*** ill o.g. ***
Making music is fun. Often times being a beatmaker/producer can be quite challenging trying to come up with something fresh and at the same time stay creative enough to compete with the current musical trends.
However, producers usually stick to their own formula, which is a good thing, but sometimes it's a bit over-done. Here are some things that producers need to stop doing.
1. Not mixing their beats.
I'm guilty of this, but with good reason. If I'm just uploading a beat to let someone hear it, fine, it doesn't need to be mixed. But if you're working on a track with an MC or are sending in your beat for an online competition, please mix it! An unmixed beat may sound okay to some people, but the majority will hear a difference because none of the sounds will have their own place and thus, sound terrible.
2. Using a sample that's been used already.
I've heard this many times before. I understand if you want to use a particular song so you can sample the hell out of it because it's just too hot to NOT sample it, but if it's already been used, and especially on a popular song that everyone already knows, then don't bother - unless you can flip it like nobody's business. But if you're going to sample it the same way it's already been sampled, that's a big no-no.
3. Sampling James Brown.
I know, I know, it's almost impossible not to sample James Brown. The guy is a legend and his music is so good that it seems like it was made that way on purpose just so we could sample it. Funky Drummer is one of the best examples because it's been sampled a gazillion times by everyone on the planet, but I think it's time we all moved on and started sampling other artists.
4. Making beats that sound like other famous producers.
I'm talking mainly about guys like Kanye, for example. If you're making beats that sound like another producer for the sole purpose of trying to blow up then you should smack yourself in the forehead with your MPC. I know some people probably make beats like other producers because that's how they started in the production game, trying to emulate others because they dug their style, that's fine. But if you're trying to sound like Kanye because it's the current, hottest sound around, then no. Just no.
5. Having boring hooks.
Back in the day, hooks were everything. They would make or break a song because that's what most people remembered the song by, was the catchy hook. Today's beats have such boring, overdone hooks that the producer should take a 101 course on making hooks. If your idea of a hook is the same pattern but you throw in a horn or take away a snare, and have the MC just repeat the name of the song, then you have no idea of a hook. Which leads me to my next point:
6. Not having scratches in your beat.
I know lots of producers aren't necessarily DJ's, but that's one of the main things that I really, really, really miss about rap music of old. When I would be listening to a song that was so good, then a DJ comes in and cuts up something on the hook, or even throughout the song, that just made it for me. So to all the producers out there, either throw in some basic scratches of your own, I don't care of if it's just some wibbly wobbly stuff, or get someone that knows how to scratch to do a little something on your beat. You'll notice how much better it makes your beat sound.
7. Not going digging.
It's true, today there's not a lot of vinyl lying around and I know not a lot of people even have turntables, but if you DO have one - go digging! Sure it's hard just trying to find a spot to dig, let alone fine a dope record to sample, but at least give it a shot. I'm sure there's a record store somewhere in your town, unless you live in Buttlog, Idaho or something. For those that live in hot spots like NYC and don't bother digging, shame on you! Sampling from vinyl is way better than "internet digging", because just the whole experience of digging brings back the true Hip Hop feeling of the old days. Go ahead, dig!
Further Reading Related to Hip Hop Production