Should Rappers Make Beats?

Was browsing the net earlier today and came across an interview with Young Buck. Buck’s one of my favorite artists out of that whole G-Unit/Shady/Aftermath/Interscope/Geffen clusterfuck of a roster over there, but when I hear him say shit like,

“I’m nasty with the tracks my n***a! I’ve been stealing all kind of sounds from [Dr.] Dre and Eminem for the past 2-3 years. So you can expect to hear my production on my first project also, you know what I mean. So expect to hear some of them Young Buck beats.”

… I can’t help but feel like I shouldn’t hold my breath. Not that I don’t think Buck is capable of banging out a few hot joints here and there, shit he might be the next Timbaland or something. I just feel like when artists start producing, the overall quality of their material tends to dip. I cite Eminem as a great example of this. It’s like after they learn to make beats, rappers feel like it’s required of them to rhyme on their own shit, no matter how wack it is, rather than get hot tracks from other people. I imagine it’s also a business thing, not wanting to pay outside producers.

The thing is, if you look at any other industry, this type of shit wouldn’t fly. Say you’re a plumber, for example. Does that mean you can also be a carpenter? Not necessarily. And even if you learn some aspects of carpentry, I don’t see how this newfound knowledge can make up for years of hands-on experience. You hire someone who knows what he’s doing.

I’m a producer, and as much as I’d love to rap or sing or dance or do whatever, that’s just not something I’m capable of doing at a high level. Now there’s no rule against trying, but when it comes down to it, I can’t expect people to run to the store and cop my rap album, because that’s just not what my specialty is. I feel it’s like that with rappers who try producing. And at the same time, as much as I cosign the producer/songwriter as both rapper/singer in 2008, I think people trying to be jacks of all trades is hurting the game. I would rather see people master one craft before heading into another.

But then you have your rare breeds. Like Soulja Boy. He does all of the above so well, proving that it is possible to master everything.

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  • og bobby j

    “But then you have your rare breeds. Like Soulja Boy. He does all of the above so well, proving that it is possible to master everything.”

    I hope this was a joke. The only thing Soulja Boys does well is display the remarkably large steps in reverse taken by the American Education system.

    • thoreauly77

      “The only thing Soulja Boys does well is display the remarkably large steps in reverse taken by the American Education system.”

      - ironically, much like this sentence.

    • Keris Black

      Soulja boy can’t fuckin rap so even if he can make beats it don’t fuckin me he can rap he is whats wrong with hiphop i wanna die everytime i hear his bullshit

    • Keris Black

      Soulja boy can’t fuckin rap so even if he can make beats it don’t fuckin me he can rap he is whats wrong with hiphop i wanna die everytime i hear his bullshit

  • realytype

    What is the deal with all these dumb fucking rappers? Too dumb to realize that the Five-O is hawkin’. Publicity stunts? I doubt it. Most of these jack-offs (see Lil Wayne or TI) will spend at least some time locked down. And rightfully so. I don’t think they should be allowed to stay in the vision of the impressionable youth. They gave that privilege up when they were too stupid to distance themselves from the bullshit. I don’t want to hate, but I feel obligated as a Hip-Hop fan to speak my mind. I know we shouldn’t expect too much from them, it’s not like a high school diploma or college education was ever a logical step in the path of rap super stardom, but fuck. I heard an interview with the rapper Plies when I was down in Florida, and this clown might be one of the dumbest cats out there. Just listening to him speak was a struggle to any reasonably educated person. Then, one of my dude’s pointed me to a VIBE interview he did. LMAO:

    When asked about his name the rapper responded: “Plies is a tool, You can use it to put the squeeze on things, like I’m doing to these n*ggas in the rap game. I got the squeeze on them real tight, they feeling the pressure, or you can use it to pull things out. I pull out all the bullsh*t and keep the real you feel me? It also a word you can use in terms of things goin’ on in yo life, ya dig. You may hear something I say and say that it plies to me. Plies straight to me.”

    Vibe: “I’ve heard of a tool called a Pliers and the term applies.”

    Plies: “You know what I’m trying to say my n*gga, just buy my album, I’m from the South my n*gga, we don’t learn no grammar. My Album out August 7, 2007, cop three copies each, it’s Christmas in July fo’ real, ya dig? ”

    This is a perfect example of the “artists” filling the ipods of today’s youth. You would think that if you were going to be known by a name, you would at least want it to be accurate enough that the general population could see the correlation between the slang variation you’re using and the actual word, but maybe not. People in the south are a little slow and supposedly, they don’t learn no grammar.

