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Amir Said
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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
Stevie Wonder Gives Popular Beatles Tune Some More Soul and Adds New Punch and Feel. Although a Cover and Not Sampling Per Se, It's Exactly What Transformation is All About. By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) Although the art of sampling is usually not a complete reinterpretation of someone's work in the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 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
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,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2015 at The Art of Sampling
Organized Noise is in my top 50; I have respect for them and I dig their music. I'm glad you appreciate the BeatTips Top 30. It's good to revisit pivotal music. And for people who have no knowledge of some of this music, it's great that the BeatTips Top 30 can serve as a gateway for them. —Sa'id
Pioneering Recording Studio and Its Owner Helped Give Hip Hop/Rap Music New Dimension By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) John King, Founder/Owner of Chung King Studios (Photo by Amir Said, Copyright © 2007, 2014 Amir Said) Chung King Studios is quite possibly the most important commercial recording studio in rap’s history. Indeed, before D&D or Unique, or any other top flight New York City recording facility, it was the Mighty Chung King that mostly paved the way for rap music's commercial studio potential. Yet today, very little has been written about the Chung King story and the man behind it. So to... Continue reading
Record Gems with Open Drum Sounds By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) I'm a strong advocate for using custom drum sounds. And although I have no issue with stock drum sounds (I've used stock drums in the past, and I have no problem with using them in the future) I believe that one of the most effective ways of creating your own style and sound is through the use of your own customized drum sounds. That being said, I will be compiling an ongoing list—the BeatTips List of Great Records for Drum Sounds—of ALL of the records that I (and many others)... Continue reading
A "Top" Beatmakers List with a Deeper Meaning and Purpose By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) Whenever lists of this sort appear, they’re generally presented with little or no serious discussion about the list beforehand. Perhaps that’s fine for pure entertainment purposes. But for readers to get the best learning experience from a review list of this kind, I believe there are a number of things that readers should know up front. Thus, I’d like to offer an important disclaimer about the nature of the BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time list and the criteria used to determine which beatmakers were... Continue reading
Amid Leroy Hutson's Infringement Accusations, the Will to Test Fair Use in the Courts Grows Stronger By AMIR SAID (SA'ID) It looks like the late Notorious B.I.G.’s impact on music may have a second act. Only this time, the impact will likely hold critical implications for sampling and U.S. copyright law. On March 31, 2014, in what was considered to be a preemptive lawsuit, the estate of Notorious B.I.G. filed for declaratory judgment in a California federal court, seeking relief that B.I.G’s 1994 song “The What” — off of the classic album Ready to Die — was not a copyright... Continue reading
Thanks, Bing! Regarding Kanye, actually he did not do the Beyoncé silent album release first — or at all for that matter. The release date for 'Yeezus' was announced (well) in advance; it was common knowledge that he was working on the album; the artwork and track listings were released ahead of the album release; he debuted a video/song from the album on building walls across the world, AND he performed live on Saturday Night Live ahead of his release; there were even published reports of Rick Rubin coming into strip down the sound of the album before it was released. All of that is certainly not "hush, hush." What Beyoncé did is truly historic for a recording artist of her stature. As for R & B having a better chance of staying hidden (over hip hop), I don't agree with that. Both genres receive ample coverage, often in different ways. Plus, the ability to keep a release secret doesn't automatically improve with the genre. Keep in mind how DIFFICULT it had to be for Beyoncé to keep things secret. The assembly of the product (tracks and videos) itself and the delivery and setup of the product to the chain of distribution, i.e. iTunes, would ordinarily make it impossible for her to keep such a project a secret. But she did! I'm in awe how they were able to keep things under wraps. What it really comes down to, no matter the genre, is the individual artist's will and ability to be discrete. —Sa'id
Good Production and Distinct Lyricism Marks This High Energy 90s Staple By JJ Bing Editor’s note: I'm a strong advocate for music that stands the test of time. When new music is released in a particular period, each subsequent generation of listeners is entitled to its own opinion of the music that became before them. Presumably, one of the biggest reasons why some music stands the test of time and is ultimately deemed a classic is precisely because generation after generation acknowledges its beauty, power, or overall impact. In hip hop/rap music, there are a number of classic albums and... Continue reading
"Less is More" Rings True More Often than Not By James Halton (Uh-Oh) One thing I have noticed through the years with beatmakers of every level: they are trying to do too much. The phrase that always comes to mind for me is, "Less is more." It rings true in just about every art form, and making beats is no exception. Whether you are composing a non-sample-based beat or a sample-based one, it is very easy to "overdo it". To avoid over doing it, the best thing to do is to try only use sounds and arrangements that work. Never... Continue reading
Conquering the Hi-Hat Stiffness Problem By BRANDON FEINSTEIN One thing many beatmakers struggle with (myself formerly included) is getting their drums to sound more live and not so stiff. I specifically struggled with the most commonly repetitive element in a drum pattern: the closed hi-hat. This is a topic frequently brought up among beatmakers, and it has taken a long time for me to understand some of the more subtle techniques to add feel and groove to a drum pattern effectively and purposefully. Here is a list of techniques I learned and used over the years in previous beats to... Continue reading
Thanks, Bing. Absolutely. Our conversation yielded a number of jewels. You see what he had to say about sampling? —Sa'id
DJ Pas, Thanks, man. Yeah, I hear you the zones. Convenience is an important part of workflow. But for far too many, convenience or an "easy button" type of functionality becomes the substitute for creativity, and that's the problem. You're correct in making the distinction in how you use zones vs. a less creative use of auto-chop. —Sa'id