MAKE BEATS LIKE J COLE: Learn How To Make Soulful Hip Hop Beats - Music Production Masterclass | Kia Orion | Skillshare

MAKE BEATS LIKE J COLE: Learn How To Make Soulful Hip Hop Beats - Music Production Masterclass

Kia Orion, Artist & Music Producer

MAKE BEATS LIKE J COLE: Learn How To Make Soulful Hip Hop Beats - Music Production Masterclass

Kia Orion, Artist & Music Producer

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
9 Lessons (49m)
    • 1. Course Intro

    • 2. Beat Overview

    • 3. Drums

    • 4. Melody Overview

    • 5. Vocal Textures

    • 6. 808s & Bass

    • 7. Percussion

    • 8. Mixing & Mastering

    • 9. Arranging The Beat

  • --
  • 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 J Cole?

In this course, I'll teach you the fundamentals of music production to make your own soulful hip hop beats.


-How to design a soulful hip hop beat from start to finish

-How to create melodies for your favorite soulful hip hop type beats

-How to design hip hop drums, bass, and samples. 

-How to mix and master a soulful hip hop track with mostly stock plug-ins

-How to create a melody by flipping guitar samples

-How to achieve the gritty analog sound you want without wasting money on expensive gear

-How to make better decisions in terms of sample choice and sound design


Do you listen to soulful hip hop songs by artists like J. Cole, Kendrick, Logic, and wonder how they do it? 

How they’re able to achieve that soulful sound?

Do you wish you could make your own beats to vibe, sing, or rap to?

Now you can.

You might be wondering...

How do you get your drums to sound authentic?

How do you achieve that soulful, lofi, boom bap sound?

Where do you find the right sounds or instruments for this genre?

It took me hundreds of beats to finally figure out what was missing in my production. 

I tried to learn on my own through random youtube tutorials and blogs I read online. 

I spun my wheels for years. 

And after teaching hundreds of students I know now why.

The answer is simple:

We think because the information is out there we can do it ourselves. 

But with the internet sending us new tutorials every other day it leaves us feeling even more confused than when we started. 

There's no clear cut path. 

It took me years of trial-and-error, wasting time trying to learn concepts I thought I needed only to end up months later in the same spot. 

So what’s the alternative?


After being frustrated with how confusing my own journey was learning music production I decided to do something about it...

I created Beat School, an online academy that teaches the foundational elements of music production in a simple and effective way. 

This course on soulful hip hop music production is one of the beginner programs designed to help students gain an understanding of beat making with a step-by-step approach.

I hope to empower you with the knowledge, practice, and resources you need to realize that this isn’t rocket science. 

Want to use the same templates i'm using in the course?

