How To Listen To Hip-hop

DJ playing songs at an hip-hop show

Vinicius Amano

3 Ways To Hear Hip-hop Completely Different By Widening Your Sound Palette

Have you ever been excited to hear a new project from an artist? You find it on your streaming service; you click on it. It starts to play and it sounds good, but it’s just not what you’re used to. You, my friend, have been robbed of your sound palette. Often times in new age hip-hop, production rides waves. If a producer is hot and has a new sound that is catchy it is deemed popular. Then over time, every relevant artist has a beat from said producer. Some even go as far as to have a whole project produced by this beatsmith. Soon after the radio follows suit, they start to play songs mainly produced by this hot producer. Therefore leading the consumer to be “brainwashed” with this sound and they only want to hear hip-hop that sounds similar to this. If this has ever happened to you, it is an unfortunate event. Sound palette robbery keeps you from so much good music, sounds, and artists. It also robs you of your musical interest to find new artists because you only want to hear what you are used to hearing. Here are a few tips to help you widen your sound palette

1. Listen to nonhip-hop music in the morning.

Mornings are usually a time for meditation and thought. It’s great to start your morning smooth and the same goes for your sound palette. Start your morning with sounds other than heavy percussion and snaring 808’s. Jazz, 80’s R&B or some 70’s Soul is always filled with different sounds, melodies, and vibes.

2. Listen to other genres of music.

Like I stated earlier, other genres of music are good for giving your sound palette new melodies. The best way to attain this is to try other genres of music. If you happen to be in the car change the station from your favorite station to maybe jazz or classic rock. Challenge yourself. See if you can go a whole day without listening to nonhip-hop related music. It will do wonders for your sound palette and you and your creativity.


3. Listen to new subgenres of hip-hop.

Remember the goal of this is help your hip-hop ears. So it’s very pertinent that you listen to other subgenres of hip-hop. If you’re into trap, check out some underground conscious acts. If you’re into conscious rap, check out some trap—but it’s important that you do the first two steps first in order to have your mind open and your sound palette cleansed. The whole goal of sound palette cleansing is to have refreshed ears for new projects and most importantly, new artist. Give these tips a try and let me know what you think.

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