Top 26 Slang For Rapping – Meaning & Usage

Rapping is an art form that has its own language and culture. From the streets to the stage, rappers have developed a unique set of slang words and phrases that are essential to understanding and appreciating their craft. Whether you’re a seasoned hip-hop head or just starting to explore this genre, our team has got you covered. We’ve compiled a list of the top slang for rapping that will not only expand your vocabulary but also give you an insider’s perspective into this dynamic and expressive form of music. Get ready to drop some knowledge and impress your friends with your rhymes!

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1. Bars

In rap, “bars” refers to the lyrics or verses that a rapper delivers in a song or freestyle. It signifies the skill and talent of the rapper in crafting clever and impactful lines.

  • For example, “He dropped some sick bars in his latest track.”
  • A rapper might say, “I’m known for my killer bars and wordplay.”
  • In a rap battle, one artist might claim, “I’ll destroy you with my bars, no doubt.”

2. Flow

In rap, “flow” refers to the rhythm, cadence, and delivery of a rapper’s lyrics. It encompasses the way the words are delivered and the overall musicality of the performance.

  • For instance, “He has a smooth flow that glides over the beat.”
  • A rapper might say, “My flow is unique and sets me apart from others.”
  • In a song review, one might praise, “Her flow is tight and perfectly matches the vibe of the track.”

3. Mic drop

A “mic drop” is a slang term used to describe a bold and confident statement or action, often used to signify the end of a performance or argument. It originated from the act of dropping a microphone after an impactful speech or performance.

  • For example, “He ended his rap battle with a mic drop, leaving the crowd in awe.”
  • A rapper might say, “I’m about to drop some truth bombs and mic drop on this beat.”
  • In a discussion about memorable moments in rap history, one might mention, “That mic drop moment at the awards show was legendary.”

4. Freestyle

In rap, “freestyle” refers to the act of improvising or creating lyrics on the spot without prior preparation. It showcases a rapper’s ability to think quickly and come up with clever rhymes and wordplay.

  • For instance, “He blew everyone away with his freestyle skills during the cypher.”
  • A rapper might say, “I can freestyle for hours, no need for written lines.”
  • In a rap battle, one artist might challenge the other, saying, “Let’s see what you got, freestyle only!”

5. Diss

In rap, “diss” is short for “disrespect” and refers to the act of insulting or criticizing someone, typically through lyrics. It is a common element in rap battles and serves to assert dominance and showcase lyrical prowess.

  • For example, “He dropped some savage disses in his latest track.”
  • A rapper might say, “I’m known for my sharp disses and wordplay.”
  • In a rap battle, one artist might diss the other, saying, “Your rhymes are weak, prepare for a lyrical slaughter.”

6. Cypher

A cypher is a gathering of rappers who take turns freestyling or improvising lyrics. It often involves a group of people forming a circle and each rapper taking a turn to showcase their skills.

  • For example, “We had an amazing cypher last night, with rappers from all over the city.”
  • In a rap battle, one rapper might challenge another by saying, “Let’s go toe-to-toe in a cypher.”
  • A rapper might boast about their skills by saying, “I always bring fire to the cypher, no matter who I’m rapping with.”

7. Ghostwriter

A ghostwriter is a professional songwriter who is hired to write lyrics for another rapper or artist. They often remain anonymous and do not receive credit for their work.

  • For instance, “Many popular rappers have used ghostwriters to help them with their music.”
  • In a discussion about authenticity in rap, someone might argue, “Using a ghostwriter takes away from the artist’s credibility.”
  • A fan might speculate, “I wonder if this rapper writes their own lyrics or if they use a ghostwriter.”

8. Banger

A banger is a term used to describe a rap song that is exceptionally good or has a catchy beat. It is often used to express enthusiasm or excitement about a particular track.

  • For example, “This new track is a banger, it’s been on repeat all day.”
  • A rap fan might say, “I can’t wait for the concert tonight, they always perform their bangers.”
  • In a discussion about rap music, someone might ask, “What’s your favorite banger of all time?”

9. 16 bars

In rap, a bar refers to a measure of music, and 16 bars is a common length for a rap verse. It is often used as a guideline for structuring rap lyrics.

