12 posts categorized "BeatTips Beat Battle"

January 11, 2013

BeatTips.com Beat Battle, December 2012 Winner Announced

2 Legit Gets Past Radio Maschine to Win the Final Contest of 2012


The winner: GeeWiz - ""Give Her the World""

Here's the December, 2012 BeatTips.com Beat Battle breakdown. You can also read it in TBC at: Winner of the December 2012 BeatTips.com Beat Battle Is...
And you can hear all of the beats for December, 2012's battle here: BeatTips.com Beat Battle, December, 2012

2 Legit - "Yeah Just"

Now for the March, 2012 BeatTips.com Beat Battle breakdown...

2 Legit - "Yeah Just"

This shit just simmers and cooks! Excellent example of letting the "umph" of the sample guide the arrangement. With one main change, this is a very musically disciplined joint. That color is smooth yet aggressive at the same time. Crisp production all around; not one forced or no unnecessary element, no errors at all. Instead, the beat knows its feel, as the rhythm instantly pulls you in. Finally, your mix on this beat greatly enhances the overall feeling. Dope!

2nd Place:
Radio Maschine - "My City"

Mighty polished! Beats always work best when there's a clear vision. Not only is there clarity here, there is also a perfect level of precision. The arrangement of this beat is well conceived and executed. Present in this joint is a commitment to the style and sound that you were aiming for, not some half-ass knock-off. I was thoroughly impressed with how all of the changes and dimensions of this beat meshed together. And the breakdown/bridge near the end was a nice, professional touch! This is beat is certainly ready to go on the urban/pop charts.

3rd Place:
Bwest - "Haze"

The slightly off, rumbling drumwork gives the joint the fuel to go. The bass is cooked perfectly, and the guitar echoes with the signature of a bonafide bluesman. Not an ounce of filler present in this joint. More importantly, no producer self-aggrandizing moment.

Segundo Award for Consistency and Contribution

d.C. – “Soul Live”

Man, I gotta tell you: You have a career in music scoring (and perhaps music supervision) ahead of you. Certainly, your sound has blossomed and matured. Your knack for consistently managing tempered layers, agreeable melodies, steadfast drumwork is quite impressive. This beat had a delicate but deft touch. It's a truly dynamic piece that would work for multiple movie scenes as well as rhyme styles.
The DJ Pas Rhyme Award for the Beat that Made Me Write a Rhyme to It

2 Legit – “Yeah Just"

(For breakdown, see 1st Place breakdown above)

Get Paid With Heart Award for the #1 Crossover Joint that Still Pays Homage to the Beatmaking Craft

Radio Maschine – "My City"

(For breakdown, see 1st Place breakdown above)

TBC Most Improved Award

Honorable Mentions:

Upright – “Levels”
One thing's for certain: You have your own style and sound. Rhythm is tight on this joint. No nonsense. Easy soundbed for a rapper to interpret.

Architect - "I Am"
Solid structure. Drums are crisp, violins—clean strokes. Arrangement well put together. Great for score music; could also work for a story rhyme.

DJ Pas - "Early Morning News"
Like Upright, you have your own clear style and sound that's rooted in your core interest. And this, brother, is serving you well. At the core of your sound is your deep appreciation for the break-beat. Thus, you have a natural break-beat sensibility; and here again with this beat, it's on display. But what's different here is your composure. Your mixing has improved, and your drum blends have become more precise.


Jerz-E-Ric – “Luvmystyle”
Yo, from 0:00-0:08, this joint had the strength to go the length and take the crown. Unfortunately, you made some rather questionable decisions. The piercing, "M.C. Breed" style synth line over of the top of the sample and groove was the first thing that took this beat down. It didn't fit; it was a drag on the beat. And, simply put, it wasn't needed. But the MAJOR change you incorporated at the 0:37 mark is the thing that destroyed what ultimately could have been the winning beat.

