Rappers are known for coming up with creative stories and intense imagery to bring magic to their signs. Whether it is a wordplay that helps them convey their message in a short period of time or narrative, rappers never let us down with energy that helps ignite a thought in people’s minds.
So how do they do that; do rappers read books?
Rappers from all over the world believe in the more books you read, the better your vocabulary gets. This helps them fight writer’s block and pump up songs that help rappers to relate to their audience.
Which Rappers Read Books?
Any rapper who is serious about his or her work has committed to indulging in books most of the time. Here are some of the many rappers who live by reading books.
- J Cole
- Childish Gambino
- 50 Cent
- Tupac Shakur
- Ice T
What Books Do Rappers Read?
There are certainly a few factors that help bring out the best creative flair in these outstanding rappers. Here are some of the books they vouch by.
1. Eye Of The Hurricane by Rubin Carter
This inspiring book by Rubin Carter has been praised by Jcole in all of his interviews. The book is about a boxer who happened to be wrongly assured of a triple murder.
It covers the whole journey of the protagonist, from highs and lows to help you connect with the writer. Although he had never watched the movie, he is surely in love with everything the book offers.
As J cole himself likes to describe the book, “It’s kind of Inspiring and makes me think,’ Man, what have I really done?”
2. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon
This is the book Childish Gambino is obsessed with. In one of his interviews, he said, “I have an obsession with books about kids with Asperger’s syndrome. I like the way they think – it suits me, is great.”
The mystery novel revolves around an observation by Sherlock Holmes in the 1892 short story “The Adventures of Silver Blaze”. Gambino also recommends Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer which is a completely different genre but suits his personality just well.
The Rap God Eminem reads a dictionary all the time. Not just that, to add an extra edge to his writings he reads poems, rhymes, and stories of people to make him second to none.
In case you didn’t know this already, in his first 3-5 albums Eminem has used a total of 4.494 words, and that’s nothing when compared to what he is doing now.
A myriad of writing materials, especially a dictionary, has helped this rapper have a solid vocabulary consisting of a multi-syllabic structure to lead him to what he is today.
4. Modern Recording Techniques, 7th Edition by David Miles Huber and Robert E. Runstein
“Mixing and mastering fascinate me,” says Kyle, an industry-leading American rapper. Considering how rappers spend most of their time at the studio, this book is ideal to improve further their knowledge of audio engineering to put the best piece out there.
That’s not it; according to Kyle, he never sits down to watch a movie but rather indulges in lots of literature ranging from world studies, biographies, nonfiction, and fiction to come with incredible writing structure to add to his raps.
5. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
Rappers like Jadakiss and 50 Cent surely live by this book. In fact, this is the book that every rapper or celebrity has read at least once in their life.
This is because, in the book, the author Rober Greene goes in-depth through the historical events and figures to bring out examples and 48 laws to attain power over the other and guide people. Each of the techniques mentioned has been known to show clear results that these rappers use to influence their vast fan base.
Why Don’t Most Rappers Read Books?
There can be two reasons explaining this.
a) they spend time learning from real people, spending tie at the studios, and taking inspiration from other rappers to craft their own learning and growing a rapper
b) Some rappers simply aren’t passionate about what they do. After a few flop songs, they burn out and disappear into the dust. In order to truly make the most of it, you need to give in everything you can to make sure you are the best, even if that means reading books 4 hours a day.
Do rappers get inspiration from books?
Music and literature mixing paths is the main reason why rappers are armed with highly intense and impactful lyrics. Where many people struggle to get their thoughts across, these rappers rigorously devote their lives to improving and conveying powerful words in the most effective way possible. This is why you get to see rappers recommending books and stories all the time!
Does reading make you a better rapper?
Only if you apply what you learn from your readings. A book is a tool and how you are going to use it completely depends on you.
Sure, reading helps improve your vocabulary but there are a few rappers who don’t use big words but are still successful. Not just about rappers, many authors like Dr.Seuss have made their mark in writing books by only using 50 words. Therefore, the most important takeaway is to learn how to communicate effectively in your lyrics.
Here, again books play a big role in enhancing your imagination and come up with incredible stories to use in your raps. In a nutshell, to become a better rapper you need to go out there and try out anything that works for you. Whether it is a wide range of fiction and nonfiction books like Kyle or an ordinary dictionary like Eminem, find out what works and ace up your sleeves to write the next BIG HIT!