If you start your journey in the big world of music production and beat making, you probably feel a bit lost. Even if you already learned how to handle somehow your DAW, you quickly feel disappointed by the onboard drum and instrument sounds that come along with it. A huge step forward is to get better, and high-quality drum sounds that make your speakers bouncing and take your hip-hop, r&b or urban pop beat/production to the next level. Those genres are extremely beat-focused, so the drum sounds have a significant role in the sound design of the track. A good start for beginners or semi-professionals is to learn from the multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated producers and how things need to sound like. This article will tell you where to get drum kits from key players of the urban music sector and present you four of my favourites. Enjoy!
The Drum Broker
To get some inspiration and great-sounding drum kits, one of the top places out there to get it is The Drum Broker, an online boutique store for drum samples and sound design. It is a network of composers, producers, sound designers and beat makers making available their high-quality material to the new generations of urban music producers for an affordable price of 19 to 60 USD against the common industry's behaviour to keep the producer's secrets and raw materials under lock and key. Some drum kits on this site are amazing - especially the collections from the four producers that are briefly presented in the following paragraphs. I regularly use the material of those outstanding talents available on https://hiphopdrumsamples.com next to my self-created sounds and kits. Be prepared for stunning credit lists of Jake One, !llmind, Cardiak and Beat Butcha!
Credits: 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, The Weeknd, J. Cole, G-Unit, Ghostface Killah, E-40, Young Buck, Freeway, T.I., The Game, Rick Ross, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and others.
Grammy nominee Jake One, already mentioned in one of my previous blog article Taste It! - My "Funk Ya Soul" Spotify Playlist, is an American hip-hop record producer from Seattle, Washington. In 1992, he started making music with a Casio keyboard. Later he became part of the G-Unit production team and is more recently forming the funk duo Tuxedo, together with Mayer Hawthorne.
Credits: Andy Mineo, Kanye West, Drake, J. Cole, Dr. Dre, Ludacris, 50 Cent, G-Eazy, and others.
!llmind is an American producer and songwriter living in Brooklyn, New York. He was born and grown up in New Jersey; his father was a musician as well. Around the age of 13, he used his father's equipment to make his first beats, developed his interest in hip-hop and started producing music in 1997. Two years later he began to take the production work more serious and started sampling hip-hop records and jazz and soul from his dad's old vinyl collection. Until now, he already was nominated four times for a Grammy Award.
Credits: J. Cole, Drake, Joe Budden, Lloyd Banks, Freeway, Rick Ross, Wale, Eminem, D-Block, Fabolous, Dr. Dre, Red Cafe, Meek Mill, DJ Khaled, among others.
Cardiak is an American record producer from New Jersey who started his career in 2008. Two years later he got his first major placement - Lloyd Bank's "Start it up". In 2013, he received his first Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Album because of his productions "Amsterdam" and "Diced Pineapples" on Rick Ross' album "God Forgives, I don't". Two years later, Cardiak won his first Grammy in the category Best Rap Album based on his work on Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP 2".
Credits: Rick Ross, Mobb Depp, Jadakiss, Xzibit, Sean Price, Tony Yayo, Ne-Yo, Lloyd Banks, Mac Miller, and more.
Beat Butcha is a Los Angeles based record producer from the United Kingdom. Being a teenager, he started djing that later resulted in him producing hometown hip-hop acts. Later, he got in touch with Sean Price who requested some of Butcha's beats for his "Mic Tyson" album. That collaboration opened the doors to projects with a long list of hip-hop superstars generated by constantly producing over the last 15 years and made Beat Butcha the go-to producer for boom-bap street sound.
By using other producer's material such as drum kits, you should keep in mind to establish your style over the time and to create your sounds, so you do not end up like a cheap copy-cat of the big names. From my point of view, those materials offered on those websites are a great help to start in the beat-making and production business but should be seen as educational material to motivate us to create our unique material. I know it is convenient to pick some pre-selected files from a folder but why not being more creative from time to time? ;)
Have fun producing the next urban hits! :) See you next time.