Welcome to the HOW TO RAP book series website

Welcome to the HOW TO RAP book series website… Here you’ll find information about HOW TO RAP and HOW TO RAP 2, as well as excerpts from the books and from the extensive interviews done while researching the books. Over 100 hip-hop legends were…

R.A. the Rugged Man: "I’ll always write to the real beat that I’m rhyming to"

In this excerpt from How to Rap 2, R.A. the Rugged Man and Rampage of Flipmode Squad explain how writing raps while listening to the beat that you’ll be rapping over can help a lot with the flow. R.A. the…

Imani of The Pharcyde: "I don’t like trying to be precise all the time, I like to have some fun"

In this excerpt from How to Rap 2, Imani of The Pharcyde explains the importance of having fun while you’re recording and making music. Sometimes MCs concentrate so much on being technically brilliant that they forget to have fun—this often…

How to Rap Books Used As Main Texts For Linguistics Course

The books How to Rap and How to Rap 2 are being used as primary texts on University of Calgary’s linguistics course entitled “Rap Linguistics”. The course is taught by Darin Flynn, an associate professor in the Department of Linguistics, Languages and Cultures….

Royce Da 5'9": "Flow Is More Important Than Content"

In this excerpt from How to Rap, Royce Da 5’9″ explains why he thinks the flow in rapping is more important than the content (audio of the interview is at the bottom of this post). Royce Da 5’9″ I’d say the flow…

How To Rap Like Eminem

How To Rap Like Eminem Eminem’s style is a combination of various techniques, all of which are explained in the books: HOW TO RAP and HOW TO RAP 2. The following is a run-down of all his major techniques, with quotes from…

Masta Ace: "When I Was In College I Excelled In English"

In this excerpt from How to Rap, Masta Ace (who went to the University of Rhode Island) explains how being good at English in school and college lead to him being a legendary MC. Masta Ace English was my favorite class…

Rah Digga: "I like all the phrases, the whole line, to rhyme"

In this excerpt from How to Rap, Rah Digga and Termanology describe how they like to pack lots of rhyming words into each bar of music. Rah Digga I like all the phrases, the whole line, to rhyme if I…

Crooked I: "Today's rappers are not as good as the older rappers"

In this excerpt from the How to Rap interviews, Crooked I states that today’s rappers are not as good as previous ones (audio of the interview is at the bottom of this post). Crooked I Well, I’ll say it like this, today’s MCs in…

Royce Da 5'9": "For the most part I got it memorized, it’s like giving a speech"

In this excerpt from How to Rap, Royce Da 5’9″ and El Da Sensei explain that many artists like to have the lyrics half-memorized when recording—they still take a written form of the lyrics with them into the studio, but it’s just a…

Fredro Starr of Onyx: "When you’re working in a group, it brings out the best in your writing"

In this excerpt from How to Rap, Fredro Starr (of Onyx) describes how working in a group promotes friendly competition to see who can come up with the best lyrics, which often makes for stronger songs. Fredro Starr, Onyx When you’re…

Ill Bill: "You’re one touch away from a billion encyclopedias’ worth of information"

In this excerpt from How to Rap, Ill Bill (of Non-Phixion) and MURS highlight the advantages of being able to use the internet to research information for a song. Ill Bill That’s what’s dope about the Internet—the fact that you’re one…

MURS: "I read constantly"

In this excerpt from How to Rap, MURS explains how reading is a key component of becoming a great MC. It expands your knowledge base and your vocabulary, as noted by K-Os, Omar Cruz, and The Lady of Rage. MURS…

Big Pooh of Little Brother: "Nobody becomes great overnight, you have to constantly work"

In this excerpt from How to Rap 2, Big Pooh of Little Brother, R.A. the Rugged Man, Vast Aire of Cannibal Ox, and David Banner explain that even MCs who believe they have a natural aptitude and talent for rapping have…

E-40: "Everybody wanna hear a little razzle-dazzle, they wanna hear new words"

In this excerpt from How to Rap, E-40 (who is known as a West Coast master of slang) explains why slang is so popular, while Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest discusses how slang evolves. E-40 Everybody wanna hear a little razzle-dazzle,…