Winner of the February 2012 BeatTips.com Beat Battle Is...
Castro - "Oh Lord"
Now for the February, 2012 BeatTips.com Beat Battle breakdown...
Castro - "Oh Lord"
You’ve been hammering a way at your own style and sound now for a while. And I can say, without any trepidation, that you do have your own style and sound… It’s all here! There’s the “Castro drums”—the booming, well-balanced kick that shapes the groove, the tucked in punch-snare, and the truncated tambourine hi-hat sound. There’s the synth-line stacking; you’re a pro at this now (you’ve been practicing your chords or what? dope!). And the two most important things that caught me about this joint: (1) the dead-steady rhythm; and (2) the furious, hungry feel that the beat gives off. This beat is so pure to its own style and sound that it could run the gambit of uses—everything from gutter rap, to air-out-the-club music, to sci-fiction/mystery film noir.
Special points: That minor embellishment at the 1:02 mark is powerful, not so much because you can hear, but because you can feel the change and rise of tension. And the synth stinger that crashes in around the 1:20 mark raises the ante even further. All around solid composition!
One more thing, what also makes your style and sound so interesting is that your drums pay homage to your natural sampling intuition and instincts, while your synth lines service your non-sampling influences.
Uhohbeats - "This is My Prayer"
This beat was similar to the one you entered into the January battle. That’s no surprise, though, because you used the same source material, no? Either way, there is enough of a difference for this joint to stand on its own. Now, I don’t know if this joint was the “A” or “B” version, but I was drawn to this one more. It’s slower, and therefore, it simmers and grips you. Most importantly, this simmering feeling coupled with the relaxed drumwork leaves more room for a rapper to dig in to.
Waldo - "Question/Answer"
Beautiful. The groove is serious on this. The drumwork is deceptively simple, that up and down tumbling drum pattern with delicate brushes of percussion? Yo, that’s not easy to pull off, and you crush it. This beat acts like it wants to lull you to sleep, but it’s the drums that turn the otherwise passive sample into danger.
Segundo Award for Consistency and Contribution
The DJ Pas Rhyme Award for the Beat that Made Me Write a Rhyme to It (All New Award!)
Castro – “Oh Lord"
(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
TBC Most Improved Award
Anomaly – "Aqui Te Esperare"
Your sense of rhythm—or perhaps better stated, your ability to incorporate a clear, sustainable rhythm structure in your beats—has improved substantially. You’re approaching that one plateau of understanding that every good musician eventually reaches: to enjoy and embrace simplicity is the key to anything complex or otherwise that you can imagine. Your ideas used to be sporadic, unfocused. Now, I hear a deeper level of control and direction in your music. You’re no longer trying to force all of your musical influences. Instead, you’re toning everything down and getting to the heart of what you want to say with each specific beat.
One thing, though. I strongly recommend that you look into sampling your own drum sounds.
d.C. – “Concert for Rose”
The drums on this joint were bangin’ harder than usual. Good! This beat had a more sinister feel but with your customary audio polish. Also, this beat had more edge to it than your previous “cinematic” efforts. One thing’s for certain, when you make harder, straight-forward drum arrangements, the overall beat sounds more raw and gutter.
Rex Rey – “Music Makers & Dreamers”
Solid all-around sound scope. The ambient feel clashing (in a good way) with the break-beat drum feel made for an interesting mix. Saxophone parts were excellent, and the understated bass line “glued” together the whole piece nicely.
Speologic – “Science”
This beat is very similar to the Boyz N Da Hood theme song. Have you seen that movie? Main differences between that theme song and your beat is that your beat is set at a faster pitch (higher key) and the drums swing more. The saxophone parts work well. The overall rising nature of the piece, along with the shuffling drums, is what really makes this beat.
One thing, though. This joint is more film score than “beat” beat.
Mike Millz – “Stolen Emotions”
The primary sample is solid and looped perfectly. But the drum programming lacks a clear direction and commitment. With such a powerful sample, the drum pattern has to be tight and steady. With this type of sample and arrangement, a simple “K K S K K S” pattern would have worked just fine. At certain points (too many), the kick is all over the place. A misplaced kick drum is a sure-fire sign of a less effective drum program. Trust the structure of the most dominant part of your beat (in this case, the primary sample), then build an accompaniment for it. Don’t think that you have to do more with the drums. Just do what works—supply a solid backbeat and call it a day. (Hit me up through email, so I can break it down further.)
Andy Mayhem – “So Tired”
You can hear punches (where you're "punching in" the samples). Also, I was waiting for something else to happen, but it never did. As the beat is, it sounds like a shell idea.
SC Beatz – “Hight Votage”
Your consistency is here. The changes are flawless. My only concern is that this is more film/television music/score. Sure, it’s a beat, but I had trouble envisioning what type of rapper it would be for. Again, this joint is solid. I just hear your more R&B polished side in it, and I’m not sure if that was your intention or not.
