Rap punchlines are to hip hop like slam dunks are to basketball: if done correctly, they bring a crowd to their feet. However, if you mess up, it's just about the most awkward and embarrassing situation imaginable.
Freestyle battle rap punchlines are given a little more slack than their written counterparts, since they are off the top of the head. A decent freestyle rap punchline can bring the house down, and if you screw up, well, what the heck, you were just freestyling anyways...
Let's take a look at different types of rap punchlines:
The set up/smack down approach. In keeping with the basketball analogy, think of a solid punchline like an alley oop: the first line sets up, the second line slams it home. For example, "I respond back, just like a restaurateur/ leave your ass feeling served while you're eating your words."
Internal rhymes. When you can string several multi-syllable rhymes together, it makes the phrase that much more deadly. For example, here's a line TheSaurus, one of the greatest battle MC's today, said: "I'll smoke you like a purple eighth, and give you an early date at the pearly gates." Ouch...
The reversal. This is where you take your opponents line and use it against him. For example, let's say someone calls you a nerd in a battle. You can respond "This guy claims I'm a nerd, well I guess that's true/ A nerd with words and verses much smarter than you!" OR "You call me a nerd 'cause of big words in my rapping? Son, your IQ's like your skill...totally lacking."
I hope some of these techniques have given you some ideas on how to construct solid rap punchlines. Keep them in mind next time you battle; you never know what may come in handy.The Art of Rap Punchlines
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