Onyx. Ask any Hip Hop fan about them and they will instantly tell you that when they listen to Onyx’s music, they want to punch a puppy, then break a window, steal a car, drive it into a bank and rob it, get sent to prison, kill the warden, get strapped to the electric chair, all while laughing hysterically.
Emotion plays a big part in how you make music, and it should always be the main thing that drives you to make something special. It should always be about emotion and not just going through the motions.
Older Music Is Still Way Better Than Today’s
You will always hear older people complain about today’s music and how bland it is. Granted, there are a lot of artists that have some good music, but it’s still nowhere near the level of how the music used to be. The big difference is emotion.
With record labels taking over how the music industry operates, it’s no longer about talent or the desire to please the listener, rather, it’s about making money, plain and simple.
For producing music, sadly, a lot of producers have fallen victim of the brainwashing of the record labels and the music industry, and as a result, producers are coming out with mediocre beats. Take a look at any video on YouTube of someone making a beat with Maschine, Ableton, etc. – it’s all the same. Now, that’s not to say that they’re not good at what they do, but the emotion is most likely not there, if at all.
Producing music or making beats, whatever you want to call it, should be full of emotion. When it comes to Rap music, there used to be so many different styles of music that it kept any Rap fan satisfied until they went deaf. If you felt sad, you could listen to smooth beats from DJ Krush, if you felt angry, Onyx was the answer. If you wanted to get political, Public Enemy was there to satisfy your needs.
All of this meant that no matter what emotions you were feeling at the time, there was music there to help you. That also meant that there was tons of music backed by tons of emotion. Today? Nope.
When Producing, Your Emotions Should Always Be The Driving Force
There have been plenty of times when I sat down to make a beat on Maschine and I’m just not feeling it. Either I’m not quite in the mood, or the samples I have loaded up just suck. But there are also other times when I’m angry about something and it doesn’t matter to me what sounds are on the pads, I just hit them and no matter what comes out of the speakers, I love it.
This is because my emotions are the driving force. Have you ever heard Public Enemy’s “Rebel Without A Pause”?
The whole song reeks of emotion and it’s because of the music. But also take a listen to Chuck D and what he’s rapping about, and more importantly, HOW he’s rapping. Emotion. Now, it also helps that Chuck D has a commanding voice, so that’s why even if he’s rapping about adopting a kitten, it will sound hard, but with this song, his delivery goes perfectly with the music.
Even though that song is years old, to this day it makes me want to go nuts and punch something. That’s why I listen to it when I’m working out!
Most of the time when I’m digging for samples, like many other producers I try to find a sample that has a nice loop or pattern. That way it’s a lot simpler to take that part of the sample and loop it up, but also it gives me ideas for other things I can put into my music.
But there are times when the sample I’m using doesn’t involve loops and patterns, but instead it’s just a straight up single note that just sounds good. And I want to use it.
Listen to Raekwon’s “Wisdom Body”. The main sample used is just a piano note but it’s played over and over, and guess what? The song sounds great. It’s emotion.
A True Example Of Emotion In Music
Emotion is important not just in producing music, but in vocals as well. When you have both the production and vocals filled with emotion, that’s when you end up with amazing music that wins Grammys (or at least they used to, now it’s a popularity contest).
The last example I will give you is of Paul McCartney and “The Long And Winding Road”. The music, and especially the way he sings it, it sounds almost like he’s about the break down.