HIP-HOP MUSIC PRODUCTION FOUNDATIONS: Make Beats Like Jay-Z | Kia Orion | Skillshare


Kia Orion, Artist & Music Producer


Kia Orion, Artist & Music Producer

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
9 Lessons (1h 23m)
    • 1. Course Intro

    • 2. Drums Overview

    • 3. Moody Melodies

    • 4. Textures

    • 5. Percussion Walkthrough

    • 6. Secondary Melody

    • 7. Mixing & Mastering

    • 8. Arranging The Beat

    • 9. Conclusion & Next Steps

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Want to learn how to make Hip-Hop beats like Jay-Z?

In this course we’ll make a beat from start to finish and show you exactly what goes into making a dope Hip-Hop beat.

We’ll dive deeper into these easy and applicable tactics to help you start making these type of beats on your own. 


-How to utilize different drum patterns for Hip-Hop beats

-My recommended method to get your kicks and low end to BANG

-How to mix and master banging Hip-Hop beats

-What Jay-Z and his producers do that make his beats sound so good

-How to build a Hip-Hop beat from scratch

-My favorite way to arrange a beat that’s both simple and effective

-How to start with a simple idea and turn it into a finished product

This course is applicable to any DAW, but for the Ableton users if you want the template I'm using this in course you can download it for free here. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Kia Orion

Artist & Music Producer


Ay! I'm Kia. 

I'm an artist and educator who believes life wouldn't be the same without music.

Or tacos.

I realized that I was equally as passionate about teaching music as I was making it.

In 2016 I founded Beat School, an online platform and series of educational programs to help aspiring artists and producers learn how to make beats, accelerate their growth, and stay inspired. 

I'm originally from New York but these days you'll find me traveling around the world writing songs or playing beats on a rooftop somewhere.

I appreciate you stopping by, and if you'd like to get in touch you can DM me or shoot me an email at [email protected] 

Life is too short not to do what you lov... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Your creative journey starts here.

  • Unlimited access to every class
  • Supportive online creative community
  • Learn offline with Skillshare’s app

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.



