Freestyle Love Supreme Members Teach ‘Freestyle 101’

Hulu premiered filmmaker Andrew Fried’s We Are Freestyle Love Supreme documentary in July — which chronicles the past 15 years of the upbeat improv hip-hop group — after it originally debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Fried began following FLS with his camera back in 2005, when they were still rapping on New York City sidewalks and playing small clubs and venues. Over the years, the fanbase for the hip-hop collective has grown  — as has the stature of founding members, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Christopher Jackson, and director Thomas Kail before Hamiltonmania. This pastfall, the beatboxing crew opened to a sold-out run on Broadway with their show, simply titled Freestyle Love Supreme, including new member Aneesa Folds.

In our latest 101 video series, Folds (a.k.a. Young Nees) and FLS co-creator Anthony Veneziale (a.k.a. Two-Touch) share tips on freestyle rapping, improvising lyrics, how beatboxing works with “Boots & Cuts,” and Folds’ favorite: “gibberish rap.” “Your fear gets taken away,” she explains. “Because you can’t be judged into that moment.”

Veneziale, who’s already founded the FLS Academy along with cast members Chris Sullivan and Andrew Bancroft, also gets into the math around music and what “four on the floor” means, including the 16 bars that typically function to let you know “when to stop.”

Check out previous 101 video series, which feature Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg with screenwriting tips, and Jeff Garlin on improvisation. Watch more Rolling Stone videos on our YouTube page.

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