Hip Hop has been around the airwaves for decades now. It is defined by the varying styles it uses, like rapping, sampling, scratching and beat boxing. Since it started in the 70’s, with every passing year it has become more dynamic. This article will provide suggestions on how to make a hip hop beat.

Hip hop beat is broken down into two parts: the Beat and the Vocals. The beat in its simplest form is the instrumental that is used throughout the whole length. The elements included in Hip Hop construction are audio drum loops / MIDI drum patterns, bassline, orchestration (maybe synth pads, horns and strings) and dubs and snips.

Audio drum loops/ MIDI drum patterns are the core or the basic foundation of your whole song. You must be very careful what you put here. Audio drum loops are the simplest way to tweak your song since you have the ability to alter it completely. While MIDI drum patterns are more complicated than Audio loops, they give the best results.

Basslines on the other hand are seldom complex in hip hop beats, they are actually thick and low and usually have a sub-bass element which is brought out by filtering and the over compression of sound. When playing with basslines, keep it simple as much as possible.

Choosing elements or instruments that would go well together in harmony is called an orchestration. The trial and error principle applies here, so keep trying until you get the right symphony that you want.

The parts that give accent and character are known as the dubs and snips.

The second part of a hip hop beat is the vocal that consists of a main vocal, which is the one that performs the rap. The second vocal is a guest vocal that may take a verse and the background vocals to help bring everything together. An overdubbed vocal is the main vocal that may be doubled, tripled or even quadrupled if ever there is a need for emphasis.

To sum it up, when you make a hip hop beat, you have to:

  1. Produce the beat with drums (4-8 measures in length)

  2. Add your baseline – the best and most commonly used format of sound is MIDI

  3. Add the orchestration

  4. Add the samples

  5. Add the effects – Adding the effects will provide personality to your beat where you can venture into different styles. Just remember that this is your beat- You can do anything to it! Be your own artist.

Now that you know about the basics of how to make a hip hop beat, all you have to do is find software to make the hip hop beat that best suits your style. There is a lot of software available; all you have to do is to look. To name a few there is Fruity loop and Audacity. So start making that funky fresh beat!

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