1. Course Intro: ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to another course with yours truly. Money. Mosquito Ryan on the man who is obsessed with making music and teaching you how to make your own. In this course, I'm gonna teach you how to make beats like Jay Z to have a bit of a Jay Z Bob. I took a track that I actually loved by Jay Z and push a t. And I'm gonna show you how to remake these exact type of beets. So these aren't gonna be your super high energy trapped type beats. There's gonna be a little bit more kind of laid back and a swagged out kind of gangster type. Bees have a little bit more of that dark energy when you think about those things. Kind of more modern. Jay Z kind of, um, gangster type beats. So if that's what you're into, buckle up, get ready to rock and roll is gonna show you how toe make complex drum patterns. I'll show you how I go about creating kind of these dark melodies percussion. We're gonna mix master and arrange this track. Run a sequence it from start to finish. I hope that sounds fun. if you want my able to temple or any of the different materials I'm using in this course, you can find them all at the producer vault dot com Also have the link in the description below. There, you can find my sample packs my drum kits, and I also have the able to temper that I'll be using in this course. So that sounds good. But your beverage of choice set aside. I just say maybe 4 to 5 minutes to an hour buckle in focus. Let's make some beats like Jay Z together before to seeing you there, and I'll see on the inside piece. 2. Drums Overview: all right, so they were doing something a little bit different. Rather than start with the melody Today we're starting with drums first because I was super inspired by the drug dealers Anonymous drums by Jay Z and push a T. So I want toe like kind of make my own key ified version of that beat and when I walk you through it So let's do this thing first. Things first. You got to get the MP three. And so no. Ah, here we go. Got the instrumental, and I think it's set to the proper bpm. Like maybe a thing. It's a 1 53 or something like that. I guess we'll find out. Um, so let's jump in here. Have you ever heard this song before? I just love the drums push. Do you get used to super unique drums? So let's start with our kick first, let's see if there's see that works. Let's get a good look. There it is. - They have a couple different kicks here was more like a one has a little bit more punching, and the others are kind of, um uh so he has a bunch of eight awaits in there too. But for now, we're just gonna take was gonna get kind of the simple thing. So let's find out what kind of a snare that we're working with, - Like a rim shot to me. - Interesting . And then there there's another snare that's really dry. Doesn't have any have any reverb on it. - It was like a really lazy high at I think those are the drums I've come to. The aid awaits later because I want to tune them. Um, but right now that we kind of have something simple, I'm gonna maybe add this Other rooms are just to give him a little bit more beef. And then I might add just a different kind of snaring here like a little bit more. Maybe. Ah, like a modern kind of snare sound. Uh, that's a cool one. Raw hip hop sneer. - Cool . So this is a very simple kind of rudimentary drum pattern. At least for now, I'm gonna try to find some sort of a melody or some sort of sound that is kind of like this drug dealers anonymous joint, and then we can always come back to these drums afterwards and fix them once you have a lot more of a melody 3. Moody Melodies: All right, Let me try some. Ah, let me try this loop. See if we can get anything cool with this. That kind of works. That could be cool. Mm. I just wanna mess around with sound a little bit, See if I can see what I can get. Maybe something weird does. Uncle, at least is a place to start menacing, maybe confines and vocals. And maybe I'll try one other melody, because that's gonna is gonna be the same loop. You really want something that's unique and kind of catches your ear. So let me see if I can, um, finds of vocals that might fit this well. 4. Textures: okay. I found a couple vocals that I think could be cool. Let's try some stuff with them. So this is one that's enough that I like more than anything. So, actually, let's take this. Let's let's Ah, let's duplicate all these out. So we have a bit more of a phrase that we can work with we're working with. All right, let's check this physic . It's faster. Me. Stretch it out. No. Um um There it is. - There it is. And in this one, um, had there's one note near that I really liked. Let's see if I can find it. That's it. Mr. Puts on different tracks. Don't just have a little bit more reverb on it. - Uh , cool. Now we're starting to get some more. Is we have these vocal textures coming? Um, I want to add some board drums and some. It'll waits to this to kind of get it. Give it a little bit more of a bop. So let's check that out 5. Percussion Walkthrough: all right, This video, I'm not exactly sure where this was going to go. I'm thinking some eight awaits. I'm thinking a little bit more drums. I want him to have a little bit more kind of action. So maybe I'll be able to fit both into this one video. Let's see how it goes. Let me grab my eight. Await. Looks like we're going to get Ah, let's see how it goes. That's a good one. Let's see. Oh, let's see if we can rock with this one. Turn it up to F because Sonny Digital is the man told us that is enough and let's see where we're gonna want thes own bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb. And actually, let's get thes. Let's get these notes to Oops. Gimme, gimme. Gimme those notes for muddied new MIDI track. Cool. Give me those. Give me that they set up in here. Oh, it's tricky. I might take some financial ing. - Let's see if we can figure out how to do this the same way. There's no sound to go, do they, um, let me try. Let's try. Maybe another eight. Await it up. If it was tuned, maybe we can figure out what else these other notes are. Uh, all right, let's peep this peep. This Pete, this Where's my tuna rat? Get me. Get me! Get me my tuner. What was this one? The school g sharp. That sounds kind of dope. Sophie, like these need to be a little more beefy. Maybe I'll, um uh, no, I already tried pitching him. Let me try patient again. Hey, since there's not a whole lot going on in this track, I'm gonna add a bunch of little percussion elements that I think would be interesting. And also add different sounds for them. Because I think, um, just because it keeps interesting, there's