If you enjoy listening to Ski Mask the Slump God and are an aspiring rapper, it makes sense that you would want to learn how to emulate his rapping style. And believe it or not, it is possible to learn some of his tricks.
To rap like Ski Mask the Slump God, listen to his music, take emotions out on your music, find your flow, put media references in your songs, tell a story, write your lyrics down, expand your vocabulary, rap along with his songs, collaborate with other rappers, and have fun.
When developing your own style as a rapper, it can be useful to study the techniques of those you look up to in the industry. This article will take you through some of the steps you can take to rap more like Sir Ski Mask himself. Let’s get into it!
Get to Know Ski Mask the Slump God
Stokeley Clevon Goulbourne AKA Ski Mask the Slump God hit the scene in 2015 with friend and fellow rapper, XXXTentacion. Before that, he had an interest in getting into music because of his father, who is also a rapper.
There is no denying that Ski Mask had a lot of talent around him at an early age that influenced his own personal rap style.
If you want to rap like Ski Mask, it’s important to not only listen to all his music but also listen to all those artists who influenced him.
Listen to All of Ski Mask’s Music
The more your ear gets to know his style, his flow, and his rhyme choices, the easier it will be to emulate his sound.
Ski’s music has also changed over time and through the course of collaborating with a lot of other artists in the industry such as Offset, Lil Yachty, A$AP Ferg, and Juice WRLD.
By listening to his entire discography, you will gain insight into how he’s grown as a rapper since he started in the game back in 2014.
While going through his music, take notice of the way he delivers words and rhymes, and pay close attention to the creative and playful metaphors in his lyrics; also, his ability to incorporate catchy back vocals.
Remember: Don’t listen passively. Engage with each song on many levels. Be keen. Ask yourself: What parts do you vibe with? What’s the hook? What’s the message behind the words? What are some of the references he makes? How many flow switches does he do? And so on.
- Ski Mask has one studio album to date, Stokeley. It features guest appearances from Juice Wrld, Austin Lam, Lil Baby, and Lil Yachty.
Listen Here: Stokeley Full Album
- He has eight mixtapes to date; they include, Drown in Designer, You Will Regret, Beware the Book of Eli, The Nobodys, Members Only Vol.1, Members Only Vol.2, Members Only Vol.3, and Members Only Vol.4.
Listen Here: Beware the Book of Eli Complete Mixtape
Listen Here: You Will Regret Complete Mixtape
- Ski Mask also has 3 EPs to date; they include, Very Rare Lost Files, Slaps for My Drop Top Minivan, and Archives. As well, he has 15 singles to date including, “Catch Me Outside,” “BabyWipe,” and “Carbonated Water.”
Listen Here: Catch Me Outside
Listen Here: BabyWipe
Listen Here: Carbonated Water
Listen to the Music Ski Mask Listens To
No man’s an island. And no rapper gets to where they are without those that came before them. Listening to the music that influenced Ski Mask will give you more insight on his style and aesthetic, and how he was able to take bits and pieces from here and there — blend them together and make his own thing.
Not only that, but it will help you diversify your music palette, which will help you grow your own personal rap style.
In a 2017 interview, Ski talked about his musical influences as being a mix of artists; Busta Rhymes, the Wu-Tang Clan, Missy Elliott, Nelly, Timbaland, Ludacris, and Lil Wayne are among the ones he mentioned.
He’s also stated in another interview that he tries to keep his musical interests pretty broad, listening to every genre, including rock, classical, heavy metal, and pop.
If you want to take a page from Ski’s handbook, keep it free and easy when it comes to who’s on your iPod.
Diversify. Shuffle. Don’t get stuck in one place for too long. You gotta keep moving if you’re going to catch those fast rhymes.
Take It Out in Your Music
Ski Mask is all about that raw emotion in his songs; he believes it’s what makes music good in general. So the next time you’re feeling an intense feeling — take pen to paper and go berserk!
When you’re writing, don’t censor yourself or your feelings. Try not to overthink it. Just get out the raw attitude, the raw thoughts, and the raw words. You’ll be surprised how effective this method of songwriting can be.
