These were the scenes that really put freestyle on the map back in the day, and arguably, what brought it into mainstream consciousness. Sure it was scripted, but so many couldn’t have understood the real depth to this on-the-spot improvisation and the real power it wielded in one’s personal arsenal that some of the best freestylers employ.
THE SCIENCE OF FREESTYLING:
Researchers in voice, speech, and language studied the brain activity of freestyling rappers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRIs). They found that when a person spontaneously creates rhyming lyrics, the brain turns up certain regions while turning down others. As the brain activity shifts, the results showed that a unique neural network activates, suggesting that there are distinct pathways for improvisational creativity. Furthermore it was the peer reviewed validation by Siyuan Liu, Allen Braun, and a team of neuroscientists affiliated with the the National Institutes of Health (NIH) who published their research after studying brain activity of freestyle rappers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI scans). The findings showed that freestyling changes activity in the prefrontal cortex, the brain region associated with language and decision-making. The improvisation increases activity in the area responsible for thought and action but decreases it in the parts that control and suppress. The findings suggest that the flowing, freestyling brain can relax its neural constraints to allow freer oral expression of words and ideas.
“We think what we see is a relaxation of ‘executive functions’ to allow more natural de-focused attention and uncensored processes to occur that might be the hallmark of creativity,” Braun reported in an interview, while Liu concurs, “We think that the creative process may be divided into two phases . . . The first is the spontaneous improvisatory phase. In this phase you can generate novel ideas. We think there is a second phase, some kind of creative processing [in] revision”.
“Freestyling is a very hard thing to do and I often have a hard time with it, but when I do do it, sometimes it comes out good.” says Hawaii baseed aspiring rap artist, Zachary Lindsey. “Just wanna show some love from Waianae, Hawaii that’s forever my home and imma rep it when I get big!”.
The implications from Liu’s study suggest a simultaneous creation and revision process as the freestyle is delivered, which is quite fascinating.
“The way to make it look easy is not to show them you messed up in the first place” continues Lindsey, “Of course you have to think about it when you freestyle because you constantly have to make sure what you are saying makes sense. Things to think about while freestyling is flow, rhythm, and bars. i think it requires a certain amount of intelligence and literacy. You need to have a huge vocabulary and think fast. It’s a constant race in your mind and there’s a lot of pressure when you’re around people.”
As Zachary Lindsey like many other aspiring artists in this genre, he draws much inspiration from his idols, including, Joyner Lucas, , Ski mask the slump god, YBN Cordae, and Eminem. ” I like heavy metal mixed rap, speedy rap, and R&B.
Representing the south by way of Florida is hip-hop’s latest 4Heavensake. Listening to 4Heavensake is like opening a time capsule that holds the best hip-hop has known since the ‘90s. With a sound that showcases 4Heavensake’s love of everyone from Mos Def to T.I., his style is unmatched in today’s scene that is overflowing with mumble rap and computer sounds. 4Heavensake takes listeners back to basics while elevating their current state of mind. With almost five dozen songs to his name, tracks like “Wonder Sometimes” and “My Sentiments” give hip-hop fans a whiff of nostalgia while in the here and now.
To date, 4Heavensake has performed throughout his home state of Florida at Bombshell Tavern in Tampa, Pegasus Lounge in Tallahassee, and on The Showcase Tour in Orlando. He’s even taken things up the coast performing at Coast to Coast in New York City. Now he’s focused on getting on a national tour in the next year or so while working on new music.
Solo and C-Webb are representing a lot with the upcoming release of their debut, A Hustler’s Tale Vol. 1. Not only the heart of America, but also their family as the two are brothers, and also their label Y.N.F.A Records. While that may have put an overwhelming amount of pressure on some, it has yet to phase the Midwest duo. A Hustler’s Tale Vol. 1 has been a lifetime in the making as Kansas based Solo and C-Webb have been spitting rhymes with one another for years. Growing up together they’ve shared a lot, including their passion for music. Come 2018 they went from dreaming about it to making it a reality with the release of their debut single in February. “Steal My Shine” was just the beginning as it was followed by a handful of other songs, including their latest single, “Young Age.” Each gave audiences a taste of what was to come from Solo and C-Webb. Now the time is almost here as the release of A Hustler’s Tale Vol. 1 is coming in early 2019. Solo and C-Webb aren’t just artists, but entrepreneurs as well. They are co-owners of Y.N.F.A Records alongside Harry Wilcox and Steven Thompson. In fact, A Hustler’s Tale Vol. 1 isn’t just a family affair between Solo and C-Webb, it’s also a Y.N.F.A Records family affair as audiences can hear Roger, Hustle Boy, and KG lending their talents to throughout the record as well.
