multiple syllable words such as “megalomaniac” or “metamorphosis“. Try to find ryhmes for these words and include them in your song. You will be surprised how the includsion of a few such words can make your song stand out completely.

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