It is now irrefutable that hip hop is one of the most important genres of the past few decades. The sum of its cultural impact is hard to calculate, but its influence should never be underestimated. For the genre itself, popularity is something to celebrate. For independent artists trying to stand out, the popularity can lead to the feeling of futility.
Since hip hop came up from the underground and climbed up the Billboard charts, it has taken many new forms as innovative artists push the boundaries. There will always be fans and artists keen to keep it old school, but there is no stopping the artists determined to make their individual and authentic mark in the hip hop scene.
How to make your own rap music: 5 industry top tips to follow in 2022
- Take Influence, Never Become Assimilative
Whoever your favourite rapper of all time is, the world doesn’t need another carbon copy of them. Producing music should always be about following your creative vision through the process. If you open yourself up to the infinite possibilities your studio can give you, you will find them more easily. Remember that even though your favourite records are constructed in a certain way, yours doesn’t have to. Experiment with hip hop subgenres that you wouldn’t ordinarily be inclined to dabble in; take the nasty cutting kicks from grime, get onboard with cheesy or catchy hooks and deviate from the rulebook.
- Don’t Get Addicted to EQ and Effects
When you are at the mixing and mastering stage of producing your rap track, it is tempting to get overly experimental with the EQ and effects. If you need to rely on EQ and effects to get your sound right, consider being more discerning about the timbre of the instrumentals you use instead. Effects can pull a track together, but if they’re pulling together the wrong sounds, the end result will never feel flawless. Before you get carried away with your instrumentals, choose how much chorus and delay you want to run your vocals through – sometimes, less is more.
- There’s More to Hip Hop Than Hip Hop
Never solely rely on other rap artists for influence; by opening yourself up to other artists outside of the hip hop genre and listening to what works with a careful ear, you can find new textures to bring into your rap tracks. Your preference in music is as individual as you are. If you let your individuality reflect in the music you produce, authenticity will come organically. Remember that hip hop was born from a fusion of genres; just because the pioneers created hip hop, that doesn’t mean new rap producers can ride on their innovative coattails.
- Get Your Kicks
When it comes to the drum kicks, the rule of the bigger the better often rings true. Until you’re comfortable layering in your drum kicks own, find samples of drum kicks that you KNOW make an impact in a record and layer them into your track. Some of the best producers use more than one layer, one for the punch and one for the weight.
- Make De-Cluttering the Final Stage in the Production Process
Once you’re happy with your mix and feel that everything is level, listen to it again to see if any random percussive hits can be removed to make the track sound better. Even if you add the beats back into the mix, this de-cluttering process can give you ideas for future edits. Producing rap tracks that are highly cluttered for maximum impact is one of the most common rookie mistakes.
Once you have a rap track that you’re proud of, use rap music promotion blogs, such as A&R Factory, which has once again attained the revered title as one of the top 10 music blogs in the UK; and one of the top 100 worldwide.