Who's in the house? We're all in the house!
This week we have an activity for everyone in the house to join in with. Learn about Hip Hop and create your own rap.
Growing out of The Bronx, New York in the early 1970s, rapping and MC'ing was a big part of the Hip Hop movement along with break dancing, DJing and scratching, and graffiti. Hip Hop music grew and spread across America and the world to become one of the most important genres in popular music.
If you haven't tried rapping before we have put together some advice and examples for you to follow.
We have also created two special backing tracks for you to rap over! You can find them in our free parents content at dabbledoomusic.com.
Basics of Rap
Rapping is a form of rhythmic, rhyming speech over a beat. This could be a simple pulse, stamping your feet, or a full musical backing track like the one in our parents' content.
Here's an example of a very simple rap from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (parents should remember this one!). Notice the first two lines and the last two lines rhyme with each other. This is a very simple way to arrange your rhyming structure.
In west Philadelphia born and raised
On the playground was where I spent most of my days
Chillin' out max and relaxing all cool
And shootin' some B ball outside of the school
Also notice the words in bold are on the strong beat of the music. You can pick out a similar emphasis on words if you read a poem. In this poem it is the second and fourth lines that rhyme with each other and the 1st and the 3rd.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vale and hill
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of golden daffodils
Finding the Words
You could practice rapping by taking a well known rhyme or poem and rapping it along with the beat. In the video below, by filmmaker Wes Tank, he takes a book by Dr. Seuss and uses it to rap over some beats. In this example, there are loads of simple rhymes and repeated words. The rhymes get more complicated as the song progresses.
Now you try it!
Take a famous rhyme or poem and say it rhythmically over the video below. Take something simple like Mary had a Little Lamb and try to say it in different ways. Have fun with it and experiment. There is no right or wrong!
Once you have a few ideas you can start making up your own rhymes.
Another part of Hip Hop music is something called beatbox. This is when we use our voice to make beats and sounds instead of using a backing track.
Gimme a Beat!
Below is an instrumental track from J Dilla for you to practice your rap over.
You can just make up words and lines that rhyme, they don't really have to make sense. If you want to try something a bit harder you can take an idea or a theme to rap about. You could do a special lockdown rap about spending time at home with your family and what you do every day.
Or you could rap about something completely different, like how much you like cucumbers:
If you go to the parents' free content you will find two tracks that you can use to practice your rapping. Remember to have fun, use your imagination and work hard to make it as good as it can be!
You can share your rap with us using the #dabbledoorap
Shane and the DabbledooMusic team.
(To discover more ideas for making music at home, check our 'Complete Guide to Music Making for Kids' for links to additional resources.)