Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
How to Rap: The Art and Science of the Hip-Hop MC Paperback – December 1, 2009
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
"How to Rap marks a cultural coming-of-age for hip-hop -- the first comprehensive poetics of this new literary form" -- Dana Gioia, poet and former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts
"Filled with real tools and overflowing with inspiration... a good read even for nonartists interested in learning more about hip-hop creativity, personalities, and history, this offers insights into music and poetry... highly recommended" -- Library Journal
"The most incredible feature of How to Rap are bar notational charts that can be used to form your rhyme, flow, and more" -- On Wax Magazine
"Wanna learn how to be a super MC? In How to Rap over 100 rappers have offered their insight on the artform for aspiring wordsmiths" -- XXL Magazine
"How useful, amid the rain-forest-worrying deluge of books written on hip-hop theory and culture, that Paul Edwards has taken a straightforward, reasoned and informed approach to discussing the actual mechanics of rapping. How To Rap looks at that art form by unknotting its components--content, style, delivery and, most intriguingly, its spatial alliance with music and beats--and uses practical examples for context and analysis. Aspiring MCs will benefit most, but there are insights and observations that will appeal to anyone with an interest in hip-hop’s development." —Alex Ogg, author, The Hip Hop Years, The Men Behind Def Jam, Rap Lyrics
"A clever breakdown of the art form of hip-hop rhymes, for anyone who is into the art of incredible raps. It's about time someone actually recognized this powerful music for its artistic ingenuity." —Speech, Arrested Development
"A complete guide to the art and craft of the MC, anyone who's serious about becoming a rapper should read this first. Proof positive that rap is more than just talking over music - a vital and vibrant expose of a much misunderstood art form." —Hip-Hop Connection
"If only this book had existed back in the day, I might not have become a university professor. For now, though, I'll have to settle for hanging out with my academic pals Eazy A, Chuck Ph.D., and Dr. GRE--and curling up with a copy of How To Rap. Watch out world, this crazy ass-prof [associate professor] is coming straight outta college." —Kembrew McLeod, professor, critic (Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, Spin, Mojo), author (Freedom of Expression®), documentary filmmaker
"Paul Edwards's new book How to Rap brings a fresh approach to hip-hop lyricism that's remarkable for its depth of practical detail. What's in a namecheck? What are the pros and cons of certain metrical or rhetorical forms? What are the most common structures in hip-hop's history? With numerous examples and analyses of the hip-hop greats of the past, Edwards offers both an immensely practical introduction for would-be rappers, as well as the first detailed poetics of 'the pulse of the rhyme flow' in hip-hop. This is a foundational text." —Russell Potter, Ph.D., author of Spectacular Vernaculars
“A must-have guide for anyone who ever wanted to understand the blood, sweat, and tears that can go into the art of MCing. The book lets those in the dark understand the craft of MCing as close as possible.” —DJ Rasta Root, Smokin' Needles Records (DJs and produces for the likes of A Tribe Called Quest's Phife Dawg, with whom he runs Smokin' Needles Records)
About the Author
Paul Edwards holds a master’s degree in postmodernism, literature, and contemporary culture from University of London and has done extensive research on rappers and their creative processes, musical theories, and lyrics.
Kool G Rap is one of the most influential MCs of all time, with Eminem, Jay-Z, Big Pun, R.A. the Rugged Man, and many others citing him among their influences. Frequently on greatest MCs of all time” lists, he has appeared on tracks with numerous artists, including Eminem, Nas, AZ, Mobb Deep, Busta Rhymes, Big L, Ghostface Killah, and Canibus.
More About the Author
-The Concise Guide to Hip-Hop Music (St. Martin's Griffin, 2015)
-How to Rap 2: Advanced Flow and Delivery Techniques (Chicago Review Press, 2013)
-How to Rap: The Art and Science of the Hip-Hop MC (Chicago Review Press, 2009)
He is a writer and researcher of hip-hop who has interviewed more than 100 notable rappers and has done extensive research on rappers' creative processes, musical theories, and lyrics.
