What Is Flow In Rap?
Understanding what flow is in rap
A lot of people ask what is flow in rap all the time.
It can be confusing because there really are a lot of layers to rap flow because of the misunderstanding that surrounds rap and flowing in rap in general.
Even that sentence was confusing lol.
What is flowing in rap music?
When you think flow, you usually think about water or a stream of water.
The cool water flowing smoothly in a stream down a slightly graded hill that is surrounded by trees and a bear on the side taking a…
lol got a bit too far into the description.
Well In rap, flow is just that, a very smooth, relaxing to listen to ‘stream’ of lines. A good rap flow gently glides over the rap beat without interfering with how the other instruments in the song are flowing.
Imagine that every time you are flowing your raps over a beat.
Is it smooth? Is your rap flow hitting all the right spots so it’s not abrasive in combination with the other instruments.
If your flow is hitting a bunch of rocks in the stream it’s altering its path and it’s not so smooth. A really bad rap flow is like a dam on a rap song.
Let’s put rap flow like this.
Your voice is an instrument. So when you ask how to flow in rap you have to keep in mind that you are using your voice as an instrument to lay over the other instruments.
Your voice needs to fit the beat rhythmically and carry along with it just right so it’s smooth to the listener’s ear.
For instance, imagine that the kick drum, snare or other instrument was all off beat, you couldn’t vibe to the song and you surely wouldn’t want to listen to it again and again.
Flowing is following the beat with your voice at the perfect pace. Just the right rhythm.
You might not mean to ask what is flow in rap but you may be wondering what is rhythm in rap. The thing is, flow in rap and rhythm in rap are extremely similar.
This is because to have flow in rap you have to have rhythm.
Rhythm is essential to have a flow in rap.
What Is Rap Flow
This is funny but it’s a great example of what is flow in rap. Check out this guy’s rap flow below.
This song used to be super popular in underground rap.
Lil Flip “I Got Flow”
Cause I got flow, you know I got flow (9 Syllables)
If I ain’t in your gal, I’m in the studio (12)
Cause I got flow, you know I got flow (9)
I’m da freestyle king, I ain’t no freestyle pro (11)
The entire song is based around him having a rap flow. It’s a super simple flow but he keeps it on beat and it is catchy.
You’ll notice he has rap flow because simply follows the beats instrumentation in the background.
Notice how his voice and words hit right as the beat’s instruments do.
That is a great way to flow on a rap beat with ease.
Overtime with enough practice you will automatically flow to the instrumentation on a beat without even having to try.
I also wanted to show you this guy flowing raps because… this guy was actually popular in rap for like 2 years.
If he made it, you sure as hell can make it too.
Of course this was back in the day when something like this was actually capable of being popular as a rap flow lol
Another Example Of What Rap Flow Is
Let’s do an example of what flow is in rap using lyrics you can read outloud
A good rule of thumb to keep on your rapping flow is to have the same amount or near the same amount of syllables in your bars.
Let’s go over an example from a song of mine called ‘I Do This Full Time’
One is the real lyrics and the other is a fake version. Try to flow them both to yourself and afterwards try to guess which one is the REAL version.
Rap Flow Example 1
Now I wake up super early and I just go get it/ (14 Syllables)
Trying to make my bank account look like phone digits/ (13 Syllables)
And that is for the record, I am not talking about Guinness/ (16 Syllables)
Say my name and you make it my business/ (10 Syllables)
Rap Flow Example 2
Now I wake up and I just go get it/ (10 Syllables)
Tryin’ make the bank look like phone digits/ (11 Syllables)
That’s for the record, aint no Guinness/ (9 Syllables)
Say my name and you make it my business/ (10 Syllables)
Which one of those rap flows ‘flowed’ and was easier to read out loud?
If you said rap flow example 2, you are correct.
The 2 main differences between the top rap flow and bottom rap flow is that:
1) The syllable count is all screwy and all over the place
2) The bottom rap flow is saying the exact same thing as the top one but in less words.
I wanted to point this out because shaving words off of your written lyrics in order to say the same thing in a rap flow is actually a super essential skill set of any rapper in the history of rap.
Click the video below and a few seconds in you can hear not only how the rap flow above is delivered but a soft flow voice that immediately jumps to a screaming rap voice.
The comparison is a great example of rap flow voice change ups.
I also have a great article on how to increase your rap flow using 1 simple trick.
You can check that 1 simple trick to rap flowing here.
Don’t worry, when you click it, it will open the rap flow article in another window so you can read it after you finish this. 🙂
There are entire rap careers based on one rap song with one dope rap flow. This is because the artist isn’t really an artist that creates amazing bodies of work but rather stumbled onto that one good flow. A good artist will be able to make song after song and have a higher probability of making a hit. But getting that one popular song all starts with finding your rap flow.
Think about that for a minute. One dope rap flow set just right on the right beat that allows people to vibe to it for 3 minutes can make you a famous rapper. Think about all the one hit wonder rappers who had one song from one flow.
If you would like to know more about what is flow in rap and how to find your flow in rap check out my course. It includes over 30 videos on rap flow
We break down rappers like Eminem, J Cole, Jay Z, Drake and tons of others as I go thru their well know songs and explain their rap flow patterns.
It also has a step by step guide on how to find your own rap flow fast.
I hope this helped you learn what is flow in rap. Get out there and start building your rap flow today!
If you really want to learn how to find a dope rap flow, check out my fully in-depth course that will take you to the next level