You can download all of my sample packs, beginner guides, and Ableton templates from my website 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 class with your boy key O Ryan and so slick that you were here. This is a class we're going to be learning about how to make so full trap slash boom bap tracks like J. Cole Kendrick Lamar Logic. This is a track that I did my best to recreate elements of J. Cole's climb back, which at the time of this recording just dropped this last weekend. I was super inspired by the songs. I said, Man, I want to create a song Kind of like that. So what I did was I didn't do exactly the remake because I wanted to show you guys kind of how to do it on your own to create samples, flip those samples, chop those samples and turned them into your own kind of personalized work. So this way you can take the ideas of a soulful trapper kind of soulful boom bat hip hop track and make your own. So we take climb back the track, we break it down from start to finish the different elements, and then we add our own twist on it. So I have these really cool guitar samples that I just had made for our new low fi, soulful trap guitar sample pack that I wanted to demonstrate and show you guys how we're able to flip those and how I personally take samples and make them my own turn them into my own work. So with that being said, if you want to learn how to make so full trap kind of so full boom BAP if you enter J. Cole Kendrick type beats this is the class for you. What, you're gonna learn how to make really cool samples out of guitars. They were my favorite instruments to use and this example we did one my go to tricks. Whereas we chop them up, we add effects reversed, um, supercool to we're gonna learn how to make boom bap slash kind of soulful trap drums. These are the reason I say it's so full traps like boom bap because it kind of has that old school boom bap vibe, but it still feels modern. So there's some boom bap kind of the concepts of both boom bap and trap. So it's not going to sound like a D J mustard kind of modern trap. It's this kind of like, You know what? I'm talking. If you listen to Kendrick and Cole, how they have this kind of old school vibe, but it still sounds modern, it doesn't sound dated. So a teacher had to make cool, kind of sounding drum samples, drum loops in the different drum patterns that we take. We steal the ideas from J. Cole's We make our own and then let's. But at least as always, make sure you have a mix master and arrange a beat like this. So we do break everything now from start to finish. Feel that sounds good. You already know what it is. You know, I've been making beats were 10 plus years. And so after all that trial and error, I finally figured out the best and fastest ways to make beats in. I put all these resources for you together at the producer volt dot com, which is my personal website. Where have all of my free resource is, or if it's easier? My name's Keogh Ryan. You can find him at Keio Ryan dot com as well. So put aside some time. Grab your beverage of choice. Put your head to the test and let's make some beats. I'm stoked. Issue on the inside. If there's anything you want to learn. As always, please shoot me. D m everywhere online at Kia Ryan And I'm stoked to make a class for you. I'm always taking requests, so let me know what you want to learn Next. Don't make it happen. All right. See you there. Buckle in. Let's go. Peace. 2. Beat Overview: What is good, Joe? We are back making another beat today in a masterclass. I'm gonna teach you how to make a beat. Not exactly the same, but inspired by J. Cole to climb back. Um, I love this beat. I've been wanting to make some kind of future sold type stuff. This is the beat that we're going to be making something similar to 1 63 bpm on. I think it's a, uh, e flat minor. Hey. Oh, this will be fun. So if that sounds good to you Ah, you can get this able to in Temple if you want it at the producer vault dot com That's where all of my producer goodies a built in templates, all that sort of stuff. Eso stag, my able to template. And let's jump into this. Let's make a beat. That is not exactly the same. But inspired by the climb back. I'm super stoked to do this with you see on the inside 3. Drums: So the first thing we're in a tackle are these drums. I, uh I love these drums. There's just a vibe to it and people said, Survive, but like, there's just it's just gotta groove to it So I saved us associated to watch me go there. I already picked out of kick some snares and some high hats, but now we're gonna freak out with the rhythm is so it's gonna listen this track playback and figure out where the kicks are super unique drum pattern. But it might make each of these a little bit softer. Actually, What I might do is reverse that going to go softer ladder sector lists of Ah, I I might come back to that kick. We'll see for the snares, right? If you listen to that snare, that's like old schools type snare that has some reverb on it. So these of the snares that shows in this one so that one definitely is a bit more bite to us. I'm gonna make that one more that secondary snare there's gonna be more main snare, and then it has some reverb on it too. A little bit of delays that goes too much cool theme. The key to this whole joint is gonna be the hi hats. So I picked out a couple. The Saudis go couple different high hat sounds through this one I like. Maybe you just need to have a little bit like that. All of the high end is ruled off in this track. It all feels like it's kind of in this, like in mid range. A little muddy like these air pitched down or there. Yeah, I think they're picture. And Ross, we're gonna take you at the highs of them. You could wait Where you wet and we're gonna like this a little bit less Bite to it. A little bit less body to it. Also a little bit quiet. A little bit more off you, e like that little stuff. Let's go. Position is that That is at the end of every bar, I think, because just above the track, I think these are all a little bit. Looks like they already are a little bit late. Way drag these up a little bit more way. Snares a little bit late as well. Cool, right. This will be fun trick to make. Now I'm going to go see if I can find some sort of the melody. It's gonna be hard, because this is a really cool sample. Um, but I'm gonna look for something. And then after he built out that we have, the sample will be easier to come back to. The eight at the eight awaits, and then maybe some more percussion and things of that nature. So hold that thought. 4. Melody Overview: Okay, We're back in action, and we're going to be working with a melody. Now we're gonna be making the melody part of this beats We're gonna go, milady. And this is from a sample pack that I'm actually working on with a buddy named Devon. Ernie, he's playing the guitar, and we're making beats or creating a sample pack together. So it will be available soon. Um, off on my website, but not just yet. We still are coming up with what? To name the pack I want to put in it, But I have these really cool guitar loops that he made me. So that's what I am playing around with right now. Supercool. Try reverse. - It's a little off time in there. Cut that out, Revert. Get away with having his little cuts. If you really add re bourbon. Delighted. He's a little color like that. You were gonna dio you said I'm gonna do is we're gonna make this main joint and then every every four bars, we're then gonna bring it in here like this. Hey, e, I like that allows. All right, So now what I think is we have kind of a vibe But general Vibe, I'm gonna go. If I see if I can find some vocals that complement this to kind of add a bit more airiness to it may be something