Why Being A Hip Hop Producer Sucks
Paul says, “After what seemed like an endless stream of promotional hype, 50 Cent’s Animal Ambition, finally hit stores and streaming outlets yesterday (June 3). His fifth official studio record, it comes almost a full five years after his last LP was released, and if it sounds a little dated, that’s probably because it is.
In a series of interviews at XXLMag.com, the producers who worked on the album described what went into making each song. The overarching theme is that very few of them knew what was going on with the project until it was actually time for it to be released. Over the course of five years, one of the producers had given up on making records altogether.
According to the interviews, Charli Brown Beatz made the track for “Don’t Worry Bout It” in 2008, sent it to 50 in 2009, and didn’t hear the song until it was on the radio in March. Another producer, Frank Dukes, who made the track for “Hold On,” had sent over the instrumental five years ago, and wasn’t aware of the song’s existence until 8-9 months ago. Steve Alien’s beat for “Everytime I Come Around” is also roughly five-years-old.; so old, in fact, that by the time 50’s label came calling he had ditched beatmaking, and couldn’t even find the files.
The decentralization of the recording business has been good for many things, but it’s been particularly bad for record producers. The hip-hop genre has been affected more than most. Many hip-hop beatmakers craft their beats on their own, then send them out as instrumentals or half-completed ideas— occasionally with demoed choruses on them— in hopes that an artist will like the tracks and record songs to them.
Advancements in recording technology have put the power of entire recording studios inside of a laptop, allowing artists to make records on their own, without any input from the producer i.e. the person who made the music. The songs get finished, cataloged in a folder or on an iTunes playlist, and filed away until they’re ready to be released.”
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