I am a big fan of rap music. I am an even bigger fan of underground/non-mainstream rap. I may be the biggest fan of the beats used in all of rap. Call me cliche’ or what have you but I know a great beat when I hear one. The following items constitute a good beat:
1. A nice bass line
2. A chord playing underneath the song
3. Good drums
4. A man singing on the hook (think 2010 Kush and Orange Juice Wiz Khalifa only singing on the hook)
5. Optional – Instruments not usually involved in a rap song: guitar, violin, saxophone, etc
I could care less what the lyricist is saying. The lyricist can only help the great beat as long as he or she stays on beat. For me, lyrics are overrated. I have associates who will insist I listen to a song so that I can hear what so and so said in witty and slick ways. I oftentimes listen and then need to cut the listening session short due to the absence of a viable beat. I would say, “Look bra, it’s nice and all but I can’t listen to it because of that rubbish beat,” and then they become frustrated with me and say I am stupid. We wind up arguing and become pissed at each other for an hour or so then we are okay again after a few brewskis. There are clearly two camps on this issue:
1. The beat camp, like me, who tend to enjoy the music and I bet comprise of mostly musicians or wannabes.
2. The lyric camp, who themselves are mindless souls and bop their pitiful heads to any damn thing that makes noise including to but not limited to: crickets, lawnmowers, printing sounds, and cars riding above steel grade bridges AS LONG AS someone is spitting above average Lloyd Banksish punchlines.
What camp are you in?