The 5 Best Beats of 2013
At number 5 we start with the conceptually beautiful "telegraph ave. ("Oakland" by Lloyd). Partners in crime Donald Glover & Ludwig Goransson deliver an 808 bass line and intuitive use of equipment to snare a nostalgic sound. I had the pleasure of speaking to Goransson about the beat and he commented on the use of an iPhone microphone to capture Donald's voice, essentially making him sound like a sample. It worked wonders, the overlap of Donalds crooning on the aged sonics works a treat!
At #4, Noah "40" Shebib literally flips the script on a Whitney Houston track for the intro to Drake's album Nothing Was The Same. The elaborate introduction is comprised of not two, but three different instrumentals as "40" flexes his full diversity as a producer. A new feature of Producer Genius includes an interactive Soundcloud breakdown, with such a complex beat be sure to check out the official Producer Genius breakdown here, just like 10,000 other people did!
Speaking to our very own Notero, Push detailed the aesthetic of the beat; explaining it's similarity to RZA and Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. Arguably the best "traditional" hip hop beat of the year, produced by Don Cannon & Kanye West; the raw, dirty knocking of the drums brings Push to a whole new level of wordplay. In the words of the King Pin:
You can't else you can do on that beat except rap on it.
In one of the most underrated bangers of the year, Just Blaze and Baauer team up and take our #2 spot. This extraordinary EDM track features banging drums, a shifting bass line and all the synths in the world. Just Blaze even convinced Hov to sample him on the track, creating an infectious hook to go with the instrumental. The video, directed by Nabil paints the perfect picture of an interesting piece of art, be sure to watch and follow the story!
In undoubtedly one of the most controversial productions of the year, Kanye does what he does best and takes two polarising samples, mashes them together and creates something no one else could. The emphasis of Nina Simone's rendition of "Strange Fruit", a song with deep racist connotations gives the instrumental depth while the blaring horns of TNGHT have "Banger of the Year" written all over them, perfectly complimenting the piano and well-synchronized drums!
Edit song description to add:
- Historical context: what album the song's on, how popular it was
- The sample used for the beat — use WhoSampled.com and wikipedia as references