Stamberg Raps! And Other Tales From A Hip-Hop Ghostwriter

Jesse Kramer, 24, writes made-to-order rhymes for customers of his website, Rap Rebirth. i i

Jesse Kramer, 24, writes made-to-order rhymes for customers of his website, Rap Rebirth. Courtesy of Jesse Kramer hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Jesse Kramer
Jesse Kramer, 24, writes made-to-order rhymes for customers of his website, Rap Rebirth.

Jesse Kramer, 24, writes made-to-order rhymes for customers of his website, Rap Rebirth.

Courtesy of Jesse Kramer

If your flow has lost its get-up-and-go, you may need to call Jesse Kramer.

The 24-year-old runs a website called Rap Rebirth, where, for a fee, he offers custom rap lyrics in any style you chose, anything from a verse to an entire album. Kramer tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz that a wide range of artists use his services.

"Around 70 percent are artists who are in development: They're putting together mixtapes, they're putting together demos, they're just getting started," he says. "Another 10 percent are more established artist; and then another 10 percent are random people, comedians who want to put a verse together, companies who want a verse to market their products. [The remaining] 10 percent are mainstream artists who are looking for lyrics."

A potential customer coming to Kramer's website will answer a battery of questions designed to tease out the person's individual style.

Audio Extra

NPR's Susan Stamberg tries her hand at hip-hop with a verse penned by Jesse Kramer.

"They'll tell me about their formative experiences growing up, who they are, who they want to be perceived as, their favorite subject matter to rap about, artists that inspire them," Kramer says.

He lets customers request a verse in a particular artist's style. (Drake is the most popular choice of late.) He's also taken on some very specific, personal projects. Kramer says he once wrote an entire album's worth of love songs for a client whose girlfriend had just broken up with him.

"He sent me a picture of her and he told me all these intimate details about their relationship," he says. "It was so weird writing that. It wasn't even for the purpose of making a commercial hit ... he just wanted to impress his girlfriend."

Now, we wouldn't be good journalists if we didn't put Kramer's skills to the test — so we asked him to write a verse for NPR legend Susan Stamberg. Kramer says Mama Stamberg's signature dish — her Thanksgiving cranberry relish — helped provide some flavor for the verse.

"I was doing it in more of an old-school cadence," he says, "and since Coolio is someone that she, you know, gave her cranberry relish to, and he tried it, I sort of had his flow in mind when I was writing it." Stamberg says she now wants to be known as MC Horseradish.

As for stepping up to the mic himself, Kramer says that so far, he's been content to remain behind the scenes.

"I like performing, but I'm more interested in kind of living a normal life," he says. "I don't want to live the life of a rapper and all that entails."

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