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How to Construct Better Punchlines

 

In this article, you will learn the following:

  • What is a Punchline
  • Sources of Punchline Creation
  • How to form the Punchline

1. What is a Punchline

A punchline is a one liner or a couplet, which has a bigger impact than the rest of your lyrics. It carries more weight, it shows your style and its damn hard to think of one. Some rappers base their whole lyrical content around punchlines. Rappers like Ludacris and Jadakiss are one of the most distinguished “Puchline Rappers”. The actual punchline can be a number of things:

-Bold Statement
This is the kind of statement which says the truth and nothing else. No filters and no political correctness. Just the truth, tell it like it is. Many people might get offended, but thats okay. Over time, they will realise that you were right. For example, when Jadakiss said “Bush knocked down the towers”. The punchline was so good that Immortal Technique took it and he used it as his chorus to the song “Bin Laden”.

Jadakiss-Hold-U-Down-Lyrics

Jadakiss

-Timeless Laws
The punchline can also be from one of those laws of wisdom, that never gets old. Timeless Laws like “I keep my friends close and my enemies closer” is a slick example for a punchline of that type. Not only it shows the ruthlesness of your character, but it shows that you have wisdom and knowledge in you. Traits that your auidence is looking for.

-Metaphors
You could also use a metaphor as your punchline, however the metaphor has to be pretty deep and unique if you want to get the reaction you wish for. Anything mediocre wouldn’t cut it. In most cases, the metaphor punchine is direct to self glorification, making the character of the rapper seem bigger than it is. Metaphors like “You pups can’t keep up with the pedigree” or “This is my ocean, ya niggaz is tunna” are example of metaphors which are used as punchlines.

metaphor

Here are some other example, just so you know what I’m talking about:

“I’m out for presidents to represent me.” (Nas-Bold Statement)
“I’m a star bitch, when you see me make a wish.” (Lil Wayne-Metaphor)
“They say whenever someone dies with his eyes open, he deserved it” (Jadakiss-Timeless Law)

2. Sources of Punchline Creation

-Research
Dig into those books and start searching. There are numerious collections of wise words throughout the internet. All you need to do is find one that you like and “borrow it”. Find a list of interesting metaphors. Try twisting some of them in a way, which would be useful for you and your needs. You have to know that punchlines are everywhere. You just have to look for them.

research

Do your research.

-Look around your own environment
The place where you live plays a large part in shaping your character and using a saying,common for that area, as a punchline, would only add to the “realness” of your words.

Look around you. Maybe its something your friends at school constantly repeat or trynna live up to. Like an ideal. Listen to your parents.The next time you come home late, high as a motherfucka, the moment they figure out whats going on, the speech gonna come next.

Instead of thinking about which movie are you gonna watch next, listen to them and pay attention..They might say something clever or they might give you an idea, which you can later transform to a punchline. Imagine.

-Be Creative
The most important factor in creating a punchline is how original are you. Think about your personal ideal. What is your personal philosophy. What was the slickest shit you ever said. In order to think of good punchlines you have to be confident in yourself. Respect your opinion.

 

3. How to form the punchline

Once you figure out what you want to say, you have to be able to fit it into the beat. You can learn this technique from Translating Speech into Bars. In order for your punchline to have the biggest impact possible, you have to think about the structure. Its always better to restrict yourself from the use of too many rhymes. The truth is that when you try to squeeze in too many rhymes, the content gets watered and the effect is diminished.

Better to use one of the simpler bar structures. Something along the lines of -4-4 or a 2-4-2-4. If you don’t know what the bar structure looks like, I advise you to look at Lesson 2 and 3. You will get the hang of it.

Once you have the punchline written, the next thing you have to do, is thing about the way you’re gonna say it-the delivery. You have to make sure that you portray the right type of emotion connected to the words, otherwise you wont achieve the desired effect. Look at the punchline, figure out what type of emotion does it portray and then relate to it, feel it and experiment. Whatever sounds best, use it.

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  • nana
    November 4, 2014 at 12:29 am

    i salute this site…can any one help me with more

    Reply

  • rivers
    November 1, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    1″don’t steal my lines they mine you’d get blown up yep u tried to show up. now you sawn off
    2 was chilling by da ocean in delter freinds daring dude take a swim. aaaah im rivers id get lost in ocean

    Reply

  • MeechMoney
    October 29, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Ha, I gotta laugh bcuz its timeless/
    All these punk emcees wanted to comment/
    But none of yall flow like me so u should stop it/
    Tryna make it in the industry, youll never profit/
    Boy stop da nonsense/ B4 I get violent/
    Claimin u a gangsta but I kno da G be silent/
    Boss ass bitch, I stay out cuz I be wildin,
    All my team A-List niggaz we be stylin/
    Chasin money like the road runner on my grind man,

    Reply

  • Queda
    October 29, 2014 at 3:28 am

    I spit hot like candle wax. Leave you lumped like a camel back. You can’t touch this nigga. But I could surely show you where the fucking hammer at. Got alot of bullets free. Yea ima hand em that.

