Producer Or Beatmaker: Does It Matter?

It’s interesting if you really think about it. Are you a producer or a beatmaker? To some, they easily tell people that they are a producer, such as an EDM producer or Hip Hop producer, but what about calling yourself a beatmaker?
Beatmakers are those that make beats, but a producer produces beats too. Right?
I’ve always looked at it like this:
  • A producer produces music.
  • A beatmaker makes beats.

The question is, does it matter what you call yourself?
Many times I’ve been asked by friends what it is that I do with all the gear I have at home, and I usually just tell them that I produce music. It’s not that I’m saying that I’m a producer, it’s just that I’m trying to break it down for them into simple terms because they don’t know what the hell a beatmaker is.
Let’s say you’re at a family gathering and your aunt asks you about your “music”. What do you tell her? If you tell her that you’re a beatmaker then she will have a puzzled look on her face and then you’ll have to spend the next ten minutes explaining to her what “beats” are. “Oh you mean those headphones I see those young people wearing all over town?”, she will say. As you shake your head, you will continue to get frustrated at the fact that you opened your mouth to a world of confusion.
I know that traditionally a producer is someone that produces an entire music production, from start to finish. It could mean that you compose, create, mix, arrange, and direct (yes, direct) the whole song. You record the vocalist and coach them on how to sing or rap certain notes, and thus, you are considered a music producer. But can’t you be a music producer that just makes beats? I say yes!
The reason why is because you can easily say that you’re a producer of beats, not necessarily just music. The word “producer” implies that you produced something. It doesn’t mean that a painter who “produced” a painting can say he makes beats, it’s just that in the musical context, you “produced” a piece of music, so who cares that it’s just a beat?
I’m not ashamed to say that at this point in my life I just make beats, and I don’t record musicians or vocalists. But that doesn’t mean that I’m solely a beatmaker, does it? I still consider myself a producer because I produce beats. Mainly though, I call myself a producer because I find it’s much easier to tell people that rather than complicate things that don’t need to be complicated!
If you take a look at an audio engineer, how would that person explain their job title to someone who doesn’t know anything about music? Back in the early 90’s I was studying to be an audio engineer, and when people would ask me what was new, I would tell them simply, “I’m taking courses so I can work in a music studio”. Isn’t that better than saying “audio engineer”? The minute you say the word “engineer”, they might think you’re doing some sort of lab work, or maybe even be on the CSI payroll, who knows.
All the members that post their beats in the marketplace would traditionally be considered beatmakers, since they’re just selling beats, but I don’t think they would prefer to be called that over the word “producer”. Would you?
Either a producer or a beatmaker, it doesn’t really matter unless you’re talking to someone that has no clue about either, that’s when you need to be very clear and concise so as to avoid any unwanted drama. Since I started telling people that I produce music, I’ve never had any sort of problems. In fact, by saying it like that, it always opens up a conversation, usually with them asking, “what sort of music do you produce?”. Think about THAT next time you want to talk to some hot chick nearby!
So, what do YOU call yourself?

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