How to Write a Rap Song

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Before setting anything to paper, allow yourself to free-associate (or even freestyle out loud) to get your creative juices flowing. Then, make a list of every concept, unique perspective, or potential lyric that popped into your head. Allow these to guide and inspire the content of your song as you move forward.

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Ice Cube Recalls Falling In Love With Hip Hop

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Ice Cube has been a cornerstone of Hip Hop since beginning his career in the mid-‘80s. In a sneak preview of his upcoming VH1 episode of “Behind the Music,” the former N.W.A. member recalls falling in love with the culture, explaining that his DJ uncle and Sugarhill Gang were to blame.

“It clicked with me in elementary. I discovered hip-hop at 10 years old, since 1979. My uncle Jerry was taking me to the dentist. He used to be a DJ and would throw parties, deejaying,” he says. “So he had a lot of records and he had this big radio about this big in the backseat. He was into Confunction and Earth, Wind & Fire and Ohio Players and stuff like that. But this one song came on, which was ‘Rapper’s Delight,’ and it mesmerized me. One thing in rap, a song that’s 11 or 12 minutes, they rapping the whole way through. And that just turned me on.”

That planted the seed for Cube’s passion for Hip Hop, encouraging him to soak up the culture in every regard.

“From then on, I had a thirst for the music. I could see anything Hip Hop. Back then, it wasn’t everywhere. You had to find specials on breakdancing and anything on hip-hop, you damn near had to have a treasure map to find it. I was looking. I used to look in TV Guide for anything that had everything that had to do with graffiti, breakdancing, rapping, scratching – anything that had to do with anything being a B-Boy.”

Ice Cube’s “Behind the Music” episode airs tomorrow night (July 6th) at 10 p.m. on VH1.

Lil Wayne Is ‘Lonely At The Top’ But Fears The Bottom

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Few artists ever reach the heights Lil Wayne has, and for the Young Money captain, that is both a gift and a curse. And it’s a dilemma that Weezy tackles on “Nightmares of the Bottom,” a new track off the New Orleans lyricist’s upcoming album Tha Carter IV.

After performing the track for the first time during the taping of his “MTV2 Presents: Lil Wayne Unplugged,” set to air Sunday on MTV, MTV2 and MTV.com, the self-proclaimed Martian broke down the song’s meaning. “I mean simply, sleeping at the top with nightmares of the bottom,” Wayne told MTV News’ Sway. “Everybody says it’s lonely at the top. It is lonely, so I dream, though, and the only thing I dream about is being down there with the people that ain’t lonely. Thank God I am alone.”

With eight solo albums and more than 10 million records sold, Wayne has tasted too much success to see his stock dip, so for him, a fall back to earth is a definite fear, he admitted.


“And that’s simply what it is: nightmares of the bottom,” he added before rapping the song’s lyrics: “Sleeping at the top/ Nightmares of the bottom/ Everybody wanna be fly, until you swat ‘em.”

Lil Wayne Unplugged” features Tunechi performing acoustic versions of his already classic catalog and places Weezy in the same class as hip-hop luminaries Jay-Z, Lauryn Hill and LL Cool J, who also took the unplugged stage.

Lil Wayne is an amazing choice for Unplugged as he is at hip-hop’s forefront — leading a new generation of artists whose appeal spans across music genres and playlists,” Amy Doyle, MTV’s executive vice president of music and talent, said in a statement. “Lil Wayne’s skills, influence, and catalog are a powerful addition to the legacy of artists who have rocked the ‘Unplugged’ stage.”

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Kanye West’s ‘Monster’ Video Banned By MTV

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The music video for Kanye West’s single Monster has been banned by MTV. The television network made the decision to pull the video in response to an outcry over the way women are being portrayed in the footage.

At the forefront of the outrage are two activists Sharon Haywood and Melinda Tankard Reist, who created a petition asking MTV and Universal Music Group to stop promoting the video, and in the process managed to get over 1,600 signatures.

“The mainstreaming of videos like this increases desensitized and callous attitudes toward violence against women,” said Reist, one of the campaign’s originators. “Young people are seeing images and absorbing harmful messages which glamorize misogyny and brutalize women.”

Adding, “Women are reduced to sex-doll like playthings. So great is the level of desensitization that the barbaric treatment of women and girls is seen as normal and to be expected. We decided to run this campaign because we wanted to challenge the status quo.”

Their work isn’t completely done though, pointed out Reist, who said that they are determined to continue their campaign until Universal Music Group responds to the petition.

Monster collaborators Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Nicki Minaj appear in the video alongside West.

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Drake Says He Has To Prove Himself Before Andre 3000 Collaboration

Posted: Wednesday – June 16, 2010

Andre 3000 is one of the rappers that went on Drake’s collaboration wish list for his debut album, Thank Me Later, but a verse from 3 Stacks is noticeably absent from the LP, which is loaded with big-name features.

Explaining why Dre didn’t make the cut to VIBE, Drake said that the emcee, who is one half of rap duo Outkast, would like him to prove himself before they jumped on a track together.

“I really tried to do a song with Andre 3000, but I think it was meant for my second album,” reasoned Drake. “Dre is one of those people that needs you to do a little more. He’s one of those people that believe in his craft so much that he needs you to do more than just be over hyped or just famous. In his mind, I have to prove myself and truth is, I do. That’s just being real. I have a lot of work to do, so I actually respect him for that.”

Drake also said that for his next album, which will reportedly be titled Moments, he will have a lot less features. “I think on the second album I’ll probably only have two features. I have a few people in mind and Dre probably will be one of them,” he added.

The Canadian rapper’s first major label effort, Thank Me Later, was released online and in stores yesterday (June 15). Expectations are high and industry estimates place first week sales in the 500,000 range.

Tupac, B.I.G. United At Wax Museum In Washington, D.C.

Posted: Wednesday – June 16, 2010

Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. have reunited for the first time in history, at Madame Tussauds in Washington, D.C. today (June 16th).

The life-like wax figures are being displayed all summer starting today, on what would have marked Tupac’s 39th birthday.

“Tupac and Biggie are widely recognized as two of the greatest Hip-Hop artists and rappers of all time,” a rep for Madame Tussauds said in a statement. “Their influence on and absence from the Hip-Hop community can still be felt today – more than a decade after their tragic deaths.”

The Tupac Shakur statue is from the Madame Tussauds wax museum in Las Vegas, while The Notorious B.I.G.’s figure is on loan from the museum in New York.

Both wax figures were created with the participation and approval of Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur and B.I.G.’s mother, Voletta Wallace.

The two wax figures are on display at Madame Tussauds’ Glamour Room, in Washington D.C.

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