A beat/instrumental can either take away from or add to the quality of your music. To ensure the latter, you will have to pick a beat that perfectly matches your style, what does this mean?, well, many artists may pick beats that they think sound hot, not because its right for them but rather because it’s similar to what their favorite artists may spit on. While this may be great if you have a style similar to your favorite rapper’s flow, on the opposite end, the wrong choice can render great lyrical content and a flawless flow useless, because the song does not sync like it should.
While no matter what “type” of rapper you may be whether west coast, east coast or dirty south, you can still be able to appreciate all categories, but, you should take note of your favorite rappers that sing the same kind of music as you and look to them for inspiration, rather than a rapper you may admire, who may not be in the same genre as yourself. Why? because this helps you keep focus and makes you less likely to drift away from your genre when choosing your beats.
Also, another point to note in choosing your instrumentals is developing your signature style. What does this mean? Well, take a look at some of the top rappers on the charts, and ask yourself, when I listen to a Jay-z instrumental can I tell right away that it’s Jay-z’ s “style” or can I recognize a T.I. style instrumental when I hear it?
Your beats will become an important element in your signature style as you go forward in your music career, the aim being that when a person hears your song, even if they never heard it before, they can tell right away who’s the artist. An artist who has done a great job of developing a unique signature is Kanye West. His productions and his music are unlike any other in the public’s view today. When developing your own signature, aim for something unheard of, or something that hasn’t been done before, or you can do something that has been done before but in your own unique way! That’s what T-pain did with auto-tune, auto-tune was around long before T-pain however he uniquely used it throughout his career and created a signature style for himself.
Another note, when choosing your beats you should not only choose your genre and whats hot, but you should also keep in mind how you spit rhymes – your flow. You may come across many hot beats that may be apart of your genre but does that mean that you may be able to deliver your best lines on that instrumental? – No. For instance, both Ludacris and Outkast are southern rappers, but does that necessarily mean that Outkast can deliver their best on a Ludacris beat or that Ludacris can deliver his best on a Outkast instrumental? No, because though they may both be southern rappers they have two very different styles of music. This brings us back to an earlier point – always look for inspiration in artists who may be in the same genre as yourself, but you should also always take note of your own personal style of music.
Some of the world’s hit songs have beats behind them that can cause a crowd to get hyped before the lyrics even start, so remember to always make an impact not only with your lines and your lyrics but with your instrumentals as well.
Written by Tamika Simon