Don Productions – “Who Are You”
On the surface, this beat is put together decently enough… But here’s the thing, it sounds too contrived, nothing distinct! It’s like a knock-off caricature of a familiar idea, concept, and sound. It doesn’t sound like it’s your own style and sound. In fact, it sounds mentally forced like you’re following some conceptual script. I can say this because I’ve heard a number of your beats, and some had a natural feeling, whereas this one doesn’t. For instance, here you incorporated a number of unnecessary clap hits (listen to the 1:02 mark, and the 1:24 mark). I never heard distractions like that in your beats from a couple of years ago. Stuff like that happens when you’re looking for extra stuff to add to the jumbo stew…
I know you’re still working your way through the Maschine and all; and in fact, I don’t know what you used to make this joint. But my big warning to you use is to recapture your ability to insert feeling into your music before it’s too late. That live beat-battle-intentionally-no-sample-Dr. Dre-keys-with-a-side-of-Just-Blaze-elements will never sound bad, because to do it requires some base level of proficiency. But that said, I don’t think it will ever lead you to your own distinct style and sound.
Note: This is two beats now back to back that shared these same non-distinct, forced qualities…
Brandon – “DRMG”
Sounds like a rough idea. Try turning the tempo up and adding a drum fill at every 8th or 16th bar. That Stylistics song is inviting, but unless you can make it swing, or chop it up into new moving parts, it might not be worth messing with.
MelloKid – “What”
I liked this. I wanted to point out that the heart of the beat happens at 0:23 through 0:46, before that change. Listen to the tightness of this part of the beat. Think about who could rhyme over it, then go back and listen from the 0:47 mark and ask yourself if it would enhance their rhyme flow or distract from it.
Cool thing about this battle was that you could hear the directional moves that several members have made. That’s important, because a clear commitment to one direction or another leads to your own style and sound.
In comparison to last month’s battle, I’d say that January’s battle was the more competitive one; and so that’s the bar to beat for each month…
My apologies for posting the results of this battle so late. I took an extra week to listen to everybody's beat two more times before I made my final notes. As a result of the delay, March’s battle will begin on the 19th, and the submission deadline will be extended until the 27th.
Finally, 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. 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, http://www.beattips.com 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 March BeatTips.com Beat Battle will begin on Monday, March 19, 2012!!!
Congratulations to Castro
Castro email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Congrats Castro!!!!!!!! That beat is fire! Props to Uhoh and Waldo you guys killed it! Sa'id you are the man! Always appreciate the feedback!
Congratulations Castro! I know it feels good!
After listening to Castro's beat again I gotta say it's definitely a well rounded beat that doesn't once fail to keep the listener entertained. Again, great job bro.
props castro, good to see you take one finally, seems like you been on the edge of winning alot finally pushed over the hump. (if you won one before my bad yo, my memory aint what it once was. medicinal herbals and such)
but word props to everyone it was a good month
also Sa'id, different samples. i made the one i entered last month first, and pretty much the next day came across the sample for this one lol, so i was still in that zoneee
but yea i got both diggin online, so my knowledge on the artists backdrops are limited, but this one was lady margo, the other was helene smith
love me some soul womennn
Congrats Castro and everyone else!
Sa'id, thanks for the feedback! I've got a long way to go, but figured I won't get better if I don't try!
Thanks man, and yea this is my first so you're memory ain't too bad ahah
Originally Posted by uhohbeats
Thanks for the love, Upright said it best, it feels good!
But I've heard his beat "beats", and he really goes in like a monster... So yo, Castro, stop frontin', and post that heat! -Sa'id
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:42 PM.
"I have been producing beats for a number of years now, and finding this caliber of literature is not always easy. Your book is ridiculously tight, knowledge...is spilling from each page. I couldn?t put the book down, I rolled meticulously from cover to cover, I didn?t want to miss a sentence."
"The BeatTips Manual is one of the best investments I have made in beat making and as a fan of hip hop...the sheer size of the book is amazing. The BeatTips Manual has definitely given me a lot to think about. Thank you very much for your efforts and work in this book. It needs to be required reading for anyone getting into beatmaking or hip hop production."
"Ive had the 5th edition for a few weeks now and the book is nuts man. The book is huge and full of more goodness than the 4th with an even more extensive look at hip hop's roots, culture and production. Ive read the 4th edition multiple times and constantly used it for a reference when making beats, but this 5th edition is something else! The 5th has increased my knowledge of hip hop unlike any other book, and I have read a lot of hip hop books.
Sa'id thank you for your dedication and love for hip hop and you hard work to keep it alive. Hip Hop thanks you!"
"Detailed and thorough, I'd consider The BeatTips Manual to be the go-to guide for beatmaking. Highly recommended!"
--Ivan Rott, HipHopIsRead.com
"Sa'id, I just got my copy of The BeatTips Manual, and I LOVE it. I've been producing for about 4 years now, and I've read all sorts of books, websites, forums and instructional videos, and I can honestly say, that this is by far THE BEST aid I've ever found."
--Nick "Stealf" Lester
"This is by far the single best book focusing on Hip Hop production. It is an absolute must read and it's for anyone beginning or continuing their journey into production. It will prove highly valuable and pay countless dividends to anyone willing to invest the time to obtain the vast wealth of knowledge and wisdom contained in its pages. Also, with interviews from renowned producers such as DJ Premier...and others being worth the price of admission, the book acts as a triple bonus."
"I just wanted to thank you for this new 5th edition of The BeatTips Manual...it's beautiful! You are doing a great job and I wish you much success."
--Chiemela (aka AC)
What is Beatmaking?
The BeatTips Community (BeatTips2.com) is a website dedicated to music education, research, and scholarship. All the music (or music videos) provided on this site is (are) for the purposes of teaching, scholarship, research, and criticism only! NOTE: Under U.S. Code, Section 107 ?Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use? of the Copyright Act of1976: ?Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching? scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."