I like things that are cool. You should, too.
From about the late 1950's until the 90's, Rock and Roll replaced Jazz as the music of young America... until rap came along and changed the game. Today, it seems that hip hop has become the music of our generation, this can be seen not only in it's domination of the airwaves and music charts, but also in the culture of young people in America.
I mean, come on... there are people who consider Justin Bieber to be their favorite rapper.
Since I am a rapper myself (not the Justin Bieber kind, no diss to Biebs,) I can't help but notice that everybody and their momma is an aspiring rapper these days. Fortunately I already make a living off of my music, so instead of being threatened by the universal interest in rap, I am sort of intrigued.
Most folks I know love hip hop, but they consider it more of a spectator sport. (That's why I have been bullying my friends into freestyle rapping for as long as I can remember, if you are REALLY into hip hop I wanna see you embrace it!) Many rap lovers settle for reciting someone else's lyrics instead of creating their own. But now there's something in the iTunes app store that makes freestyle rap skills accessible to everyone.
Flonation is a new app, created by New Yorker Orpheus Richards, that allows people to sharpen their rap skills. They have settings for beginners, intermediate emcees, and pros, allowing everyone to record a video of their self rapping over beats from established producers and share it via social media. It's also shared within the Flonation community. It's actually pretty freaking fun. I was able to try the app before it launched, since I'm somewhat of a respected emcee (I mean, I'm no Justin Bieber but still) and I have had a blast making my friends freestyle. It usually ends in hilarity.
Shout out to my homegirls @JNicole1, @gillian_ramos, and @MCFightLife for displaying their skills. LoL!
Flonation isn't just targeting seasoned rappers or newbie hip hop lovers, they are targeting both. It can be used for anything from an educational tool for newbies to a promotional vehicle for indie artists to a way to keep track of freshly written rhymes to a fun party game for rap lovers. It's also a good way to discover new hip hop artists.
So here is the real question... Can it actually teach you to rap? I'd say yes, it can. Freestyle rapping is a lost art form, rap as a form of self expression is one of the fundamental elements of hip hop culture and it is important to take it back to the roots in order to become an emcee. Flonation can help you learn to come up with rhymes and get practice and feedback in a hip hop loving environment, but it's not gonna teach you how to have a dope delivery or relevant subject matter or Justin Bieber levels of swag. It's an app, not a miracle worker!
The Flonation app is only 99¢, and it's only available for iPhone and iPad for now. But Orpheus has assured me that it will be available for Android soon, too. Feel free to find me once you join, I'm "the nikki lynette show." I look forward to seeing you get your rhyme on.
Filed under: blogging