Acapela Box makes a great rap machine

I have been playing around with the Acapela Group’s Box tool for creating realistic speech for some time, but today I found something interesting. One of the voices is in my opinion particularly suitable for speaking rap lyrics from any kind of classic rap song e.g. “Changes” by 2Pac or “Real slim shady” by Eminem. So I have created a small tutorial on how to realistically recreate these famous rap songs only using your browser. Have fun!

Find a nice tune

For this example I chose “Changes” by 2Pace, because you can actually recognize the song by it’s lyrics, which means it has great lyrics. You can find them here by the way.

So now we have the lyrics, let’s open the Acapela Box website, it’s a website showing a tool that lets you preview all the voices they have; and they have quite a lot of them! It kinda looks like this:

Acapela Box website

Acapela Box website

So from all of these voices, which of these has the magic that makes these lyrics come to live? Well, after some testing I found the US-based Saul to be the best rapper in the list. So see for yourself and hand over a paragraph of lyrics to Saul! I gave him the following paragraph (credits to azlyrics for the lyrics ):

I see no changes. Wake up in the morning and I ask myself,

“Is life worth living? Should I blast myself?”

I’m tired of bein’ poor and even worse I’m black.

My stomach hurts, so I’m lookin’ for a purse to snatch.

Cops give a damn about a negro? Pull the trigger, kill a nigga, he’s a hero.

Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares? One less hungry mouth on the welfare.

First ship ’em dope & let ’em deal to brothers.

Give ’em guns, step back, and watch ’em kill each other.

“It’s time to fight back”, that’s what Huey said.

2 shots in the dark now Huey’s dead.

I got love for my brother, but we can never go nowhere

unless we share with each other. We gotta start makin’ changes.

Learn to see me as a brother ‘stead of 2 distant strangers.

And that’s how it’s supposed to be.

How can the Devil take a brother if he’s close to me?

I’d love to go back to when we played as kids

but things changed, and that’s the way it is

Press Listen and voila! You have created your own personal rapper! I have also put the speech rate at about +20 to make him rap a little bit faster, this increases the realism.

Add some music

So what more can we do? It would be great to find out if Saul can actually rap to the beat as well! To find out we need to have the music; preferably a karaoke version. Luckily for us, there happens to be an instrumental version of Changes by 2Pac on the internet, so for your convenience I have included it here:


Of course, this is just one of the many examples, but the possibilities are endless! If you found other songs or pieces of test that actually sound great pronounced by a computer voice, please share!