Rap beats have a rich history that spans several decades. From Rick Rubin’s rock-rap anthems to Swizz Beatz’s synth bangers to Lex Luger’s trap tracks, there is no shortage of styles to choose from. Some beats are as aggressive as the Bomb Squad’s wall of samples while others have more mellow beats that keep the listener in the groove.
Rap beats can be original compositions or samples of other songs. Generally, rap beats use the 4/4 time signature. However, a smaller percentage of rap beats are written in the 3/4 or 6/8 time signature. Examples of this type of beat are “Spaceship” by Kanye West. Rap instrumentals often include drums, which can be straight time or in a shuffle/swing pattern.
Hip-hop beats are typically produced with digital audio workstations (DAWs). These workstations are powerful, versatile digital audio workstations that allow producers to stack multiple instrument tracks and mix them together. Whether a beat is a remix of a previous track or an original creation, it can be used to add a new layer to an existing song.
Understanding the tempo and rhythm of rap beats is essential for rapping. There are four beats in one bar, and knowing how many beats are in a song is an essential part of learning how to rap. Learning to count the beats in a song is a key component of rapping to instrumentals.
In the world of hip hop, producers are often a better source of quality rap music than artists. In fact, rap productions are at an all-time high. Consequently, the production value of new singles has gone through the roof. While it may not sound like it, the quality of production on 2021 has made it possible for artists to shine through. Luckily, HipHopDX has compiled the pick of the litter for you.
One of the most common ways of producing a rap beat is through loops. While loops are the quickest way to begin a song, they have a long history dating back to the early days of vinyl records. Previously, loopers would play four or eight bars on a record, then turn the record around to start the loop again. Nowadays, loopers are accessible to many more producers, and many beat makers use them as a starting point for their songs.
The boom-bap style of hip-hop is one of the most well-known and popular rap styles. This style features hard-hitting drums and a unique sound. Jazz rap is another rap style that has close ties to the boom-bap era. The creators of jazz rap often incorporated jazz samples. Jazz rap also pushed sampling techniques and incorporated complex rhyme schemes into its songs.
Many rap beats are based on a loop of drum sounds. Some of these samples are actually MIDI drum patterns that are programmed into a sequencer.