Aug 31

Beat Breakthrough 001: Oddkidout

by in Interviews

Beat Breakthrough talks to different music producers about the beats that were significant in their development. On our first ever instalment we talk to Philly producer Oddkidout about some of the beats that have shaped his progression.

What is the oldest or one of the older beats that you can find? Tell us the story behind it.

Beat Name: Untitled

This is the first beat I’ve ever made. My parents bought me Logic 9 for my 15th birthday, so this beat is about 6 years old. I was so excited, I opened up the program without reading any manuals and literally just started creating. As I was moving things around and programming sounds haphazardly, I was starting to get a feel for the program. I had so much music stored in my head for so many years that when I sat down in the program, it all began to just pour out. I ran downstairs after I made the beat and played it for my parents, who were shocked that I even could figure out the program and create something musical within an hour.

I didn’t sample anything for this beat, but I created it with mainly apple loops (which are royalty free samples that come with Logic). So I hadn’t comprehended Midi yet, but was just starting to drag files onto the grid and learn how to layer and chop. At the time, I was listening to a lot of 90’s hip-hop and jazz, so naturally I was choosing boom bap drums and a vibraphone for the melody. I still think it’s a cool beat. I mean I would never, ever send it to anyone or put it anywhere because it is completely amateur. But, it’s special to me because it’s my first. And I’m proud that my first beat still makes my head nod 6 years later.

Name a beat you have made that represents a turning point in your production career? What made this beat so significant?

Beat name: Amore (feat. GoGo Morrow and Bonic)

I’ve had so many turning points in my production career so far. I love all types of music, so whenever I create a song in a genre that I usually don’t do, it spawns off a whole new direction of creation for me. I literally had a turning point beat two days ago, it’s the best feeling ever because it represents growth. But, I think one of my favorite turning points was when I created my song “Amore (feat. GoGo Morrow and Bonic) on my EP, WITHIN. It was so significant to me because it was the first time that I had created a full song, from start to finish, with vocals on it. And to have GoGo and Bonic be the featured artists was such an amazing look. I was used to creating beats and then dishing them off to other people to use. In this scenario with Amore, I had control over the direction of the song, and was able to bring vocalists in and add them to what I was doing. It also inspired me to be more than a bedroom producer. It showed me that there’s more to just making beats, and that the true art is conjuring up a full package of instrumentation and vocalization. It’s inspired me since then to work in that mindset.

Want to learn how to play ‘Amore’ yourself? Download Melodics and get started today with  a suite of lessons designed by Oddkidout himself.

Feb 23

Melodics Selects: 10 Laid-back and Chill Hip Hop Beats

by in Melodics, Music, New Lesson Tuesdays

We have a laid-back jazz infused hip hop lesson called ‘Vib’ now available on Melodics. The samples for Vib come from the Smokers Unite sample pack on the Loopmasters website and can be downloaded for your own productions.

To mark this release the team has decided to do something a little different and have made a list of some of our favourite laid-back hip hop tracks.

1) MF Doom – Saffron
Original Sample: Sade – Kiss Of Life
Starting off the list is the one and only MF Doom. The masked emcee has rapped over many amazing productions in his career. The track ‘Saffron’ contains a Sade sample and some Special Herbs for Metal Fingers himself.

2) Pete Rock & CL Smooth – They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y)
Original Sample: Tom Scott – Today (Featuring The California Dreamers)
The legendary combination of Pete Rock and CL Smooth released two albums and an EP in the heart of Hip Hop’s golden era. The sampled horn for ‘T.R.OY’ is arguably its most iconic element.

3) Souls Of Mischief – 93 til Infinity
Original Sample: Billy Cobham – Heather
‘Yeah, this is how we chill from 93 ’til’.. The lyrics to the hook say it all. The original sample is sped up significantly, most likely on a SP-1200. This was common on jazz samples at the time because the SP-1200 did not have much sample time.

4) Nas – Still Dreaming (Featuring Kanye West & Chrisette Michele)
Original Sample: Diana Ross – The Interim
One of my favourite tracks from Nas’ Hip Hop Is Dead album. The verse and hook from Kanye West sit beautifully with Chrisette Michele’s vocals. Oh and how can we forget that Diana Ross sample capping off a truly beautiful track.

5) GZA – Beneath The Surface
Original Sample: Jean Plum – Back To You
The third track of GZA’s 1999 album with the same name lives up to its name sonically. This track has an almost atmospheric and film score feel to it that compliment the lyrics.

6) The Herbaliser – A Mother For Your Mind
Original Sample: Roy Budd – The Car Chase 
A hip hop duo out of South London. They are renown for there jazz influenced productions. Other notable career accomplishments include making the soundtrack for the movie ‘Snatch’.

7) Nightmares on Wax – Les Nuits
Original Sample Of The Bass Line: Quincy Jones – Summer In The City 
Sampling one of the most heavily sampled tracks of all time Leeds producer Nightmares On Wax put together this song back in 1999. As the video suggests this song is perfect for going on long scooter rides and singing in a laundromat.

8) Flying Lotus – Tea Leaf Dancers (Feat. Andreya Triana)
Original Sample: Free Design – Light My Fire

Flying Lotus is no stranger to the experimental. His adventurous productions have made him a household name amongst beat makers around the world. Tea Leaf Dancers utilises a Free Design sample and has sultry vocals from British songtress Andreya Triana.

9) Lupe Fiasco – Dear Fall
Original Sample: Weldon Irvine – Morning Sunrise
Many may have heard this beat initially from Jay Z’s song ‘Dear Summer’. Lupe Fiasco also went in on this Weldon Irvine sampled beat dropping some incredible bars for his version ‘Dear Fall’.

10) Apollo Brown – Blue Ruby
Original Sample: Unknown
Our final beat is a pure instrumental from Detroit based Apollo Brown. Apollo was fired from his office job in 2009 and gave himself one year to make it as a producer. Three months later after the release of his first LP ‘Clouds’ he was signed to Mello Music Group.

So what do you think of our list? Is there something that we missed? If so let us know in the comments.

Next week we have some more lessons from our growing team of Melodics Artists. You will have to wait and see who it is. But I can promise that it will be ‘Massive’!