Nas – What It Is (Produced By DJ Khalil) Beat Breakdown + Demo

Aftermath staff producer DJ Khalil breaks down the making of “What It Is” by Nas, including how the sample was replayed, chopped in Recycle, and recreated using Reason. He also goes onto talk about his passion for European progressive rock records, the importance of having your track mixed correctly, and the upcoming release of Dr. … Read more

Pete Rock Deep Crates 2 Digging Interview (Video)

Just got my hands on a copy of Pete Rock’s NY’s Finest and can’t wait to deliver a review, which may appear sometime later tonight or tomorrow depending on how well my luck goes with the Chicago Cubs ticket lottery this Friday. In the meantime, to celebrate the release of NY’s Finest, here’s a clip … Read more

Kev Brown Production Commentary Vol. 1 & 2

Yet another reason why we love Kev Brown. This has been floating around for while, but has been a bit hard to find lately.  Kev plays instrumentals straight out of his MPC while giving production insight and commentary into how the beat was made and which techniques were used to obtain his sound.  Major respect … Read more

Young Guru & Pete Rock Talk About Audio Harmonics

The rule for learning about Hip-Hop production is pretty much this: When Pete Rock speaks, you better listen. In this interview with Remix Magazine, Pete Rock talks about the importance of harmonics, the overuse of compression, and reveals a few tricks such as pre-eq’ing audio before sampling. Read The Interview I’d also like to mention … Read more

Are Mastering And Compression Killing Sonic Quality?

Author Robert Levine explores the idea that, due to direct technology such as CD’s and mp3’s, music has become overly compressed and too loud for listeners to distinguish sonic subtleties.  This trend is especially interesting when considering the preferred aesthetic quality of Hip-Hop is loudness, particularly when applied to drums, and effects such as compression … Read more