This is Amir Said's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Amir Said's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Amir Said
Recent Activity
Complaint against Lamar gets it wrong. More proof that a compulsory license for sound recordings is needed. By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) A rapper uses a sample from a song of another artist to create a new song — said rapper places new song on their free mixtape, then gets sued for copyright infringement by the copyright owners of the song that the rapper sampled. We’ve been here before. We’ll be here again. The latest incarnation of this routine involves Kendrick Lamar and his song “I Do This,” featured on his 2009 mixtape The Kendrick Lamar EP, and the 1975 Bill... Continue reading
The gateway record for my path to deeper diggin'. By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) Gwen McCrae Just as there are gateway beat machines and beatmaking tools, there are also gateway diggin' records. Gwen McCrae's "90% of Me is You" served as such a song for me. Before I heard this record, my approach to diggin' for records was casual. I would search for records and recording artists that were popular, or at least the ones that I had faintly heard of. When I picked up Gwen McCrae's album Rocking Chair, the goal in mind was for one song, "90% of Me... Continue reading
DJ Supa Dave's soulful beat merges with Kool G Rap's poignant rhymes, exhibiting top quality rap music. By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) Kool G Rap sits atop the food chain of the complex, street poetics, and reality rap rhyme styles. In fact, more than 20 years ago, it was Kool G Rap—along with Rakim—who laid down arguably the most influential rhyme scheme foundation that only a handful of rappers (notably Nas, Ghostface, AZ, Black Thought, and OC) have been able to decipher and admirably incorporate into their own flows today. Here, on "Sad" (produced by DJ Supa Dave), Kool G rap... Continue reading
Understanding the music industry's loan-and-own contract model and why it should be prompting further independence, especially when music makers are more self-contained than ever before. By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) A film studio buys a script from a screenwriter. The screenwriter is paid a fee and the studio owns the script, and as such, the copyright to the script. Imagine if the film studio said to the screenwriter, "We're going to loan you money to write a script. When you're finished, we'll own the script and you'll owe us the money that we loaned you." A publisher buys a manuscript from... Continue reading
Marco polo on the anatomy of a producer, how hip hop and beatmaking helped save his life, how he’s redefining beatmaking’s greatest tradition and making stock sounds sound like record samples, why technology’s a ho, why he finally gave in and began selling sound kits, and much more. By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) Photo credit: Amir Said © 2016 Editor’s note: This is an epic long read! But worth it. This interview contains a combination of a series of interviews I conducted with Marco Polo (on several dates) over the past four years, the lengthiest and most recent being in mid-December,... Continue reading
The value of making self-contained beats and rhymes, and how (why) I turned down a major label record deal. By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) There's a familiar feeling that all unknown artists have. It's a feeling of hope — that one day, people will know and appreciate your music. For most, that hope will dissolve. Some artists are dope, but fail to ever seriously or consistently put in the work, time, and effort it takes to breakthrough. Some artists are just not that good, but they refuse to take stock of their talent (or lack there of) and remain steadfast in... Continue reading
New BeatTips backed music series poised to help beatmakers advance their careers in music; to be funded by sales of The BeatTips Manual and The Art of Sampling. By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) Dear BeatTips Community, Today kicks off a week-long sales drive of The BeatTips Manual and The Art of Sampling. For more than 10 years, The BeatTips Manual has been a beacon of music, business, and cultural knowledge, and it has helped countless people in their pursuit of more skillful beatmaking and a career in music. This has earned The BeatTips Manual a reputation for being the most trusted... Continue reading
Legendary Brooklyn DJ/Producer DJ Clark Kent talks everything from the creative processes involved in beatmaking to the modern realities of the music industry. By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) In doing research for what would become the Fourth Edition of The BeatTips Manual, I sat down with DJ Clark Kent (excerpts from this interview were previously published in said edition.) One of the music industry’s most recognized and respected insiders, Clark, always measured and forthright, wears many hats — He’s a DJ, a label executive, a manager, a talent scout, a consultant, a marketing expert, and, of course, a producer. He knows... Continue reading
Striking a balance between referencing music from the past and the here and now. By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) In the movie Mo' Better Blues, Spike Lee’s exploration of a gifted trumpeter dealing with the internal battle of playing music that’s true to his heart vs. what’s commercially viable in contemporary jazz, there's a scene where Bleek, the beleaguered trumpeter/bandleader played by Denzel Washington, leads the quintet in a fun and entertaining hip hop-inspired composition. The purpose of the piece and performance, as we learn in the film, is to give the people "what they want.” Of course, the clear implication... Continue reading