This beat was undone by overproduction—most notably, odd embellishments and awkward changes. Listen to 2 Legit's "Yeah Just." Listen to the discipline in the beat, how he manages only two changes within one theme. Conversely, listen to Radio Maschine's "My City". In his beat, there are a number of different elements and changes, but they all flow within the same theme, rather than obstruct where the beat is going.

Side note: Thing about most live beat battles and beat battles in general, is that sometimes beatmakers get caught up in doing more for the sake of doing more, as if the beat needs to account for the absence of the rapper. In fact, in many battles, people have taken to making the kind of beats (with curious changes and overbearing breakdowns) that might move the crowd or "judges" but are not the type of instrumentals that rappers could realistically write to or rhyme over. I'm not sure if you fell victim to this, but either way, never forget the rapper's (vocalist) space to get busy!

DonProductionsbeatz - "Day After"
Don P, you've regressed. At this point, I think you've tried out so many different electro and synth-like styles and sounds that you no longer know how to do what you once did best. Your beats used to have great rhythms and muscular movements. They used to sound fun. Now, they just sound like work—flat and contrived, as if the gear is dictating to you what and how to make it.

I understand we all grow, that our interests and sensibilities can change. I also understand that many sample-based beatmakers come to a crossroads where they feel the need to incorporate or switch almost completely to live instrumentation. But once your music starts sounding labored or like a poor knock-off of certain style and sound trends of the moment, you've lost your own unique sense for making beats. Bottom line: If we're not careful when we experiment or add new gear or new style/sound elements, we can get too far away from what we simply do best. When that happens, if we're not making significant strides with the new style/sound, regression sets in.

Mike Millz - "BK Boom Bap"
Too many programmed chops! You can "hear" the chops being played. The 808 sounds out of place, and with each overused chop-event in the arrangement, it all sounds awkward and distracting—something that brings on listener fatigue quickly. Such sound distraction makes it difficult for a rapper to find his footing.

Strip the beat down to its drumwork. Listen to that rhythm, then see how you can work in a more agreeable arrangement with different samples. Concentrate on not making the chop-events (where you're playing the chops) so obvious.

Final thoughts.

It felt good to get the BeatTips.com Beat Battle going again. I've said it before: It's a rewarding experience to listen to everybody's music. Moreover, I consider it to be a privilege to listen. There were some surprises in December's battle, both good and bad. Still, the one thing that remained a constant was the collective commitment of everybody who entered the battle. That should be a source of pride for everybody in our community.

As always, I want to welcome all of the new members to TBC! Each month we’re growing stronger, and I count on everybody to raise the bar of our discussions and the level of our collective participation. Thank you for doing so.

The first BeatTips.com Beat Battle of 2013 will kick off next Tuesday, January 15th, so get ready!

Congratulations to 2 Legit
2 Legit email me at: [email]beattips@gmail.com[/email], include your full name and email address for where you’d like your book emailed. Also, include a pic so I can feature you on the home page of BeatTips.com, and a phone number to where you can be reached at for your interview feature.


The BeatTips Manual by Sa'id.
"The most trusted name in beatmaking and hip hop/rap music education."

May 12, 2012

BeatTips.com Beat Battle, March 2012 Winner Announced

GeeWiz Edges out d.C. and Castro to Win the Third Contest of the Year


The winner: GeeWiz - ""Give Her the World""

Here's the March, 2012 BeatTips.com Beat Battle breakdown. You can also read it in TBC at: Winner of the February 2012 BeatTips.com Beat Battle Is...
And you can hear all of the beats for March, 2012's battle here: BeatTips.com Beat Battle, March, 2012

GeeWiz - "Give Her the World"

The urgency and tension in this joint is incredibly gripping. The emotion, which many beatmakers struggle to infuse in their beats, is thick; and the beat’s narrative structure is precise. The way in which you use progression is very encouraging! There’s a dope build-up, and the ebb and flow of the changes work like cousin motifs talking to one another; yet the rhythm rides through it all, keeping everything tight and consistent. I found every decision within this beat to be a masterful choice.

