--Battle FAQ--

Never ending cyphers since 2002


Junior Member
Joined:Thu Jan 08, 2004 3:02 pm

Sun Feb 08, 2004 2:49 pm

This was posted by Psylence on Divine Aura

For all those who wanna elevate and the Keystyle Purists.

Take what u want from it… peace

Here's the contents:

1. Introduction & FAQ's

2. The Art Of Diss

3. Personalisation

4. Punches That Don't Come In A Bowl

5. Punchlines 101

6. Wordplays & Similies

7. One-ups

8. Multies

9. Multies 2

10.Rhyme Scheme

11. Transitions

12. Alliteration

13. Bar Unity 101
Junior Member
Joined:Thu Jan 08, 2004 3:02 pm

Sun Feb 08, 2004 2:51 pm


I’m sure there’s thousands upon thousands of actual ways to construct a battle verse, but this tutorial should enlighten you to using punches, wordplay, metaphors, imagery, fillers, etc EFFECTIVELY. Yes, fillers can be used effectively too, especially in keystyle verses, but that’s complicated right now. We’ll start with a basic guide to actually writing a battle verse.


First off, KNOW YOUR STYLE… if you’re using something you relate to more as an emcee then that gives you emotional power to excel. Know what your good at and work on what you’re not before you go throwing it into important battles.

Secondly, BE CREATIVE… don’t flip the same lines over and over again, it gets bombastic after a while. Also don’t use lines that are, can be, or sound played. That can deduct a lot from how hard lines hit. An OK to mediocre punch can hit 10x harder if it’s on a original topic.

Now… with that behind us, let us address the categories of battling…



Why do you use punches? To make verses hit hard.

Why do people like punches? Cause they diss like little else can.

How often should I use punches in a verse? Any line that doesn’t have one SHOULD be setting the next line up for one… That is, unless you have some other special use for that line.

How do I come up with punches all the time? Halfway from experience and halfway through knowledge… if you’re taking classes then use what you learn to make punches out of… observe the world and flip it into a punch, it doesn’t matter…. The point is there are millions of ways to diss someone… jus pick one and go with it at least every 4 lines…



Why do you use wordplay? To make shit more clever, plain and simple.

Why do people like wordplay? It puts a whole new school of thought through their monitor… people love to go damn…. That was ill…. And wordplay is one way to do that.

How often should I use wordplay in a verse? It is by no means necessary to use wordplay at all, but I personally choose to use it at least 3-4 times in one verse (20 lines)… You can use it as often or spontaneous as you like, just don’t go forcing it.

How do I come up with wordplay all the time? There is no way to constantly come up with wordplay without talent at picking words apart, but if you’re really lame there ARE homonym dictionaries out on the internet… I don’t ever use them, but hey ya gotta do what ya gotta do right?



Why do you use metaphors? To add deepness and creativity to writing. Metaphors can present a sense of mind process no other quality can.

Why do people like metaphors? It makes them think, but in a good way.

How often should I use metaphors in a verse? Again, not something that is necessary but most certainly a quality that once mastered can come off as very potent line for line. Can be used as often or infrequently as desired though.

How do I come up with metaphors all the time? Aight, you can’t even cheat on metaphors like you can wordplay. Metaphors either come or they don’t… Simile’s are a lot easier to express because “like” is one syllable, but expressing comparisons as metaphors generally takes longer than a one syllable word. That’s what makes them so difficult to master. But VERY effective once time has taken it’s toll.



Why do you use imagery? To exaggerate or express something creatively by using description over raw dope thought.

Why do people like imagery? Instead of ouch that was really creative, imagery paints a picture for the scene then twists it into pure ingenious… a true artist’s choice of expertise.

How often should I use imagery in a verse? Since the past three qualities go hand in hand with punches, again, as often or infrequent as desired. I try to throw in at least 1 imagery line per verse just to display skill, but look at Weapon X, my god the kid’s got some pictures in his head waiting to take over the world.

How do I come up with imagery all the time? Mainly creativity and common knowledge. Get a picture and describe it better than you see it and you’ll know when you’ve mastered it.



Why do you use personals? For several reasons, #1 especially in keystyled battles, it shows authenticity, #2 it shows thought and personal ridicule, #3 it just hits hard because it’s directly relevant to the person… kind of like sentimental value for a watch or something.

Why do people like personals? For all the reasons above.

How often should I use personals in a verse? As often as you like… if every line was personal you would win a lot of battles.

How do I come up with personals all the time? If you know the person then you can take past events or things of that nature and expose them in a dissing manner… if you don’t then people generally flip avatars, signatures, custom text, etc. into punches.



Why do you use complexity? Complexity, first off, is a combination of how you put together your lines, the originality of your lines, the rhyme scheme, etc all bundled into one. A simple verse makes for a simple reaction, and a simple reaction isn’t what most cats want.

Why do people like complexity? It makes them feel the person put more thought into a verse and keeps your own image looking sharp and on point. No one likes to read boringly simple verses. Complexity take away the average and pushes in the above the rim kinna shit namean…

How often should I use complexity in a verse? ALWAYS at least make an attempt to use a bit of complexity. *NOTE: complexity is NOT long lines, but rather thought put into lines*

How do I come up with complexity all the time? Put your lines together without simple, mediocre formats, elevate vocabulary, and use creative lines as opposed to played out ideas.



Why do you use fillers and setups? For several reasons, #1 being a sacrifice of illness for rhyme scheme, #2 being to elaborate on a punch with a pre-punch, #3 being you just got tired of writing, said fuck it and wrote somn that rhymes.

Why do people like fillers and setups? Generally people frown upon just straight filler, but setups can be very useful when a punch is specific and slightly hidden, you can use setups to manipulate the reader’s mind into thinking in the same area you are, hence a better understanding and harder hit from your ending punch.

