I have been listening to an underrated rapper named K.A.A.N. recently and in most of his songs, it seems as though his lung capacity is ridiculously large. I don't know if this is some sort of circular breathing technique in which he is able to expel air out of his mouth as he inhales, or if he truly does have insane lung capacity. Does anyone know of any breathing techniques that would allow me to rap for say 90-120 seconds continuously, seemingly, or realistically without breathing?

  • 2
    Have you checked live footage? If you have a link to a live example I'd love to hear/see it. Studio could always be manipulated, live would be harder. Also, you'd be amazed at how small a gap you need to keep nipping partial breaths, unnoticeable by an audience.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 26 '18 at 19:05
  • K.a.a.n. hasn't done much live stuff aside from a couple freestyles and an improvised version of a song he did with Josh Salley, in which he didn't go all the way through the verse, allowing Salley to intervene a couple times. He has music videos, but they have cuts, as most, if not all music videos are. Feb 27 '18 at 14:28
  • You can't tell from a regular music video, as it's a simple mime to what may already be a layered track. Unless you can see him do it live, assume it's a recording 'trick', nothing more.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 27 '18 at 14:31
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    There is a video on youtube of a rapper named Mac Lethal, he raps for about 80 seconds understandably, without breathing. it's a home-filmed, at least seemingly uncut video. youtube.com/watch?v=h5x0Qnupl54 Feb 27 '18 at 14:51
  • @DevinYoung I was literally just about to link that video. Super cool but wouldn't really apply to a live music setting. I'm willing to bet that this rapper is indeed cutting takes together. I'm not familiar with him to be able to say offhand but it is incredibly unlikely that there is a human that can do that effectively and consistently. I'd also doubt that any circular breathing would effectively allow you to continue rapping while doing it. Mar 30 '18 at 20:30

Yes. I know of two ways to increase lung capacity to make it possible to sing for much longer passages:

  • Train for and run a half marathon
  • Train for and run a sprint triathlon

I've done each of those (at different times) while singing in a band and if you focus on your breathing while training (which you pretty much have to), you can train yourself to much greater lung capacity.


He does this thing known as circular breathing. A lot of musicians who play trombones or saxophones use it. K.A.A.N managed to use this while he is rapping. Basically what it is is breathing in while letting out air. It is extremely hard, and if you listen closely enough you can hear him doing it. But, at some points, I do notice him going up to 100 seconds without doing this technique. He is a very impressive man.


Beat boxers make sounds whilst inhaling and exhaling, so they can satisfy their body's need for oxygen and keep the beat going. Could you do the same?

  • This is a possibility... I have a suspicion that when he makes a long "e" sound (such as in the word "see"), he makes it really high-pitched many-a-time, so he may be using that technique in that he taught himself to inhale while creating the long "e" Apr 23 '18 at 16:28

I knew an old talkative woman who could prattle on endlessly and she tended to complete her sentences on the intake in order not to make a pause. Now she did not seamlessly revert to breathing out again while speaking (I think she'd run out of oxygen) and the vocal quality was quite more wheezy when she did that, but she was not getting paid for it either and I rather doubt she practiced in private. And she couldn't exactly be called of high bodily fitness: you'd rather expect her to run out of breath even when speaking normally.

This is, of course, purely anecdotal evidence and extrapolated to a young person of reasonable bodily fitness, nevertheless I can well imagine that particularly in connection with good microphone technique a practised artist could pull this off reasonably convincingly in live situations.

However, many rap recordings I remember are more or less obviously overdubbed if you listen closely for telltale signs: there is a quality of stuff blending in and out as if someone were constantly completing his own sentences.


It also depends on the syllables in the words you use and how you order them as to if you find a certain sentence easier to speak, as in a recurring "I" sound or "o", "e", "a", or any sound really as long as it's the same sound repeated quite often, then change the syllable only slightly for example, also it helps you rap faster.


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