not really that much going on in this track. - We're gonna do that with this near to I'm going to make this second snare. I'm just make it weird, because why not sneer weird? - I don't love it. - Yes , I wanted something more weird. Cool. So I think that's at least a decent place to start. I'm now going to track it out a little bit and do some kind of different weird things with it. 6. Secondary Melody: Okay. Coming back to live in Iraq. No hat. It's getting hot. The beat is heating up. Let's do this thing. So, um, I think that it would be dope if there was maybe one more instrument in this, and then we could mix it. I don't want there to be a lot similar to the actual track. I don't want there to be a lot of, um, crazy instrumentation, but I do think some sort of, um, one other theory vocal. I love me. Some choirs, maybe one other theory vocal. Or maybe some bells. I think like some Hibel. Something like that would just add a little bit of something, a little bit of swag to this track. So let's see if we can come up with something cool. - There's not a lot in the high frequencies, so I think that would be fun. Do some bells. No ionosphere . You. There it is. - Let's try straight in a lot of times. Ah, lot of this comes down to sound choices. Kind of choosing something. No. Um, and then running with it. I do kind of like me. Some retro instruments. Let's see if the eighties bills got anything on him? No. All right, So here's what we're gonna dio. I liked the I think it was the plink music box, and then we'll just distorted Make this on her own. I like that one. I'm just going for something subtle here. Something in the hook that I can have that just is a little bit of a layering on top and a little bit different. Um, just by the slightest bit to add a little bit of maybe depth in some energy to the track. - Cool . So I'll come back and I'll talk about that later in the mix when we're doing some mixing. But now I think that kind of settles in. We have a bit. We have things in our low end. We have our snares, condiment, percussion. I might come back. That's more germs later on, but nothing about it too much right now. Got our main sample or vocals, and, um, then we have our instrument or bells, so let's mix it and then we'll take it from there. We'll mix it, master it and arrange it, and then see if there's anything kind of missing. Once we finally makes this 7. Mixing & Mastering: This is the fun part. Now we're gonna mix this bad boy, and this is really when the track starts to come together. The first thing that I'm gonna do is I'm gonna leave this basin here because if you actually listen to the the actual track itself, there's a point where it drops out and it just is based. I'm pretty sure. So I think that's pretty cool. Drop the way that that drops out. So I'm gonna leave this base here because I might want to come back and steal that same idea later on in the track. Um, when I actually arranged this out, but for now, we're not gonna about that not going about that base right now. We're gonna turn that off. Um, it'll wait and then just make come through, make sure everything's labeled correctly. Ah, you got my weird snare stair. Once near to snare dry, weird snare. I have one. Hyatt two. I had three open hatch conditions will come back to cool. So when it comes to something like this because there aren't many elements, a mix is gonna be really important. And I'm not gonna lie like I'm the greatest engineer in the world. I'm a better producer than I am engineer when it comes to mixing. But, um, I did learn along the way that I was making things way too complicated. Back in the day, I would come in here to my kicks in my eight awaits and tour under the EAC use for ages. And then I realized one day it really just comes down to getting the levels to sit right in the mix. It's not about fancy plug ins. That's like your your remember the 80 20 rule. If you could get 80% get 80% of it right enough. If I can speak, you get 80% of it, right? That's really all you need. You can worry about the icing on the cake. The crazy things like to run. The key is getting needs to sit right in your mix. The fancy plug ins can help you do that, but for the most part is gonna come down to your levels. So let's start with our kick. Uh, I'm not going to we turn this compressor offer now that one kick, I'm not sure I'm crazy about that, but let's roll with it for now and just turned it down to level it out a little bit. You know what I'm gonna call inaudible, and it's going to dio I want to duplicate this, and I'm going to come back and layer this later, so because I don't really love this kick. But I did want something different for that kick sound. So when actually take this and just give us a little bit of a bop because id rather layer it later and just have all of these kicks be the same. So in the mix, I, um I have to worry about cool. And also I like to turn down the kick like the double kick like this and was turning it down just a little bit. Just gives it a little bit of a bob. It's about the nuances. You feel me All right. Now, this will make it easier to mix this kick. I like to bring this in. Maybe around 7.5. Somewhere in there. Um, Rohloff, Whatever low and we don't need free up some room for the base. I might add my glue compressor now. And I've been a self clippings to give it a bit of bump, obviously. Too much when it starts to sound Whack back off rite of spring are paid Awaited. I'm gonna side chain my ate away to my kick So that way, uh, it frees up some of that They aren't competing for the same frequencies And now I'm going on a project the dogs barking in the background Um, And now they want to do is I'm just gonna e que this So if you listen to this without the e que if it's just the side chain and general the kick, I like a really fast release. But then you get those clicks and you can feed it up a little bit with the attack. But we can help. Is it the acu? All I really wanted? Just the punchy nous of that kicked. So nothing Your news. Just listen to the compressor, because that's all I want. I just want that punch from the kick. But then I went to eight away to really roll with it. Uh ah, for me, kick is everything. So I love the eight awaits as well. Um, but if I have extra headroom are probably gonna give it to my kicking my snare. Whoops. I want this to come in total around for so I know I'm already messing up because it's ah. So I like to kind of mix it in hard and then back off. Whoa, whoa, whoa. - I just I want these drums do blend together. I don't want anything to stand out too crazy right now, so these snares are still a little bit