Top 46 Slang For Freestyle Rapping – Meaning & Usage

Freestyle rapping is an art form that requires quick thinking, creativity, and a deep understanding of the culture. But what sets apart the pros from the amateurs is their ability to effortlessly incorporate slang and wordplay into their verses.

In this listicle, we’ve gathered some of the hottest slang terms used by freestyle rappers today. Whether you’re an aspiring rapper or simply a fan of the genre, this comprehensive guide will help you navigate the world of freestyle rap and take your skills to the next level. Get ready to drop some fire bars and impress your friends with your newfound linguistic prowess!

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1. Acapella

In freestyle rapping, “acapella” refers to performing without any background music or beats. It allows the rapper to showcase their lyrical skills and flow.

  • For example, a rapper might say, “I’m about to drop some acapella bars, no beats needed.”
  • During a cypher, a rapper might challenge others by saying, “Who’s brave enough to go acapella?”
  • A freestyle rap battle might include an acapella round where rappers go head-to-head with just their raw rhymes.

2. Bars

In freestyle rapping, “bars” refers to the individual lines or verses that make up a rap. It’s a way to measure and discuss the quality and content of a rapper’s lyrics.

  • For instance, a rapper might say, “I’m dropping hot bars, watch me spit fire.”
  • During a freestyle session, someone might compliment a rapper by saying, “Those bars were fire, man!”
  • A rapper might challenge others by saying, “Let’s see who has the best bars in this cypher.”

3. Beats

In freestyle rapping, “beats” refers to the instrumental tracks or music that accompany the rap. It provides the rhythm and background for the rapper to flow over.

  • For example, a rapper might say, “I need some fresh beats to inspire my freestyle.”
  • During a freestyle session, someone might ask, “Who’s got the beats? Let’s start the cypher.”
  • A rapper might compliment a producer by saying, “These beats are sick, man. Perfect for freestyling.”

4. Instrumental

In freestyle rapping, “instrumental” refers to a piece of music without any vocals. It’s the type of track that rappers use to freestyle over and showcase their skills.

  • For instance, a rapper might say, “I love rapping over instrumentals. It allows me to really focus on my flow.”
  • During a freestyle session, someone might ask, “Anyone got an instrumental to rap over?”
  • A rapper might share their latest freestyle by saying, “Check out this dope instrumental I spit bars over.”

5. Kick

In freestyle rapping, “kick” refers to the drum sound or beat that provides the foundation for the rap. It’s the rhythmic element that drives the flow and energy of the freestyle.

  • For example, a rapper might say, “I need a heavy kick to set the vibe for my freestyle.”
  • During a freestyle session, someone might comment, “That kick is hitting hard, man. It’s bringing the energy.”
  • A rapper might start their freestyle by saying, “Listen to the kick, let it guide my flow.”

6. Snare

In freestyle rapping, “snare” refers to the sound produced by the snare drum. It is often used to create rhythm and add emphasis to certain beats in a rap.

  • For example, a rapper might say, “I hit the snare hard to make the beat bounce.”
  • Another rapper might rap, “My flow is tight, like a snare drum on a trap beat.”
  • A producer might comment, “The snare in this track is really punchy and adds a lot of energy.”

7. Hi-hat

The hi-hat is a type of cymbal that produces a crisp and sharp sound. In freestyle rapping, “hi-hat” is often used to refer to the sound produced by the hi-hat cymbal, which is used to create rhythm and add texture to a rap.

  • For instance, a rapper might say, “I ride the hi-hat to keep the beat flowing.”
  • Another rapper might rap, “The hi-hat is my favorite element in this beat, it gives it a nice groove.”
  • A producer might comment, “I added some hi-hat rolls to give the beat some extra energy.”

8. Bass

In freestyle rapping, “bass” refers to the low-frequency sounds that provide the foundation and groove of a rap. The bass is often created by a bass guitar or synthesizer.

  • For example, a rapper might say, “I feel the bass in my chest when I spit my rhymes.”
  • Another rapper might rap, “The bassline in this track is so heavy, it hits hard.”
  • A producer might comment, “I added a sub-bass to give the beat some depth and weight.”

9. Spit

In freestyle rapping, “spit” refers to the act of rapping or delivering rap lyrics. It is often used to describe the skill and technique of a rapper.

  • For instance, a rapper might say, “I can spit fire, my rhymes are hot.”
  • Another rapper might rap, “I’m known for my fast and intricate spit.”
  • A fan might comment, “That rapper can really spit, he’s got great flow and delivery.”

10. Freestyle

In freestyle rapping, “freestyle” refers to the act of improvising or making up lyrics on the spot. It is often used to describe a type of rap that is not pre-written or rehearsed.

