The chorus is the section of a rap song, which connects it's verses. There is usually only one chorus, which is repeated before/after each verse. A chorus is usually 4 to 8 bars long. It’s also called “a hook”, meaning that this section of the song is mean to hook up the listener's attention. It can be consisted of anything, from different types of rhyme schemes to a number of single statements or phrases.
Why is a rap chorus important?
The chorus is the only section of a rap song, which is repeated a number of times. Therefore,that's the part which your listener is likely to remember first, so anytime he thinks of this song, the first thing he would think of is the chorus. A chorus helps the listener differentiate your song, from the others. A chorus is like the cliff notes of a song. It basically tells the listener what is the song about, right from the start. With a bad chorus you are likely to put off people, because if the most memorable and important element of your song is not good, why should they give you a chance and wait for your verses? So think of this as if you were the listener. Would you waste 4 minutes of your life, listening to something, which gave you a bad first impression?
How to write a good rap chorus?
In my opinion, a good rap chorus is memorable, melodic and it sums up the content of the song. In order to create a good chorus, you have to take into account those three components(melodic/memorable/sums it all up).How to write a memorable chorus?A memorable chorus should really stick to your audience memory. This chorus has to be so memorable, that they can't stop singing it, in their head. This would make them come back and listen to your track one more time.
There is a number of techniques, which will achieve this task, however there is no recipe for a successful chorus. For example, repeating part of a word might do the job. Ever heard of lil wayne’s song Lolipop? Isn't part of his chorus something like, luk-luk-luk look like a lollipop? That repetition of sounds, seems to penetrate the listener’s memory and they remember it. I don't really know why, but I did my own research once. I went on youtube and checked out most of the songs, which have over 50 million views. Almost all of them were using this repetitive technique. Pitbull can be used as another example.
Another way to make your chorus memorable is to think of a really fly punchline. Something original, never written before. If it's original and stylish enough, there is a big chance that your audience will remember it.After you have your phrase, fill in the bars with it. Create a structure, which concentrates on that phrase. For example, if our phrase is “I’m the king of this rap kingdom”, you can create a focused structure like:I’m the king of this rap kingdom(rap kingdom echo)I’m the king of this rap kingdom(rap kingdom echo)I’m the king, king, king, king, I’m the king, king, of this rap kingdom All you do is play with the phrase. Play with intonation, pronunciation, repetition etc. If your audience starts quoting your chorus throughout their day, you can be sure that you’ve done a pretty good job.
How to write a melodic chorus?
First of all, you can try writing your chorus in a flow, which is different from the one you’ve used for your verses.
Most of the rappers nowadays try singing on their choruses, making them more melodic. It’s not as difficult as you might think. All you need to learn is how to hold a higher note and then rap your chorus, while staying on this higher note. Check out the melodic notes ladder exercises. It will help you get started.
You can use some sound schemes. This might break the ice and bring some variety to your sound. The thing you need to remember is that your chorus has to have a different sound from your verses.How to sum up your verses in a chorus?Now what you can do, is read your verses, one after the other and then ask yourself: What is the bottom line? What do I want to say with this project? What is the whole purpose of this song? What is the overall message I want to send?If you don't come up with something, read your material again, asking yourself those questions and your brain will eventually start working, giving birth to a great idea.Pay attention to the feeling of the song.The feeling of the whole project. This will guide your choice for chorus very well.
The most common structure for a chorus is the repeating quatrain. You basically think of a quatrain, which you repeat twice, filling in the 8 bar space. It's so commonly used, because of it's wide variety, giving you an opportunity to use any kind of rhyme schemes you want.-1 on 1 off is another chorus structure. It's basically 1 bar you rap, 1 bar you let the melody stay clean. So you are missing out every second bar. It's used to bring more weight to your words.-The conversation is another chorus structure, but you need a partner for it. It's basically: I rap two bars, then you rap two bars. You switch places each couplet or quatrain.
If your structure is fresh and original, it’s likely to be noticed.Bottom line is that there is no strict recipe for making a successful chorus. However, I'm trying to write mine in accordance to those guidelines. My advice would be to try and write the chorus in a way, which represents the feeling of your song.