We live in very privileged times where rappers can search the internet and filter through thousands of producers to find that perfect beat for their project. After the purchase has been made the beat is automatically delivered via e-mail. It hasn’t always been this way and while this is a convenient and cost effective method for both the rappers and producers it’s a huge missed opportunity and hear’s why!
A New Business Model
This new online business model where producers lease beats on the internet really got popular a little over 10 years ago. Before then in order to have your own original beat you had to have a connection with a producer or you had to make your own beats. And it was common for producers to turn you down if they thought you was a wack rapper. Now that anyone can simply purchase a beat off a website and record a song to it means that the filter has been removed! This is also good and bad for several reasons.
The Good And The Bad
On one hand it’s awesome that everyone now has the opportunity to record their own songs. On the other hand the quality control that producers provided has been removed and now there’s tons of crappy music being released into the world which arguably makes people reluctant to check out a new artist that’s promoting their music because it just doesn’t mean as much as it once did.
There’s only so many times you can be excited about checking out a new artists music only to discover that it sounds like it was recorded with a fisher price microphone and the rapper can’t even stay on beat. This may sound mean or cruel but it’s the honest truth!
Imagine if you went to the grocery store to buy some cookies and there was someone outside selling their own home made cookies. And they approach you confidently boasting about how awesome their cookies are! They tell you that their cookies are a hit and everyone loves them so you should give them a try.
You’re slightly perplexed of how you haven’t heard about these cookies if they are as amazing as advertised. But you give the guy the benefit of the doubt and buy them anyways. Only to get home and bite into a cookie that’s hard as a rock and tastes like rotten greasy chicken!
Needless to say you won’t be buying any cookies in the parking lot again. Just imagine how this poor quality control can negatively effect the other people trying to reach new customers with their homemade cookies which they’ve perfected through years of experience!
The Role Producers Play
There’s two types of producers; record producers and music producers. Music producers are the ones making the beats and record producers are the ones that are overseeing a project to ensure the quality is top notch.
Often times the music producer and the record producer is the same person. When they combine these two roles together they do something called “breaking” artists.
Which basically means that they find talented rappers and then work with them first hand to take their songs to the next level while providing the artist with direction and advice from one song to the next and the entire project as a whole. This puts the artist in a position to have a project that’s marketable and more likely to succeed which is in the best interest of the rapper as well as the producer.
It’s common for producers to do some or all of the following
- create original music
- sample music
- hire session musicians and additonal talent
- record the artist and provide feedback to get the best takes
- help with writing hooks and song lyrics when needed
- help come up with a concept for the project
- mix the project
The producer plays the role of a coach who knows how to put a winning team together. The producer has good ears and instincts on how to bring the best out of the artist while producing a unique sound that sets them apart from everyone else. Often times you will only see the artist in the public eye and assume they are responsible for how well the songs are put together.
While this may be true in rare situations most of the time there is a producer behind them ensuring that all the correct puzzle pieces are put together to ensure that quality music is being “produced”. It’s also import to note that rappers learn a lot from working with producers and it’s common for those rappers to start playing the producer role for other artists as well.
Some good examples of producers who have helped break artists are
- Dr.Dre with N.W.A, Eazy-E, D.O.C, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 cent and Kendrick Lamar
- Organized Noize with Outkast, Goodie Mob and future
- Timbaland with Aaliyah, Ginuwine, Missy Elliott and Bubba Sparxxx
- Mannie Fresh with LiL Wayne and all of Cash Money Records
The Come Up
Often times producers and rappers come up together. For example Producer X makes dope beats and Rapper Y has got bars for days but neither of them have a fan base to turn their craft into a career. Producer X needs dope rappers on his beats and Rapper Y needs dope beats to rap on so they team up and work towards creating a name for themselves. This is the ideal situation for any upcoming rapper or producer that takes their craft serious.
If you’re interested in finding a producer to work with you must first be the ideal rapper that a producer wants to work with. Meaning you’re a skilled rapper, who’s self motivated, humble enough to take advice and criticism, honest, loyal and committed to work hard and do what it takes to deliver the quality that the producer is demanding from you. This applies as well for a producer looking for a skilled rapper to work with.
Finding a quality producer that’s willing to work with you may take time but it’s worth it. Start searching the internet for producers in forums, social media accounts and websites and reach out to them in a courteous and professional manner. Be prepared to share with them your best work and a brief summary about yourself, why you would like to work with them, and what value you can bring to the table to help them out!
How Did I Do?
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