The 4 Elements Of A Boom Bap Beat

Like every genre of music. There are certain elements that give a genre its particular sound. Once you have become familiar with the core elements of your genre of choice, you then have the ability to create a song from that genre. In the case of a Boom Bap Beat, there are four elements that define the sound of a Boom Bap Beat.

In todays post I am going to go over the four elements of a Boom Bap Beat

The 4 Elements of A Boom Bap Beat

1) The Sample Or Main Melody

The main melody of a boom bap beat usually is composed of a musical sample or a personally created musical melody. Some producers like Easy Mo Bee and J Dilla are known for replaying musical elements of a sample on their own music equipment.

(Check out The Notorious B.I.G.’s- I Love The Dough (feat. Jay Z and Angela Winbush) to hear Eazy Mo Bee replay Rene and Angela’s- I Love You More.)

(Check out Nine Yards- Always Find A Way (J Dilla Remix feat. J Dilla)  to hear J Dilla replay Minnie Ripperton’s- Inside My Love)

2) The Drums

The drums of a Boom Bap Beat are what give the beat its groove and overall sound. The sound and rhythm of Boom Bap Hip Hop was largely influenced by a record called the The Honey Drippers- Impeach The President. The drum pattern; with 1/8th note timed drums with a lot of swing, ghost kick notes, and open hi-hats, would largely influence producers like Marley Marl in the 1980’s. And once large producers of the 1980’s took wind of the records sound and rhythm, it would become the staple sound of boom bap hip hop.

3) A Bassline

A Bassline is preferable, but not needed. The Bassline of a Boom Bap Beat; as well as any song in general, typically acts as an integral part of rhythm. However, you can substitute a Bassline with kicks. A good example of this is A Tribe Called Quest’s- Lyrics To Go.

4) A Hook

A hook as well as a chorus, are separate musical melodies from the main melody of a beat or song. In Hip Hop, a hook will usually come in at the beginning of the beat/song and at around 16-32 bars of the main melody. The hook draws in the listener and allows an mc to say a repeated phrase. If the beat is an instrumental, it is simply to draw in the listener.

To learn more about the four elements of a Boom Bap Beat. It may be helpful if you check out this video 🙂

The Takeaway

Once you have learned the four elements of a Boom Bap Beat and became familiar with using them, you then know all the tools needed to create a Boom Bap Beat. I hope this post as well as short video was helpful for those of you wanting to create an Old School Boom Bap Beat.


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