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Why Producers Should Demand Respect

  1. Fade

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    I've often wondered why producers are overlooked and not treated as equal to rappers. I know that rappers are at the forefront and are the ones seen on stage, in videos, and are heard on the airwaves, but producers, however, are the ones that piece everything together and make sure that every single song they touch sounds great. So why is it that producers get pushed aside? We put the most time and energy into the music than anyone else, so we should demand respect!

    It's A Costly Craft

    Just the fact that being a beatmaker/producer can be costly, is reason enough to demand respect. I think that music fans and the general public fail to realize how much effort is put into each track that we make. All of the time spent researching gear and picking the best ones for our budgets, plus all the time spent learning new gear, as well as all the hours put into practicing, is enough to demand respect.

    Sure, rappers write lyrics and practice in their own way, but the music part is much more intensive. You don't hear about rappers going to a school to learn how to rap, but I do know that there's plenty of places out there where you can learn how to make music. If you're a person that took classes to learn how to use certain gear, right there that's enough to demand respect. It costs lots of money to be able to own gear and master it, whereas a rapper essentially needs a pen and paper.

    Hours Of Practice

    It seems like everyone makes beats today. Some are great, some are terrible. No matter how great or how terrible those beats are, the person who made that beat took a lot of time to practice and get good at what they do. It's not easy to come up with a beat that sounds good, is catchy, and will fit well with vocals on top, so it takes hours of practice to become decent.

    There have been times where I was dead tired but I still found time to mess around with my setup, and times where I wasn't feeling too creative, but I still found time to practice in one way or another. When I first bought Maschine, I wanted to learn that unit inside and out, so for the first two weeks, I didn't even make a beat! Every single day, I just learned it by watching tutorials, reading the manual, and through trial and error. All that time was spent just learning and practicing, something that can easily demand respect.

    It Can Drain You

    I think that every producer at one point or another hits a wall. I don't care how good you think you are, there will come a time when you won't even care about making beats; and that's a good thing! It's good to take a break now and then and let your creative juices regroup and get ready for the next round of beats, but it can still drain you.

    If you work all day and then come home and make beats, that's even more hours that you're spending sitting down and banging away at the pads, trying to create something new. This is not good for your health because you can easily get stressed out and hit a wall. This is enough to demand respect.

    There Was A Time

    About ten years ago, there was an explosion in the popularity of producers because there were guys like Pete Rock, Jay Dee, Dr. Dre, and others that brought beats to the forefront. The fact that some big name producers also rapped is what showed Hip Hop fans what the music is all about, and it got a lot of people interested in the beat making part of Hip Hop music. Lots of people were giving props to producers like they were rappers, getting lots of attention.

    For some reason though, that popularity died off. I think a lot of it had to do with social websites (but that's an entirely different story), but the fact remains that there was some sort of respect shown for producers not too long ago. And now it's gone.

    Getting Respect

    In today's world, it's hard to get recognition for anything you do in the studio because almost everyone is trying to get respect and recognition themselves. I've seen producers make an entire albums (myself included), release it online for FREE, and they're lucky if someone even downloads it.

    I've seen producers take months to put together an album and offer it as a free download, but ask the person downloading it to donate if they can, and yet the donation part gets ignored.

    I've seen producers make an album, post about it all over social websites and after one day, everyone has forgotten about it already. Imagine that - months of hard work and it's forgotten in less than 24 hours. No respect.

    Conclusion

    I wrote this article because it just annoys me that we as producers can put lots of time, money, effort, practice, and so much more into our music and yet we get little, if any, respect. Keep doing your music, because the ones that do give respect, such as the IllMuzik community, are the ones that really mean it. Respect!

    Further Reading Related to Hip Hop producers
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
  2. toryhooks

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    MY DUDE MY DUDE MY DUDE!!!!!!!!! You said it, and was very punctual and zealful with it. Love it bro.
     
  3. Fade

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  4. Nokturnl

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    I don't care how good you think you are, there will come a time when you won't even care about making beats and that's a good thing! - So True!!!
     
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  5. Ayron Thelen

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    Good article. I've always thought producers played the bigger role in music - especially in hiphop - and it's more true now than ever.
     
  6. eXACT

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    Fuck. Yes.
    I have been making beats off and on for...shit, very easily over a decade and I have seen the rise of rappers gaining spotlight respect, and the people who put in the grind behind The Green Door getting nothing but a pat on the back...maybe. I began making beats, but over time have become a producer, and whether you are making beats--even shitty beats take time and effort to make, and ones that bang? Yeah, it's difficult and it's not for everyone.-- or producing--which is basically an exercise in masochism, considering the ridiculous amount of time and effort that goes into creating an album from top to bottom, and then trying to get it out there,--you deserve some degree of respect.
    I think that we need to revisit the 90's when you had dual credits, like Eric B & Rakim, or Gang Starr (not just "Guru," but a recognized duo.) And? Mixtapes by producers--all the same producer on the album, but different emcees; like The Beat Junkies famously did. You don't see that much anymore. Also, I have to rant...Why the fuck are people still listening to DJ Khaled shit?!?! The man is a music promoter; nothing else. Just because the motherfucker has everyones phone number on speed dial, at least anyone who is "big" now, doesn't make him anything but another corporate leech.
    I miss real Hip Hop.
    Respect to all the emcee's, DJ's, Producers, Graff kids, and anyone doing their thing for the love.
     
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  7. Fade

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    LOL! It's true though, the industry has changed so much it's ridiculous and laughable. The only thing we can do is try to survive by keep doing our own thing.
     