  • For example, a rapper might say, “I can freestyle for hours, I never run out of rhymes.”
  • Another rapper might rap, “I’m known for my off-the-top freestyle, I can rap about anything.”
  • A fan might comment, “That freestyle was sick, he came up with those lyrics on the spot.”

11. Off the dome

This term refers to rapping without pre-written or memorized lyrics. It means coming up with rhymes and lyrics on the spot, in the moment.

  • For example, “He’s so talented, he can freestyle off the dome for hours.”
  • A rapper might boast, “I don’t need to write, I can come up with rhymes off the dome.”
  • In a freestyle rap battle, one rapper might challenge the other to “go off the dome” to prove their skills.

12. Forced

When a rapper’s lyrics or rhymes feel forced, it means they lack creativity or originality. It refers to lines that don’t flow naturally or feel like they were thought out in advance.

  • For instance, “His rhymes in that song sounded forced and didn’t fit with the beat.”
  • A listener might comment, “The rapper’s delivery felt forced, like he was trying too hard.”
  • In a rap battle, one rapper might accuse the other of using forced lines to fill space.
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13. Filler

In freestyle rap, filler refers to lines or words used to fill space between more meaningful or impactful lyrics. Fillers are often used to maintain rhythm or buy time to think of the next line.

  • For example, “He used a lot of filler in that verse, it didn’t add much to the overall message.”
  • A rapper might acknowledge, “Sometimes I use filler just to keep the flow going.”
  • In a cypher, one rapper might use filler lines while they think of a more clever response.

14. Battle rapper

A battle rapper is an artist who specializes in competitive rap battles. They are skilled at improvising clever and witty lyrics to outshine their opponents in a battle.

  • For instance, “He’s known as one of the best battle rappers in the game.”
  • A fan might say, “I love watching rap battles, the battle rappers are so talented.”
  • In a rap battle, one rapper might call out their opponent by saying, “I challenge any battle rapper here to step up and face me.”

15. Line

In freestyle rapping, a line refers to a single phrase or sentence within a verse. It’s a unit of rap lyrics that typically contains a rhyme and contributes to the overall flow and meaning of the song.

  • For example, “He dropped some sick lines in that freestyle.”
  • A rapper might say, “I’m working on writing catchy lines for my next song.”
  • In a rap battle, one rapper might deliver a powerful line that leaves the audience in awe.

16. Rebuttal

In freestyle rapping, a rebuttal refers to a quick response or counterargument to an opponent’s rap. It is a way for rappers to defend themselves or challenge their opponent’s claims.

  • For example, during a rap battle, one rapper might say, “You claim to be the best, but I’m here to rebuttal that.”
  • In a freestyle cypher, a rapper might deliver a rebuttal by saying, “I heard what you said, now it’s time for my rebuttal.”
  • Another rapper might use a rebuttal to dismiss their opponent’s claims by rapping, “Your rhymes are weak, I’m here to rebuttal and expose your flaws.”

17. Concepts

In freestyle rapping, concepts refer to the ideas or themes that rappers incorporate into their lyrics. It is a way for rappers to showcase their creativity and versatility by rapping about different subjects or exploring unique concepts.

  • For instance, a rapper might incorporate the concept of love into their freestyle by saying, “I’m spitting rhymes about love, that’s my concept for today.”
  • In a freestyle session, a rapper might challenge themselves to rap about a specific concept, such as money or success.
  • Another rapper might showcase their storytelling skills by rapping about a concept like friendship or betrayal.

18. Topical

In freestyle rapping, being topical refers to rapping about subjects or events that are relevant or current. It is a way for rappers to connect with their audience and stay up-to-date with the latest trends or news.

  • For example, a rapper might incorporate topical references by rapping about a recent celebrity scandal or a popular social media challenge.
  • During a freestyle cypher, a rapper might impress the crowd by rapping about a trending topic, demonstrating their ability to think on their feet.
  • Another rapper might use topical lyrics to address social issues or make a statement about current events.

19. Scatting

In freestyle rapping, scatting refers to the technique of vocal improvisation, where rappers use non-lexical syllables and sounds to create rhythmic patterns. It is a way for rappers to showcase their lyrical dexterity and add musicality to their freestyle.

  • For instance, a rapper might start scatting to warm up before delving into their freestyle rap.
  • During a freestyle cypher, a rapper might incorporate scatting to add variation and create a dynamic performance.
  • Another rapper might impress the audience with their scatting skills by mimicking the sounds of different instruments or creating complex rhythms.