Presets Get the Job Done, But Customized Sounds Help You Create Your Own Style and Sound By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) An exclusive excerpt from The BeatTips Manual, 6th Edition by Amir Said (Sa'id) You know the deal: drum sounds are fundamental. Whether you’ve made your 10th or 1,000th beat this week, you’ve learned the importance of dope drum sounds. And when it comes to drum sounds, you can get away with a limited number of non-descript kicks. But without a distinct group of snare sounds, your beats might suffer. Why? Because since the advent of the MPC 2000, widespread sample... Continue reading
Concepts, themes, and theories over gear, equipment, and plug-ins — It’s about the beatmaker and his setup, not the setup and the beatmaker. By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) All musicians have their preference for instruments as well as the brand behind the instrument. But most musicians (or at least the more capable ones) also know that without talent and skills — the kind earned from understanding fundamental music concepts and themes as well as the prioritized concepts, themes, and theories within their chosen genre — it doesn’t matter which instrument you choose, you’re likely to make sub-par music. Beatmakers are no... Continue reading
Stevie Wonder gives popular Beatles tune more soul and adds new punch and feel. Although a cover is not sampling per se, it's exactly what transformation is all about. By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) The art of sampling is not a (complete) reinterpretation of someone's work in the same way that a traditional cover version is. In sampling, snippets and phrases are literally extracted, recontextualized, and refashioned into a new musical piece. Still, there is a link — subtle as it may be — between sampling and the ways in which one musician is inspired to reinterpret the work of another.... Continue reading
Stevie Wonder Gives Popular Beatles Tune Some More Soul and Adds New Punch and Feel. Although a Cover is Not Sampling Per Se, It's Exactly What Transformation is All About. By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) The art of sampling is not a (complete) reinterpretation of someone's work in the same way... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2016 at The Art of Sampling
Right on, Amir !
Sa'id, Author of the Books The BeatTips Manual and The Art of Sampling, Puts Out New Single and is Set to Release Album that Aims to Be "Meaningful" and "Demonstrates What's in his Books" By G. Ferguson BROOKLYN, NY — December 9, 2015 — Sa'id (Amir Said), founder of BeatTips,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2015 at The Art of Sampling
How Alex Black and EMI Just Became Friends of the Sample-Based Musician Community, and How they May Have Saved an Important Piece of the Music Industry’s Sample Clearance System By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) In September, 2015, EMI, the world’s largest music publisher, announced it’s sample amnesty program. Basically what EMI... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2015 at The Art of Sampling
Steady Swing-Beat Anchors this Little-Known Gladys Knight & The Pips Gem By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) One of the greatest benefits of being a beatmaker (particularly one that scours through scores of old records) is discovering "new" musical gems by some of the titans of recorded music. Such is the case... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2015 at The Art of Sampling
Hard Hitting, No-Samples-Featured Beat by Dr. Dre and Mike Elizondo Follows Sampling's Lead By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) One thing that often goes overlooked in discussions — or debates — about sampling is just how influence the art of sampling has on beatmakers (prouders) and other musicians who feature sampling as... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2015 at The Art of Sampling
Brian Eno's Rhythmic Genius — by way of Fela Kuti — Produces Talking Heads' Most Enigmatic Song By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) A note about MusicStudy. MusicStudy, i.e. the detailed listening and study of music, is the most important form of practice for all musicians. Because practice is the most vital... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2015 at The Art of Sampling
While You Can Never Be Certain What You're Gonna Find on Any Given Record, There Are Some Helpful Clues By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) As for what to look for? Absolutely you want to check: The Front and Back Album Cover The album cover is obviously the first thing that you... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2015 at The Art of Sampling
When it Comes to Sampling, the Source Material Sampled Need Not Dictate the Subject in the New Song By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) When Kanye West sampled Nina Simone’s heart-wrenching version of “Strange Fruit,” a 1939 song about lynching originally recorded by Billie Holiday — a song some today consider to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2015 at The Art of Sampling
Using Your Composite Idea as a Guide to Capture the Essence and Feel You Envision By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) Eight years ago, my father died. He was the first person to introduce me to music and to teach me about vinyl records. Because of his interest in stereo systems, premium... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2015 at The Art of Sampling
First-Hand Experience with and Homage to Black American Music Tradition was Part of the Secret to Elvis' Success, Not Culture-Vulture Style Appropriation By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) For the better part of the last 15 years, I've encountered people who either adore Elvis or hate him. This has always struck me... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2015 at The Art of Sampling
Poly-Sample Sound Collage Laced with Agreeable Rhythms By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) James Brown’s album Black Caesar (the sound track to the motion picture Black Caesar) is a staple in many DJs and beatmakers record collections. (I have three copies of this album myself). And no matter how many times I... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2015 at The Art of Sampling