How to Spit 16 Bars

By Nico Riley

In the world of rap and hip hop, a verse usually consists of 16 bars. To spit a verse means to rap a verse. Your verse will need to have lyrics and it would be helpful to have music to spit your rhymes, too. If you want to learn how to spit 16 bars, here are some things that you need to do.

Write your lyrics. First you need to know how to write a bar so that you can write a full 16 bars. A bar in rap consists of two lines that usually rhyme at the end. So a full 16 bars would be 32 lines if you wrote each bar on a separate line on a sheet of paper. An example of a bar would be: “In the morning the sunshine hits my eyes/Tired but got work to do so I rise.”

Learn how to freestyle because it helps you become more comfortable with rapping and also helps you to be able to think quickly and come up with verses off the top of your head. It is also helpful to practice freestyling to a beat so that you can learn to count off your bars in your heat as you flow.

Practice and memorize your lyrics. You want to be able to spit your 16 bars precisely and with confidence. The only way to do this is by rehearsing them until you’ve memorized them and can rap them without reading them off of a piece of paper.

Get a feel for the flow. You have to be comfortable and able to keep a rhythm going. It’s also important to make sure you are expressive and are able to have feeling and emotion in your bars and delivery. Writing the 16 bars is just the first step. Perfecting your flow and learning how to spit them requires time, dedication, and skill.

Listen to other rappers and learn any techniques from them that you admire to help you to formulate and perfect your own style. This does not mean that you should mimic or copy their style. You should study others who practice your same craft to see how they do things and find out what things you like and what you want to do differently with your own craft.

Decide how you want your 16 bars to sound in terms of speed, meaning, incorporating metaphors and similes, and any emphasis you wish to place on certain words or syllables. Be creative and original and try to stand out from other rappers.

About the Author

Nico Riley has been a professional writer since 2006 with work appearing on various websites. Riley holds an associate degree in criminal justice from Harold Washington College and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She enjoys writing on topics about society, culture, health, self-help and entertainment.