20. Mumble rap

Mumble rap refers to a subgenre of rap characterized by its emphasis on melodic flows, repetitive lyrics, and the use of mumbled or indistinct vocal delivery. It is a style of rap that gained popularity in the late 2010s.

  • For example, a rapper might describe their music as mumble rap by saying, “I’m all about that mumble rap, bringing a new vibe to the game.”
  • In a discussion about different rap styles, one might mention mumble rap as a distinct subgenre.
  • Another rapper might criticize mumble rap for its lack of lyrical content or clarity in delivery.

21. Couplet

A couplet is a pair of lines in a poem or song that usually rhyme and have the same meter. In freestyle rapping, a couplet refers to two consecutive lines that are delivered together.

  • For example, “I’m the king of the mic, I’m here to slay / Every word I spit, you know it’s pure gold, no play.”
  • In a rap battle, an artist might come up with a couplet like, “You think you’re tough, but I’ll bring you down / My rhymes hit hard, like a punch from the underground.”

22. Quatrain

A quatrain is a stanza or verse in a poem or song that consists of four lines. In freestyle rapping, a quatrain refers to a group of four lines that are delivered together.

  • For instance, “I’m the lyrical master, I’m the one who’s fly / My words hit hard, make you wonder why / I’m the king of the game, no one can deny / When I step on the mic, you better say bye.”
  • In a rap battle, an artist might drop a quatrain like, “I’m the heavyweight champ, I’ll knock you out cold / My rhymes are fire, they never get old / You’re just a beginner, I’m the one who’s bold / Step back, son, let the master unfold.”

23. Wordplay

Wordplay refers to the clever and creative use of words, often involving puns, double meanings, or other linguistic devices. In freestyle rapping, wordplay is a technique used to showcase the rapper’s wit and skill with language.

  • For example, “I’m the rap magician, watch me disappear / My rhymes are so sick, they infect your ear / I twist words like a contortionist, no fear / When it comes to wordplay, I’m in a whole different sphere.”
  • In a rap battle, an artist might use wordplay like, “You claim to be a king, but you’re just a jester / I’ll leave you speechless, like a wordless gesture / My rhymes are sharp, they cut through like a fester / Step back, son, I’m the lyrical professor.”

24. Double entendres

Double entendres are phrases or expressions that have two different interpretations, often one of which is risqué or suggestive. In freestyle rapping, double entendres are used to add depth and cleverness to the lyrics, allowing the rapper to convey multiple meanings at once.

  • For instance, “I’m a master of the mic, I’m never discreet / My rhymes penetrate deep, make your heart skip a beat / I’ll leave you breathless, feeling the heat / My double entendres, they can’t be beat.”
  • In a rap battle, an artist might drop a double entendre like, “I’ll take you down, make you feel the pain / My rhymes hit hard, like a runaway train / You think you’re tough, but it’s all in vain / My double entendres, they drive you insane.”

25. Double meaning

Double meaning refers to a word, phrase, or expression that has two different interpretations. In freestyle rapping, double meaning is a technique used to create clever and witty lyrics that can be understood in different ways.

  • For example, “I’m the rap master, I’m here to reign / My rhymes are fire, they burn through the pain / I bring the heat, make you go insane / My double meanings, they keep you entertained.”
  • In a rap battle, an artist might use double meaning like, “You claim to be the best, but it’s all a façade / My rhymes cut deep, like a razor-sharp blade / You think you’re cool, but you’re just a charade / My double meanings, they leave you dismayed.”

26. Bars over jokes

In freestyle rap, “bars over jokes” refers to prioritizing lyrical skill and meaningful content over comedic or light-hearted lines. This phrase highlights the importance of delivering powerful and impactful verses.

  • For example, a rapper might say, “I’m all about bars over jokes, I spit truth that provokes.”
  • In a rap battle, a contestant might assert, “I’m here to prove that bars over jokes will always win.”
  • A freestyler might criticize another’s performance by saying, “Your rhymes lack depth, it’s all jokes, no bars.”

27. Personals

In freestyle rap battles, “personals” are lines or verses that directly attack or insult the opponent. These personalized insults are meant to undermine and provoke the opponent, often targeting their appearance, background, or weaknesses.

  • For instance, a rapper might say, “I’ll expose your secrets with personals that hit hard.”
  • In a heated battle, a contestant might deliver a personal by stating, “Your mama’s so ugly, she broke my mirror when she smiled.”
  • A freestyler might use personals to gain an advantage by saying, “I’ll dig deep into your past with personals that’ll leave you speechless.”

28. Lyricist

A “lyricist” is a rapper who excels in writing and delivering complex and thought-provoking lyrics. These rappers prioritize wordplay, metaphors, and storytelling, aiming to create memorable and impactful verses.

