Type Beats

How “Type Beats” Have Changed Hip-Hop Production

Jacques: For new rappers, “type beats” are an easy way to get into the game.
This “style” of production is a marketing tactic producers use to attract artists
seeking to emulate another musician’s sound.
‘Type beats’ are ubiquitous on YouTube, Soundcloud and initially Soundclick.
There are marketplaces like BeatStars and AirBit that
specialize in helping producers turn a profit.
The beats can either be leased or purchased outright.
This helps producers build a fanbase by forgoing the traditional system
of sharing beats with an artist in hopes of a placement.
It also provides new musicians with a cheaper way to make music.
Lil Mosey: I was trying to find something that was like catchy, something hype.
It was like a Lil Uzi Type beat or something.
The first thing that popped in my head, was, 'Pull up and wet the block.' So I was like 'Oh, Okay' and I ran with it.
Jacques: This is something Bryson Tiller knows well.
Jacques: Even established acts have found beats in this way.
A$AP Rocky: I typed in A$AP Rocky type beat and it was just, "Fine Whine" is what I found.
It wasn’t named that, I forgot what it was called.
That night we went to the studio added some drums and man there you have it.
Jacques: There have been some flash in the pan successes.
“Panda” and “Trap Queen,” two Billboard Hot 100 top 5’s,
were purchased online for relatively nothing.
In fact, “Panda’s” producer, Menace originally named it a
“Meek Mill Ace Hood Type Beat” and sold it for just $200.
Most recently, Tay-K’s team found “The Race” on SoundCloud labeled as a
“Pi’erre Bourne x Playboi Carti type beat.”
While most cuts barely scratch the Soundcloud top 50, a handful of producers like Menace
and Izak have charted, earned production deals, placements and a following.
Izak: I started uploading type beats and I keep getting, like, this following on YouTube
that keep pushing me and I was like, ‘Okay.’
Jacques: But not everyone is on board.
In 2016, in a series of deleted tweets, producer 9th Wonder railed against the practice and
in February 2018 frequent Young Thug collaborator Alex Tumay tweeted quote:
Making music is more accessible than ever,
any sound is available with a keystroke,
and people still choose to make type beats. people still choose to make type beats.
Detractors share a complaint that this type of production waters down the craft.
In November 2017, producer !llmind told Noisey that:
“… it opens [the producer] up to the kind of artists who are looking for 'Drake-type beats,'
rather than doing something original."
Ultimately the discussion is art vs commerce
and ‘type beat’ producers say they're serving a thriving market.
Curtiss King: And would you know that I made more money in one year than I made in ten years, ten years, pursuing placements.
Jacques: As for the lack of innovation, producer DJ Pain 1 told Genius quote:
"Granted, some producers jump on trends and try to produce the popular sound...
But that's been going on long before selling beats online.
People blame type beats for uncreativity—uncreativity has existed forever."
Besides, historically, savvy producers have created tracks with specific artists in mind.
Jacques: Love it or hate it, the ‘type beat’ game boasts thousands of producers
just trying to make a buck or a name for themselves.
And if they have to game the system, well, what can you do?
But what happens when supply exceeds demand?
I’m Jacques Morel with Genius News,
bringing you the meaning and the knowledge behind the music.

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