2nd Place:
d.C. - "Send My Love"

First, I gotta point out the ironic similarities between the title of your beat and that of GeeWiz’s. Both of you have titles that on the surface appear to be about something else. Instead, both titles work as beautiful setups to serious beats!

So, dig it, d.C., this is what I was talking about to you a while back. You’ve recaptured your grittiness and utter wrecklessness with this beat!!! You’re music will always have a smoothness to it; smooth polish is one of the main dimensions of your style and sound. But like I told you before: That’s just one of your chambers. This joint is your hardcore, banger chamber! NEVER abandon this side of your creativity…

Side note… I know someone who may want to use this track for their album. I’ll hit you with the details.

3rd Place:
Castro - "Better Promise"

This beat is HUGE, Billboard/MTV-anthem like huge. You’ve perfected that pop sound while still maintaining your drums. Kudos, brother! It’s good to see here again your exploration with progression and stand-out synth stacking work.

Side note…Listen to me, man: Be very careful with this track. Do NOT put it in the wrong hands. Do NOT allow it to be thrown into a track dump, etc. In fact, I think you should take the track down. Only make it available for serious inquiries. If you want to discuss it further, give me a call.

Segundo Award for Consistency and Contribution

SC Beatz – “Scream”

I didn’t know what to make of this beat at first. I mean, it drew me in, but I was still trying to see the beat’s narrative. This is a very distinct sounding beat. I believe that it could be rhymed over. But it’s now more clear to me then ever before: Your biggest strength is really in film and television scoring. (By the way, there’s more money, consistent work, more appreciation, and less bullshit in that industry.) I strongly suggest that you look into that.
The DJ Pas Rhyme Award for the Beat that Made Me Write a Rhyme to It

d.C. – “Send My Love"

(For breakdown, see 2nd Place breakdown above)

Get Paid With Heart Award for the #1 Crossover Joint that Still Pays Homage to the Beatmaking Craft

Castro – "Better Promise"
TBC Most Improved Award

Honorable Mentions:

Influence210 – “You Got Me Now”
Heavy sound. The pulse of the synth work is nice, not generic or run-of-the-mill. And the sample elements match up well. So many different ways the rhyme could go with this joint.

bigbenbeats – “Brotherhood”
I dig tough loops with straight forward drums. Shows you how effective the groove can be… I almost wrote to this joint.

Smelly Pants – “Human Being”
Like with bigbenbeat’s joint, the loop was good and the drum accents were on point. I could see Ghostface destroying this track!


Phillipic – “Neocrack”
After several listens, I was able to get an idea for where you were going. I dig the smoothness of this track, and it started to grow on me (although, the snare sounds too perfect/mechanical; that may be due to quantizing). At the 2:04 mark, a new motif begins that should have been a major part throughout…That part added a nice ambiance to the entire track.

Upright – “Last”

What happen here, man? This beat is really laid back and seemingly unfocused. Not like the hardness of your previous beat. This beat sounds like you were going for something highly experimental. And nothing’s necessarily wrong with that; experimentation is what we all have to do. The only pitfall with experimentation is that if we’re not careful, we can get away from our core strengths. I noticed that you used that same tom-tom fill that you featured in your beat that won you January’s battle. Is that a trademark of most of your beats? Also, where you attempting to make something that wasn’t meant to be rhymed over?

Uhoh – “Can’t Help Myself”
This of course is another solid joint. One thing though: Your drum programming is starting to mimic itself. Be careful not to get complacent with your sound. You can maintain your distinct drum style and sound and keep it fresh at the same time. And although “drawing in” drum hits may save you time in your workflow, always remember that you run the risk of focusing more on drawing in something where you know something goes rather than playing where you feel it goes. It’s no different using step edit on an MPC to insert something where you know it goes. That's why I limit how much I use step edit to insert events. Playing things out feels more natural.

