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Old School Hip Hop: A How To Primer


Gathering a bunch of old vinyl albums and scratching them with all your strength, is not what performing hip hop music is all about. To create a perfectly unique sound that people will crave for, one must possess a sense for the rhythms and talent in mixing everthing together into an excellent blend.

There are hundreds of books out there, telling stories of the old school hip hop scene, its music and techniques. Reading about it, and performing it, are two totaly different things, one can give you info and the other the actual experience.

If you want to perform this type of music, you need to start by listening. Find copies of the original records and listen deeply to how the beats flow with the lyrics. While listening, try to distinguish between the words and the beat. Now, you begin to understand old school hip hop music.

The beat is the heart of hip hop music sound. The crowd is kept listening and dancig to a flow of lyrics carried along the sequences and samples. Establishing your own method of mixing is the next step of performing old school hip hop music. The beats have to flow through the sample tracks, carrying listeners on a rhythm going to the next sample cluster, over and over until the end of the song.

If the beats were the heart of old school hip hop music, then the lyrics were the soul. If the lyrics cannot appeal to the listeners ears, then even the most awesome beats can not get you anywhere. The roots of old school hip hop were in the poetry brought to this country from immigrants, and to do it right, you need to forge a connection to those roots.

To create the right mix and produce that old school hip hop sound, of course, you will be needing some gear. The high end stuff could be expensive, but able to deliver good results. To start, you will need to have a sampler of industry standard. A tool that enables you to record fragments of rhythms and beats in high quality and without distortion. Then you’ll need a sequencer to fine tune the beats on to rhythm.

To further your recreation of old school hip hop music you will now need a top quality mixer, one that is far removed from the old style DJ mix stations as you can get. Samples, sequences, this thing will allow you to synthesize everything together into a good stereo sound. The only thing your missing now is a multi-track recording gear to put altogether the beats and sounds.

If low on funds, you could always turn to your home computer. There are software packages out there that will do the work of the studio quality equipment, and will produce a decent sound. Create CDs through your computer and listen to your creations through a good stereo system to see whether you got all of the effects down perfectly or not.

Patience, good listening skills and some creativity will help you on your way to recreating old school hip hop music. Let the flow of the beats carry you and touch your soul with poetry, then, you make your own creations and try to see if you can pay homage to old school hip hop music in your own way.


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