How often should I use fillers and setups in a verse? I always like to setup my punches, just for rhyme scheme purposes if nothing else, but 50% of my verse in general is setups. As for the rest, punches of some sort (be it punchplay, imagery, metaphors, etc).

How do I come up with fillers and setups all the time? All you gotta be able to do is rhyme and get a lil relevant, these are by far the easiest lines to write, not much thought involved.


Step 1> Get Ideas

If you have topics then thinking up punches is a breeze. Think up a list of topics before you write and punches will be much less scarce

Step 2> Flip Ideas to Punches

Flip your ideas however you wish, but make it clever and diss your opponent at least 50% of the time. Self-righteous punches may hit sometimes but rarely will they make quotables unless it’s just REALLY clever…

Step 3… RHYME IT…

You got punches, take a good rhyme scheme and put a flow to it… sometimes you may have a lack of multies…. If so switch-up the rhyme scheme or re-flip the punch… (there’s always at least two ways for a punch to go)


go over your finished verse and correct spelling mistakes, italicize whatever wordplay or something you want to highlight, whatever…. But mos def check your shit and make sure it ain’t wack… This step has saved my ass I unno how many times… I’ll finish a verse and be like damn that was fuckin wack… then re-flip some shit and it be good to scoot.

The Art Of Diss

As inspiring emcees, we all will find that the time will come when our skills are tested. Generally, this is in the form of battling. Previously, you have read lessons about how to write punchlines and the different parts that make up these punchlines, but you didn’t learn about the DISS. Punchlines are great and they often get good reactions from the audience and those voting on battles, but in actuality they are the secondary resort in a battle. When battling, your objective is to clown and demean you opponent, which is why you want to diss your opponent.

Why is the DISS so important?

The DISS is most important because it is the most entertaining and personal aspect of the battle. The DISS is often referred to as a personal because of its personal nature, but a diss does not always have to be personal to the opponent. A lot of the time, an emcee will go into a battle with a lot of general disses that they can mold into really hard hitting personal disses depending on the person they are up against.

The difference between a diss and a punchline

Unlike a punchline a diss can reach to the heart. Punchlines show off your wit and your creativity, but a diss shows of you how quickly think on your feet and your attack presence. Punchlines are built more out of a formula than disses in that they have set-ups and then the punchline itself, however, disses don’t generally work that way. You can set up disses, but they don’t need to be. That’s why you might also have heard the term of one-liners being used because that’s basically what they are. Disses don’t need set-ups to be effective. They can really be that damaging.

Here’s an example from Joe Buddens:

I’ll show you how mean this crook be/

Ya’ll like the Houston Comets, a team full of pussies/

There’s not a lot there and if you read it, it doesn’t mean that much. It’s just a basic simile and a wry comment; however, if you heard it in the right context, you’d know that something like this could win you a battle. In the situation, it’s funny and it clowns the shit out of the opponent because it attacks at the person’s manhood. It can go deeper if the person even question’s their own manhood or if the voting audience questions it as well. It also provides and shows the ego of the person that says the diss, because you’re demeaning an opponent in a way that’s supposed to make you look better. A punchline typically doesn’t do that because it’s dependant upon too many factors.

The benefits of using the DISS

I prefer using disses rather than writing punchlines, because I can think up a diss off hand pretty quickly. Also, I like the fact that I can rattle off disses one after the other without trying to set them up into punchlines. Almost anything that rhymes can go in front of the diss because people aren’t listening for that definite connection between the two. It’s also why punchlines really don’t have all that much impact because of this dependency. Also disses are really easy ways to point out observations that most people miss, but once you point them out, they never seem to forget. Think about it this way. Almost every hot “punchline” you hear is really a diss.

Another benefit of using a diss is the fact that the audience can figure it out pretty quickly. That means you get and instant reaction. Punchlines can’t offer that 100% of the time, because as I said before, the dependency of other elements. Most of the time punchlines work better subliminally rather than off-hand, because people are and can be kind of slow.

Also, anyone can think up disses. You might not be able to think up great one, but with all things, that come with time and practice. Thinking up punchlines can give you an aneurysm, lol. Everyone has at least a rudimentary ability to talk about and clown someone. Play “The Dozens*” with your friends. It’s a good way to think up disses off hand and help with speed and recognition. Perfect that ability and use it.


Personalisation is to me and many others what makes a battle rap worth a vote...there are many ways to personalize a verse and it's up to you wich ones you use...

First=use of your oppenents name:

this is the most common and most obvious of directed attack techniques.But it realy only works if you rhyme it with your next line or use it in a multi...

exp: ...and Alanis will cry "don't you think it's ironic that a man named Massacre died?"/

this was an example of using your enemies name in a multi...

exp2: ...it ain't gonna take me long to win against a bitch like Vortext/

I've ripped through many men to get to this point but you're next/

this was an example of rhyming your enemies name with the next line, this can be done in reverse by saying your oppositions name last.

these are both considered direct hits and can be effective if you have a good sense of flow, straining to add your opponents name in the middle of a line will usually stand out as forced...

next there is finding a meaning or another word in your enemies name:

exp:...A teeny leaking peepee is what's needed to turn on the TV/ (timevirus)

exp2:grabbin Mass acre's of the landscape to send crashin into this mans face/ (massacre)

this is usualy an effective method of personalizing and punching all in one blow. one that I use often.

then we have the initial usage. this is used only if the enemy has more than one word to his name or is a series of letters such as in this example:

exp: I Break Poor Cats with Battle Programed Cyborgs that ignore facts/

and head straight for wack Bitch, Pussy Cunt spitters, rip em up and leave the floor cracked/ (BPC)

this one is more difficult than the other two because you must try and make sure that it makes sense and fits the flow...

Punches That Don't Come In A Bowl

Punch n.: A line in poetry showing contempt for an opposing party.

