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THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE RAP AD-LIB

Updated: May 26, 2018

Ad-Libs are those lyrical song elements that represent single words or short phrases that are being said in the background of a rapper/singer performance.






WHAT IS AN AD-LIB IN RAP

Ad-Libs are those lyrical song elements that represent single words or short phrases that are being said in the background of a rapper/singer performance.

The best examples for such ad-libs are Lil John’s “Yeah” and Rick Ross’s “Uh”. You can hear those, among other ad-lib examples over here.

WHY ARE AD-LIBS USED

The most common use of ad-libs is to build a rapper’s personality among listeners and spice up a song’s lyrical side.

It adds another layer to the production, which makes it more entertaining for some. Also, a certain sound can become the trademark sound of a rapper, which he can use to “tag” songs, create something to be remembered by and boost his share factor and if the ad-lib is original, boost his share-factor.

Contrary to popular belief, using ad-libs in your songs is not always necessary. It does have its benefits, but it also hinders the ability of listeners to concentrate on the actual verses. Rappers, which depend more on their rhymes and content matter tend to use the minimum amount of ad-libs. Rappers such as Nas and Eminem are known to use very few if any ad-libs on their songs.

HOW TO USE THEM PROPERLY

The best way to use ad-libs is to first record your full verses and then listen through your song, locating “empty spaces”. These empty spaces are the second where the instrumental is running, but you’re not rapping (maybe you’re taking a breath or just pausing). Once you locate them, pick a few phrases that would “fit” with your content matter. An ad-lib can be anything, for example:

  • Repeating a phrase from the bar

  • Asking a Question/Answering

  • Your Trademark sound/word/phrase

  • Generic phrases like “what/that’s right/yeah/ etc

Another way of using ad-libs is be to allocate places for them while you’re writing your verses. This is an effective method as well, so choosing which method to use depends on your own preference and way of writing.


Written By: RappingManual

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