    So, according to his verse on his “daddy’s” song “100 Million dollars”, Lil Wayne says “I all night it, I everyday it”. Evidently, the DEA and Arizona Piggies figured he would be riding dirty when they stopped him the other day. After all, he does “everyday it”. My question is, if you have “100 Million dollars” why not pay a flunky to carry your creative inspiration and thus, avoid these legal complications? But why attempt to decipher the thoughts of a fake blood who kisses men? It’s like trying to shit in the kitchen sink. It makes me wonder what would cause someone who is currently on top of the game, despite his quasi-homoerotic escapades and drug induced drooling on half his appearance’s, to have such a lapse in judgment. I am not saying that Wayne is even educated enough to understand the ramifications of his actions, but you think someone in his camp would be at least semi-paranoid about the bacon wagons.

    This rap shit is like a real life version of the Dave Chappelle episode of “when keeping it real goes wrong”. We all know that the listening community likes to correlate the street credibility of these rappers with the persona they portray on their records, but does that make it necessary? Is being a G the only way to talk about G shit? And if you really think about it, wouldn’t the cat without the criminal record or gang affiliation be the more gangsta one? I mean, since when is getting knocked a good thing? Or, as Jada says, “Since when is it cool to get shot and not shoot back?” Somebody needs to explain to me why the hip hop fans worry about how real these artists are when the larger majority of them never touched weight in their life. Shouldn’t the emphasis be on the flow, lyrical strength and the overall ability to keep the listener interested for an entire album?

    Not to say that this falls solely on the audience though. Its not like the artist are not playing right into it. For instance, we can look at the Game or Lil Wayne. Wayne, a new found affiliate of the Bloods, has been signed to Cash Money since he was 11. He’s been shot, (by himself of course) which is seemingly mandatory now-a-days (“niggas is acting like slugs is awards and they proud to get em”). Yet, he portrays this gangsta image when the hip-hop community would probably accept him more wholeheartedly if he came out real. How about the Game? Also a new found affiliate, gets a tattoo of a butterfly on his face as a symbolic representation of his Grandmother. That is not the problem. The problem is that a real G would have keep it there instead of quickly covering it up with a LA sign and now a red star once he got a taste of the ridicule. (Side note: tattoos on your face might be the sign of the lowest educated members of society, I mean, its your face!)

    I say that to say this: Hip Hop is resurrecting itself. The whole Hip Hop is dead campaign has really swept through the game. Fact is, Hip Hop is healing itself. We are beginning to weed out the bullshit. Hip Hop isn’t dead, but record sales are. And if you look back at the beginning of this whole shit, record sales were not up in the millions. In fact, the whole problem started when we began to determine the value of an artist based on there first week sales. That’s the germ that started this whole Hip Hop is Dead epidemic. But Hip Hop isn’t dead. I would call this the great depression of Hip Hop. All we need now is the rap version of FDR to come through and new deal this bitch! Bad news though, its not Lil Wayne or Kanye West. Sadly, its not this new blood of Papoose or Joell Ortiz. More then likely, the savior is yet to be discovered.

    But fact is, the rappers of today need to realize that ignorance is not the way to the top. Maybe for a ring tone deal or something, but not for sustained longevity in this game. While I enjoy the “I’m so Hood remix” as much as the next man, its just not the representation of Hip Hop that we should be idolizing. As you get older, you begin to realize that a song with substance is far more stimulating then a song about moving weight with a catchy hook will ever be. When you can walk into your local high school and see a group of white girls humming the “I wear my pants below my waist….” shits gone sour. There is a huge difference between a “Can’t Knock the Hustle” and “5000 ones” or between “Everyday Struggles” and “I’m so hood”. At least I think so.

    Basing your opinion of an artist, hip hop or otherwise, on their credibility outside their respective genres or based on the popularity of there work, is shortsighted to say the least. It’s also the characteristics of the weak minded and immature. Denzel, Dr. Dre and Kobe were all once local hype with little support. Now, you could argue they are the best at what they do. So, let these dumb rappers weed themselves out. If these hip hop fans truly give a shit, stop supporting the mindless bullshit overflowing youtube and flooding you local radio station. Supporting fake shit by fake thugs….what part of the game is that?