JavyDade has officially launched his new single “Up Up and Away” worldwide with major positive reviews. The rapper, engineer, producer, and songwriter is also rumored to have an upcoming single featuring Tory Lanez. The dystopian backing track wavers through edges of ethereal with rapid slick punctuation. A contrasting of elements that not just anyone can maneouvre and deliver with such prowess.
“I can literally shout out random words, and he can flow off of them with little to no effort.” He is also one of the best engineers I have been around as well. He is most likely the next big multi-genre artist of 2019.” says Dustin LeBleu, owner of Insane Labz Music, who recently signed Javvy.
Muki Munah is starting the year off right with his bold new single, “One Hundred Dollar Bill.” A banger that blends a hype reggaeton style with hip-hop beat is sure to make its way into the lives of many. Muki Munah started out in Cameroon, Africa. While the cassettes of his childhood were beloved, he found himself in a different line of work as he got older. He owned and operated a successful flower business for years before realizing that it was time to give music his undivided attention. After butting heads with a keyboard instructor, Muki Munah decided to take matters into his own hands and do things his own way. He started performing around his hometown and eventually recording the music he wanted. Music that combines the veracity of hip-hop with the charisma of reggae. Today Muku Munah has four albums, three EPs and almost a dozen singles to his name, including his latest, “One Hundred Dollar Bill.” Now in Tampa, Florida Muki Munah has performed everywhere from Super D’s Nightclub to Skipper’s Smokehouse to the Pegasus Lounge. His music is about energy and delivering that as well as his culture and upbringing to people far and wide. Original to the core, fans get all that and more with Muki Munah.
Syzl Lytnin is making major moves with the release of her latest single, “H8taBlockaz,” from her recent released EP- 7 Shadez of Syzl.
The Cincinnati born Emcee started her career over a decade ago under the name Syzl Dinero. She went from the church pews singing in the Gospel Choir to laying down rhymes with her uncles to creating her 1st demo with Blacklite Productions. With impressive indie success, she packed up and headed west to Los Angeles.
It was during that time she said goodbye to Syzl Dinero and hello to Syzl Lytnin. Rebranding one’s self isn’t the easiest thing, but she did it and along with that she dropped her EP- 7 Shadez of Syzl. Featuring songs that reflect her life, she penned about a girl manifesting her dreams in “I Have a Dream” as well as being confident and independent in “Shine On.” However, “H8taBlocakz” was 7 Shadez of Syzl’s lead single that really shined. “H8taBlockaz” is not only a song everyone can attest to – blocking the haters/negativity and looking good while doing it – but it helped Syzl to build and define her brand. In addition to Syzl Lytnin dropping her EP and single she started a sunglass brand called H8taBlockaz.
PICK OF THE WEEK: BIRDS – Place of Dreams ft. Ecca Vandal Set inside a leafy greenhouse, the video sees Birdz and Ecca shot in a soft, dreamlike haze. Despite this gentle atmosphere, the pair perform with incredible presence and vigour, evoking the commanding lyricism and effortless hip-hop flow that comes naturally to both artists. An aesthetically captivating addition to the story, the “Place of Dreams” video is a reminder of the track’s compelling message of breaking through imposed glass ceilings.
As the first taste of his upcoming EP, Birdz will bring “Place of Dreams” to the stage later this month, performing at Melbourne’s Gasometer Hotel on February 1 before making his way to Wayward’s inSydney on February 2. Performing tracks off his critically acclaimed debut record Train of Thought, and forthcoming EP, lucky Melbourne and Sydney fans will get the chance to see Birdz on his way to the top as one of the country’s most exciting hip-hop acts.