to have a little bit create a little bit more of a mood was we'll be looking for. 5. Vocal Textures: I So I found this. Ah, an arcade. I found this. Ah, vocal. And this is also I found a little run that I thought was kind of cool. I'm gonna record this in, actually recorded it and make sure that right? Yep. A All right. So it's now quantifies thes. I like that a lot. There's gonna be cool going to duplicate this. We're gonna go this Ogea arcade gonna call this vocal chops. What's going to come in here? The reason I duplicate this is cause I don't like the message. Midi. I like to make it audio cause I'm just audio type by guy. So But I want to keep those original notes. So I want to also want this to look in here. See? Make sure it's as dry as possible. So go to convert this. We're gonna go to freeze track. It's gonna freeze hopefully and then recommend Flynn. Now we've got herself some audio, and now we can manipulated theories like the manipulated before, because then it prints it to audio. So we lose our effects if we printed toe audio before. So now I like to print and then messed it after so we can continue toe control it It makes it as we go way, Theo, cause we're gonna make the track. But I'm telling you, you know, this is really coming together. I'm excited for this. I'm really excited for this. Um, And then what we're gonna do is maybe down the line down here because I think the courts might change. We might change. We might come back on, message these notes again, but But Amos will see, um, I want to add some ate away. Really? I think some base would bring this track together right now. 6. 808s & Bass: all right. So I added a little bit of eight. Await the reason I don't record this, that it takes me out. Affair with these notes are. So if we listen to the J. Cole track, Wait, wait just a little bit. E still lingers here, but it's really strong right here. It's definitely bishop. Go stand down, down, down, up, down. So let's it's even do something similar with ours. We're gonna Kwan ties thes fold the make another easier to see. Let's see if it a little bit of ah, um distortion. Bring those out. So let's go like this. Uh, let's try that Notice that a little bit of a different last far right here. - Not crazy about There's something going on, kind of in that last part, but may come back to that. We're gonna join those together, and then I don't know. Do you think we should add some more percussion? I think we should add a little bit more percussion. Just fill it out a little bit, and then we'll mix it and possibly come back. Add anything if it needs it, but I think a couple more percussive elements just to keep it kind of interesting would be helpful. Our sample isn't quite as much fun as J. Cole's. So, um, we might need a little bit more actions that kind of keep people interested. 7. Percussion: all right. So first things first is I added a Flander Flame Jer. However you call it to the snare just to add a little bit of something to it. So it sounds like this a little bit of Flanders, just to make it kind of a little more exciting. Things like he's opened my hands way off the highs, - maybe another high hat. - I feel good to me. Let's mix it and then see if there's anything mixing. We can always come back to it. 8. Mixing & Mastering: are. So now we're gonna mix it just to see what we got going on. Kind of see what we've got in total. Um, and if we need to come back to it, we can. Ah, so we got this Oji arcade Weaken. Delete that. It's our vocals. This will be extra, actually. You know what? Let's not even worry about it. We're gonna keep this minimal. We have this other melody if we need it. Um, you can always come back to it. All right, sneer once near to I have one. I had to open Hat one. Open had to 222 Let's get it. So the thing I like to do when I mix, if you taken any my courses, like, 20 everything. If you want an in depth course to mixing, um, this is not gonna be the one for you. Um, because this is a moving at a quick clip. I cover all of that in my other course. That's all about mixing. Uh, we'll go in depth of everything for you there. So this one, I'm not gonna super in depth. We're just kind of, um, taking it as it comes. But so don't write hateful comments. If you said, hey, he is not going as in depth as I want him to go Take my class on mixing and I'll tell you everything you need to know they're here. We're gonna be more, um, doing it quick, quick and fast on a quickie. All right, let's get it. Bringing this up. Looking for somewhere between 878 somewhere in there, maybe get a little bit of blue compression going. Ah, you know, pop little bounce. Oh, bring the eight awaiting. Of course, Such in compression. Of course, Senator may be a little bit more distortion. Bring in our sneers in, maybe roll off some of that high end. All right, I like the river, but the Flander steal this compression. You never tore high hat, slightly band the's you want them to. You felt and not heard necessarily coming around six. That's cool. Some of the snare now so is in that snare. Let's add a limiter. Watch your years and at a limiter and see if there's anything we need to come back. So I like to add a limiter because before the mix is totally fun sometimes then things Teoh . Maybe that's wrong with Here's to way drag the rest of percussion off a little bit because the first I had so late, the's high hats work better on time. - I think it has to be pronounced, but not so much that they're distracting. That's feeling good. Let's arrange this. 9. Arranging The Beat: I suffer the arrangement, right? We said we wanted to possibly have a different four bars, so let's arrange this out first. Actually, let's see what Cole does. Um, cures to see what he does with his track. Hey, come back. About four. Wider, lithe, true, hurtful. Everybody got a crime once in a while. But how long will it take for you? So it sounds like he just he takes out, just takes a depression itself sometimes. How long will it take for you smack? This is ask combat Relation to speak may have been going like this. Cool. All right, So that's where you going to be going. Keep our is interesting too. That's what we go on. Dio, bring that out. This we have it in case we need it coming here. Leave that part. That four de port. Well, to duplicate this us. So we have it if we need it and then we're going to join these clips before we join it. Let me hear this. Just make sure there are in the artifacts in it Might also complex pro this joint. Why does it sound weird? It's because this compressors on it. Way, way we're gonna do is we're gonna take that, Gonna join all this, joiner and then really join this? Actually, yeah. Let's not just yet. Stick this out here. We'll come back to you. Welcome back to you. A promise. All right, now let's bring this out. I'm going to start with this way. Let's just drop it into this beat. I think when you just drop into way that way, I think you make this transition better, too. What if we drop back into the what we do the hook again there. - I'm feeling moody on this one of breath on a breath. I want a breath to be our transition, Theo dropping back into the hook here. Let's just do let's make this just a normal joint, Theo. And then what I'll probably do is I'd make another hook. All you turned this into the hooker, I'll make another hook, and then, um, I'd make a bridge. One more hook Outro call today. But I won't bore you with that. Thank you for tuning in. I know this isn't exactly the J. Cole beat, but similar kind of drums with our own flair. Similar vibes, something just something you can spill your heart to hope you, Leah, hopefully learned a thing or two. Thanks for tuning in, as always, checking on the next one piece.