That is the definition of a punchline, or “punch”, for all whom didn’t know. Punches come in MANY forms, all of which, if perfected, can hit with extreme viciousness. This tutorial is to explain a few ways of coming up with, setting up, and making punches knock like Jehovah’s witnesses. Pay attention!…


First off, you need ORIGINAL ideas! Original being stressed like God before Noah built his arc. Get original ideas through whatever medium you need, make a list on paper, and keep them in a notebook or something of that nature. Whenever you think of an original idea you could later turn into a punch, just scratch it down. By idea I DON’T mean the whole punchline…


“dollar bid—Price is Right”

That’s sufficient to get your mind going on topic. These little ideas keep your verses from straying into the “I’m gonna rape your mother while I drink a 40oz” pasture. You can do this in class while you’re bored, right before you start writing a verse, whenever, doesn’t matter. The thing it does do, is help, A LOT. Once you use an idea, erase it or scratch it off so you don’t accidentally flip or recycle.

All the above is one method to not become punch-drained and diminish writer’s block, but it isn’t really necessary. Make sure you’re being direct to your opponent on any punch you use. For example, you shouldn’t say “You’re so wack your mom had a hysterectomy after you came out of the womb” to someone you aren’t absolutely positive you’re going to KO. Why? You inadvertently just dissed yourself if he gets a vote. Not to mention it’d take one hell of a flip on “you’re so wack” to connect solidly. Disrespect and be personal, but don’t make yourself look uneducated with played/wack/stupid concepts.

For imagery, you want a twisted picture in your head to be splashed on the screen with words. Make sure it’s something completely demented, or very descriptive, to get a good reaction from your reader. Be as descriptive and grotesque as possible.

Example of Bad Imagery:

Make u hit the ground so hard that it hurts your back….

Dull, and doesn’t inspire any pictures in the mind of the reader

Example of Good Imagery:

Make ya hit the ground so hard the Earth’s polarity shifts….

This is like damn, kid made Santa live at the South Pole

For punchplay, make sure the wordplay isn’t forced or played, and be sure to relate both sides of the wordplay in the punch…

Example of Bad Punchplay:

I’m taking some of ya money, leaving ya sense-less…

Both sides weren’t related and the wordplay is played.

Example of Good Punchplay:

I’m cotton ya mind, no wonder cats are picking ya brain…

Both sides are properly related and it’s an original wordplay.


The way you structure a punch can make it drop cats to the canvas or seem jab-like. There are two ways for similes to be put.


I’m shootin caps off like graduation

Like graduation, I’m shootin caps off

Notice how it can go either way and say the exact same thing, but they hit differently?

TRY to go with the flip that hits hardest, but note that on occasion multi’s may be hard to come by. If so, and you can’t rhyme it the way you wish, you probably need to go with the weaker version. This will be for rhyming purposes, but note that a good rhyme scheme can make a decent to average punch elevate to ill. Try to condense your punches to as few words as possible if they mess up your flow, because that can make or break a good punch. Flow helps shit hit by continuing a good rhythm throughout a verse. If you fuck up that rhythm with a kill punch, it’s going to be downgraded a bit.

Wording is something that takes time to master, but once mastered, makes everything that much more hard-hitting. Try to get your concepts to sound right. If they don't sound right, then it's probably something as simple as bad wording. If you have to fuck with a concept for too long, it’s probably best you jus scrap the line and move on. Give a line about 2 minutes to fix the wording, and if it can’t be fixed, then toss it. Again, try to simplify concepts for the ignorant voters that WILL vote on your battles.


Setups need to flow, be relevant, and be consistent with the punch’s multi. You write your punchline first, then multi off of it in the setup. Don’t make the setup a pointless line only there to hold the flow, and with a complex punch, the setup can be very useful in getting your point across. Make sure you don’t force any rhymes or split up syllables oddly to where the setup flows different from the punch. Once again, relevancy is key here, unless the setup is a punchline in and of itself.

Punchlines 101-----------------------------------------------------------------------

For a lot of text rhymers, this is the highlight of the verse, when someone flips a phrase two different ways making everyone go "GOT DAYUM!!"

I.E. ex.:

messin' with me...

You'll have a "lot of problems" on your hands like cheating in algebra...

just sends a shiver up your spine, doesn't it. But let's start at the beginning. First, what's a punchline.

A lot of people call punchlines metaphores, but actually a metaphor is an association between two things made without the usage of the words "like" or "as"...(remember English class, now?)

So saying something like, "I'll beat you like an egg" isn't a metaphor. When you use "like" or "as", it's called a similie.

Similies are very prominent in battle raps, although they don't necessarily have to be. It's all up to the rhymers whim. But seeing as how this is a punchline class, let me continue...

The best way to get good at using similies is to practice. Play around with words and the different meanings that they can have. The english language is full of them.


a snail-like creature

the slang term for a fired bullet


a canine

a man; friend

The best way to use similies is at the end of the line they are in. I have found they are noticed better there and the build up is greater.

I usually write a set up line first and then my line with the similie:

I'm the only computer user that's abusin' loser's in brawls; nueterin ya'll

I'll take my rymes and shove my "tale" 'tween your legs "like a cowardly dog"

This is reletively simple compared to what cats on here are doin' here on a daily basis. But you get the idea. Here I used the double meaning the word 'tale' has as well as the double meaning that 'dog' has. Read a dictionary, they give double meanings to words all the time, for the rest you just have to be imaginative.

A real metaphor is more simple, you just liken the person, or yourself, or WHATEVER, without using 'like' or 'as'

"Emcees are similies, always "liking" "ass"

hahaha, I kinda like that one. Emcees are similies, get it?

The second type of punchline.These are the punchlines that are based on claimin' the outrageous.

This is when you make a statement that is so unreal that it sounds awesome just to imagine it.


"I'll kill you so fast you won't have enough time to die!"

That just makes you go GAWD DOG!!! Cause in real life, no one can kill anyone that fast, that's what's makes it fun. This is a little easier to do, a little, cause you still have to come up with different examples and be creative.


