What Are Hip Hop Beats?

Instrumental music in the hip hop genre used in rap songs are more casually referred to as “beats”.

In Music Theory, the term “beat” denotes a basic unit of time which serves a big part in denoting the rhythmn of a song, such as the drumbeat.

However in rap music, it is one of the many simple terms of endearment used to describe the elements of a song (aka “a joint”). Other examples words are “bars”, “verses”, “hooks”, etc.

What types are there?

There are many sub-genres in hip hop music and each style is primarily driven by the type of beat being used.

Geographical location and popularity also play heavy roles for rappers (aka “Emcees”) when it comes to choosing or creating beats.

For example, in the New York City area, some rappers will tend to want to hang on to the traditional sample-based style called “Boom Bap” mainly heard in the 90’s. But as of recent years, there has been a style change which is being influenced from other cities such as Toronto (“The 6”), Chicago (“Chi-Raq”) and even Atlanta (“ATL”).

In the southern states, beat styles like “Dirty south” and “Trap” are still common.  Chicago has “Drill” which is considered by many to be the new Gangsta rap.

The West Coast tries to remain different and they hang on to their styles such as “G-Funk”, “Hyphy”, “Mobb” and the minimalistic style called “Ratchet” which is mainly attributed to DJ Mustard.

How are they made?

Beats are typically created by producers known as “Beat makers” using Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software such as FL Studio, Protools and Logic Pro etc.

They are also made using Music Production Centers (MPC) hardware such as Akai and Maschine.

DJ’s can also make beats using drum loops and samples on hardware like a Serato.

In closing, the hip hop community has one of the largest varieties when it comes to instrumentals.
Written exclusively for RobLunaMusic.com