I recently sat down with South Florida rapper/singer/songwriter Mike SB to discuss his selection process when searching for hip hop beats for sale. This blog post is a transcript of our conversation. I hope Mike’s insights provide guidance to up and coming rap artists who may get overwhelmed with the multitude of hip hop beats for sale available today.
Where Do You Go To Find Hip Hop Beats To Buy?
“I first started looking for beats on SoundCloud when it was like the place because there wasn’t all these digital streaming platforms with hip hop beats for sale as much competing the way they are now. It really wasn’t there yet and there used to be a ‘go page’ or an explore page on SoundCloud. I think there still is, but you used to be able to go on there and just see a live stream of all these [profiles]. You’d be able to find producers so quickly because the algorithm was showing a lot more like cool stuff at that time. It wasn’t even people I followed.
It was like the explore page for people you don’t follow. They just knew what I liked so it was just showing me a bunch of stuff. I networked with a lot of the artists and producers and composers that produced my catalog all off SoundCloud. Like one of my more streamed songs ‘Love More’ was produced by a kid named miaz who was a SoundCloud producer. I liked one of his beats and I reached out like ‘yo let me use this.’ So just to the fact that SoundCloud is cool and that was how the game was.
But nowadays I have beats left and right that I could pick from. I’ve come a long way from how I used to look for hip hop beats for sale. Nowadays I’m looking for beats on YouTube and I’m looking for beats on Beatstars. Those are really the two places. And then I’m getting emails or I’m making something. And if it’s not one of those things then I’m not making music. Which is kind of the bad thing, too. That’s why I’ve been picking up the guitar more and trying to self-produce. I don’t want to rely on the hope that there’s a beat out there that’s going to represent how I feel creatively at the time. I want to make music off of how I feel.”
What’s Your YouTube Search Process? Do You Literally Type In ‘[INSERT ARTIST] Type Beat?’
“Yeah because how else am I gonna find it? I think it’s either that or if you just type in like ‘hip hop beats for sale 2020’ you end up getting some off-brand not even cool beats. [With type beats] you can narrow down and be super niche with what you’re looking for. But yeah, literally like, you know, ‘Don Toliver type beat,’ ‘Mac Miller type beat.’ That’s how ‘Crab Cakes’ came out. A dude named Sekko who is producing on there. He posted a Mac Miller ‘Circles’ type beat, you know, like it’s hilarious literally just like that.
If producers want to do something for a dude who’s super picky, have a type beat of everything. Any type beat that you think of, do it. Because I might one day look up like a Jack Johnson type beat. Every day is different as an artist. Even as a producer, as a human, so some days I feel like Lil Uzi. Some days I feel like Mac Miller. Some days I feel like Jack Johnson. Other days I feel like the Foo Fighters. So I’m always looking for something else.
So just as a tip from an artist’s point of view. If you wanted to make sure that you are getting your beats out there and people are using them, make a type beat for everything. Every freaking genre, every name, every whoever. Whatever you think of, do it because there’s a chance that one day soon I’ll be looking for it.”
Are You Drawn To A Particular Type Of Video Thumbnail Or Title When Browsing YouTube for Hip Hop Beats For Sale?
“Obviously if it looks good, it’s just like in real life. Anything that looks better more than likely I’m going to be drawn to it so I think that’s a given. Definitely make it look good but it has to sound good. You can have the trashiest title and the trashiest thumbnail and then if the beat’s bangin’ and it’s what I’m looking for then screw everybody else because I don’t care about any of that. I think that’s the point, right?
I don’t care but I could see how that would be a thing because I [can see how producers] really want to target these people and really want to make it work and be effective. But like dude, I don’t think of any of that. I type in ‘type beat’ just because I think that’s the only way. But I’m definitely clicking through each one. I’m clicking through a lot of them, but if it looks better I’m more inclined to [click] but it’s got to sound good overall. If it looks good but then you’re trash, you did one thing good but you got to do the other. I’m not that picky on the on the marketing aspect of it but [your beat has to] sound good. It shouldn’t be clipping in my ears. It shouldn’t be breaking my ears at half volume because it’s too loud. Everything should just be clean.”
Do You Think Artists Should Stick To Simpler Beats To Give Them More Room To Express Themselves?
“Yeah that’s super, super key. I think you get stuck with what you got if you don’t know how to play an instrument or self-produce or do anything then you really got to look and find [beats that fit you]. A lot of people I know spend a lot of time looking for beats. I actually get stuck with what I get so your finished product [as a producer] is what I get to work with, but in reality I’m just starting a product. So I always start with half of the picture painted. I actually think it should be the other way around.
I’m always thinking I have ideas in my head that make me want to go make music but the beat drives me on how to write and continue to write and choose the records that I write to. They’ve got to hit me a certain type of way that inspires me to continue off of the initial idea. So it’s really like you know it’s hard to put an algorithm to it. I like to work with nothing but a drum loop. Give me a drum loop. I almost think it should be backwards. Instead of me working with a totally finished product, I think we should just pick out the lane I want to go and then strip it all down so I could build from drums or like you know ground floor you know building bricks of this beat and then we can build the record together.”
What Advice Do You Have For Up And Coming Artists?
“Trust your gut number one. But you’re going to want to doubt it often as a human because you’re new to this. Or maybe you haven’t like seen success with your ideas in that particular section yet. But yeah, trust your gut and trust your ideas and try more. If you don’t try then you’ll never know. And you might even think you know but never tried so then you’re really in a bad position.
So definitely try and do stuff because it doesn’t matter and failing is cool and making a bunch of records that never come out is cool because they’re layups in the gym. How many shots do you shoot in practice before you even get in the game? You shoot more shots in practice than you do in the game because you don’t get a lot of time in the game maybe, so you got to be able to take those just shots in the gym, just making a bunch of records just to do it because if you don’t do something a lot then you don’t get good.
That’s what I tell people a lot they’re like ‘Oh Mikey you’re so good’ and I’m like ‘Yeah, well, you just met me. You should have met me like five years ago. You wouldn’t have liked it more than likely than not.’ It takes time to get good and it’s not gonna happen from just sitting there and waiting to get good. It’s doing things, taking these shots in the gym like I’m saying whether you’re a producer, a businessman, actor, artist, whatever. Definitely just trust your gut and fuck everybody because nobody knows shit.
Just keep your head down and just make make music if you’re if you’re making music. Just do your thing and and you’re gonna make some cool shit and then know it’s cool before everybody else thinks it’s cool and then you’re good. That’s it, that’s self-belief. Invest in yourself. It takes money to make money. Keep your shit professional. Brand yourself. Look at what a brand is and build your brand and like know that you’re a brand and know that you’re a business and it’s not just some fuck around shit if you don’t want it to just be. It could be a real thing, so I think that’s important, too.”
If you’re an artist looking for hip hop beats for sale, be sure to check out my beat store. Big thank you to Mike SB for sitting down for this interview. I hope you’ve found it insightful. Peace. – luke4pres