    Reply

  • October 26, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    “The Past Is The Panic, Today Is The Hope To See The Better In The Future”

    Machevillion .. Remember Me!!

    Reply

  • RatSity
    October 21, 2014 at 4:00 am

    Them niggas cowards,through ma Raybans they show clear,niggas daydreaming and still having nightmares,I run the game even when I’m not in it,psychotic flow coldder than sub zero,I’m a hero call me Mr incredible,Back back forward down left right,BRUTALITY..

    Reply

  • SlipperyDeViL(RM Veteran)
    October 16, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Set up the punch with both context and rhyme placement, and then let the punch line fly.

    *Example: SlipperyDeViL vs Triple-D

    I said:

    “One fatal straight to the face gives gives you a stutter and ends this/
    Leave you like inmates with cancer, struggling to finish a sentence/”

    See the pieces?

    1. Set Up Rhyme-

    Stutter and ends this/ struggling to finish a sentence

    2. Context-

    Straight to the face, stutter (punches = brain damage)

    Inmates with cancer, sentence (prisoners with a terminal illness)

    3. Tie it together-

    Both a guy with a sever stutter and a cancer patient in prison both would have to fight pretty hard to “finish a sentence”.

    This would be an example of double-entendre, since the word “sentence” is being used in 2 different contexts to tie the joke together.

    Reply

  • Yo
    October 16, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    I’m as slick, as a click, with a dick bigger than a 6foot prick, rolling with the clique , throwin bricks, at the chicks sucking dicks. This bitch drivin me crazy, but her throat game is getting very lazy, She really wanna play me, like I ain’t the father to her baby.

    Reply

  • HollowTipz
    September 16, 2014 at 8:20 am

    freeze your head with liquid nitrogen and shatter your face
    bringing death from above when i shoot lasers from space
    i will reach my hand down ya throat and rip out ya spine
    cut ya brain in half then smash em, call it a meetin of the mind
    mace your face with razor blades laced with cancer and aids
    infect ur body with bubonic plauge and make you swallow grenades

    Reply

  • Kevin
    August 29, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Looking for opinions on some punchlines I used in a recent rap, want to see what people think of them.

    Spittin Caine, got these lines jumpin
    like they double dutchin

    burn you slow like i double dutch’d it

    keep goin in until your hearts stops workin,
    now you just a thot, Miley Cyrus twerkin

    my rhymes givin you a high, even reading them
    pop some blood vessels in ya eye

    you think you can crunch lines, ill crack your face,
    leave you based, call it a punch line

    Thanks in advance

    Reply

  • Anonymous
    August 29, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    errybody wat to b great .errybody shootin for d star to leave a legacy.errybody askin for d truth but in conflict wif reality……….as for me i dont just want to b famous but b good at wat i cave most rap

    Reply

  • August 25, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    My Active Darker Like I Got it From a one Octopus
    Mix With The Henny stay seeing My Socket Poppin Mollya and Zanies
    Diamonds on Oxy Clean your Niggles Can’t Stand me
    Your Birch want to Duck me 100’a Keep Them Folded Like Origami
    We Stacking This Money Feeling Like Biggie
    My Glocks Like Rocket Launchers so we Targeted on Doors

    Reply

  • Slippery D3V1L (RM Gladiator)
    August 21, 2014 at 4:31 am

    My punchlines crunch spines, when I shadowbox I punch mimes/
    At lunch time, I battled punks, i’m lunch-boxing dunce rhymes/

    Reply

  • Anonymous
    August 21, 2014 at 3:56 am

    I don’t need tattoos
    To prove I pack tools
    Got dudes confused
    Like bloods singing the blues
    Movin in a faster race
    At a faster pace
    Ima master ace
    Basket case
    That’ll blast ya face
    Don’t know my fukn name
    I’ll fukn change your frame
    You better run and hide
    And change ur fukn name!!!