  • For instance, “He delivered a killer verse, packed with clever wordplay, in just 16 bars.”
  • In a rap battle, one rapper might challenge another by saying, “Let’s see what you can do in 16 bars.”
  • A rapper might boast about their skills by saying, “I can tell a whole story in just 16 bars, no problem.”

10. Trap

Trap is a subgenre of rap music that originated in the Southern United States. It is characterized by its heavy use of 808 drum machines, dark and gritty lyrics, and trap-style beats.

  • For example, “He’s known for his trap music, with hard-hitting beats and raw lyrics.”
  • A rap fan might say, “I love the energy of trap music, it always gets me hyped.”
  • In a discussion about different rap subgenres, someone might ask, “Who are your favorite trap artists?”

11. Chorus

The chorus is a section in a rap song that is repeated multiple times throughout the track. It typically contains the main melody and lyrics that are catchy and memorable. The chorus is often the most recognizable part of a rap song and helps to structure the overall composition.

  • For example, in a rap song, the chorus might go, “I’m the king of the streets, ruling every block.”
  • A rapper might say, “I’m working on writing a killer chorus for my new track.”
  • In a discussion about rap music, someone might comment, “The chorus of that song is so catchy, it’s stuck in my head.”

12. Beat

The beat refers to the instrumental or music that accompanies a rap song. It is the rhythmic foundation of the track and sets the tempo and mood. The beat is created using various musical elements such as drums, bass, melody, and samples.

  • For instance, a rapper might say, “I love the beat on this track, it’s so hard-hitting.”
  • In a conversation about producing rap music, someone might ask, “Where do you find your beats?”
  • A fan might comment, “The beat on that song is fire, it makes you want to dance.”

13. Flex

To “flex” in rap means to boast or show off one’s wealth, success, or skills. It often involves bragging about material possessions, accomplishments, or talents. The term “flex” can also be used as a noun to refer to a display of one’s status or abilities.

  • For example, a rapper might say, “I’m gonna flex on these haters with my new chain.”
  • In a rap battle, a rapper might boast, “I’m the illest, watch me flex my lyrical skills.”
  • A fan might comment, “That rapper always flexes about how much money he has.”

14. Hype

In rap, “hype” refers to the energy, excitement, and intensity of a performance or song. It describes the feeling of being pumped up and ready to party or engage in a lively activity. The term can also be used as a verb to describe the act of getting excited or hyping up a crowd.

  • For instance, a rapper might say, “I’m gonna bring the hype to the stage with my high-energy performance.”
  • In a discussion about rap concerts, someone might ask, “Which rapper always brings the most hype to their shows?”
  • A fan might comment, “That song gets me hyped every time I hear it.”

15. Spit

To “spit” in rap means to deliver lyrics or verses with skill and passion. It refers to the act of rapping or freestyling in a confident and impressive manner. The term “spit” emphasizes the verbal dexterity and lyrical prowess of a rapper.

  • For example, a rapper might say, “I’m gonna spit some fire on this beat.”
  • In a rap battle, a rapper might challenge their opponent, saying, “You think you can spit better than me? Bring it on.”
  • A fan might comment, “That rapper can really spit, their flow is so smooth.”

16. Hook

In rap music, the hook refers to the catchy and memorable part of a song that is repeated throughout. It is usually the most recognizable and memorable part of the track.

  • For example, in the song “Lose Yourself” by Eminem, the hook goes, “You better lose yourself in the music, the moment you own it.”
  • Another example is the hook in “Hotline Bling” by Drake,“Hotline Bling” by Drake, where he sings, “You used to call me on my cell phone.”
  • A rapper might say, “I’m working on this new track and I’ve got a killer hook for the chorus.”

17. Ad-lib

Ad-libs are spontaneous or improvised lines or sounds that rappers add to their songs to enhance the overall performance and add personality. They are often used to emphasize certain words or phrases or to add extra flair to the lyrics.

  • For instance, in the song “Sicko Mode” by Travis Scott, he ad-libs “It’s lit!” throughout the track.
  • Another example is the ad-lib “Skrrt” commonly used by rappers like Migos.
  • A rapper might say, “I love adding ad-libs to my songs because it gives them a unique touch.”