    • Colron

      This dude can guest blog when he likes. As YN’s replacement I hereby declare this the best post of the day. i dont’t know who you are or shit about you, but i dont expect you to be here today gone tommorrow. I call Hip-Hop the Second Renaissance and hopefully people can see the impact it is having and embrace that in both its good and bad forms. That being said, both Game and Weezy can rap WELL. And just because they choose to rap about some BS crap and make shit up about their personal life, I’m not going to listen to less skilled or less skilled at being heard rappers. Tell rappers who are better role models to step their game up and go help Lupe who is doing the damn thing.

    • ace

      Plies is officially the dumbest n*gga i know

    • Nova BlaQ

      Well i agree whit a lot of what you said but idk about the whole ignorance of the south thing lets take your two examples of plies and lil wayne its hard to say that they are uneducated (gotta check ya facts) cuz both wayne and plies went to college wayne graduated and has a degree in psychology and plies completed 2-3 years if not graduated as well. My whole thing is you cant complain about the about what the ppl like and you cant blame the artist for feeding into it because they make the music and the money that they wanna make. Most of the artist that appear slow are usually the brightest ones because they know how to market themselves to the masses. but alotta the other stuff u said i agreed with. and to the whole hip-hop is dead thing. Ask my nigga B.o.B for my response to that

    • Michael

      Fuck you, your just a hater, Wayne just gets hiiiigh a-bove the law. Stop hatin on a nigga, that is a weak emotion, the lady of a nigga. Listen to the drought 3 best cd to come out on hiphop in 10 years and this is just a mixtape. Damn.

  • Cal

    Man what punk ass HOE!!!! Wrote some stupid shit like that!!! Soulja Boy? Lyrics: 2 syllables from becoming catatonic, Beats: Only liked coz dumb girls like em and therefore a good platform for baggin em and bumpin uglies!! Screw this blogger!!

  • AK D

    I would say, wait and see. Or hear. He might be awesome! Paulo Tha Black Woman Hating Ex Rapper was certainly a better producer, right? Buck might be the next Jim Steinman!

    I would also say that Eminem’s rapping fell off somewhat due to a lack of passion in that area/unwillingness to be as frank/unguarded/free on wax as he once was…

  • BIG O

    fuck all the haters kanye is the only one who can do both and be top 10-15 in them

  • ri067953

    Yo, first off, I hope they don’t close this post down because nobody reads it but I thought that this blog was gonna be more about the techincal aspect of producing. Anyway, making beats is not producing! You gotta know how to make a hot record, how you want it to sound when it’s being mixed, where the ad libs should go, how to get the right sounds to fit the track, how to EQ it, all that shit. The only rap artist that can pull this off is Quik. Most people will say that he is wack because he don’t sell records but he has been making quality music for years and he can rap his ass off.

    • Chaka

      My brotha I agree with you.Quik is one tight brotha who can rap and produce great records for himself and other artists.Ever since I first heard him on the menace2society sdtk back in 93,i have never ceased being a great admirer of the works of this genius.I think Safe+Sound,Quik’s 94 release,remains one of his best works till date.To your statement above i would like to add that Dr.Dre too is one tight brotha who can rap and produce great records for himself and other artists.Did you notice something?Both Quik and Dre are from the same coast and the same area.hummmm…peace an hip hop head in Africa wrote this.

  • Incilin

    “The thing is, if you look at any other industry, this type of shit wouldn’t fly. Say you’re a plumber, for example. Does that mean you can also be a carpenter?”

    That’s a great analogy. I would co-sign the entire post, but I can’t help but bring up Black Milk who seems to actually have mastered both.

  • The Nicker


    This is only somewhat related, but my buddy I were debating the other day whether it was better to be a middling producer or a middling rapper in this day in age, and we both agreed it’s better to be a producer, both for the long-term cheddar and for the freelance work you can do.

    Looks like Young Buck wants in on that paper . . .

  • Gooch

    incilin, ditto on black milk. He’s a beast.

  • Eman

    og bobby j says:

    “But then you have your rare breeds. Like Soulja Boy. He does all of the above so well, proving that it is possible to master everything.”

    I hope this was a joke. The only thing Soulja Boys does well is display the remarkably large steps in reverse taken by the American Education system.