Don P – “Ojayo”
You’ve returned back to sampling while trying to work in some light synth elements as well. The “knock” style drums work all right. But I can’t help but wonder how this beat would’ve sounded without the sweeps, knock style, or stuttering hi-hat. Just a straight forward tucked kick and classic snare style might work better with this sample. Remember, when the primary sample is dope by itself, sometimes overpowering drums can dull its feel and reduce its overall effect.

steadybeats – “Beat Breakin”
Sounds like you’re working through some ideas. And that’s a good thing. But listen to how lifeless or indifferent this beat sounds. When working through your ideas, try to maintain a steady direction and scope. Otherwise, your beat will sound like a pot-luck of disconnected ideas.

That said, your drums had a level of consistency to them. Build off of that! Also, consider sonically what you want your style to sound like. Take a listen to the beats of Castro, d.C., and S.C. Each one has a distinct style, sound, and consistent direction.

Final thoughts.

Before I get to the final thoughts on March’s BeatTips Beat Battle, I have to make an announcement. Nearly two months ago, I began serving as the Executive Producer of a Marco Polo/H. Stax album, entitled Seize the Day. Because of my obligation to this project, as well as several other obligations (that will be announced shortly), I was not able to get the results in for March’s battle until now. For that, everyone in TBC has my apology!

And now for the Final Thoughts…

It’s a rewarding experience for me to listen to each beat in every battle. I enjoy the analysis part, of course, especially since I know that you all, like me, take the study of the art of beatmaking seriously. But I also enjoy the emotion and determination and growth that I hear in your beats. Overall, it’s quite humbling to see such dedication to our craft on display. And then, I also enjoy the competition of it all! That each person commits their beat to a battle is a constant reminder that hip hop/rap is very much alive, well, and as defiant as ever.

This month’s 1st through 3rd place finishers went in three entirely different directions, yet all three were held together by the bond of fine craftsmanship and the ability to convey deep emotion. That’s what it means to have a quality sound that’s unique and stylistically distinguishable.

Again, my apologies for posting the results of this battle so late. As a result, we’ve lost a battle for April. BUT, May’s battle will be on beginning next Thursday, May 17th.

As always, I want to welcome all of the new members to TBC! Each month we’re growing stronger, and I count on everybody to raise the bar of our discussions and the level of our collective participation. Thank you for doing so.

One more note: The BeatTips.com Beat Battle is for BeatTips.com subscribers and TBC members only. If you have not subscribed to BeatTips.com, please do so before the next battle begins. You can subscribe to BeatTips.com by going to the home page, [url]http://www.beattips.com[/url] and clicking the “Get email updates” button near the top right, just beneath the menu bar. TBC members who are not subscribed to BeatTips.com will not be able to participate in future BeatTips.com Beat Battles.

The May BeatTips.com Beat Battle will begin on Thursday, March 17, 2012!!!

Congratulations to GeeWiz
GeeWiz email me at: [email]beattips@gmail.com[/email], include your full name and complete address for where you’d like your book delivered. Also, include a pic so I can feature you on the home page of BeatTips.com, and a phone number to where you can be reached at for your interview feature.


The BeatTips Manual by Sa'id.
"The most trusted name in beatmaking and hip hop/rap music education."

November 10, 2010

BeatTips Beat Battle September 2010 Winner: BrandonF42088

BrandonF42088 Scores Long Sought Win; TBC Still on the Move


Here's my breakdown of the most recent BeatTips Beat Battle.

1st place:
BrandonF4208 - "Sliver"

This joint has masterful command. Every element is well-stated and uncompromising. For instance, the bass-stabs show up ONLY when needed. Not only are they properly spaced, their discrete, smooth, and booming all at the same time... so effective—timing so perfect it's natural. Your pick for the snare was right and exact. And I dig the kick drops; nice touch! Also, this beat has that special kind of *room* that lyricists need to dig in and carve out something engaging. Finally, I gotta point out that this beat has *guts* and soul, with a sort of "chip on its shoulder." Great beatwork, man. Very impressed.

2nd Place:
Last Ritez - "The Magnificent"

This is bottom-dollar, gutter boom bap, with enough swing to absolutely murder a club! You kept the rhythm up front and center, and let everything "glide" unforced with it. Drums are steady, but *deadly hard*. This joint is well-paced and relaxed; and it has ample room for any lyricist to rock on. Dope.

