Aim: To introduce young people to rap and provide them with the opportunity to record their music. This activity is best run over 2 or 3 weeks. Taken from the BB Company Section, Discoverer Pro Pack, Skills, Creativity C3
Activity 1 & 2
• Cassette recorder or other recording device
• PC with CD writer
Activity 1 - Writing A Rap
Aim: To write a rap.
• This activity is about the young people writing a rap, based on a subject of their choice.
• To introduce the activity start off by playing a popular rap song which the young people would have already heard of, then follow that up by asking them what the rap was about and ask one of the young people if they would be able to repeat some lines of the rap. .
• Additionally the leader could write their own rap, relevant to the young people and perform the rap to the group. Don’t worry if you embarrass yourself, it will be funny. Just don’t take it too seriously!
• Next, for the practical part of this activity, decide if the young people should do this on their own, in pairs or in a group, although it would be recommended that maximum group size is 3 to ensure all the young people have an opportunity to take part.
• The young people should then spend 5 minutes thinking about what subject or subjects they want to rap about. This could be done by mind mapping with pens and paper in their groups.
• Some tips for the young people when considering their topic:
— You have to know enough about your topic to rap about it. Make it school, friends, family or something they enjoy doing.
— You could make it a bit more challenging by giving the young people a topic like the environment, war, drugs or any other issue that is of concern to the young person.
— You could even link it to the devotions or a bible passage. Once you learn all about your topic you’re ready to rap.
• Before starting to write the rap, give the young people the following tips:
— Rap about anything but remember to write to the beat.
— Raps are talk songs. They are not sung; they are spoken.
— They have a lot of rhyme.
— Most raps rhyme in ‘couplets.” That means lines rhyme two at a time. Lines one and two rhyme with each other, but not with the other lines. Lines 3 and 4 rhyme with each other, but not with the other lines. And so on. The two lines that rhyme together are a “Couplet”.
— Don’t rap about personal things that are not true. While some people might take a “I can rap about anything I want to!” attitude, it’s best to stick with the truth.
• It's important that some ground rules over the suitability of content and language are laid down from the start. The media is full of performers whose choice of both is unsuitable in a Christian organisation. Set it as a positive challenge for the young people.
• Next it’s the young people’s time to start to write their rap, allow them 20-30 minutes to do this. Tell them you are looking for about S to 10 lines in the rap.
• Encourage the young people to think and be creative.
• If the time allowed is not sufficient, if time permits allow the groups to continue. It may also be a good idea to split this activity over 2-3 weeks.
Activity 2 - Performing A Rap
Aim: To allow young people to gain confidence In performing.
• Now the young people have written their raps, it is time to test them out. Before performing to the rest of the young people, in their groups or as individuals they should practise their rap as necessary.
• Then ask each group or individual to perform their rap; encourage groups to have everyone involved splitting up the rap as required.
• Once all the groups or individuals have performed their raps, using a mind mapping exercise ask the young people to list all the subjects used in the raps e.g. friends, family, football clubs, etc. See if there is a common subject running through. Also this could be expanded to ask why the young people chose those particular subjects.
Tips / Advice:
• Do not put too much pressure on an individual performing if they do not want to.
• A drum beat could be added at this point, the young people could come up with their own beat to fit their rap. There are a number of computer programs available on the highstreet from PC World and other stores which can be used to create beats or backing tracks such as Sony ACID Music Studio, Magix Software Movie Maker and Dance E-JAY amongst others. Or you could use an electric keyboard.
• Give the young people the opportunity to dress up to perform and practise some dance moves. With permission video tape the artists in action.
Activity 3 Recording a Rap
Aim: To produce a CD with the young people’s raps.
• This activity is to once again get the young people to perform their rap, and on this occasion record it using a cassette recorder or other recording device (some MP3 players have recording features). This is the easier part; to create the CD it will be necessary to transfer the recording on to a PC (or other device) and compile all the recordings and bum them onto a CD.
• Burn as many CD’s as required ensuring all the young people have a copy. If the facilities are available creating a cover or sleeve/case and a label to go on the CD would add that finishing and more professional touch.
Tips / Advice:
• It may be that one or some of the raps could be played at a church service or a display.
• CD’s with the young peoples raps could be sold as a fundraising exercise. Although this would be dependent on the quality and suitability of the raps.
For full details see the BB Company Section, Discoverer Pro Pack, Skills, Creativity C3