  • For example, a rapper might say, “I’m a lyricist, my words paint pictures that mesmerize.”
  • In a discussion about rap styles, one might argue, “A true lyricist can captivate an audience with their storytelling.”
  • A fan of lyrical rap might praise an artist by stating, “He’s a true lyricist, his rhymes always leave me in awe.”

29. Underground

In freestyle rap, “underground” refers to the independent and non-mainstream rap community. It encompasses artists who are not signed to major record labels and often focuses on raw talent, creativity, and authentic expression.

  • For instance, a rapper might say, “I’m from the underground, where real hip-hop is found.”
  • In a conversation about music trends, one might mention, “The underground scene is where you find the most innovative and unique rap.”
  • An underground artist might emphasize their independence by stating, “I stay true to the underground, no compromises for the mainstream.”

30. Mainstream

In freestyle rap, “mainstream” refers to the popular and commercially successful rap industry. It includes artists who are signed to major record labels and often focuses on creating music that appeals to a wide audience for commercial success.

  • For example, a rapper might say, “I’m making moves to go mainstream, reach the masses with my flow.”
  • In a discussion about music charts, one might mention, “Mainstream rap dominates the top spots with catchy hooks and radio-friendly beats.”
  • A fan of mainstream rap might defend the genre by stating, “Just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it lacks talent, there are skilled artists in the mainstream too.”

31. Indie

In the context of freestyle rapping, “indie” refers to an artist or rapper who is not signed to a major record label. It emphasizes their independence and DIY approach to their music career.

  • For example, a rapper might say, “I’m an indie artist, grinding on my own without a label.”
  • In a discussion about the music industry, someone might mention, “There’s a lot of talented indie rappers out there who deserve more recognition.”
  • Another rapper might boast, “I’m staying true to my indie roots, keeping control of my own music.”

32. Flow

Flow is the term used to describe the rhythmic and melodic delivery of lyrics in freestyle rapping. It refers to the way a rapper rides the beat and maintains a consistent pattern of rhythm and rhyme.

  • For instance, a rapper might say, “My flow is smooth like butter, I ride the beat effortlessly.”
  • In a rap battle, someone might criticize their opponent’s flow by saying, “Your flow is off, you’re stumbling over the words.”
  • A fan might compliment a rapper’s flow by commenting, “I love how they switch up their flow, it keeps the song interesting.”

33. Cypher

A cypher is a gathering of rappers or emcees who take turns freestyling and showcasing their skills. It often involves a circle formation where each rapper takes their turn to deliver their verses.

  • For example, a rapper might say, “Join the cypher, it’s where we showcase our lyrical prowess.”
  • In a discussion about hip-hop culture, someone might explain, “The cypher is a fundamental element of rap battles and freestyle sessions.”
  • A fan might express their excitement about a cypher by saying, “I can’t wait to see the cypher at the upcoming rap concert.”

34. Mic drop

“Mic drop” is a slang term used to describe the action of intentionally dropping a microphone after delivering a particularly impressive or impactful line. It signifies confidence and the belief that one’s performance or statement cannot be topped.

  • For instance, a rapper might say, “I just killed that verse, mic drop!”
  • In a rap battle, someone might drop the mic after delivering a powerful punchline to emphasize their victory.
  • A fan might comment on a rapper’s performance by saying, “That final line was fire, it deserved a mic drop moment.”

35. 16 bars

In freestyle rapping, a “bar” refers to a measure of music that typically contains four beats. “16 bars” indicates the length of a verse, with each bar consisting of four beats, resulting in a total of 16 bars.

  • For example, a rapper might say, “I’m about to spit 16 bars, watch me go.”
  • In a discussion about song structure, someone might explain, “A typical rap verse consists of 16 bars, followed by a chorus.”
  • A fellow rapper might ask, “Can you lay down your 16 bars on this beat?”

36. Chorus

In freestyle rapping, the chorus refers to a recurring section of a song that typically includes the main theme or message. It is usually catchy and repeated multiple times throughout the song.

  • For example, “I’m the king of the streets, everybody knows” could be a chorus in a freestyle rap.
  • In a discussion about song structure, someone might say, “The chorus is the part that really sticks in your head.”
  • A rapper might emphasize the importance of a strong chorus, saying, “The chorus is what gets the crowd hyped and singing along.”

37. Hook

The hook is a memorable phrase or melody that grabs the listener’s attention and is often repeated throughout a freestyle rap. It is usually the most memorable part of the song and helps to make it catchy and memorable.

