Should You Only Make Hip Hop Beats?

  1. Fade

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    I'm sure that most of you read the title of this article and were immediately confused. Why would I even DARE ask such a question, especially on a Hip Hop production community such as IllMuzik? Just the mere thought of making beats other than Hip Hop has probably never even crossed your mind (or maybe it has?), but maybe it's just what you need in order to excel at making music.

    The Beat

    Too often I've seen people make beats and focus solely on nothing but Hip Hop. I've seen many that are so immersed in the Hip Hop lifestyle that it's borderline psychotic and they should probably take a good look at themselves in the mirror. I know especially for young people that are just starting out at making beats, they probably don't know any better, but they must realize that there's more than just Rap music. There's plenty of genres out there, and let's face it - rappers can spit over pretty much any type of beat you throw at them.

    There have been times where I've made beats that people told me sounded like it was more R&B than Rap, and when that first happened to me, I was stumped because the thought had never even crossed my mind. I took a good listen to my most recent beats and then I realized that yes, some of my beats probably sound more like something other than Rap.

    Sampling

    Sampling can be hard sometimes because often it will come down to whatever sample I start out with. I like to sample from 80's music, so a lot of the sounds have a Pop/R&B feel to them, and so it can be hard to take that and make it sound more "Hip Hop". I could throw whatever filters, plug-ins, and compression I want on a sample like that, but the fact remains that it is what it is and it might not even be worth my while. So I chuck them.

    Money

    Money can make us do crazy things, and making music is no exception. I completely understand if you want to abandon Rap music and make something else just so you can make some money from it. You could go into Dance, Techno, R&B, or music for television and film. Some people will tell you that you're "selling out" and not sticking with Hip Hop beats, but there comes a time when you have to decide what you really want:
    • Make beats that you can bob your head to
    • Make money from your beats
    It's great if you can do both, but often that's not the case. The traditional way for beat makers to make a living from Hip Hop beats is that they hook up with an MC and then they make music together, get popular, become big stars, and make money. That might have been the case years ago, but today that shit doesn't really happen anymore.

    Other Genres

    Making music other than Rap can quite possibly be your best bet if you want to be successful. I'm not saying that Rap music sucks and that you shouldn't even try, but instead I'm just pointing out that in today's market, anyone can make beats, and anyone can rap. With the ease of use of computers, along with all the tools you will need online to promote yourself, there's just way too many people making beats, rapping, and overcrowding the market. Are you ready for that?

    Maybe making R&B would be better for you. Maybe it's Top 40 Dance stuff. Whatever it is, it might be your only lifeline, but I could be wrong...

    Do You

    Even though the safest way to be successful with your music is finding another genre to go into, I've always believed that if you just do what you want and get good at it, you'll do fine. Scratch that, you need to be GREAT at it. As I just mentioned, the Hip Hop scene is overcrowded with not only emcees, but producers and beat makers. If you're planning on making beats and hanging in there with the rest of them, or better yet, dominating them, you must be great.

    I've heard many beats over the years, and only a small amount of them really stood out. I'm not saying that most of them are wack, instead I'm saying that only a few seemed to really put in the work. There's been beats that were just a sample looped (not even chopped) and a drum break was thrown on top. That's it! Depending on the sample and the drum break, it could be dope, but most likely it's average and screams of laziness to me.

    Conclusion

    It's entirely up to you of what kind of beats you choose to do. The Hip Hop industry is over-saturated and we're all just small little specs that exist within. It's up to you to decide if you should try another genre, or stick with Hip Hop. Whatever you choose, go all in or go home!

    Further Reading Related to Beat Making
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
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  2. Sucio

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    Cool article....

    I can't limit myself to hip-hop...even though I love it.... I have grown fond of EDM and have veered more towards it....I am looking to combine the two and develop that way.
     
  3. Fade

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    Actually for some reason you popped into my head as I was writing this because I remember a while ago you said you were doing that stuff. How's it coming along?
     
  4. Greg Savage

    Greg Savage

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    Always good to venture out into do different genres of music
     
  5. toryhooks

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    Great article!!!!! Its hard to gravitate from hip hop, and R&B, and its been tempting to do dubstep, because i know thats where the money is especially in the UK, but im so wired to hip hop its crazy, maybe i can incorporate dubstep and hip hop together. You made a good point though, if you wanna make money, dont stick with hip hop, venture out, and try something new. Ugggghhhhhh
     
  6. wrightboy

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    I hate dub step, edm, techno, etc. Guess that's why I'm not making any money, huh?
     
  7. Greg Savage

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    That's could be why. Another reason could simply be the market you're shooting after. Every era in hiphop still generates an income, but the buying market generally moves around
     
  8. Sucio

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    IT's going well...It's like starting over to be honest....Lots of trial and error....My iPhone is full of electronic music, now to get references and inspiration...