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.

Similes

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 58 comments
  • bandile
    Reply

    here i am drobing bars like mass of distraction
    i got this rhym now i can see some proggression
    i ‘m not too.deep but i ‘m still not light
    this jurney is too steep but i still can climb
    it ‘s like a landslide nemesis are far behind
    ………levycrep emcee

  • Dickson Djaba aka Wizzbang Imc @fb nd twitter
    Reply

    I think i’ma knock ya head so u can use ur brain/but i gotta hit it in a way u don’t feel no pain /Ur girlfriend is a looker so u could name her an angel/And she must be ur expensive golden cup,she needs a proper handle

    • iLegion
      iLegion
      Reply

      Hahaha, look at that! What’s that “handle” you’re talkin bout?! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    Still don’t understand this shit lol

  • D kronikle
    Reply

    Comment Ma twitter @dkronikle like wen d sun is shinin at u from d front, u follow bk like shadows.

  • D kronikle
    Reply

    Comment/ I have been awoken like d dead in d nights / and sharp as a BLADE wen I western snipe/ all u people who’s got not thing to share/ cos they all Empty buildings with not thing upstairs/ am black still dark $ lovely like my hair/ dey shudnt come into dis woods if dey don’t no wats in here/ ………( D Kronikle) google me, or rather if u dnt tink am a star, get a telescope. http://www.hulkshare.com/dkronikle (Handz in d Air / Hills road) check it out $ holla back y’all, love dis site. The Nigerian Rapper.

  • Mason
    Reply

    Don’t give me the mic and a sound byte cause I’ll be roasting for the rest of the night
    And if you think you can write you’ll have to surmount this mountain of might

    • Anonymous
      Reply

      with bars I’m insane, spews flames like a sick dragon with sars, what I recall is that your still dreaming on mars, better guard cause my punches hit harder than a steel bar, that was light, damn right, this isnt even the start.

  • Tommyj
    Reply

    I’m way up in the sky getting respect from the roof. dont need your beef bro,i’m ok with my chicken.ballin hard with different goals,and niggas trynna hate wen i dont give a fuck about the fuck they dont give about me,,,’fuck it’.i’m dark still i shine bright cox the present a better future and the future a better present..’check it’..i jus keep on coming cox i keep on talking,dem witches cnt dare me cox i fly higher,cnt reach my altitude,i ball hotter,d past lyk dark last night nd my today is bright,i keep upcomin lyk a stair case flow,i’ll be upgoing.hw i can be the baddest when the baddest claims me..so you dont fuck with me,i’m not in the fucking mode….your prayer point is my testimony…..oh yeaahhhhhhhhh..’i let them know’…I feel so hot like the sun is even jealous,i guess it can be your shade.

    • izzy
      Reply

      mehn u ar good can i have ur whatsapp numb or pin

  • Darrk Wrrath
    Reply

    Are there more complex forms of lyrical styles something besides metaphors, similes, entendtres, you know something uncommon

  • David Solomon
    Reply

    Don’t address me with that bull, I ain’t got time for it
    Lame rappers take it personal like they signed for it
    If you really PO’d we can box
    But you’ll only see defeat (the feet) like some white socks

  • David Solomon
    Reply

    Great article

  • Anaro
    Reply

    when I hit the beat, I crack heads like cocaine

    • Anonymous
      Reply

      Nice. Simple but effective. This grabbed my attention immediately. Brevity is the mother of wit. Good Job.

  • Khizeto
    Reply

    i ws hidding like the sun peeping from the cloud,the truth is like baritone,we never cherished the sound

  • Khizeto
    Reply

    Life is a gamble and i’ve been gambling since i was born,and since i was born the love heard of is never been found,i ws hidding like the sun peeping from the cloud,the truth is like baritone,we never cherished the sound

  • Khizeto
    Reply

    Life is a gamble and i’ve been gambling since i was born/and since i was born the love heard of is never been found/i ws hidding like the sun peeping from the cloud/the truth is like baritone,we never cherished the sound

  • Khizeto
    Reply

    I crave ’em in d earth,i’m celebrating earth day/any fools fucking with me is gon’ b nerve day

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