    Reply

  • hokage sama
    August 18, 2014 at 11:27 am

    im quick wit it, flow sicker than spinach, im known to raise the roof higher than a broom stick from quiddich, your guildless and your lineage is diminished, was that a response ops sorry bitch your finished

    Reply

  • Anonymous
    August 12, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    I dont wanna kill you,
    you just the middle man stupid,
    But with my spark add fluid
    I’ll set your Ghost Writter on fire and drag him out the scene like a Nicolas Cage blooper,

    Bars mother fuckers, they goin over your heads like a shoulderpress

    Reply

  • Mike Harris
    August 2, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I took my brain out my head like I just lost my mind
    Get the bug spray cuz dese niggas thinkin they fly
    I got the water drunk it up cuz they said that im dry
    These rappers kno the truth so why is they telling lies
    They always rap bout bitties rap bout life
    Im Mike Harris wit a dream try Chase it right
    Kids call me sun cuz they kno I shine bright
    I always seek my future cuz the future is my sight

    Reply

  • Anonymous
    July 2, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    these niggars wear me out like skinny jeans
    u gonna need 7 days to knock me down cause you’re weak

    Reply

  • June 5, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    I can get on my mexican shit
    I wear (Aeropostle)
    With these mexican whips i will
    (Air The Road And pop steel).
    I’ll flat ya top im a ole skool these lames.
    When that steel pick up speed it
    Smoke and stop traffic …
    ITs A FREIGHT TRAIN !!
    Kik:artist_deejay

    Reply

  • June 5, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    I can get on ny mexican Shit i wear (Areopostle)
    With these mexican whips i will (Air-The-Road-And-Pop-Steel).
    I get high tops Flat/ im a ole school these lames.
    When that steel pick up speed.
    It smoke and stop traffic…..
    ITS A FREIGHT TRAIN !!!!
    BITCH KIK:artist_deejay

    Reply

  • asypher
    May 26, 2014 at 11:42 am

    very helpful

    Reply

  • Anonymous
    May 26, 2014 at 11:40 am

    bitches be bitter

    Reply

  • second EM
    May 21, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    haha people call me a second eminem so my nick name is second EM

    stop talkin like you know if you wanna practice or learn ask me haha 8656615785
    i actually took lessons with em

    talkin about over text thats the 20’s pussy shit
    now its voice and video dumbass

    lyrics is text a rap is verbal

    Reply

  • Bluerayest
    May 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Have been doing this (Rap) killing other rappers with diss.All i do is freestyle killing tym,tel me what time it’s.
    Am a star bitch when u see me just make a wish.
    Evry1 says life is a bitch nigga pulling is trouser wanna init…BITCHES

    Reply

  • osu!
    April 18, 2014 at 2:39 am

    Life is full of battles
    Whether i have many wins or not
    I still keep family ties in a windsor knot through good and strife.

    Reply

  • Anonymous
    April 11, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Ill merk u like god sent me arch angel spreding the gospel john the apostle the lords messenger very angry and hostile hard prayer and several hail marys ya life will still cost u 1 blink of the eye can leave u and ya mans fossil tha kids colosul On ya block wit teks to mop u right on sight aim and drop u open da trunk you will see mo pumps than exxon on ya forehead were ill be marking da x on

    Reply

    • Anonymous
      April 11, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      Ovk….one verse killa

      Reply

    • Himself
      May 3, 2014 at 2:42 am

      Comment

      Manifold dummies mking individual lapses from grace..
      Statement bold as it`s a fact that reality we face..
      Don`t listen to Rozay, crime doesnt pay!
      If you`re hard-headed
      then protection yours 4 rays! (lol)
      Redemption comes 1st so go to the tarbanacle
      everyone has volitions
      but a felon in manacles… “Himself”

      Reply

    • second EM
      May 21, 2014 at 11:14 pm

      Hahaha
      Come On!!
      This HHS!!!
      bitches call me’
      The BOMB!!!
      Haha!