"I'm so ill I have AIDS scared to catch me!"

You get the idea. This actually has a metaphor and an exagerrated claim.

• He's not only ill as a rapper, but he's ill like a disease.

•_So ill in fact that AIDS avoids him...

The last punchline, that I can think of, is the plain-ol'-insult...

Sometimes you can just diss a guy without all the flash and it's just...damn.


Think y'all an iller clique? Invasion's gender identity is STILL switched

Man or woman, no matter which, the situation is YOU'RE STILL A BITCH

This line was made during a time when there was a contraversy on whether MCInvasion was a guy or a girl. So when this emcee said this simple diss line, it had hella impact.

This is also a metaphor as the word bitch, is used both to mean "a punk" and "a woman"

The plain-'ol-insult punchline allows you to get more personal. You can make fun of the fact that they just lost to a really wack person, or to the fact that they're from the boondocks of Colorodo claimin thug...the sky's the limit!

The moral of this lesson is, be inventive. Punchlines don't make or break a verse, I feel that if your verse is just better, it's just better. Punchlines are more like flavoring for food. I mean, who eats a bowl of seasoned salt by itself...NO ONE...

So build everything else up first, punchlines come later, but for those who just have to have them...take this little lesson to heart..

Wordplays & Similies


alright here goes somethin for all of ya'll.. im'a try and be real clear and explain everything with lots of examples.Seein' how im not the best teacher im goin' to use a lot of examples because to me they teach better than anything..

***first off lets start wit' adding cleverness in your lines.. here's a line i once used:

"Shit you drop I top times ten/ lyrically, u have no ability to cop a win "

alright thats pretty basic but by juss adding a lil extra thought into it i turned it around to:

"Shit you drop i top times ten / lyrically against me, 'police' can't 'cop' a win"

you don't have to change much but my juss adding the word police and empasizing the word "cop" you can add an extra relation into it.. this is also known as wordplay which is very effective in your shit..

here's another example of the same concept:

"I'm just out here tryin to support a cause / juss like 'ol St. Nick and Mrs. Santa Clause"

by looking at that and putting more thought into it you can add more wordplay and cleverness.. ex:

"I'm just out here trying to support a cause / trying to make this reject 'gifted' like i was santa clause"

yet again, i didn't make a big change but yet added a lil more into it by adding the word gifted with relates wit Santa Clause.. to add wordplay into your lines i stress that you juss take more time and put more thought into your shit.. if u write a line and realize it's basic, stop and look it over and look for anyway to add some wordplay into there.. creativity is also a big thing in this, you don't want your words to seem like anyone elses, hip hop is all about creativity..

juss as a lil extra help i'll drop 1 more examples of wordplay:

"now you wanna battle me then im the left survivor

cause i'll leave you 'fucking flat' like having tittie sex with minors"

Do you see the relation and wordplay? most of tha dope emcees use quotation marks to emphasize wordplay in there bars which is a good idea for ya'll to try too..

***that last line moves me into the concept of similies.. similies are a comparison using the two words "like" or "as" but similies have a lot more to them than that.. by using similies in your lines it gives u a major opportunity for creativity and originality of your own..


"now you wanna battle me then im the left survivor

cause i'll leave you 'fucking flat' like having tittie sex with minors"

the 2nd bar was all around dope.. it had the wordplay in there but also with a very nice similie.. the comparison being used is "fucking flat" and "having tittie sex wit minors".. this was a very nice similie because the wordplay added a lil extra into it.. by using similies in your rhymes you'll be able to put your readers in awe sometimes wit tha dope shit you can think off..

"I've disected your dialect, wrecked ur effect, "change your views" on tha game LIKE i juss pressed "select"

okay most your video game freaks got that one.. when you press select on a video game it changes your views, hince the comparison and simlie.. similies leave an open spot for a lot of wordplay and cleverness, thats why the two come hand in hand.. heres 1 last example to help get across the concept:

" ur always "decoratin" tha threads like ur goals "ornamental" wit "words bein unheard" like a fuckin "instrumental"

there is 2 nice simlies in there that go nicely wit some wordplay.. hope you grasped this concept by now..



So...are you ready for SOMETHING NEW! something you can use in both battles AND general writtens?? this is a little thing that i have named "The One-Up".

First let me say that i didn't invent it, but i did pick it out as a specific tool and give it a name so there!

In general written verses, the One-Up is just a way to make yourself stand out above the masses. in battles, the One-Up is a very useful method of making yourself look better than your specific opponent. rather than being a direct diss to the opponent, it takes something that your opponent said, and makes it better to show how much better of an emcee you are. hence the term "One-Up".

The idea is to take an average phrase, or a phrase used by your opponent, and change its wording so that it sounds more impressive and shows off your mastery of lyricism and language. so you make yourself look good and your opponent look bad at the same time.

The first time i realized the incredible potential of this tool was in listening to "Move Somethin" by Taleb Kweli. in it is the line:

"yall catch bodies, we catch excellent cadavers."

As you can see, Kweli has artfully shown his mastery of description by changing "bodies" to "excellent cadavers", and in the process makes himself look pretty good. he takes a term that is commonly used in hiphop and proves that he can make it better. he just "one-upped" the competition.

This is a versatile tool and can be very effective when used properly. here are two more example of One-Ups that i used in a written piece:

"if you're 'droppin shit', i'll be 'droppin spectacular feces'

so you 'cut it up' while i'm 'choppin immaculate pieces' "

All i did there was take two phrases that are heard all throughout hiphop, and made them more lyrically impressive. add an adjective or two, substitiute in some eloquent synonyms, and VIOLA! you have yourself an official "One-Up".

And let me stress again the cool thing about one-ups is that they aren't JUST making you look good, and they aren't JUST dissing the competition. they do both of those things at the same time!