3rd Place:
dKelloway - "Blast"

dK, it's clear that you now have a much stronger sense of rhythm. Also, I notice that you are branching out more into percussion. Dope! And was that a rising synth harmony line that I heard on this joint? Nice combination of samples and synths. Overall, your sound is *bigger* with this beat. I'm not necessarily sure if that's a good thing though, because I don't know if that's the direction you're actually trying to go in. Truth is: your more grimier, raw, straight boom bap is when you're at your best. And it's like I told SC a long time ago: embrace your influences, but don't fight against what you actually do best.

Editor's note: You can read the rest of the awards, Honorable Mentions, and notes here in the TBC here: BeatTips Beat Battle September Breakdown

You can hear all of the entries for the July battle here: BeatTips Beat Battle September Official Entries

September 16, 2010

BeatTips Beat Battle July 2010 Winner: SC

SC Holds Off Challenge From Returning Multiple Winner Jooneydubzbeatz; TBC Continues To Rise

By Amir Said (Sa'id)

Here's my breakdown of the most recent BeatTips Beat Battle.

1st place:
SC - "Baby Don't Question Me"

Aw, man is it hard to make a hardcore "beat" that doubles up as an ice cold "R&B" banger. But damn if our fellow TBC member, SC, didn't create such a thing with this here.

Listen, this beat is a creature. The sliding clap; the brushing percussion—whispering tambourine on quarter notes; a stirring, milky-smooth bass part; chorus changes with a balanced sound palate... man, listen: All export work. While it rumbles with feeling, it's anchored by a deceptively hard "knock."

And as most hard core beats benefit from a "rawness," this joint's polish—and master craftsmanship—puts it over the top. No doubt, the arrangement is meticulous, but you don't hear it. True pros make everything sound natural, as if this was already a classic song that SC simply submitted without the vocals.

SC, I continue to be impressed by your work. I'm glad that you've found the center and essence of your style, sound, and approach. It has allowed you to move more freely and create and better encompass all of your musical influences.

2nd Place:
JooneydubzBeatz - "I'm Leaving"

Jooney, you almost pulled it off. You almost came back from a self-imposed sabbatical and won the crown. Either way, though, this beat was a gem. (One of my favorite beats from anybody in a long while.) The core groove (sequence) was solid, as is always the case with your style. Plus, the joint is an excellent lesson in restraint—just letting the track ride with the dominance of the primary sample. The changes you worked in were minimal, which is most appropriate for such a soulful track. Finally, like SC, this beat was envisioned more for a vocalist (i.e. rapper) than for merely a beat battle. That's precisely why it's dope; you can "hear" a song already.

P.S., if you haven't found anybody (worthy) to rhyme on this joint, LET ME AT IT, SON, word up. —Sa'id

3rd Place:
DC - "Monsieur"

All right, all right, I get it, dC, you're flexing, showing your all around skills. Show off! Ha... But for real, this joint is deceptively intense. In the hands of a VERY skilled rapper, I can imagine a rather engaging story rhyme. On the other hand, I can imagine this as the theme music to a Truffaut (French filmaker) film. That much range in one beat is hard to pull off, my man. Props!

Editor's note: You can read the rest of the awards, Honorable Mentions, and notes here in the TBC here: BeatTips Beat Battle July Breakdown

You can hear all of the entries for the July battle here: BeatTips Beat Battle July Official Entries

July 13, 2010

BeatTips Beat Battle April 2010 Winner: Dkelloway aka "DK"

Core TBC Member Has Triumphantly Arrived And Come Into His Own

By Amir Said (Sa'id)

DK, the winner of the BeatTips Beat Battle April 2010, put together his best beat yet.
In the previous BeatTips Beat Battle, DK had earned the Most Improved Award. But this go around, he took the crown with a beat that was absolutely master level work. And what makes DK's win even more impressive is the fact that it is the direct result of his full commitment to an intense and extensive MusicStudy, plus his humble willingness to listen to constructive feedback, notes, and suggestions.