18. Beatbox

Beatboxing is a vocal technique where a person creates various sounds and beats using their mouth, lips, tongue, and voice. It is often used in rap music to provide a rhythmic and percussive accompaniment to the lyrics.

  • For example, in the song “Regulate” by Warren G and Nate Dogg, Nate Dogg beatboxes in the background.
  • Another example is the beatboxing solo by Rahzel in “If Your Mother Only Knew” by Rahzel.
  • A beatboxer might say, “I’ve been practicing beatboxing for years and can create all sorts of sounds with my mouth.”

19. Wordplay

Wordplay in rap refers to the clever and creative use of words, often through puns, double entendres, or other linguistic devices. It adds depth, humor, and complexity to the lyrics.

  • For instance, in the song “Lose Yourself” by Eminem, he uses wordplay when he raps, “His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.”
  • Another example is the wordplay in the line “I got 99 problems but a b**** ain’t one” by Jay-Z.
  • A rapper might say, “I love incorporating wordplay into my rhymes because it keeps the audience engaged and entertained.”

20. Swag

In rap culture, swag refers to a person’s style, confidence, and overall demeanor. It encompasses the way a rapper carries themselves, their fashion choices, and their attitude.

  • For example, a rapper might say, “I’m dripping with swag” to indicate that they have a cool and confident presence.
  • Another example is the line “I got the swag and it’s pumping out my ovaries” by Nicki Minaj.
  • A rapper might say, “Swag is all about staying true to yourself and exuding confidence in everything you do.”

21. Mic check

This term refers to the practice of testing a microphone before a performance or recording to ensure it is working properly and the sound levels are balanced. It is often used as a metaphor for preparing oneself or getting ready to perform.

  • For example, a rapper might say, “Mic check, one two, one two, testing, testing.”
  • Before starting a freestyle session, someone might announce, “Mic check, let’s get this cypher going.”
  • In a song, a line might go, “Mic check, I’m about to bring the fire.”

22. Flow switch

This term refers to the act of transitioning or changing one’s rap style or flow during a performance. It can involve altering the rhythm, cadence, or delivery of the lyrics to add variation and keep the audience engaged.

  • For instance, a rapper might say, “I’m about to switch up the flow on this next verse.”
  • During a freestyle battle, one rapper might switch their flow to catch their opponent off guard.
  • In a song, a line might go, “I started slow but then I switched up the flow.”

23. Punchline

A punchline is a clever or impactful line in a rap verse that often delivers a witty or humorous twist, a clever wordplay, or a memorable phrase. It is typically used to end a verse or as a climax to create a strong impact.

  • For example, “My punchlines hit hard like a heavyweight champ.”
  • In a battle, a rapper might say, “You can’t handle my punchlines, they’ll knock you out.”
  • In a song, a line might go, “I drop punchlines that leave the crowd amazed.”

24. Cypher session

A cypher session refers to a gathering of rappers in a circle where they take turns freestyling or improvising rap verses. It is a collaborative and competitive environment where rappers showcase their skills and creativity.

  • For instance, “We had an amazing cypher session last night, the energy was off the charts.”
  • During a cypher session, one rapper might challenge another by saying, “Your turn, show us what you got.”
  • In a song, a line might go, “We formed a cypher session and let the rhymes flow.”

25. Remix

A remix is an altered version of a song where the original recording is modified by adding or changing elements such as instrumentals, vocals, or beats. In the context of rapping, a remix can also refer to a new rap verse added to an existing song.

  • For example, “Check out the remix of this track, it has a different beat and a new feature.”
  • A rapper might say, “I’m dropping a remix of my hit single with new lyrics and a fresh vibe.”
  • In a song, a line might go, “This is the remix, bringing a whole new flavor.”

26. Battle rap

Battle rap is a form of freestyle rap competition where two or more rappers compete against each other with improvised verses. It often involves aggressive and confrontational lyrics.

  • For example, “He destroyed his opponent in that battle rap.”
  • In a discussion about rap music, someone might say, “Battle rap is a true test of a rapper’s skill and creativity.”
  • A fan of battle rap might comment, “I love watching the intense back-and-forth of a good battle rap.”
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