I know bugger all about producing music, but I do know quite a few producers. Due to that fact I'm going to be very careful what I say in case I wake up smothered.
The other day I noticed on Hip Hop Is Read numerous Sample CDs and 'Production Kits' popping up - everyone's tools are on there from Dilla to Swizz Beats to Kanye to Timbaland to the Neptunes to Dre. Kicks, snares, synths, horns, piano sounds - you name it. "Amazing, I'm there!" I hear you cry. You've probably even stopped reading what I'm writing and are busy downloading it all now. If you're still here but planning on copping all that stuff, budding producer types, what exactly are you going to do with it? (*Don't get me wrong by the way, it's a dope blog)
Here's what I'm trying to say. I played Sticks and Stones by Morgan Zarate ft Eska to a friend (because I LOVE that tune), and he instantly stuck his nose up at it and asked me to turn it off, claiming the drums were Dilla's and that's breaking the golden producers rule. He played me the two clips together and to be honest I still don't hear it - must be a producer thing. I still think Zarate is a huge name to watch out for in future (with a serious arsenal already). It would be so easy though - just to cherry pick from all of your favourite producers - surely you couldn't fail to come up with something amazing? Thing is, no one really wants to hear a raft of music that 'sounds a bit like'. Everyone and their cat has been hailed as the 'new Dilla' lately - because we're desperately hoping and searching for someone who will have the kind of talent and originality to create amazing music for every occasion we're almost guaranteed to like for years and years. I'm not expecting there to be a new Dilla - and I can't imagine anyone would want to be described as that (poor Samon Kawamura - no pressure love). Surely the goal is to be the first "you"? That's why I don't understand what the production kits are for.
*What would have happened if...?
On the flip side of that however - I come from a dance background and fully understood that learning techniques (ballet, Graham, Humphrey, Cunningham etc) set you free to develop your own highly informed movement language. I imagine studying some of the masters of hip hop production is important to upcoming producers too - maybe having the sounds broken down will help with that? But then, who did the 'masters' study? Hip Hop has only been around 30 odd years and is based on samples so surely it's about finding great samples, studying a wide range of music, and learning to work with live instrumentation to add that original element to your work?
I don't know, there are a million arguments in there, but all I have to say is cue FLOATING POINTS. Whilst everyone else is on video game samples, re-mixing Dilla and trying to be the most glitched out mofo on the block this man is on Bartok & Stravinsky whilst doing a PHd in Neuro Science. 10 points for originality, and 11 out of 10 for quality. Trust me I'll be seeing what treats I can garner for you asap from this gargantuan in the making...