The Beat Mercenary
*** ill o.g. ***
Battle Points: 1
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.
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.
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