There has been an age old dispute about the meaning of flow. What is flow and how come every single rapper has a different one? This article aims to answer this question, so just read on and the concept will get clearer.

The Meaning of Rap Flow

The easiest explanation of flow is to say that it's the way someone is rapping. However, this definition is quite vague and can be interpreted in numerous ways. Another definition is needed.

"Flow is the combination of two elements, that determine the overall sound of a rapper. The two elements being rhyme schemes and intonational techniques."

This is flow. So, if you want to determine someones flow, you just pay attention to his rhyme schemes and intonational techniques.

Rhyme Schemes

We have a whole section dedicated to learning and mastering different kinds of rhyme schemes and all there is to it, is choosing:

  • what kind of rhyme words will you use
  • how many of them will you have
  • where will you put them.

This is the essence of a rhyme scheme.

Intonational Techniques

Intonation is the rise and fall of the voice. It's the fluctuations of the voice. For example, you know that the sentence "I can't wait to see you." can have 5 different meanings, depending on the intonation used. Therefore, intonation derives from feeling and emotion.

feel the instrumental

Each rapper has a different(sometimes similar) intonations and this is because each of them has a different attitude and demeanor. Each rapper is carrying himself in a different way. Therefore, the intonation of their bars is different.

Think of intonation as the spirit of the rhyme scheme. A rhyme scheme without intonation is lifeless and boring, but once you give it an intonational pattern, you give it life.

There are Always New Frontiers to be Discovered

There is no set number or limit of rap flows. There are numerous different combinations that can be employed for something unique and better to be created.

Remember that if two rappers write the same rhyme scheme, but use different intonational techniques, then they will sound totally different from each other. Don't think that you're too late, because a true maverick only builds on what was already built.

What do you think about this? How do you define flow? When you tried to understand it back in the day, what was the thing which made the concept crystal clear?

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Showing 49 comments
  • Anonymous
    Reply

    n

  • Walley
    Reply

    Wassup guys, I’m a 17 year old aspiring rapper looking for critiques. My producer said I have potential but I need to find a rap style that would suit me. My favorite one that I wrote is my “Dead Wrong” Remix, I would appreciate it if you check it out. http://www.soundcloud.com/walleyszn

    • Soothesayer
      Reply

      you’ve got bars in the nigga better have my money, no doubt. different sound too, like the ‘i got bars like the sentence long’, you kinda remind me of Lil Wayne with your metaphors and shit, which is dope since he was my favorite as a teen. Chance is a current favorite who was also inspired by Wayne, didn’t know some of those other inspirations of yours had bars or could inspire people to have bars. Iggy and Azalea? Never really gave em a chance then. But yeah, keep at it, your sound will get more polished. I’ll check the other later.

      • Walley
        Reply

        Thanks. I appreciate the feedback, it gives me motivation to keep rapping and keep getting better.

  • Shavonne
    Reply

    I’m a new artist trying to find my sound but I would love any critical feedback on my current tracks, lol.
    Thanks.

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