I've always believed that DK had the "ear," the work ethic, and the commitment to be a dope beatmaker, and he proved it to me with his beat "Hitman for Hire." His beat is absolutely hard core, left-hook hip hop/rap music, with a smoothly confident essence (I dig the "Soulsville" drop at the beginning, I've used that before for an interlude). His drums are now first rate! Perfect swing, time, sound selection. And the sample chops are top notch—not only are they dope, they're disguised very well, no trace of their source. As I informed DK in the TBC forums, this beat represents his growing confidence and his new assurance in his own beatmaking style, sound, and abilities (the fade of the beat at the end is classic, tells me he knew this beat was dope).

As I've said before, the talent coming out of TBC will soon be world-renowned...Our most consistent members are doing what they do best: staying consistent! More importantly, DK's win represents a major turning point for TBC. DK is a core member who's been in TBC since early '08, a foundational period for me. In that time, DK and I have had various exchanges, sometimes very thoughtful, and sometimes perhaps "heated," but always REAL. And what I've always respected about DK is his fearless pursuit to improve his musical understanding and to become a better beatmaker. Thus, DK's win here serves as a benchmark not just for DK, but for all of us in TBC. It's direct proof of how our strength is found in the determination and talent of each member of TBC.

Congratulations to DK

Check out DKelloway's wining beat, "Hitman for Hire," here.

June 29, 2010

BeatTips DSS Beatmaking Exercise

Sequencing and Structure Exercise is a Steady Beat Block Neutralizer

By Amir Said (Sa'id)

The other day, Leslie, a regular BeatTips reader, asked me about beatmaking exercises, and it got me thinking about the many exercises I've practiced over the years. In this article, I want to focus on one specific arrangement exercise that I do that involves the development of core sequences.

DSS (Duplicate Sequence Structures), the name I gave to this exercise, basically deals with duplication and experimentation of sequences. But for me, the aim of this exercise is to better understand how to build 8-bar (or longer) structures. Why 8-bar structures you might ask? Well, for me it's simple. When creating "songs" in the Song Mode of my MPC, I prefer to deal with 8-bar sequence blocks rather than 2- or 4-bar sequence blocks, particularly because it allows me to better manage any random changes I might want to add to the final beat.

Before I continue, I should note that I have in the past (and sometimes still do) literally write down the schedule of exercises for any given practice session. Nothing major, though; for instance, whenever I wanted to practice DSS exercises, I would simply write a note to myself like: "DSS, 1hr." This way, whenever I was due to practice for the day (week), I wouldn't sit down just to make a beat. Instead, I'd set a practice plan of action, then I'd naturally segue into actually making (completing) at least one new beat (or more).

All right, on with my DSS exercise...
step 1

I began with a 2-bar sequence of music. Something fairly simple, just a drum framework and some non-drum elements. Please note: Whether I'm practicing with a sampled-based or synthetic-sounds-based beat doesn't matter, because I practice this exercise universally.

Step 2

Having settled upon a 2-bar sequence, I'll duplicate it to give me 4-bars of music. Then, I copy that 4-bar sequence into three "unused" new sequences on my Akai MPC (4000 or 60), essentially setting up three separate beat start or rather "shell beats," all with the same 4-bar structure.

Step 3

I duplicate each 4-bar structure, giving me three "shell beats" (just sparse rhythms) of 8-bars each.

Step 4

I work on each "shell beat," one at a time. For the first "shell beat," I'll add in one new musical element. This could be anything, an elongated sound stab; a brief keyboard phrase; a sample of a break of some sort; truly whatever I'm feeling at the moment. But here's the key: No matter what add-on element I elect to go with, I add a modified version of that very same element to each "shell beat."

Step 5

I make modifications to the drum frameworks of the "shell beats." Usually, I leave the drumwork of the first "shell beat" as is, but I always change (in some way) the drum framework of the 2nd and 3rd "shell beats," making modifications that better match up with the added elements.

