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How to Rap like Lil Wayne

Learn how to rap like Lil Wayne from hip-hop performer Chris Kazi Rolle in this Howcast video.


Alright. Rapping like Lil Wayne is much about authenticity. Lil Wayne is a rapper who focused on the grit and the grime in his voice, so he puts all of his energy into his words. Another thing that makes Lil Wayne rap style distinctive is that he, many years ago, stopped writing rap lyrics. So he really just raps off the head. A lot of stuff is organic, in that he sits in the studio, plays the song over, and over again. He goes into the booth and does something called a punch.

A punch is I may rap two lines, stop it, and then we'll go back and then they'll punch me in, and start recording from the last place I left off. Over time, he would have created sixteen bars and, ultimately, a song.

The thing about rapping without writing it down: it comes straight from the heart, it comes straight from the head, and it's also very simple. In the simplicity, then everybody can listen to it. A lot of east coast rappers especially are very deep, very methodical, and they're so deep it takes a long time to dissect. Someone like Nas, for example, to dissect what he's talking about. Lil Wayne, many of the critics talk about the fact he's so simple, but that's what makes him very good.

Even in the simplicity of Lil Wayne, he also he's very complex in that he uses the first thing that come to your mind when you think of a word. If he says I'm high, cloud. It leaves a little space for you to say, "High, cloud. Oh, I got it." You want to keep it simple, but complex at the same time. Use word association, meaning that you use a word that's pretty simple. If you look at it in one sense, or when you look at it in another sense, then it's like, "Oh, that is so cool that he is able to put together these two concepts in a complex, but simple way."

Some people will call it pun, or word play. But, ultimately, that's Wayne's rap style in a nutshell. He puts a lot of grit and grime into his voice. I don't know if you remember a movie called The Gremlins back in the day. He raps like an actual gremlin. No disrespect to him, but that's what he really sounds like.

Another distinctive part of his style is that he takes street terminology and matches it with the King's English dictionary version of a word that does not have the same meaning that it does on a street level. He makes it complex and simple at the same time so that everybody gets it, but is creative enough that it's witty. And it's distinctive enough that you know when you hear somebody rap like that, that's Lil Wayne.

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