Don’t be afraid to get loud and dark when you’re performing either. When you’re rapping about something you’re passionate about — whether it’s something that frustrates you or something that excites you — increase the intensity of your voice. Let the audience feel that heat.
- A good example of this is Ski Mask’s song, “Nuketown,” where he raps out his anger; he was frustrated with touring and wrote about that emotion. There is a carnal sound to his voice during the song; he brings it from the core.
Listen Here: Nuketown ft. Juice WRLD
- Get emotional with your work. Not only is it a healthy release for you, but it’s relatable for your audience — they want to connect with you. So keep it real.
Find Your Flow First
It’s like the timeless chicken or egg question when it comes to rhythm or rhymes. Some rappers say rhythm; others say rhymes. Most of the time, it will be a combo of the two, since successful rap songs need to have a good flow.
Ski Mask likes to find his flow before anything else. That is, he likes to have a sense of his rhythm and his rhymes as one cohesive thing before he commits to either thing too hard.
This can be a tricky thing to get good at right off the bat. You might find you’re naturally inclined to start with rhymes and let them find the rhythm or vice versa.
Either way, try to marry the two early on and make it your goal to keep them jiving together until the bitter end.
- If you’re really struggling to find your flow, or don’t know where to drop your rhymes in your beat, you might find this video useful. It’s on how to count bars. Curtiss King of Curtiss King TV breaks down the math for you in a simple and fun way.
Watch Here: How to Count and Write 16 Bars in Rap
Put Lots of Movie & TV Show References in Your Songs
Ski Mask’s calling card after his machine gun flow is the frequent use of movie and TV show references in his songs.
This is one of those rare times you can consider watching movies and TV homework! Seriously, go sign up for Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, all of them — and go to town.
Part of what makes Ski’s music so irresistible is that it’s got these secret nerdy easter eggs in there for you to find and enjoy. You can tell he’s got his eyeballs glued to the screen when he’s not writing killer rap songs, or performing like an epic king on stage.
Let’s check out some of the more iconic pop culture references Ski’s put in his songs.
From the song, “Nuketown”:
- “Think I’m Thanos, rock diamond my fist”
- “Drake and Josh how we team your bitch”
- “Icky Vicky spit how I got slimes on deck”
- “When I’m acting like a monster like Stitch”
From the song, “Catch Me Outside”:
- “Naruto nine-tailed fox coat fur”
- “I’m Madagascar, I’m royalty like lemur king”
- “Diamonds on me fatter than Peter Griffin’s big stomach”
- “Better yet, uh huh, Blue’s Clues”
- “Star Wars confederate rifle shoot like ray-beam”
From the song, “Far Gone”:
- “Chucky doll told them, bitch, yes come out and play”
- “Um so to say, Transformer I’m Bumblebee”
- “Wish I really was Decepticon”
- “So like an episode of Spongebob”
- “How I’ve been kicking shit, feel like Bruce Lee”
The sky really is the limit when it comes to referencing cultural icons, popular trends, and just plain ol’ nostalgia.
Here’s an opportunity for you to be even more you in your songs. Your fans will love that you dropped a line from your favorite TV show, or made a shoutout to an old toy that no longer exists, or even mentioned the name of your high school mascot. It’s fun!
Tell a Story With Your Rhymes
Get personal with your songs. Rapping about random events in your life won’t speak to an audience as much as rapping about something that matters to you. Something memorable or something meaningful.
You don’t have to over-share or reveal a deep personal truth, but your fans will expect you to open up a bit so they can get to know you better. Ski Mask wants you to get to know him through his music, so throughout his rap songs, he’ll sprinkle in personal anecdotes.
Cohesion is key. The reason people enjoy the story structure is that it’s cohesive. It’s not disconnected and hard to follow. Every verse flows into the next and then into the chorus, like ocean waves going back and forth from the shore.