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  8. OGBama

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    @exact I don't know if you been or are under a rock but there are cats still doing the 1 MC 1 producer album format, most notably Apollo Brown. DJ Khaled, as annoying as his schtick may be and/or is, depending on how you view him, put in major work before he was yelling his "we the best" slogan and I don't feel his work but if many cats doing music for the love, which is no less/no more noble than doing it for money, had his same fervor regarding self promotion there would need to be no conversation on why cats who've been making beats for however long ain't "on" and honestly if you acknowledge that Kool Herc was the first "hustler" from a music standpoint, you will see that "real" Hip Hop is an oxymoron.
     
  9. DEEZ BEATZ

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    This is so true, really like this article..
     
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  10. TjombaBeats

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    Yeah that's true. Damn like rapping is learning flow rhymes outta ya head. But creating beats oh dear.. It's a battlefield from hardware synths to piano's to kick snare to hats to cymbal rides clap. And it all sounds pretty dope or it doesnt sound dope at all or it sounds dope and the next day it sounds shit.. Man ohw man.. And afther that you know you got the drums you got the instruments the mixing which plug ins? CHORUS? REVERB naahh wait EQ Compressor. or uuhh wait maybe the sound is dope without the EQ maybe only compressor. Sometimes it's just a puzzle sometimes the pieces fit perfectly other days your just searching for the right kick to begin with. When i studied sounddesign we where talking about it pretty much what is inspiration.. That one word inspiration is weird and is for each person different to describe. But yeah i agree rapping compared to producing can be done pretty quick its just creating some text than learning the text and flow. Than record it but making a beat its just it can take days sometimes a week to get that right beat. From plug ins to instruments to rythm and right notes.. Like i said a real battlefield with endless possibilities.
     
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  11. eXACT

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    @OGBama
    I'm well aware of this. You are also seeing more and more producers who are doing full albums for people and getting their names on the covers, two of my favorites in the past 10 years; Jake One & Brother Ali "Mourning in America....," Dephlow & Phoniks "Deph Threats" and the new Jericho Jackson album by Ehlzi & Khrysis....and since I clearly know who Khrysis is, it's safe to assume that I've heard Apollo Brown's joints. It's spotty, but I do recieve various transmissions on my HAM radio underneath my rock under which I reside.
    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I don't think "noble" means what you think it means. That aside, making music with the full intention of making some cash so you can get out of a fucked situation/environment or to make enough so that you can comfortably pursue whatever goals you have in life, be it music or otherwise, is one thing; smearing yourself all of everything that is Modern Hip Pop (which is basically what Khalid promotes: from Marshmello's "Silence," to Khalid's "Young, Dumb & Broke, it's candy-ass, repackaged Pop,) while sitting back and pandering to rich, white kids who think that they're "hood" because they can now listen to Trap comfortably because Justin Beiber is "down" with those psuedo-rappers is another thing entirely. If I'm being too subtle, please let me know.
    Really? Did you just find a YouTube video that tries to delegitimize Hip Hop's underlying roots and philosophy? Do you even know what an "Oxymoron" is? Or did you mean that Hip Hop by it's very nature, encompassing freedom of expression amidst a constantly changing and evolving social landscape, and, because of that, cannot be pigeon-holed into one particular style or sound? I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and pretend that you meant the latter.
    I'm unsure what you're definition of "real" Hip Hop is, but feel free to refer back to the above comment where I mention that there is nothing wrong withmaking money off of music to better your position in life. You do, however, become the antithesis of Real Hip Hop when you no longer (if you ever did,) give a fuck about the quality of your product and it just becomes another soulless job; waking up every day trying to figure out who America's next headline-grabbing, Trap star will be and pretending that your joints are legit because you have a tatted kid lending vapid lyrics to plastic beats made by a label-owned producer.
    If market-drenching promotion for Mickey-Mouse-made product is the "fervor" you speak of, you can keep that shit.
    Again, if I'm being too subtle, please let me know.
    And if you want to write this off as some old school purist bitching about "modern" Hip Hop, please do; it'll be easier than trying to defend your view on Hip Hop in general. And don't get this shit twisted, this has nothing to do with dry-humping whatever era that you or I think had "the best" Hip Hop. At the end of the day, this is about supporting artists who actually grind and create quality work which, invariably, leads to posterity, not riding the industries dick and becoming known for some fuckin' self-promoting, hype-chants which are basically pandering to fake thugs and the otherwise listeless, suburban kid who like to feel empowered for five minutes. Nowadays the record labels have so much influence over everything, they basically control the path that Hip Hop is currently headed down, realizing that the economic inelasticity of Hip Hop will remain as so long as they keep reinventing it. And before you jump, calm down; there are exceptions to damn-near everything that I have said--to varying degrees, obviously--but no one who is awake can deny that Hip Hop, by and large, is no longer in the hands if its creators. It has become a conquered empire; a rich culture which has seen its owners let in The Wolves to rape a culture that was originally based upon independence and DIY ideals.
    Disagree? Feel free to hit me back on this once you've done a little homework.
    Too subtle? I hope not.
     
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  12. OGBama

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    @eXACT I've done my homework a long time ago so need to school me. Real Hip Hop is whatever someone grew up on based on but not limited to where they are geographically located. When I said fervor what I mean is if cats put as much focus on promo'ing themselves to the right audience as much as they do on tweaking their music to get it perfect you wouldn't have people complaining as if it were the late 90s about how so-and-so who's flavor of the minute, etc. is getting more attention than whomever else they claim should be. I'm an old head who could care less about the new class who lands on a magazine cover nor do I watch award shows.