The examples given above are generalized examples, the type you might use in a written verse. but a good emcee could also use this tool effectively in live battling to make it more personal. for example, lets say your opponent spit a line at you like

"i'll hit with so many bullets you look like swiss cheese"

Well, obviously that line is played out as hell. but so is saying "your lines are played" so why not simply prove how much better you are and make your opponent look weak at the same time with a One-Up? by using this technique, your retort could include something like:

"go ahead and 'hit with bullets', i'll 'bitch-slap you with missiles'"

Not only does this make you look creative, what's important is that it makes you look MORE creative than the other guy while simultaneously knocking down one of his lines.

So...this is my gift to you fellow emcees and netheads. the amazingly wonderful "One-Up". feel free to use this tool, but as with anything else in life, moderation is the key to making it successful. don't overuse it or you could kill it's effectiveness.




Have you ever wondered either what multies are or how to get better at them if you already know what they are? If you have, this thread is for you. Multies can make your verse flow better, look better, and hit harder. It takes time to learn how to write skilled lines and still use multies, but once you learn it, you will find it gets easier every day.

What is a multie?

Multies are a method of rhyming more than one syllable together. Before we go into what a multi is, however, you will need to know what is not a multie, because there are a lot of people out there that think they use them, but really don't.... I've seen it many times.

These two examples are not multies

Example 1:

grabbin the four, bust thru the door to murder a whore/

smash the slut wit a board and lay her head on the floor/

Example 2:

if i catch u fussin u get busted in the nugget wit musketz/

tucked in the mud wit ur fingers thrown in a bucket/

The first one was just rhymin words together more than once (four, door, whore, board, floor). Though it seems that would be multiple rhyming, it is not. Multie is short for multi-syllable rhyming, which is exactly what it says: rhyming together multiple syllablez. The second example is not a multie either. The reason? Musket, bucket, fussin...these are all suffixes...suffixes do not count as a rhyming syllable. The mud wit, or tucked in, those would count as a multie, but I try to stay away from using words such as is, in, the, if...as a multie. It sounds better when u use full words. These are not "prominent syllables" (keep reading).

This next example IS a multie

Example 1:

snatched off ya feet, breakin-ya-neck, stick a stake-in-ya-chest/

then start chokin ya soul, fuck ya life, i'm takin-ya-death/

You see how breakin-ya-neck, stake-in-ya-chest, takin-ya-death all rhyme together at more than one point? break, stake, take...and neck, chest, death. Words do not always have to rhyme EXACTLY. Rhyme, crime, time would be exact rhymes. Nine, life, five are not. However, in rap, they both work just as well, tho exact rhymes do sound ever-so-slightly better to the ear.

You do not have to put three multies in one bar (two linez)....You can put only one in each line, or as many as you want, as long as you don't stretch your lines! (See Wyzerd's tutorial on bar length.) You will see in rhyming multies that not every syllable has to rhyme. It so happenz that the two middle syllablez in the example above are all in and ya. That's great if it happenz to be, but take for example exit-woundz, next-to-you, wreckin-crew.

What has to rhyme and what doesn't.

You will notice in rhyming that you have both "prominent" and "silent" syllables. in the example above, in and ya would be silent. You hear them, however their soundz are not prominent or stressed when spoken. In two syllable multies (wu-tang, blue-flame), of course, both syllablez will rhyme, or it wouldn't be a multie! In three syllablez, usually the first and last syllable rhyme (stomp-his-back, drop-the-batz, cockin-macz). You can variate on this, such as (babblin, travelin, abdomen, javelin, snatchin-men), but we'll get into that more next lesson. The same applies to four syllables as with three. Most often the first and last syllable rhyme, tho if the ones in between rhyme as well, more power to you! When u get into five syllables, usually the first, second and last, or the first, fourth and last rhyme: (shit-in-ya-stomach, rippin-em-from-it, spit-when-i-gut-him...these are all first, fourth, fifth). You also have your first, second and last (slap-bitches-wit-batz, my crack-itchez-so-bad, cats-spittin-like-fagz). As always, if more than those syllablez rhyme, more power to you. You may ask, what about six syllablez and so on, but after u get to five syllablez, anything more doesn't flow right. It's too long for your brain to really pick up on when you hear it. I suggest keeping it at five or under. Of course, it should go without saying, the first syllablez will always rhyme, because that is the start of the multie!

How do I get better at multies?

The best thing you can do to get better at multies is to read the dictionary. This soundz pretty simple, but I mean literally read it once, all the way through. There are rhyming dictionaries out there as well, but I personally feel as if it takes away my own style and personality...I also feel like I'm cheating, so I have never used them. I couldn't even tell you where to find them. I have read most of the dictionary, almost the whole thing. Just skim-read it...you'll be surprised how much you retain. Vocabulary is they key, because no one wants to see you rhyme the same things over and over again.

Another great way, probably the best if done in supplement to reading the dictionary and thesauruses, is to practice them. Take a certain rhyme scheme, such as...rhyme scheme! Now sit down without a dictionary, and make as many multies as you can out of it. When you can make about fifty multies in one scheme, you know you've got it. Do this with various rhyme schemez. Not writing verses, just lists of rhyming words. I have notebooks full of rhyming words and almost nothing else besides some wack verses written as a newbie.

Finally, just expiriment. Don't use the same rhyme schemes but different rhyming words all the time...mix it up....Mix up how many syllables you use, etc.

P.S--> Next lesson you will learn about accenting (most well-known in the way eminem rhymes sure with four), multiple multies (instead of only the end of your lines rhyming, having multies spread throughout), using multies to enhance the flow and style of your verse, call-back multies (where the first multie is at the beginning of one line, the next one at the end of the second line), and mixing different rhyme schemez into your lines (having two lines together that have two different rhyme schemes in them).




Aight, if you're reading this, I'm hoping you already use good, basic, fundamental multie-rhyming principles, or at least have already mastered the lessons from the first part of this tutorial.Now, there's a few different ideas we're going to go over today: Multiple multies, accenting, inner rhyming, multiple rhyme schemes, using multies as the foundation of your flow, and what combinations of multies work versus combinations that can't work.