Step 6

I build each 8-bar "shell beat" out to "developed beats," and I audit each beat to see which one has the tightest, gut-moving feeling. Usually, what happens? I end up using one of the "developed beats" for the verse section (the main part of the song), and I use another "developed beat" as the hook section (the featured part of the song). If the left out "developed beat" is decent, I'll strip it down to 4-bars, and use parts of it as an intro, bridge, or extra change that I add to the final beat.

Final thoughts

Using this exercise, I'm able to better capture the core groove that suits my style and sound. Also, this exercise really helps my timing, and it sharpens my overall understand of and approach to creating drum frameworks. Finally, I should note that my DSS exercise has always come in handy on those occasions where I used to have beat block.

The BeatTips Manual by Sa'id.
"The most trusted source for information on beatmaking and hip hop/rap music education."

April 19, 2010

BeatTips Beat Battle April 2010 is On!

April BeatTips Beat Battle - 2010 Has Begun. $50 Prize for Winner!

By Amir Said (Sa'id)

Beat Battle Entry Rules:

1. Any beat, ANY STYLE (sampled or keyboard)...NO VERSES, but hooks are cool.
2. No more than ONE beat submission per member, NO CHANGES--post your best shot!
Post link to your beat in this thread. Make sure your link actually works! NO DOWNLOAD LINKS.
3. Beats must be submitted no later than the 30th of April.
4. To enter the battle, you MUST have at least 10 posts in The BeatTips Community forums for the month of April.

Post your beats for the April Beat Battle in The BeatTips Community thread here

Everybody, Peace, Respect, and as always: Go for the Gusto!

April 13, 2010

BeatTips Beat Battle March 2010 Winner: Midwest Authority

TBC Member Midwest Authority Takes First Title of the Year; Fresh Style Delivers Bold New Sound

By Amir Said (Sa'id)

And the Winner is...
Midwest Authority- "Big Trip"

It's been a minute since the last BeatTips Beat Battle. Most of you know that I was away on book leave for about a solid six months. Also, during that time, I was working hard behind the scenes to raise the overall profile of TBC. (More on that later this month.) But as we kick off the first battle of the 2010, I want to thank everybody who put up their weight and got in the battle. As usual, TBC members brought in their sureshots...no wasted beats was in this month's battle. And if the top 3 places are any indication of how the rest of this year is going to turn out, I have no doubt that the BeatTips Beat Battle is going to make serious waves all over internet.
I humbly thank all of you who continue to make our community dope.

Now for the breakdown...

Midwest Authority
The organ-work on this joint is soulful, New Orleans MONSTER STATUS, you dig! I've never heard organ in the church-based soul style like this blended with such crushing, syncopated drumwork. And the brass-work on this joint was equally sick. Midwest Authority, your sound is something fresh, unique, and so fundamentally characteristic of the pushed musical envelopes that only beatmaking can muster. You are truly creating timeless music—music that seems to effortlessly blend the gaps between blues, jazz, soul, funk, and hip hop/rap. Dope, my man... absolutely dope.

2nd Place:
SC Beatz- "Watch Out"
A masterpiece. Smooth, slow, and deadly. I can't tell if you're pumpin' a sample or if that's your keywork...and that's A GOOD THING! The feeling of this joint is so focused, direct, and all meat—NO FAT or additives. It's clear that you've refined your sound and have reconciled ALL of your skills into one solid, straightforward approach to beatmaking. This joint was my favorite, hands down. (Side note. You didn't even need the vocal phrase. But if you had to use it, just rock with the "You better watch out," not the "He sees you when you're sleeping.")

3rd Place:
Uh Oh - "12/20/09"
Crack! Straight heat rock! Aggressive, everything is bangin'. This is a HUNGRY MAN'S beat. Well-programmed, and the change at the 1:00 minute mark is right and exact—absolutely perfect change. Arrangement very well done. As usual, you deliver the goods on the drumwork. And finally, the mix on this joint was dynamite, every element had great presence!

