Have you ever heard a rapper freestyling on the radio or in a rap battle and thought, “How do they do that?” Well, my friend, that’s the art of freestyling, and it’s been a part of hip-hop music since the beginning.
Hip-hop made freestyling a serious art form. Rappers used it to show off, gain street credibility and compete with each other. Battles became common, with rappers trading rhymes. To freestyle, you need quick thinking, language mastery, and improvisation skills. Few achieve it, but those who do are respected in hip-hop.
The impact of freestyling on hip-hop music cannot be overstated. Freestyling has produced some of the most iconic moments in hip-hop history, from Notorious B.I.G.’s legendary freestyle on the streets of Brooklyn to Eminem’s freestyle diss of Donald Trump at the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards.
Jay-Z‘s freestyle on Funkmaster Flex’s radio show in 2001: This freestyle is widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time. Jay-Z spits over a classic beat by The Roots and delivers some of his most iconic lines, including “I’m the franchise like a Houston Rocket” and “I’m like a dog, I never speak, but I understand.”
Kendrick Lamar’s freestyle on Big Boy’s Neighborhood in 2013: Kendrick Lamar is one of the most talented rappers of his generation, and this freestyle is a testament to his skill. He raps over a beat by Big Sean and delivers some incredible lines, including “I’m the king of New York, king of the coast, one hand, I juggle them both.”
Freestyling has also become a way for rappers to address important social and political issues. In recent years, we’ve seen artists like Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole use freestyles to address police brutality, racism, and other social justice issues. These freestyles not only showcase the artist’s lyrical abilities but also their passion for making a difference in the world.
What do you think?
These are just a few examples of the impact that freestyling has had on hip-hop music. From the streets of Brooklyn to radio shows and awards ceremonies, freestyling has produced some of the most memorable and iconic moments in the genre’s history.
The art of freestyling is an essential part of hip-hop culture. It’s a skill that takes years of practice to master, but those who can do it are some of the most revered in the game. So, the next time you hear a rapper freestyling, take a moment to appreciate the creativity, quick thinking, and skill that goes into it.
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