Accenting, simply put, is the art of making words rhyme together that don't rhyme together. This is a VERY prominent talent in Canibus' arsenal. Rhyming four with sure as Eminem does is a good example. Sure is pronounced 'shore'. I don't recommend using a lot of accenting, because then it seems like your rhymes don't really rhyme. I use it in slight doses quite often, but so slight you don't really notice. Here is an example:

Example One:

this nigga bites so much that he's probably droulin-paper/

shootin-when-robbin-ya, it's a human-thermometer when bullets-stain-ya/

In this example here, you see droulin with bullets rhymed. They sound almost like the rhyme, but there's a slight difference as in droulin has more of a "oo" sound to it. With a very slight accenting, you can make these rhyme together, either by pronouncing bullet more like droulin, or vice a versa.

Multiple Multies

Multiple multies is the art of rhyming multies more than once together. This is a very simple concept shown by one example:

Example One:

violent-n-ornery, ha!, pull a nine-in-a-robbery?/

fuck bullets, my punchlines crush spines at twice-the-velocity/

Depending on your specific dialect, ornery could be pronounced to rhyme "war wit me" or "robbery". I personally pronounce it the latter. So there is possible accenting there. Also, punchlines n crush spines rhyme together, which is an inner (next section). Notice how i used main multie (the one that rhymes at the end of the lines) more than just the end of the lines? It's also at the beginning of the first line. Quite simply put, multiple multies are just that. Putting more than one at the end of each line.

Inners/Multiple Rhyme-Schemes

Inners are also known as multiple rhyme-schemez. This would be having more than one multie scheme in a bar (two lines). I'll reiterate with the example above, italicizing the inners:

Example One:

violent-n-ornery, ha!, pull a nine-in-a-robbery?/

fuck bullets, my punch lines crush spinez at twice-the-velocity/

Now the inners don't have to be right next to each other exactly, they just happen to be here because it fits the flow. Try to flow this to a beat, putting a slight emphasis on your rhyming words. You'll notice how it enhances the flow. You can put in three different schemes if you'd like, but i don't recommend doing that often, and i seriously don't recommend going over three unless you can really work it. I've only gone up to four schemes twice I think, because it's too many rhyming words for your brain to pick up on. It confuses your subconscious, so blah at that. I understand some may say, "Why all this worrying about confusing the brain? Just spit!". But the fact is, to make the best sounding verse possible, knowing these things helps. You can be ill without knowing them, and nine times out of ten you won't do these things because your brain will naturally shun at it, realizing how it confuses your audial senses.

Using Multies to Enhance Your Flow

When I rhyme, I base how I flow off my rhyme schemes I am using. This means that with a slight emphasis on your rhyming words when spitting, your multies are made a prominent part of your flow, so people will notice them even if they can't quite point out what sounds so tight about your flow. Learn how to say the punches, disses, powerful statements, and humerous lines in the form of multies. Learning how to speak in multies would be the best way to state this. Figure out the tempo you want, and make the prominent parts of the tempo your multies. Throw in more multies in the middle with multiple multies or inner rhyming, and it enhances your flow even more. That is the whole point of multies: they make your flow more like water than mud. You'd be surprised how much better multies can make your flow. If you decide not use multies, i suggest rhyming your single syllables a lot in your lines, such as "grab the FOUR bust the DOOR lay a WHORE on the FLOOR". It'll help, because every once in a while you'll have a line that is really clever, but doesn't work as a multie. Do that instead. When you practice your multies, you'll begin to notice that instead of just being a suppliment to your rhymes, they become the foundation. Every line I write starts with a rhyme scheme I'd like to use, and I figure out how to say something important with it. Why I suggest this is because once you have mastered your multie style, you'll be able to come up with ill lines based off them, and since your lines are based off your rhyme scheme, that means they're based off your flow. And flow is what it's all about. Why do you think you see so many rappers with shallow lyrics making money? They can hit beats in a nice way.

Call-Back Rhyming

Call-backs are kind of hard to use in text, because most times people won't see them unless you mark them, which marking them is up to u personally. A call-back is a nice way of flipping your rhyme and flow around. Here's an example:

Example One:

stompin-ya-kids, hit and run in a honda/

bomb ya, then flip u off while i'm hoppin-a-fence/

You'll notice that the main rhyme scheme (stompin-ya-kids/hoppin-a-fence) is reversed. The firs trhyme is at the beginning of the bar, and the next at the end. You can throw more multies in there, this is just a basic example to work off of. I recommend when using these to have an inner at the end of the first line, beginning of the second. Notice the honda/bomb ya in this example. It makes it flow better. You'll hear it, trust me, when listening to a line like this, just make sure when spitting to put that just-slight emphasis on your rhyming words. If recording, instead of emphasizing the word, go back over your track and spit the multies with your origginal recordings, but only as a slight mumble, tho not a whisper. It makes your multies stand out and have a slight echo, which sounds really tight....It's used a lot with cats who use multies in rap. Listen to some songs, and you might notice this being used. Call-backs are nice to use sometimes, tho not all the time. A great example of a skilled call-back is from Eminem's "Still Don't Give a Fuck". The opening line:

Example Two:

i'm zonin off of one joint, stoppin-a-limo/

hopped-in-the-window, shoppin-a-demo at gun point/

Notice the three inners in there? But you still here the gun point/one joint rhyme. It sounds as if he had a rhyme using and kicked it back to that rhyme after throwing in more shit, unexpectedly! That's the whole point, it surprises you.

What Works and What Doesn't

There's a few combinations of multies that you'll find do not flow very well. Here's a brief list:

*Using four-syllable multies three times in one line and having other words in between them, or using four-syllable multies more than three times at all, in one line.

*Using multies over five-syllables, and using five-syllable multies more than twice in one line.

