There are numerous rap instrumentals, that are widely available for each and everyone of you at this very moment, but because of high supply, most of them are below the industry standard, which makes it even harder for rappers to find the real gems in the mud.
Being able to recognize and separate a good beat from a bunch of bad ones, is a skill in itself. An important skill, that would prevent you from missing an opportunity to create something that is likely to withstand the test of time.
Here is a beat, that is regarded as one of the hip-hop ever-greens. It’s produced by none other than perhaps the best producer in the history of rap music as we know it, Dr.Dre. The beat is from the song called “Forgot About Dre”.
Professional or Amateur Made – How to Separate
The biggest asset of a well-made beat is the emotion that is being represented by the beat. This is the thing, which dictates everything else. It’s the cornerstone of an instrumental and as such, it should be the most recognizable factor, that strikes a listener, as soon as he plays it.
In most cases, if you cannot pinpoint the main emotion of a beat within 10-20 seconds from its start, you can disregard it and move on to the next one.
If there is no recognizable emotion, listeners find it hard to relate, which leads to a low incentive to remember the beat, which leads to them forgetting that they’ve ever listened to your song, which is caused from the high supply of other alternatives.
Once you start Dr Dre’s beat, the first thing you hear is the main element. The first thing you hear is the instrument, which carries the bigger part of the emotion.
After a few seconds(once the bass-line drops), you are already in L.A, in a world full of low-riders and gangstas. There is that thug cool mood, that whenever listened to, allows you to let your ego run wild and visualize all kinds of scenarios that feed it. That’s what makes the beat attractive.
Simple beats are professional beats. You’ll be able to recognize the potential hit record, from the lyrics waster, by the level of simplicity and purity it has.
Too many instruments make a beat messy. Even though, the producer might find a certain harmony in it, due to the different nature of all the instruments used, the true emotion of the beat is lost, which pretty much renders it useless.
It’s not about how many different synths, drums and flutes are being used. It’s about the overall effect of the track. How does it make you feel? If there are too many instruments, listeners cannot focus on a single one, so they can’t focus on one single emotion and by now you know how people treat a beat with no emotion-they forget it.
Listen to Dre’s beat. Can you sense the simplicity behind it. The magic is in the details. The way he changed the drum patterns. The way he changes his beat is indirect, subtle and difficult to see, but easy to feel.
Those are the two main principles behind a great beat. Dr Dre’s “Forgot About Dre” is a clear example of those two principles being put to work. Clarity and emotion. That’s all you have to look for in a beat.