  • DevAR

    Big up’s to any rapper that can PROFESSIONALLY pull off rapping and producing they own shyt. It really does show a certain level of superior talent amongst your peers that u can be a “self contained” artist and don’t have to rely on anybody elses interpretation of what YOUR beats should be like. In this day of low record sales it is almost a necessity to save money by NOT paying another producer to create your shyt. As for Soulja Boy, I don’t listen to his stuff because he lacks the ability to put down a hot 16 or a bangin 8 his beats are average and he said himself that he named all of his songs “50 Cent” material to get his buzz going on his myspace before getting signed.

  • Shawty J

    Should rappers become producers? I don’t have anything against it, Polow Da Don used to be a rapper and he produces now.

    This has already been mentioned, but rappers who start producing feel the need to rap over all of their beats including wack ones. Hopefully Buck doesn’t do anything like that, considering the selections on his last album he has good taste in beats (for the most part).

    Personally if I were a rapper turned producer I wouldn’t produce more than 2 or 3 of my own tracks (especially if I had a signature sound), similar to how T.I. only produced the skits on T.I. Vs T.I.P.

  • Ali

    lol nice closing statement…….i say let em produce if they can…i am one of a few who actually like Em’s beats, they’re cool as hell……he mastered tha 1st craft like u said & then is adding to it it’s all good…young buck however is far from being a master of rap, shiit i used to listen to em but buck the world was horrible

  • Chad Biggz

    Realtype. Leave a comment next time. Not another blog.

  • jake jewls
  • Robbie

    “I’ve been stealing all kind of sounds from [Dr.] Dre and Eminem for the past 2-3 years”

    Great. now dude’s boast about stealing drum sounds? Blame Kanye.

    • BK Cyph

      Isnt stealing drum sounds from Em redundant because Em steals his from Dre?!?

      Oh yeah and Kanye doesnt steal drums- seeing as how he doesnt even make beats. Big up to his ghosties!

  • djashyfingerz

    more rappahs should be learning to produce…at best it develops your ‘kast

  • LowEndOfDaChi

    Damn, I slept on this right here!

    Great post though. I’m not a big Young Buck fan, but it would be interesting to hear how he gets down on the beat side. As someone before me stated, this is more than likely a move to secure that long term paper, and I can’t even knock Buck for that. CD sales are terrible and Buck’s not exactly “marketable” by middle America standards (see TI,Jay-Z), so other than touring, he would have to find another way to eat, right?

    Props as well to Realtype, that whole commentary was on point.

    And to the idiots that didn’t catch the joke behind the mention of Soulja Boy’s abilities, eh, ignorance is bliss.

  • Cool

    wow what a horrible example.. u said rare breed like soulja boy?

    he seriously is prolly the worst rapper in the game, and he cant produce worth anything. HONESTLY.

    i mean he seem like a coo person 2 kick it with or somthing.. but he isnt talented as an artist or producer at all.

    he cant really dance at all either..

    you seem to be mad at rappers who CAN do both because you cant rap?.. maybe you over looked KANYE WEST. One of the greatest rappers in the game, one of the greatest producers in the game.

    not only does soulja boy suck at rapping and producing.. but he steals songs from other artist.. dem ohio boyz dance song, and big tee young ice “bapes” which was made in 2004, and again in 2007.

  • Danni

    On the whole “producers who rap” tip, Pete Rock had me scared of a beatminer ever spittin’ again (stay behind the wheels, love. LOL! We love u for it!). But Dre’s not bad with it, and if you wanna hear the illest (pun intended) unsigned Producer/Emcee, it’s gotta be my love IllPoetic. If you don’t know, DON’T sleep! The Midwest Hiphop giants are awakening! Check him out:

  • Danni

    Back in the day, Pete Rock had me kinda scared of another beatminer ever touchin’ the mic (stay behind the boards papi; we love u for it! lol!), but Dre, for instance ain’t half bad with it. And if you wanna hear the absolute hottest unsigned Producer/Emcee, hit up IllPoetic outta Cincinnati, OH. ( Don’t sleep!

  • Jamal Virani

    k you’re fucking retarded cool. read the post above you

  • corddont3

    well ive been rapping my whole life, and i think im pretty good. i got into producing because im very sensitive about the beats i rap too, and wanted people to feel my style in a whole. but i wouldnt even be rapping without these other talented producers out there. especially the unsigned hype. no matter how cold i am on the beats, i wont rap over my shyt on every album.

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