*Using three-syllable multies more than four times. Five times can occasionally be used depending on the specific multies, if there are words in between the multies or if it is a straight rhyme, and the rhythm/beat you are using with the line.

*Using more than three different rhyme-schemes in one bar (two lines).

*Accenting heavily, or more than occasionally. This takes away from the legitamateness of your rhymes. Making answer rhyme with chatter, I see that rhyme-scheme used a lot, though using different words. It doesn't work. It sticks out in a bad way.


Aight, before I address how to properly USE rhyme scheme, you first have to know what one is. Quite simply, rhyme scheme is the format of how you place rhymes within a verse. Generally speaking, most cats like to have a basic line flow, then a switch-up or two or three. The basic line flow gives you something to normally have and fall back on, while switch-ups make your rhymes not quite so monotonous, by adding diversity.

Example…of a basic rhyme scheme

Attention-audit! Wiz’s back, detention’s-started…

Ya LP like cellulite, only bitches-got-it/

Regardless, broken down into what’s important for this tutorial it’d jus be this:

'RHYME' blah blah blah blah…

Blah blah blah blah 'RHYME'/

Example… one of a switchup:

Slight-panic, seein chivalry in the middle-east…

Like Titanic, ya all hype, but no delivery/

But regardless, broken down into what’s important for this tutorial it’d jus be this:

'RHYME1', blah 'RHYME2' blah blah…

'RHYME1', blah blah blah blah 'RHYME2'/

Example…of another rhyme scheme:

My hand's are now tired to carry on writing...

My mind is now too tired to carry on fighting/

What’s important for this tutorial it’d jus be this:

Blah blah blah, 'RHYME'…

Blah blah blah 'RHYME'/


OK, now we know WHAT a rhyme scheme is and how to make it not so boring, now we move on to developing you own rhyme scheme…

Step 1:

Look at your own spits and see where you naturally rhyme at… the more natural you make your rhyme scheme, the more natural you’ll be able to flow with it…

Step 2:

Get your rhyme scheme in your head, or at least your basic one and use it wherever you can… this will develop into your own style and make your rhyme scheme more proficient…

Step 3:

Think up some switch-ups…They don’t have to be THAT different, but they do have to have a different sound to them when you flow it or read it…otherwise what’s the point?

Step 4:

Get a beat and make sure when you write you can flow all this shit to it… This will develop a good rhythm in your head and make it easier to elevate to audio later… Just in case cats didn’t know text ain’t really hip hop, it’s practice… if your text doesn’t flow neither will your audios… One thing you should avoid is writing text in a different style then you would audio… I know A LOT of cats do this, but what’s the point? Text should be elevating your writing skills for audio, not elevating your writing skills for text, because text is useless outside of online boards…


NO! If you’re using someone else’s rhyme scheme you are straight up biting their style… which in my opinion is WORSE than biting punches because it’s permanent… DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES STEAL SOMEONE’S STYLE… the ONLY exception would be in a battle if you were taking your opponent’s rhyme scheme and style and using it against them, that’s ok, anything else… BIG NONO!


OK, the PERFECT example of why switch-ups are important is old school T~R~E battles… He had the same end of the line multis in every single verse, made the shit so monotonous to read I quit peepin T~R~E for a LONG time… You want a similar story then don’t listen to me, otherwise bite the fuckin bullet and switch your rhymes up about every 3-4 *bars…

*A bar is just two lines...for example:

Blah Blah BLah Blah/

Blah BLah BLah Blah/


Well, you can, but it makes for a shittily structured verse… If you want a good flow sparatic rhyming generally isn’t the way to go, just cause it’s random and gets offbeat a lot… I’m NOT saying it isn’t perfectly ok to do this IF you know what you’re doing, but your structure and rhyme scheme points WILL go down and your flow will probably suffer a lil…



Transition: The Good, The Decent, An Great

(Unoffical definetion)Transition.. Is simply going line from line and not completely changin up sounds for every rhymin word.. Leave it so lines slowly change up rhymin sounds instead of a rough changeup.

"these temptations stay gettin stronger

makin my days seem longer

trees all around me like im livin in tha woods

I'm feelin homesick everysince i moved up out tha hood

sure my grades is doin good, but i miss tha school playground

itd be juss me an tha boys gettin straight stoned jokin an playin round

i aint playin around, wasnt a day when we ever juss got high"

Notice how lines like 1,2, are fine together, same sound is aight two lines in a row.. But when you add 1 and 2 with that 3rd line it throws shit off.. Say this out loud to urself "Stronger, Longer, Woods" ..Do you notice tha completely new word and added sound in there once Woods is added.. It sounds nothing like Longer or Stronger, its a bad bad transition but is VERY common.

A good transition will be able to smoothly go from new words instead of just switchin up sounds completely all at one time.. Heres a nice example of similiar soundin words and that is the main thing for transition..

"Shoutin~revisions, things coulda been diverse..-10

When worse, case scena-rios happen in real~life--10

Tha deals~like, "Why? Why was I so senseless?.."-10

Im rentless and don't know why so I sit in silence-12

Sittin silent, puttin up a front but seein violence-12"

**Note: the numbers at the end of each line, I will explain that later on.**

In tha first line your endin rhymin word is "diverse".. So In the second line i threw in "worse" in the very beginnin, to show that that sound was still in play before switchin up sounds on the end of that line. At the end i went with "real-life", a completely new sound for what was before it. So once again, on the next line of that i thread in "Deals like" to show that that sound was still in play before switchin to yet another rhymin sound.. "Senseless" takes over, next line i throw in "rentless" to use it before i switch up soundsover to "silence." Next line I go with "sitten silent" as those two words and "silence" from the line above all go good together.. "Silent" also sounds SIMILIAR to "violence" but does not rhyme with it and thats my tansition from "silence, sittin silent, and violence"..

In those 5 lines quoted the transitions are done to profection if i do say so myself..

