If you’re going to be a great rapper, you need to learn all of the different kinds of rhymes and use them in your lyrics. In the old days, rappers didn’t think too much about the ways rhymes could be used to pack more punch and make their lyrics more memorable. But the work of rappers like Rakim and Tupac Shakur opened the possibilities of rhyming within individual lines, going beyond simply rhyming at the ends of lines. So today we’re going to tell you about the different types of rhymes to employ in your own writing.
The simplest form of rhyme is matching the vowel sounds of the last words of two or more lines. This has been used in poetry as far back as Shakespeare and beyond.
Internal rhymes match vowel sounds within the same line. The Notorious B.I.G was pretty famous for using this kind of rhyme, using it in his song Big Poppa with the line “to all the ladies in the place with style and grace”. In this line, the -a sound is prominent.
Now we’re going to get a little more technical. Rich rhymes can be quite powerful if they are used correctly. This is the rhyming of two different words that sound exactly the same. For example, “raise” and “raze”. Masters of rap have used this technique to create powerful, poignant lines.
While most people think of rhyming as only involving vowel sounds, learning how to rhyme consonants will take you to the next level. This technique, called alliteration, involves the repetition of the first letter in a line. Take this classic couplet from the Rakim’s Follow the Leader:
Music mixed mellow maintains to make
melodies for MC’s motivates the breaks
In this couplet, the alliteration of the -m sound dominates. If you’ve been paying attention, you’d also notice the internal rhyme going on in both lines as well as the end rhyme!
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