There are many Eminem ‘freestyles' floating around the internet, wowing each listener with his seemingly amazing freestyle ability. The first question to enter the listener's mind is clearly, “Is he really doing this from scratch? He's really never thought of this before?”
Indeed, the possibility of someone reciting such coherent and well thought out rhymes is very intriguing. It's difficult to come up with certain concepts in plain conversation so one can imagine how difficult it would be to make your thoughts and concepts rhyme perfectly. It's even more amazing that these rhymes are being rapped rhythmically over a musical beat!
So, the answer to the question, does Eminem really, truly freestyle all of his lyrics in these so called “freestyles?”
The answer is both yes and no! Depending on which audio recording you heard, Eminem could be making them up as he goes along or he could be reciting a prewritten verse.
Eminem has done both. For example, the Eminem Wake Up Show is clearly a prewritten verse as he doesn't stumble or need to think about what he is saying while delivering the rhyme.
Conversely, many of his other freestyles are clearly off the top of his head due to how much he struggles to think and fumbles his words once in a while. Another tell is the difference in skill between his written and freestyle.
Over the years the rap industry has unintentionally changed the true definition of what constitutes a true freestyle. The original term describes a verse which has never been thought of before, many times being delivered mere seconds after a concept or word has been thrown out for the rapper to rhyme about.
Nowadays, a “freestyle” is any type of written verse which does not wind up in an actual song. It can also be a verse from a song, but rhymed over a famous rapper's beat.
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