  • For instance, “I’m here to stay, I won’t be denied” could be a hook in a freestyle rap.
  • When discussing songwriting techniques, someone might say, “A strong hook is essential for a successful freestyle rap.”
  • A rapper might explain the importance of a good hook, saying, “The hook is what keeps the audience engaged and wanting more.”

38. Punchline

A punchline is a clever and impactful line in a freestyle rap that often includes wordplay, metaphors, or witty observations. It is usually delivered with emphasis and is intended to elicit a strong reaction from the audience.

  • For example, “I’m so fly, call me the sky” could be a punchline in a freestyle rap.
  • When discussing freestyle rap techniques, someone might say, “A good punchline can really elevate a rap.”
  • A rapper might emphasize the importance of punchlines, saying, “The punchline is what sets a great rapper apart from the rest.”

39. Mic check

Mic check refers to the act of testing a microphone before a performance or recording to ensure that it is working properly. In freestyle rapping, it is often used as a phrase to get the audience’s attention and signal the start of a rap.

  • For instance, a rapper might say, “Mic check, one-two, one-two” before starting a freestyle rap.
  • When discussing stage setup, someone might say, “A proper mic check is crucial for a successful performance.”
  • A rapper might explain the importance of a good mic check, saying, “A clear and loud mic is essential for delivering powerful freestyle raps.”

40. Battle rap

Battle rap is a form of freestyle rapping where two or more rappers engage in a competition to showcase their skills and lyrical abilities. It often involves insults, wordplay, and clever comebacks, with the goal of outperforming the opponent.

  • For example, “I’m the king of battle rap, no one can touch me” could be a line in a battle rap.
  • When discussing rap genres, someone might say, “Battle rap requires quick thinking and sharp improvisation.”
  • A rapper might emphasize the intensity of battle rap, saying, “In a battle rap, it’s all about proving you’re the best and taking down your opponent.”

41. Beatbox

Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion where artists use their mouths, lips, tongue, and voice to create beats and rhythms. It is often used as a background accompaniment for freestyle rapping.

  • For example, a beatboxer might say, “Check out my sick beatboxing skills!”
  • During a freestyle rap battle, a rapper might ask the beatboxer to “drop a beat.”
  • In a freestyle rap cypher, a participant might showcase their beatboxing ability before jumping into their rhymes.
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42. Rhyme scheme

The rhyme scheme refers to the pattern of rhymes at the end of each line in a rap verse. It helps create structure and flow within a rap.

  • For instance, a rapper might say, “I’m spitting rhymes with an AABB rhyme scheme.”
  • In a freestyle rap battle, a rapper might critique their opponent’s rhyme scheme, saying, “Your rhyme scheme is predictable and lacks creativity.”
  • A rapper might experiment with different rhyme schemes to add variety and complexity to their lyrics.

43. Hype

Hype refers to the level of excitement, energy, and enthusiasm in a freestyle rap performance. It is often used to describe the atmosphere and vibe created by the rapper and the audience.

  • For example, a rapper might say, “I’m bringing the hype with my killer flow!”
  • During a freestyle rap battle, the crowd might chant and cheer, adding to the hype of the event.
  • A rapper might aim to build hype by using catchy hooks and delivering high-energy verses.

44. Ad-lib

Ad-libs are spontaneous vocalizations or phrases inserted into a freestyle rap to add emphasis, flavor, or fill in gaps between lyrics. They are often used to enhance the overall performance and make it more dynamic.

  • For instance, a rapper might ad-lib “yeah” or “uh” between lines to create a rhythmic effect.
  • During a freestyle rap cypher, a rapper might use ad-libs to respond to or support what another rapper is saying.
  • A rapper might practice different ad-lib techniques to develop their own unique style.

45. Flow switch

A flow switch refers to a deliberate change in the rhythm, cadence, or delivery of a rapper’s flow during a freestyle rap. It adds variation and keeps the audience engaged by introducing unexpected shifts in the rap performance.

  • For example, a rapper might suddenly switch from a slow and melodic flow to a fast-paced, aggressive flow.
  • During a freestyle rap battle, a rapper might strategically use a flow switch to catch their opponent off guard and gain an advantage.
  • A rapper might experiment with different flow switches to showcase their versatility and keep their audience entertained.
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46. Wordsmith

A wordsmith is someone who has a mastery over words and is skilled at using language creatively. In the context of freestyle rapping, a wordsmith is someone who can effortlessly come up with clever and intricate rhymes and lyrics.

  • For example, “He’s a true wordsmith, his freestyle flow is unmatched.”
  • A rapper might say, “I’m a wordsmith, I can flip rhymes on the spot.”
  • In a rap battle, one artist might be praised as a wordsmith, “His wordplay is insane, he’s definitely a wordsmith.”