The young rapper: Rapping to success

Monday, April 8, 2019 - 6:41pm

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Illustration by Christine Jegarl

Yo, wassup folks!!! It’s $KingJ$ (rapper name) and I’m gonna write about how and why I started rapping.

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Illustration by Joe Juarez

Back in 7th grade, I met a new teacher. The classroom was filled with 31 students, and I wasn't familiar with any of them except for two friends. I was anxious about not knowing anyone, so I kept away from most conversations. However, the teacher was nice and supportive about students’ writing, and she made us do easy homework.

During third quarter, the entire class had to do a presentation about huge events that happened around the world. There were a few options to present. One that I chose was rap lyrics because it was one of the easiest to do. Since I was nervous and thought people would judge me, the teacher let me present it to her privately after school. The topic of my rap was Hurricane Katrina. Talking about something sad and serious made me feel like I was showing empathy. She told me the lyrics were good and gave me a C or a B, but I don’t remember exactly what grade I got. This kinda motivated me to do more lyrics like this.

In the summer, I made some more rap lyrics and posted some of them on Instagram. I got a couple more likes than I expected. I also showed my online friends and they said, “Yo that’s fire bruh.” I started listening to other artists such as Lil Skies, Logic, Juice WRLD, XXXTentacion, Tekashi69 and Marshmello, and they motivated me to be more positive, so I started writing lyrics with positivity. I grew up being Catholic and knowing God would protect me from the bad things that could happen in my life or to the people I love. These rappers and my religion inspired me to make better lyrics.

I also rap in Spanish because I’m learning it, and if I try to make lyrics in Spanish I’ll learn it faster. My parents are Mexican and always speak Spanish to me. I talk to them in English, but if I talk in Spanish, they’ll be proud of me. After a trip from Canada, they bought a CD filled with songs that were in Spanish, and I thought it was cool when they had rap mixed with Spanish lyrics. It had a happy-mood type beat and the song was in fluent Spanish. The song was talking about forgetting the people who hate you, and starting to live life the way you want to. This was the first song I heard from the rapper Farruko. From this moment, I started including Spanish lyrics in some of my other songs.

The way I make my lyrics is by giving myself more energy. This one time, I was in a boxing class and I was thinking of some topics to rap about. Instead, I started thinking of some lyrics, and it was like freestyling in my mind. I then realized that if I have adrenaline flowing faster, I have more energy to think of words and rhymes. I memorized the lines and went back home and started writing them. The song was called “Manifesto” and it was about some of the things I do to make the bad things go away.

The next one I wrote was inspired by the song by Roddy Ricch and Marshmello called “Project Dreams.” One of the lines I heard was “got 25 thousand on me” I think. I started thinking about how I would get more money if I worked harder. Sometimes, I would work so hard that I would need a break, and I took breaks by trying something new or doing a hobby. One of those times was when I was in my room on a Thursday night, studying for a test for history that I was anxious about. I would be worried about studying all the information or getting a bad grade on the test. I would go take a break in the living room, hang out with the family, or take a walk outside and feel the fresh air. Here are the lyrics:

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illustration by Joe Juarez

These were two of my song lyrics that express my feelings in a way. I like rapping because it’s basically poetry and poetry rhymes.

Put a beat over it, and there’s straight bars.