Monday Feature: Beat-dropping “A-ha” moment


By: Nicholas Pjevach

When I first truly started listening to hip-hop/rap, I struggled to equate it to the traditional model of music making I was familiar with. Growing up, I listened to lots of classic rock (thanks dad), and did not understand how a single MC could perform without a backing band, as any lead singer would. Sure there was an instrumental, but that was merely coming from a computer… right?

In 2008, my brother became obsessed with Lil Wayne— as all teenage boys had—thanks to a little album known as Tha Carter III, which merely sold over one million copies in its first week in the United States. His favorite song was the hit single “A Milli,” which we listened to obsessively. Despite knowing the song word for word, my brother Tommy was unable to tell me what that distorted voice at the beginning was saying, before the beat dropped. Then one day it finally hit me, I had heard that voice before! Instead of cursing my friends, I could only thank them for loving “What’s Your Fantasy” by Ludacris so much. It was the key to solving my puzzle; the two songs were related through Bangladesh, who had produced both songs. It was he who had acted as guitar player, drummer, keyboardist, creator of this music to rap over.

Whether you are now listening to Araabmuzik or Young Chop [is] on the beat, producers are exerting themselves as dominate players in the rap game by tagging their work with their own personal drops. By doing this, this are stepping out from behind the soundboard and are making sure listeners know their name, even if they don’t read the linear notes. This was how Mike Will Made It made sure everyone knew he was responsible for three of the biggest tracks of 2012: “Bandz A Make Her Dance” by Juicy J, “Turn On The Lights” by Future, and “No Lie” by 2 Chainz. Others, such as Clams Casino, have gone the other route, by releasing free mix-tapes of their instrumentals. It has become clear whose beat it is almost matters as much as the person rapping over it. So in this new year, when you hear La musica de Harry Fraud incessantly, don’t be surprised; he is just the next in a long line of former anonymous producers making a name for him/herself.

Get familiar with famous drops here, thanks to Complex Magazine:


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