“I’ve got a shrimp, it’s got a limp. Won’t crimp, with its pimp… don’t infringe my squint.”
It is fair to say I am the planet’s worst rapper, but also the planet’s first (as far as I’m aware) rapper busting shrimp-based rhymes on a global level. You have to take your achievements where you find them.
I’ve been using a new iPhone app called Rhymeo, which I spotted going live on Apple’s App Store earlier this week. Available as a free download, it’s aimed at people who are actually good at freestyling – but who want to be better.
How? “By providing an ever-changing assortment of pictures, rhymes, and words related to the topic of your freestyle, Rhymeo helps you get past those difficult moments where you can’t figure out your next line, enabling you to keep flowing with unbroken rhythm.”
It’s quite Smule-esque in a way: that company already has its AutoRap app. In the case of Rhymeo, it gets you to choose an emcee identity and profile, pick a beat then a theme (‘Hungry for Success’, ‘Hop Hop Culture’, ‘College Life’, and ‘Munchies’ being examples: the latter is how I ended up with shrimp, obviously).
Then, the beat starts playing, and you’re presented with a succession of images relating to your theme, with a carousel of related words at the bottom of the screen: cupcake, shrimp, doughnut, bacon, burger, pretzel and so on on for ‘Munchies’. Tapping on a word displays a series of rhymes and a refresh button to quickly replace them with more.
You rap for 30 seconds, assess the quality of your bars, and then share the results with the Rhymeo community – and with the wider world, via an MP4 file. You can follow other users and hear what they’ve been rapping, complete with the feed of images that accompanied their recording.
The app is brand new so it’s anyone’s guess whether it’ll catch on, but it’s slick and fun. All it needs now is some proper rappers, rather than embarrassingly-bad British music industry journalists, to illuminate its potential.
There’s definitely something in this, though, especially if Rhymeo can start to attract producers and artists from the hip-hop world to make beats available as promotions – much like Rihanna put clips from her new single in Dubsmash recently for fans to sing along to and share.
Also, a clip. Tidal, Spotify and/or iTunes, I am available for discussions about exclusivity on my shrimp-based lyrical dexterity:
There is an app to help you freestyle rap by suggesting rhymes and I have tried it and OH MY this doesn’t end well pic.twitter.com/b81BcGEn5z
— Stuart Dredge (@stuartdredge) April 8, 2015