Bad on Purpose

Get on the mic — and be as terrible of an MC as you can be. Make every mistake you’ve learned to avoid. Mess up your rhythm, use a weird voice, use words that don’t rhyme, try to imitate MCs you’ve heard and didn’t like. See what happens.

Sometimes it’s really difficult to stop trying to be good! Trying to be good can become a freestyle prison, because you always want to impress yourself or the group, so you might stick to what you know you are good at, or what feels safe. By attempting to be as bad as possible, you free yourself from the obligation to be good, and can unlock new areas you haven’t dared to explore. Some of them are bad, some of them are really funny. Some of them might actually sound excellent, if not to you, then to others. You can observe this with some new freestylers who are afraid of not being good enough. Then they do something really inspiring and they don’t even know it. You can think of this exercise as trying to regain that “beginner’s mind.” Forget what you think you know so you can learn something new.