He has been interviewed as a leading expert on hip-hop and rap by the Chicago Tribune, the New York Amsterdam News, Wired magazine, Chuck D's New York radio show, HipHopDX, Australia's Acclaim Magazine, UK's Echoes Magazine, Germany's HHV Magazine, and Time Out Dubai, as well as being referred to as "the Aristotle of Hip-Hop poetics" by Dana Gioia (poet and former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts). He holds a master's degree in postmodernism, literature, and contemporary culture from the University of London.
Official site links:
Top Customer Reviews
I am someone who has always been moderately interested in rapping, but never really knew much about it. There are some songs and some artists that I absolutely love, but everything else I pay little attention to. I don't know very many artists names and am almost completely unaware of rap prior to about 1999.
On to the book. This book has taught me all of the intricate details that go on into imagining, creating, editing, and performing that I could have ever wanted. Every single page taught me something that I found worthwhile and often thought was incredible. Another amazing side-effect of this book is that I now have a huge appreciation for the hip hop community, and am amazed and inspired by many of the individuals. I am now aware or and appreciate tons of great artists of the past and present that I had know idea about before. I have now listened to 100's of tracks that I never would have before, and have learned how incredibly talented these artists truly are.
I highly recommend this book for anyone that is interested in the hip hop community, wants to appreciate the art form more, or who wants to learn how to rap.
And as others have mentioned, it seems that the only people that have given this book low reviews are "nobody" rappers who think that they are famous. There is nothing wrong with being a "nobody" rapper as that is what 99.99% of us will be, and it can still be fun and meaningful! Just don't pretend to be able to construct something better than this book.
Now I'm not a professional but I would assume a professional would have little reason to buy a book like this unless they have not found them selves yet. This book is not a spoon feeder. It is more of a 4 COURSE meal. You choose at your own pace what you would like to eat and the order you would like to eat it. It offers great reference from many artists. Most are underground yet the important thing is that there are many avenues on the various components of rap. These are present. It doesn't give you worksheets, it instead provides views and points of views. These points of views are then perceived by the reader according to their understanding. The level of information is great depending on the ability of the reader to comprehend what is being read.
Truthfully just about everything covered in this book was something I already knew or did, but the fact that it was neatly laid out and organized was the key. Some people have to have some peace of mind when they write which can be achieved by understanding direction and options. This book can give peace of mind to rappers that excel in writing.
I have recommended it to my friends and have seen fast improvement.
This is the definitive book on the subject.
The problem though, is some of the answers are so atrocious and uninformative that I began to feel sorry for the author for reasons he may not even understand. Why would you put all the effort (which was clearly a lot) into a book like this, only to have passages like these?:
"A lot of MC's do research before writing their lyrics. Some talk to friends or family as a way of research." Then, the first quote from a rapper to back up this statement and explain the "science" of talking to friends and family for rap research is from 40 Cal. And this is, verbatim, the entire quote:
40 Cal: I might ask a friend about a line.
Really? That's incredible! And no, there is no elaboration on that.
The book is full of very uninspired, pointless quotes from rappers, who never state anything more than the painfully obvious. And let's be real. Do we need to quote Omar Cruz every other page? Is Omar Cruz the master rap technician all the kids aspire to be like?
I'm just saying. The author could have based an entire 10 page chapter on Big Daddy Kane's entire unique approach. Instead, there are about 10 Big Daddy Kane quotes scattered around the book, and none of them are even remotely informative.
Pass on this book unless you are a 46 year old white secretary who is doing a parody rap for her boss on his birthday. If you know a single thing about rapping, or furthemore, LISTENING to rapping, you will gain nothing from this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good, informative read for anyone who considers themselves a student of the game.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
it is a good book for beginners. But you have to read between the lines to understand where the author is coming from.Published 4 months ago by Nelson Hernandez
Whether you're a fan of rap, love rapping yourself or just love music and the rhythm that goes with it this book is for you. Read morePublished 8 months ago by David