*** ill o.g. ***
Producers are a special breed; making beats, guiding an emcee, and networking are common steps that are made, but some producers tend to get lost along the way and need a way to get back on track with their productions. Here are 5 things that producers should do more.
Too many producers will get locked into a beat-making formula and their beats end up slowly losing their flavour over time. It's like anything you do - if you do the same thing over and over eventually it becomes routine and possibly soul-less.
Trying different things could be the best thing for some producers, whether it be with new sounds, digging more, sampling for the first time (for those that are sample-free producers), or maybe even buying a new piece of gear and changing up the way you work.
Whether it be vinyl, CD's, or digging online, producers need to do more of this. I can't stress enough how dope the old school tracks were, and most of it was due to the simple fact that producers went digging! Finding dope music was the key to a successful record back in the day and it should be no different today.
Too many producers nowadays don't dig enough and end up using soundkits to construct their beats. Don't get me wrong - using soundkits is great and I use them myself, but it should be one of the ways you make music, not THE way.
Some producers may be very successful by making music with just soundkits and I have nothing but respect for that, but I'm just saying that changing it up and trying different formulas can't hurt!
The internet has provided a great opportunity for everyone in the rap game to step up and get their name and music out to the masses. For producers however, this can be a challenge because they tend to stay in the background and some music fans don't know who produced what song and they don't care to know.
There are many ways for producers to get their music heard but the problem is that everything is so over-saturated that they get lost in the shuffle. A website such as right here at IllMuzik, is a great way to hone your craft, get help with improving your music, and network with other producers.
Even though IllMuzik is a great outlet for producers, it's still fairly difficult for them to find emcees to work with (or good ones for that matter). Getting their music out there can be challenging when there's no emcee on the track because some music fans don't care for instrumentals, at least not full albums.
The best way to stand out is to network. Visit and participate on IllMuzik, enter beat battles, attend music conferences, meet up with artists in your area (yes, in person). People tend to neglect that there's a whole world outside of the internet and it's a great way to communicate and get your name out there. Make some business cards and pass them to everyone that you meet for this is one of the many ways you can network.
4. Work with an Emcee
This one is tricky. Every producer wants to work with an emcee (okay, maybe not all producers). The challenge is finding good ones that are willing to work with you and aren't backstabbing cheapskates! I don't want to give emcees a bad rap (pun intended) but most producers come across MC So & So that wants beats for free and promises to bring them along later when they get signed to a major label (which most likely won't ever happen).
If you do happen to find a good emcee to work with - go for it! I listen to beats daily from people all over the world and even for me I tend to get tired of listening to instrumentals. It's great to hear a dope emcee over a great track because then anything can come of it such as the emcee getting heard by a major artist or label, or the song getting played on the radio or in the club. In other words, your music has a much better chance of getting out to the masses if you have a rapper over it.
5. Find a style and stick to it
This last point may make a lot of people disagree with me, but I strongly believe in producers finding their own style and sticking with it. Countless times I've heard beats from people that try to offer a wide range of styles so they can cater to more emcees, fans, radio, or labels. If you're doing this, I understand why, but having your own style is always best.
Sure, it's fun to experiment and try different styles, such as going from an East Coast Boom Bap style to making a Dirty South beat. That's okay to experiment with, but stick to what you're good at, this way if an emcee is looking for an east coast sounding beat, you have what they want and yours will be dope because this is what you do best, this is your specialty.
Having too many styles can backfire on you in the long run. Kanye, Dre, Premier - these are all guys that have their own style that you can recognize as soon as you hear it. Would someone go to DJ Premier for a Dirty South beat? No. Would he make a Dirty South beat just to accommodate an emcee? No. His style is Boom Bap and it's his specialty!
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