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When writing rap music, is it important to use the same number of syllables for every line in the lyrics? Some rap music has some really good flow, but I am not sure what's causing it. Is it largely dependent on the number of syllables or rather something else like the ability of a rapper to talk fast? And how important is the number of syllables on every line? I tried writing songs with varying numbers of syllables and it sounds weird.

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The chief criterion for any lyric is that it not sound weird -- unless, of course, weirdness is desired, in which case it should. This is something that can only be played by ear.

Two things to try:

  • Analyze lyrics that sound good to you and those that don't. Trying looking at syllable count, accent, vowels (long vs short), and other effects on sound, and see if you can devise some guidelines on them.
  • Try different guidelines of your devising and see how it sounds.

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