Write Your Lyrics Down
This one probably seems pretty basic, but you’d be surprised how many aspiring rappers trust their memories with their rhymes. Or just show up at the recording studio without so much as a kernel of an idea for a song.
Ski Mask, along with many other successful rappers in the industry (both past and present), all share the same starting point when it comes to writing songs. And that is: they write their lyrics down the moment they get them. Whether they decide to do that on a traditional notepad or on a smartphone, it gets done.
Trying to come up with a song on the spot, or off the top of your head, is usually not the greatest plan. It can result in a waste of time in the studio, and of course, a waste of moolah.
Studio time ain’t cheap, so come prepared. Or at least with a few ideas on the page.
Expand Your Vocabulary
It’s critical you learn new words if you’re going to be a successful rapper, and this is especially the case if you want to rap like Sir Ski Mask. He’s probably got a rhyming dictionary, or two stashed somewhere on his tour bus, or else he’s just a human thesaurus.
And you can become a human thesaurus too. All you have to do is read, listen to the world around you, and imagine how to say things in a different way than you’re used to.
Novels, newspapers, blogs, poems — read as much as you can from a wide variety of places. This is how you’ll build your vocabulary.
It’s even a good idea to learn new languages. The objective is to have options when it comes to rhymes because some rhythms will be more complicated and will require you to expand your vocabulary horizons.
Below are a few Holy Grail resources we recommend to get your rhyming game on point.
The Complete Rhyming Dictionary by Clement Wood
This is a simple-to-use reference that includes over 60,000 entries that can seriously spice up your verses. It includes proper names, slang, and scientific words. There’s even a guide on techniques and forms of poetry!
Webster’s Rhyming Dictionary
This is an easy-to-use resource for writing rap that includes over 40,000 words arranged by rhyming sounds, and an ideal companion for an aspiring rapper.
Writing Better Lyrics by Pat Pattison
This should be a staple for songwriters! It’s perfect for new and experienced rappers alike, as it covers both the basics and more advanced techniques for writing a song. You’ll learn how to enhance a song’s emotional impact on listeners.
Hip-Hop Rhyming Dictionary by Kevin M. Mitchell
With over 40,000 words that include slang and hip-hop terms, this dictionary is the perfect resource to help you find all the right rhyming schemes. What makes this book stand out is it includes some helpful writing tips and a brief history of rap and the artists who took hip-hop to the top of the charts.
Rap Along With Ski Mask Songs
One of the best ways to sound more like Ski Mask is to rap along with him. The next time you play one of his songs, have your voice follow along.
Try and gain his cadence through conscious repetition. It’s normal to trip over his rhymes as you race to keep up, but keep on practicing. Do this with a variety of his songs to get more confident with his style.
Collab With Other Rappers
Ski Mask doesn’t shy away from getting his voice on the tracks of other rappers. Early on in his career, he was often collaborating with XXXTentacion. Doing so gave him the advantage of learning from another creative person.
It’s extremely beneficial to collaborate with other artists in the business because you can feed off different energies, and pass new ideas or methods on performing.
Not to mention, you can also get your name out to a whole new audience, and broaden your fan base.
If you’re looking for artists to collaborate with, try joining a local Facebook group, or hopping around a few open mic nights or festivals in your area.
Have Fun With It
And finally — have fun! This is probably the most important piece of advice to take if you want to rap more like Ski Mask.
Some of the best creative moments happen when we’re fooling around with friends and just letting loose.
Ski will sometimes choose to name tracks, because the term has a humorous ring to it, like “Foot Fungus.” Or, he’ll freestyle a song in 10 minutes just for fun like he did with, “Faucet Failure.”
Let down your hair and shake it up. Be silly and ridiculous. It will give your songs that extra bit of weirdness that will make you stand out from the crowd.
So there you go — how to rap like Ski Mask the Slump God demystified. We hope this article was useful, and that it filled your head with some practical ways on how to emulate the iconic Sir Ski Mask.
Remember, all you really need to do is study his music, look into who has influenced him musically throughout the years, and apply some of his creative habits to your own rap game. It really is that easy!