Today we're going to look at how you should present yourself when battle rapping. This is part of an ongoing series on how to battle rap and win. You can see the overview guide and other parts here:
Check the above for more battle rap tips. Today though I'm going to give some tips on how to choose the right personalty for you. You see, there are a few types of personalities that generally do well for battle rappers. The one you choose will have a big impact on how you're perceived and essentially how far you get in battle rap.
Below is a look at each of the personality types. Have a read of each one to determine which will best suit you personally.
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Do You Have To Stick To One Battle Rap Personally Type?
Before I look at the different types of personalities you can use, I want to make one things clear: You don't have to stick to just one of these!
While it's important to stay consistent with what you're giving fans, you can mix and match somewhat. So say for example the majority of your bars are based on jokes and getting laughs from the crowd, that doesn't mean you can't add in some technical lyrics here and there. Similarly, if you decide to use gangster type bars, you can still add in other types here and there.
I'd actually encourage mixing up your style somewhat. This will show people various sides to you and help show you're a all good all round battle rapper.
That said, still stick to one main style with the other styles popping up here and there. This will allow fans to get a feel of who you really are, and relate to you if they feel what you're saying.
Ok, now lets looks at some of the main personality types you can adopt as a battle rapper.
Battle Rap Tips: The Gangster Battle Rapper
The gangster rapper is one of the most common personalities many battlers fall back on. The image of being streetwise and always up for a scrap is a common bar filler for most, even if they've clearly never had a fight in their life.
While it's up to you, being real with your bars is what tends to work best. If you haven't got the size or presence to look like you could do many of the gangster related things many rappers talk about, you should probably avoid these type of lyrics. Not only will the seem unbelievable, but you'll find it hard to gain credibility if no one believes what you're saying. So only go this route if you're already street smart.
It's important to note that battle rap is a form of entertainment. If you did decide to go with a gangster persona, you shouldn't feel you have to back up your talk with action. You're not expected to go into a rap battle and end up in a fight half way through.
That said, you want to give the crowd something which they feel could be credible. So if you're skinny and are easily intimidated, then this personality probably isn't for you. I've more battle rap tips on what you can do instead below.
The Funny Battle Rapper
Another form of popular battle rapper is the funny one. That rapper who has lots of jokes in their bars and is known for making the crowd burst into laughter.
If you were the class joker or are someone who people find amusing, this could be the perfect personality for you. The aim is to pick out things about the other person which can be ridiculed, and take full advantage. You should mention things that are true to life, but stretch the truth as much as needed to get a laugh. Things that are beyond what would normally happen but would provide a amusing story usually works well.
The good thing about this rap style is you can use it to good effect regardless of your image. If you're funny you're funny, so this is a possible option for you no matter how gangster people perceive you to be.
The Technical Battle Rapper
Another personality you could adopt is the technical battle rapper. The technical battle rapper is someone who likes to mix their words in a way most other rappers couldn't do. They often like to follow themes, use double meanings, and rhyme syllables in a way which sounds good on the ear.
The aim of the technical rapper is to sounds smart, but not so smart that the audience don't know what they're talking about. If your theme go over people's heads, then you won't get much props.
One way some technical rappers go around this is by repeating certain parts of the bar, breaking it down along the way. This is a good way to make sure any punchlines which might have got missed hit home and are given the props that they deserve. That said, if you need to break it down too much, you're probably being too complicated for most.
The Average Joe
The last personality I want to cover is the average Joe. This is the category you don't want to fall into. This battle rapper has a lack of punchlines, isn't very funny, and uses lyrics which have been used a thousand times before. They don't excel in any particular area, and they sound like every other average Joe battle rapper out there.
If you don't fit into one of the above three personality types, you risk falling into this category. If you go the average route, you won't be able to step your game up and be seen as one of the top battle rappers out there.
So be sure to practice the style which suits you best, come up with original lines based on the opponent in front of you, and try not to be too lyrically influenced by other rappers already out there.
In all honesty, many rappers start out as an average Joe or below. But with enough practice, dedication and experimentation, you should excel past this level and start to make a name for yourself.
So there you have it, 4 types of rap battle personalities you could take on. Which one suits you best? Are you better at one than the other? How do you want people to see you?
These are all things you need to think about when getting into battle rap.
If you’ve decided your personality type, feel free to let us know which yours is in the comments. Or if you use a style not mentioned, let us know that too.