The Blogging of Valentine 852

harrison92cooper's blog

How To CREATE A Great Hip Hop Song

It's probably fair to state that hip-hop has been probably the most globally influential design of music since some young wag stepped on Elvis's blue suede shoes. Starting out as a voice for African-American and Latin communities in the us, hip-hop soon spread and became the soundtrack to the 80's, 90's and the brand new millennium. Every year its influence and penetration increase, from commercials to films, and from charts to bars. In free instrumentals 'll explain the basics of hip-hop production and 20 must know tips to make the best hip-hop tracks possible.


With hip-hop its all about the beats - so get inspired!

Beats are the backbone of most hip-hop. Whether you're in to the cheeky one-two of Dre's Eminem productions or the juddering steps of Dj Premier, you need to make sure that if nothing else is playing, your beat still stacks up to scrutiny. As US comic Chris Rock put it: "If the beat's alright, they'll dance forever."

As we've already seen, hip-hop beats began as breaks from records, beatboxes and sampling drum machines, so its super easy for hip-hop produced on a computer to sound a little lifeless. Live playing and clever quantisation can fix this, though. The main trick would be to keep it sparse and once you have a basic groove going, try taking out different percussive hits before adding more.
Also, its vital that you keep it simple. In the event that you pay attention to professional hip-hop productions, you'll observe that its rare for just two different percussive elements to play concurrently - unless its a layered clap and snare, and even then they'll alternate over a bar or two between both playing and then only one or the other. You can also hear many parts were a musical instrument like a shaker only plays for a small and specific section of a looped bar, almost as if the various percussive elements are taking turns. This is no coincidence, as hip-hop culture is all about this sort of connection. Wether its DJs, MCs or breakdancers, hip-hop is, at its core, about this type of back and forth interaction, and this transfers to each and every production element including beats.

STEP BY STEP the drums

1-The first thing I really do when focusing on beats is lay out a hi-hat pattern. Usually , I do an eighth-note pattern and then go back and change it out if necessary after I've laid down another parts.

2-Next up is the kick and snare . I keep them simple at first because I know that I'll be using a drum loop underneath. I focus on a drum loop and add extra kicks and snares to reinforce it. The kick and snare are both sounds that I re-use on many tracks.

3-Next I'll add a sampled kick and snare to reinforce the stock kick and snare sounds. This makes the beat sound a little thicker and grimier. I also leave a little bit of 'air' on the tail end - this acts like 'sonic glue', giving the beat a more sampled feel.

4-The basic beat is currently complete and prepared to send in to the arrange screen, down the road I'll utilize this pattern as a template for other sections of the song, were I'll add snare fills and rolls.


1-When using sampled breaks, I always make sure they're either royalty-free, original or so obscure they wont be recognized. This way I dont have to worry about sample clearance. I'm a fan of busy drums so I'll usually choose an action packed two-bar drum break.

2-Now you need to match the tempo of the drum break to the tempo of your song. You are able to do this with any beat-slicing program.

3-Later on, after you've added vocals and such you may use this drum break, were its needed throughout your song.

Just like every other design of music, hip-hop's gotta have hooks

Melody or bass: it's hard to state which one you should start focus on first, because hip-hop is at its best when its simple - great tracks often have a bassline but no melody or vice versa. And sometimes the bassline is the melody.

Go Back


Blog Search

Blog Archive


There are currently no blog comments.