      shits drastical war
      spitting versuse
      tryin ta be comparative
      useing AKs, .UZIs, and nines
      but rap has changed bullet proof vest
      and haveing ta invest in ya life
      ta puttin a knife through ya chest
      when you loose all chance
      dignatty and selfesteem
      means everything
      ta ya life
      fuck that im a nucular psychopath
      desrorying paths and dreams
      inside you human beings
      im an alien useing bing
      to find my way to destroy all humanaty
      you sayin iv lost all sanity
      im not apart humanity
      so fuck sanity
      who the fuck has any
      look at the dealers
      you call that sain
      that puts your brain in space an alien like me
      you will conform to be like me
      a unknown freak
      only memory of you will be
      green freaks
      that looses all ablity to post tweets
      calling me a loser
      your shit will be the same
      but i was here before you
      so im able to kill you son
      shit i dont even have to tweek this shit
      to be number 1
      like starwars your just a padawan and im a
      jedi
      im a flame your a log in witch is
      the fuel that keep me ablaze
      here is another comparision of us
      your the tree
      im oxigen
      i use you to get inspired off of
      then im right back out
      but the cycle
      continues
      callin your self fresh
      whats your exsporation date
      so i can see if i can send you to the milatary
      so they can have something fresh for food
      your not a food
      then why do you call your self fresh
      fresh comes from the garden
      dont fuck with me im golden
      the only one holden
      the gold meadle
      can you find a canidate to run for ya
      and diss me for you
      iv got lilcoop c, Red Hot, and HHS
      don’t fuck with that shit
      i have a crew and a army
      witch must mean im a soldier
      and a leader
      let me lead ya
      to the point in witch you need
      witch is fame in witch is me
      fuck language
      mixed with english
      witch has litratchur
      witch makes you mature
      bitch i love being imature
      useing these mixed frazes
      with cuss words

      Hahaha
      Fuck you
      Were The HHS
      Real shit

      Reply

    • Anonymous
      October 18, 2014 at 9:19 pm

      I can’t be like you I can be be better make the girl wetter nit a sweater whatever jealous of my skills cause it kills you to see me making money that I spread like honey all over your girls face jealous faggot I used to refrain from sayin whatever I wanted now I’m grown up like my balls nice and hairy plus I’m confident minus scary my cells don’t age or do I not let them turn the page ring the bells I’m ready to win with my dick call it a cock fight or star wArs limited edition call it a nerd night and yea I have super powers my eyesight I can see through haters and players using my insight so fuck you a big one to whomever doesn’t believe in my vision Through repetition I can make an incision after that I’m golden on television you’ll be WAshing and wishing all the shit you’ll be missing your hopeless dreams motherfucker I never give up if I did I’d probably be dead can’t wait for my skills to mature so I can fly from my bed although I’m ready to shred the slopes of life I mastered the dread but I was mislead ever since I was young had a sad song going on then I broke the speakers and played my own music abused it reused it finally I’m getting it right how ironic I’m iron right brained and bionic sonic the hedgehog funny iconic demonic bubonic and crazy the best of the best you’re going east while I’m going west the wind is on your side lets see who can pass this damn test

      Reply

      • SlipperyDeViL(RM Veteran)
        October 18, 2014 at 10:09 pm

        I see a lot of hot mess in your lyrical structure/
        Call this a rite of passage, I’m about to induct ya/
        With no assumption of thunder, i go straight to the lightning/
        Like a Sith Lord, but I’ll raid your fuckin’ hood like Viking/

        I’m in the mood for some fighting, ignite my words like propane/
        I’m Washing Tons like Spokane, my lines get bumped like cocaine/
        I got a hunch that in that battle shit, you strictly go tame/
        And when I uncage this beast on a beat, I’ll Chow you down like Lo Mein/

        You go lame, I see you drag your fuckin foot like its clubbin’/
        If its some shit you want, thuggin’ I’m in the mood for mean muggin/
        Cuz you buggin’ like a loony toon, this bunny spits funny/
        I sniff that yummy and go dummy til I crash test your hoe’s tummy/

        With a passenger, has to be yo child hummie/
        Cuz I dipsticked the bitch, and dipped quick/
        Now you left with the bill, hope that kid dont get sick/
        Cuz I’m vicious with lyrics, hits like scissors, you get clipped/

        Reply

        • Anonymous
          October 19, 2014 at 5:28 am

          Everyday, rookies tryna be crooks/ can’t steal my flow you can’t even read books/how do you expect to have knowledge/I stayed in an acid trip for 5 years Still didn’t misscollege/and now have no fears sometimes We cry but sleep with no tears /I switch gears /look at my peers and wonder are they lost forgotten/ never been taught/ or rotten rodents with buns/never been beaten/ my flows like two nuns /never be evil/ I carry 3 guns /2 of the same/ fuck your rap skills/you don’t know the game /
          I’ll murder you like Kennedy was/ say whatever I want on this mic that’s how the melody goes/ I survived the weather I’m not a new tree I’m the old moss you’re like used floss why you looking criss crossed old garbage get tossed .

          Reply

  • January 7, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Drop off my court
    i could make ur shit skedaddle
    kick gravel
    ur week lyk 7 days,
    if u were 2 die u’ll neva Hit heavens gates
    make a trip 2 hell mayb ur motal codint skip death as well.