Segundo Award for Consistency and Contribution

Castro Beats - "Cheers"
All beatmakers, sooner or later, transition towards a new sound, something all their own. Castro, I think with this joint you're taking stock in all of the things that you do well and all over your knowledge, and then using it to formulate a new "Castro Beats" sound that compliment all of your fundamental skills and preferences. I think that's dope; especially when you consider that you were able to maintain a level of consistency. Great use of "reverse" sound textures, and nice overall theme. (Customize that snare sound some, really make it your own.)

Get Paid With Heart Award for the #1 Crossover Joint that Still Pays Homage to the Beatmaking Craft

Don P -"Stand Above All"
This beat pays homage to the break, and that hooked me from the start. Yet even with all its b-boy aggression, this joint doesn't take itself too series. Instead, Don P, you left enough room and space for even an R&B or urban pop act to sing over. Great job.

TBC Most Improved Award

dk - "Ah Ah"
For two years I've been telling you about how "stuck" your drumwork sounds. Well, you've finally conquered that problem! Also, your solid use of a break-beat combined with additional custom drumwork was really on point, nice blend. I was particularly impressed with your increased overall understanding of how to combine different elements and textures; in this regard, you have improved dramatically! Finally, your timing has exploded, you really have a better understanding of time and swing now. I can only think that this has come from a more intense and extensive MusicStudy.

Honorable Mentions:

Brandon F - "SW9"
Dope boom bap with a LOT of room for a very lyrical MC to paint a portrait. Drums knock, and the overall compositional framework is straightforward and effective.


Gee Wiz - "C.A.M.A.O."
Too much choppy programming of the sample. When you chop a sample, it should sound "seamless." That is, one shouldn't be able to hear or envision exactly how and where you chopped something. For one thing, it's distractive; another thing: it sounds overly redundant. And the thing is, the sample that used (especially the "camouflage" vocal phrase) sounded dope...but you didn't let it play out.

Jooney - "Dear Beloit"
This beat was epic, really big...actually, TOO big. There's so much going on, and even though it sounds good, there's really not much room or space for a rapper to get busy. The beat is overpowering, but not in an inviting way. Never forget, always leave room for the rapper. The most effective beats are those that are ready to be paired with lyrics.

Krugenstein - "G 92"
Decent, nice programming, but it sounds somewhat like Nas' "Dr. Knock Boots."

Final thoughts.

Again. Again everybody proved just how much they value our community (crew): NOBODY put up dead weight! Everybody took the battle serious, and paid homage to the talent level of our members. Sure, Midwest Authority won...but NOBODY lost. The beats that are being cooked up by the members of TBC are only getting more problematic. And that leads me to believe merely what I've always believed: That the talent coming out of the TBC will soon be world-renowned...

Congratulations to Midwest Authority
Midwest Authority, hit me with a PM, include your full name and complete address for your prize money. Also, include a pic so I can feature you, on the home page of BeatTips.com.

*To hear all entries for the March 2010 BeatTips Beat Battle, click here.

April BeatTips Beat Battle will begin on Friday March 16th...

The BeatTips Manual by Sa'id.
"The most trusted source for information on beatmaking and hip hop/rap music education."

June 17, 2009

Congratulations to Midwest Authority AKA "Trip", May '09 BeatTips Beat Battle Winner!

Congrats to Midwest Authority AKA "Trip" for winning the May '09 BeatTips Beat Battle.

For a full detailed listing of all of the Placements and Honorable Mentions for the March '09 BeatTips Beat Battle, go to the BeatTips Forums.


April 24, 2009

Congratulations to Krazyfingaz, March '09 BeatTips Beat Battle Winner!

Congrats to Krazyfingaz for winning the March '09 BeatTips Beat Battle. Krazyfingaz, who had to overcome a two-month "beat block," took the crown with a soulful banger. His beat, "Treat Me Bad," could best be described as organized chaos with a smooth underflow.

For a full detailed listing of all of the Placements and Honorable Mentions for the March '09 BeatTips Beat Battle, go to the BeatTips Forums.


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