cracking. Um, but we'll see once we blend in the sample kind of how it feels. Another thing that I like to do is, um, maybe add a little side chain compression to the hi hats because I think it's a cool effect . It starts to sound weird. Back off the dry weight a little. You're so that sound is I don't love that. I'm gonna be honest. Should delete those that lead those delete those cool. So they're going to take this, get over here and then just duplicate that cool. She's a little bit of a bop. Mixing is just a bunch of creative little creative choices that come down to what you want in the vision that you have in your head. So I have a vibe of what I'm shooting for. No, there's the choices that are making. There's no right or wrong way. It's just right here in my head. I want the way that I want the drums to kind of mesh in blend together and they aren't quite there yet. - This must be an auto pan on at auto pain. Just give a little bit of, um, movement of these. - I like a lot of siding impressions that were obviously like that pumping Bob that you get from like a fly lower dilla. It was all kind of just kind of blending a little bit more. Let's add a limiter, do this and kind of see where a ghost. Because I can tell my computers already clicking a little bit because she's a little bit old. My babies old. You feel me? Um, I'm just gonna throw in a regular limiter from able to and watch your ears. And then I like to bring my gain up until it it knocks around a negative six. But the limiter enabled him doesn't color it quite as well as some of these other, like a limiter like fab filter. But you work that you got take this open high at and, um you see him as I do it a little more. The's high hats right here still seem a little bright to me. I'm going to take him, see what happens if I tram pushed him down two. 8. Arranging The Beat: All right, now we're going to arrange this and let's see where this bad boy goes. Is that a little bit fun with it? Ah, so we're gonna to arrange this beat. First thing we're gonna do is so I like I like that. This is, um I just like this. I want to keep this here because I would like to see I want to steal that idea of their base, possibly dropped that out. So I'm gonna bring that way over here and forget about it. Nothing gonna do is I'm gonna take these. And before I joined them, I can tell that these aren't quite because when we were in the beginning was running with the idea. Comptel, These aren't perfect. So I'm going to um Actually, here's what we're gonna dio I was So what we're gonna do, you gonna duplicate this? They were gonna delete this. We're gonna bring this back because I don't want the side chains. I could be turned it off, But forget I said anything. I just wanna cross fade those to get a little bit cleaner. Little bit cleaner. It, uh, my super. All right. I love that Seems to be worse than war across faded. There it is. It is the same thing we did twice, right? All right. Yeah, we said the same thing twice. So let's duplicate that, Uh, there it is dopes, and I'm gonna take those. And I was gonna join it. Joyner. And then this loop I'm gonna take and I'm gonna duplicate this. Um, actually, I'm going to duplicate this out. I la it actually didn't lie. I'm going duplicated out. Ah, just a bit So that I have all these little pieces so that I can come back in revenge if I need to. And then I'm just gonna have joined these to make these clips easier to work with. So can you consolidate those? Um, I'm not sure how much intro one in this bad boy. Let's see how it goes. All right. For this arrangement, I'm also going to use a lot of auto filter and rather because it's already auto filtered. I'm actually gonna add another auto filter because we just want to get fancy with it. So let's automate this auto filter device. This 2nd 1 Cool turned this babbling on. All right, All right. A lot. Keep buying the all Only we need to bars of this isn't intro. I think a system would find just there. We're trying to get to wrap it way when it comes to arrangement. The keys is bringing things in and then taking them out in different places. And it can give you some interesting arrangements without having to add a bunch of new things to it. Okay, so let's go like this must come out down here, start adding some transitions. All right, well, spices loading. Let's keep doing this. So Ah, that's if what happens if we take this kick out here just to be weird? Actually, I'm not gonna be. Well, let's go weird without let's get weird with the arrangement. So let's do this. Something. This dude, it's just gonna be wrapping on this. You just snap in. So what I want to do is then I want to take this first part again, duplicate this part out. Uh, yeah, Let's also get weird. Let's add a phase. Or maybe I actually like that a lot. I said that in Hey. Hey. Okay, it's helpful if you automate things correctly. I was like, some don't sound right it's because you needed to be on. - It was way too loud. Okay, let's see how this goes. - That's about it. And then I probably I'll, uh I would duplicate this. I don't want to keep you guys too long in this course, but what I probably do is duplicate this whole arrangement. And maybe after this, I've come back to this hook and instead of having this part where it drops out totally, I would probably then go in and add a base. But you've been patient. You're stuck with me this entire course. And I appreciate that so and said we'll do that next time. Um, but that's probably though, that there would be a simple arrangement, something like this. I duplicate this again, maybe toyed a little bit, but you get the idea. Alright. Hope you had fun making that beat. Remaking drug dealers anonymous until next time Peace 9. Conclusion & Next Steps: I hope that you enjoyed the course. If you did, please leave a review. If you didn't, please leave a review as well. I'm a grown man. I understand that I am not for everybody. But the only way to improve is to get your honest feedback. If you did enjoy the course and you want more materials like this, find all the resource is either below or at Kia Ryan dot com slash resource Is anything that you saw in this course I have available for free download. I have a built in templates of free, able to crash course. I've got sample packs. I've got free guides, everything that you need to level up. I guarantee that I can help you do it. So that being said thank you again for taking the course. It means a lot few tuning in. And I appreciate you for watching. I'll check you on the next one. Tell me again, keep making beats and I'll see you at the top. All right. Check you in a minute.