    Reply

  • Anonymous
    January 5, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Rapping manual thanks alot… Rappin with ma manual on these fake emcees stil use automatic #Audi

    Reply

  • MARci G
    December 31, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Niggas still tryin to climb for greatness,but still fallin’ like a apple’s from a tree,I shrink ya’ll down,all I see is mini emcees,I spiT the mike just killin’,bodies rollin’ up ,take it as overkill….

    Reply

  • GREEZY
    December 13, 2013 at 12:19 am

    I got some Presidents without the P’s though… yea call that shit residents

    Reply

  • king dot
    November 25, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    how can you tell what’s a timeless law and how do you use one into a punchline?

    Reply

    • November 26, 2013 at 9:43 pm

      It’s folk wisdom. That’s a timeless law. Something which is being passed from generation to generation. You use it in a punchline, by perhaps rewording it, but keeping the basic meaning.

      Reply

  • SKARCE
    November 6, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    yh…life is not a bitch so neva give a FUCK

    Reply

  • October 17, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    I’m 16, here’s how i do it!

    You drink em red bull I cut yo wiiings yo a punching bag let me be mark tyson on you i’m chuck norris i murder all emcee’s

    Reply

  • yung klip
    October 13, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    ….i dont catch feelings.. im like a dead body….. i got my bitches on lock like amanda berry

    Reply

  • Muhd smilez
    October 7, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    :African attraction is aggressing americans” Adopted son always need an advice”mama fuck ma haterz gonna make greater.

    Reply

  • intrmission
    September 6, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    on a scale of 1-10 how’s that?

    Reply

  • intrmission
    September 6, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    pick up a dime, drop it and you’ll hear me rhyme
    cause im adopting flows oh yeah i make em mine,
    im not the all star athlete but I will run the game like a track meet
    street weeper clean,
    every line that i spit sounds so pristine
    im possessing mic’s Stephen kings christen
    im run over competition mercing everything
    all you do is f**k yourself, vi-bra-tor
    get your girl on my dick, gyrator (gyrate her)
    as she licks her lips to savor all my flavor

    Reply

  • allegro
    August 9, 2013 at 11:43 am

    thanks i needed this……

    Reply

  • August 4, 2013 at 11:05 am

    JusT Because You’re A Broken Fuse DoesnT Mean You Should called Your SelF Darkness

    Reply

  • Mc Lyrik
    August 2, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I like this info. Sometimes this comes naturally when I hear a good track. I never really cared or understood it. I just did it. Like this one I wrote lately,”I whack,whack rap and cock block like a rooster running a roadblock.” Idk if its good or whatever but I like it.

    Reply

  • vile scenario
    July 28, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    this is gr8.its realy nice for upcoming emcees

    Reply

  • CERTIFIEDJONEZ
    June 20, 2013 at 6:21 am

    THEY SAY LIFE IS A BITCH DEPENDING ON HOW YU TREAT HER, SHES MORE BEAUTIFUL IN THE SKY BUT ON THE GROUND SHES A CHEATER/ LIFES HAS DIFFERENT CHOICES ON DISPLAY LIKE NIKE SNEAKERS BUT IF THE SHOE DOESNT FIT ILL MAKE YALL ALL A FIRM BELIEVER/AND BLESS THE MANY SOULS THAT TRY TO KEEP HER/SOME MAKE IT BIG AND OTHERS LOOSE TO THE REAPER

    Reply

  • Kryptonic
    June 5, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    thanks for this site, i am sure this will help my write much better.

    Reply

  • Dexter
    May 28, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Pls, you can just help re-construct this bar if necessary.

    Yo, records are meant 2 broken/
    xo, i’ma destroy and ruin this little freaky token/

    Reply

  • bvd
    March 13, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    the manual has been very helpful, been writing for sometime and was not sure of my punchlines. thanks.

    Reply

  • D-Ea$y
    D-Ea$y
    March 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Or this:
    That’s trouble cousin, don’t care about a couple grudges
    Meet us in the club an we jump ‘em like some double dutches

    Reply

    • RappingManual
      March 5, 2013 at 11:23 am

      Yeah, that second one is better. It has to be powerful man. The lyrics has to have weight, while the flow enhances that feeling. Just saying something slick and putting emphasis on the trigger word is a good way to go.

      Reply

  • D-Ea$y
    D-Ea$y
    February 11, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    I’ve been tryna think of one, don’t know if this works:

    I’m gon be chillin wit my crew, ain’t nobody passin this/
    Yo weak ass ain’t runnin shit, like you stop takin laxatives/

    Reply

  • Lethal Lev
    July 9, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Thanks for this article, I’ve been needing to incorporate more punchlines into my rapping and was struggling with how to come up with them.

    Reply

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