A Decent Transition Example:

Adopt my crew? Why you gotta copy-shit? 11

Postin sloppy-shit an pushed me over tha edge.. 11

Chozen1 couldn't "shine" even if he was "Pledge.." 11

Throwin in "sloppy shit" in the beginnin of line 2 helps the transition over to edge.. Its not completely smooth but a lot better soundin than:

"these temptations stay gettin stronger

makin my days seem longer

trees all around me like im livin in tha woods"

^^Thats not transition, thats just normally changing lines.

*To do transition with multi's is done by using this same concept except your multis make it more complex. Only big differences is that chances are, you'll only get a decent transition because its hard 2 find similiar words to go with every word in ur multi.. give it a shot tho, bet it comes out betta than a ruff change..

*The reason for the numbers after each of my lines is for flow. I count the amount of sylabols in each line and make sure it is reasonable with the surroundin lines to be sure itll go together nicely..
Junior Member
Joined:Thu Jan 08, 2004 3:02 pm

Sun Feb 08, 2004 2:52 pm


One of the most overlooked and potent weapons an MC can utilize and keep in thier backpack is alliteration. Many MC's do it all the times, but may not even know that they are doing it. What is alliteration? well.....................

originally found on Dictionary.com



The repetition of the same sounds or of the same kinds of sounds at the beginning of words or in stressed syllables, as in “on scrolls of silver snowy sentences” (Hart Crane). Modern alliteration is predominantly consonantal; certain literary traditions, such as Old English verse, also alliterate using vowel sounds.

Many of HipHops greatest Mc's use/used this technique constantly. For example 'Tupac' on 'If I die tonight'.*Alliteration are those which are underlined.

Picturin pitiful punk niggaz coppin pleas

Puffin weed as I position myself to clock G's

My enemies scatter in suicidal situations

Never to witness the wicked shit that they was facin

Pockets is packed with presidents, pursue your riches

Evadin the playa hatin tricks, while hittin switches

Actually, the rest of that song is laced throughout with alliteration. What does it do?? Alliteraton can help the peice flow with the beauty of the Tigris River... It places stresses on certain syllables which in turn adds to the overall feeling of the ryme. This can help with the rythm of the ryme in general. It is my personal opinion that an alliterative line in a ryme may outpower a punch or a multi because of the level of complexity of the verse

Now I would like to add on to the definition of the word. Yes Dictionary.com does an outstanding job defining the word...but they do have a slight error. Traditionally , yes, the first syllable is where the alliteration will be found. However, in the present way we communicate and speak, stress is also given to the second and third syllable as well. Our vocabulary we have nowadays doesnt nessesarily stress first syllables.

Utilization of this Extra alliteration can be a bit more difficult to master, and trust me I am no master, but an example could be

I'm most ad-mired ad-mit it, remain a-mong the greastest

and i'm a-mused with the a-mount abuse this kat stated/

Now this is some possibilities with the third syllable

my rymes clear alu-minum , u cant see em any-more

my lyrics straight arith-metic , can u calculate the score?/

Because of the outanding complexities found in the English Languge, and because the true MC will flip any language, complex or not, alliteration can be an Mc's backup grenade, when the going gets rough......ya know

Bar Unity 101: Setup to Punch Relation


This tutorial I’ma try to explain how to relate your set up with the punch. It makes the bar hit harder for most and can also add to the complexity of it. I see some kids just throw out a random set up connected with a punchline so they can make a multie.No disrepect to them, but I’ll get on with it, and quit the small talk

Now to peep someone thats actually rather good at this kinda thing, look at someone like TV’s verses.

Example of no relation:

I’m ill in this rap stuff, enough ta leave you slapped..

I’m tiein’ up loose ends, like my jump rope snapped..

See, first line has shit to do with the second line,

and really makes no sense with both..so….

Example of fixin’ it to relate:

Whats happened is history, now I’m forgettin’ the past..

And tiein’ up loose ends, like my jump rope snapped..

See, the setup relates to the line, and adds more content ta what you’re sayin’.

A perfect example of setup to punch relation:

formerly Da Storm, you ain't exactly grammatically fluent..

misspelling science ain'TZ.. somehow u managed to do it!

See, the setup made the punchline better, dissin’ his grammar, his old alias, then delivered the punchline dissin’ his new name as well…it all ties together.

--Well--thats about all I can say bout this particular matter--Just keep working on it--

--Ha--hope this came out the way I was thinking it--Pz--
Junior Member
Joined:Thu Jan 08, 2004 3:02 pm

Sun Jun 13, 2004 2:47 pm

thanx knoka


TRULIARD1 - i aint tryin to tell anyone what to do, its just guide lines...

do what the fuk u wanna do ?!

Senior Member
Joined:Thu Nov 20, 2003 7:01 am

Mon Jun 14, 2004 2:44 am

bifkin really really nice educative posting. but damn that shit is long. oh well am a go read it now anyway. and TRULIARD1 real nice rhymes but stop hating. go read and learn somen from the post.
Junior Member
Joined:Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:03 pm

Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:45 pm

One love for your Lesson Bifkin

I call it lesson 'cause that's what it is.Everything in life should be a lesson.

with no disrespect for TRULIARD1 but i think he should've shown some support like beat knoka 'cause at the end of the day we all learners.I'm from Cape Verde.I Host a hip-Hop Radio Show 3 times a week and i got my crew called LÓD ESCUR.

Check my web site http://www.lodescur.cjb.net

Junior Member
Joined:Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:03 pm

Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:51 pm

Check http://www.lodescur.cjb.net

We support Democratic Republic Congo's Hip-hop community. 8)
Junior Member
Joined:Fri Aug 13, 2004 1:01 am

Thu Aug 19, 2004 12:38 am

men ...nice scholling dawg..most peeps dont know how to create a decent battle verses....especially in the personalls section.....i'm new to this site ant it seems to me u might be a decent person to spar with so whats u say?
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