This lesson will teach you all about metaphors. At the end of it, you will be able to answer the following questions:

1. What is a metaphor?
2. Why should you incorporate metaphors in your lyrics?
3. How to incorporate metaphors in your lyrics.

1. What is a metaphor?

The official definition is “a figure of speech in which an implicit comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something in common”.

rap metaphor

In other words, you replace a a figure of speech (word/phrase) with another, which points to the same meaning.

This is better explained with examples.

So, the best way to practice metaphors is to start with a base word or phrase.

Base word: money

What you do then is list a few qualities of the base word. In our case, money is often green and has important people on it. Of course, if you want to go deeper, you could take into an account the emotional qualities money has, such as the fact that we equate it to freedom, power and so on.

The next step is to choose one of those qualities. I will choose green. After that, you start a mental search for a word which shares this quality, so in our case, something that’s green – grass, leaves, football fields etc.

So once you have the base word, the qualities and the word that shares that quality(metaphor), you add context that allows you to use the metaphor. For example,

I love turning my bed into a football field after work.

One important thing here is that you should warm up the listener before you use the metaphor. This way he/she knows where you’re going, so when you say something cryptic, they would have to fill in the blanks themselves.

In our case, we could say:

Money is my world, I don’t need nothing else.
I love turning my bed into a football field after work.

I’m thinking of these as I’m writing, so I am sure you could write something better. Let me show you another example, without explaining, just observe:

Base word: coward
Qualities: small, scared,
Metaphor: mouse

You thought you were a man, but you’re nothing but a mouse.

On the other hand, if the base word is an adjective, like big, you could just think of nouns that share that quality and use them instead. In our case, the nouns that are big are whales, the authors penis, Kanye’s ego or a planet.

So if you have a sentence such as: I want a big car, you could use any metaphor.

My car garage is like the deep ocean, a place for nothing but whales. Again, you have to lead them.


The next type of a metaphor is a simile. Yes, I know they are different, but in their essence, they aren’t.

When you compare one figure of speech to another, that’s a simile. Your eyes are as big as my penis. My heart is beating like a drunken tribal drum man and so on.

The same principles govern similes as well. Find the qualities of the base phrase, look for another figure of speech that shares at least one of them and you are good. The only difference perhaps, is that with similes you don’t have to lead your listeners into it, because of their self-evident nature.

2. Why should you incorporate metaphors in your lyrics?

-The use of metaphors in rapping

It shows creativity and intelligence. It’s new and adds to the richness of the language you’re rapping in. You show originality and independent thinking. Using metaphors is great all around, so make sure you put them here and there. It keeps your songs witty and that is something listeners nowadays appreciate.

3. How to incorporate metaphors in your lyrics?

What we had here is just the formation of metaphors and similes. You’re probably thinking by now “Okay dumb-ass, how do I make them rhyme?”

Well, you have your context in regular form and then change it into rhyme form, by trying to keep its essence.

So, we had an example:

Money is my world, I don’t need nothing else.
I love turning my bed into a football field after work.

What you do is switch words around so you make them not only rhyme, but flow too. Being a rapper isn’t as easy as your friend Billy told you huh? My humble attempt could give out something like:

Cash is what I’m after nothing else is on the table
my bed becomes a football field before I do her anal

Okay, nothing that I’m proud of but it shows you how the method works. You keep the meaning, but order the words around so they flow and rhyme with each other. That part with making the sentences flow and rhyme is a separate skill, that I explained in the book. Take it as a plug, but game is to be sold.

FYI, I am not into anal, creativity takes me places, don’t judge!

The bottom line is:

1 – Have a base word

2 – List qualities

3 – Think of a word which shares at least one of those qualities

4 – Introduce the metaphor in a context which hints at its intended meaning

5 – Turn your sentences into bars that flow and rhyme with each other.

Good luck amigos, I’m out. Gotta do some anal.

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Showing 56 comments
  • i was out of town Ma flow graduated and ma punchline is wearing a gaun.


  • michael

    i ball so hard… no NBA

    i keep it raw.. not talking G Star

  • yuppy

    I’m busting out so soon I’m coming into the game 2 stay shine lyk moon d lord z my witness I hv got more cash Dan tycoons. my flow z permanent lyk tattoos_still sticking on my haters head with strong weapons lyk I’m with typhoons

    • lil jay

      yo uh ever had a bad chick that open her legs just like butter in bread gotta get between it like she giving me head only thing she a chapter the story’s just there now let me get back to the beginning nobody had lil jay when now that I done chop ur voice before I spit it

  • yuppy

    Wow this is cool

  • blackbillyboy19

    This article’s really great. Teachers and official thing have a gift to complicate things. Thanks to you I just handled this tool a little better now.

  • RappingManual

    Okay, one more example.
    You don’t teach fish how to swim

    Media nowadays will show you how to sin
    Im like a fish man, you dont teach me how to swim

    Then you bump the beat, formulate it so it fits in nicely within the bar and there you have it!

    • IzRawL

      Better drown a fish before you clown me -JoeyBada$$

    • Nigaz

      niggaz scared of the streets
      run from police
      Im Russia you can’t drop bombs on me

    • Hades

      You are a skeleton but still you choke,
      I’m Hades baby, I crush skulls for joke.

      • Hades

        I’m horrific, don’t try to battle me is the messasge.

  • Andrew

    Could you give 1 more example? A little confusing. I forgot i ask you questions but i don’t remember on what topic.

  • El Cuervo

    life is a constant battle


    life is hard and it is shallow
    you could call it a constant battle


    Life is hard and life is shallow
    getting through it is a constant battle

    did i nail it?

    • RappingManual

      Yeah, you’re getting there. Although shallow is kinda out of context, but it works too.. Good job!

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