Guest Star: DJ Green Lantern On Freestyles, "If You Don't Know How To Come Off The Top Of The Head, Don't Do It"
Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 4:05PM
[With the question of whether or not pre-written rhymes can be considered authentic freestyles remains a heavily debated topic, DJ Green Lantern offers his thoughts on the issue.]
I think as hip-hop culture moves forward, the state of freestyles will continue to change. Of course you have artists like Lil Wayne, who has been successful and very prosperous [because of] his lyrics. But there's also a more swagged out way and that's more song-based and less freestyle in the sense of concentrating on the bars themselves. So I think that might be the case with swag freestyles or however you may want to call it. There's a little less emphasis on, "Listen to this verse real quick" and more "Listen to my hook."
I feel like freestyles are in a really good state right now because with radio shows that are putting people on the spot as we do on "Invasion Radio".[The artists] know the Internet is going to post it. So with radio station hosts and deejays that go hard, they want to have that look. So they try to get artists to rap. That's happening.
Now the state of [freestyling] artist-wise is a whole other chapter. Some people get mad when artists freestyle off of a BlackBerry or spit a written freestyle. I don't care [if you] read from a chalk board, I just want you to rap good. For me, I go by the loose title of freestyle. I know how to actually use the word in a couple different scenarios.
Obviously there's the off-the-top and observational style like when Supernatural's going to look around and rap off the top of his head about what he sees. When you come on my show, and I've said this before; if you don't know how to come off the top then don't do it. I really, really want rappers to freestyle good. Be clear, The "On The Spot" freestyle is not an off-the-dome section. People get this confused.
Freestyle started like that and then another meaning arose from it which is basically just rapping over someone else's beat -- that's technically a "freestyle" now, Whether it's off-the-dome or pre-written. So I think that some of these kids and a lot of stuff online, they're really getting on artists saying, "Oh, well he was reading off of something" and "That's not original." We're on the air. I just want you to rap. I don't know about anybody else, but when you come on my show, I just want you to rap really good!.
I don't care that you can't make up rhymes off the top of your head. I want you to have bars. Period.
DJ Green Latern (aka The Evil Genius) is an American-Italian-Puerto Rican DJ and hip hop music producer from Rochester, New York. He was signed by Eminem to become the official DJ for Shady Recorders in 2002. In 2005, he left Shady Records due to disputes with rapper 50 Cent. He currently hosts, The Invasion, a satellite radio show founded by him. He is also recognized as a producer, featuring on his own mixtapes several "Green Remixes," including, most notably, a remix of the Nas and Tupac Shakur's collaboration "Thugz Mansion."
Check out some of DJ Green Lantern's "On Da Spot" freestyles below: