The code of the beat.

BeatTips Beat Battle March 2010 Winner: Midwest Authority

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TBC Member Midwest Authority Takes First Title of the Year; Fresh Style Delivers Bold New Sound

By Amir Said (Sa’id)

And the Winner is…
Midwest Authority- “Big Trip”

It’s been a minute since the last BeatTips Beat Battle. Most of you know that I was away on book leave for about a solid six months. Also, during that time, I was working hard behind the scenes to raise the overall profile of TBC. (More on that later this month.) But as we kick off the first battle of the 2010, I want to thank everybody who put up their weight and got in the battle. As usual, TBC members brought in their sureshots…no wasted beats was in this month’s battle. And if the top 3 places are any indication of how the rest of this year is going to turn out, I have no doubt that the BeatTips Beat Battle is going to make serious waves all over internet.
I humbly thank all of you who continue to make our community dope.

Now for the breakdown…

Midwest Authority
The organ-work on this joint is soulful, New Orleans MONSTER STATUS, you dig! I’ve never heard organ in the church-based soul style like this blended with such crushing, syncopated drumwork. And the brass-work on this joint was equally sick. Midwest Authority, your sound is something fresh, unique, and so fundamentally characteristic of the pushed musical envelopes that only beatmaking can muster. You are truly creating timeless music—music that seems to effortlessly blend the gaps between blues, jazz, soul, funk, and hip hop/rap. Dope, my man… absolutely dope.

2nd Place:
SC Beatz- “Watch Out”
A masterpiece. Smooth, slow, and deadly. I can’t tell if you’re pumpin’ a sample or if that’s your keywork…and that’s A GOOD THING! The feeling of this joint is so focused, direct, and all meat—NO FAT or additives. It’s clear that you’ve refined your sound and have reconciled ALL of your skills into one solid, straightforward approach to beatmaking. This joint was my favorite, hands down. (Side note. You didn’t even need the vocal phrase. But if you had to use it, just rock with the “You better watch out,” not the “He sees you when you’re sleeping.”)

3rd Place:
Uh Oh – “12/20/09”
Crack! Straight heat rock! Aggressive, everything is bangin’. This is a HUNGRY MAN’S beat. Well-programmed, and the change at the 1:00 minute mark is right and exact—absolutely perfect change. Arrangement very well done. As usual, you deliver the goods on the drumwork. And finally, the mix on this joint was dynamite, every element had great presence!

SPECIAL AWARDS
Segundo Award for Consistency and Contribution

Castro Beats – “Cheers”
All beatmakers, sooner or later, transition towards a new sound, something all their own. Castro, I think with this joint you’re taking stock in all of the things that you do well and all over your knowledge, and then using it to formulate a new “Castro Beats” sound that compliment all of your fundamental skills and preferences. I think that’s dope; especially when you consider that you were able to maintain a level of consistency. Great use of “reverse” sound textures, and nice overall theme. (Customize that snare sound some, really make it your own.)

Get Paid With Heart Award for the #1 Crossover Joint that Still Pays Homage to the Beatmaking Craft

Don P -“Stand Above All”
This beat pays homage to the break, and that hooked me from the start. Yet even with all its b-boy aggression, this joint doesn’t take itself too series. Instead, Don P, you left enough room and space for even an R&B or urban pop act to sing over. Great job.

TBC Most Improved Award

dk – “Ah Ah”
For two years I’ve been telling you about how “stuck” your drumwork sounds. Well, you’ve finally conquered that problem! Also, your solid use of a break-beat combined with additional custom drumwork was really on point, nice blend. I was particularly impressed with your increased overall understanding of how to combine different elements and textures; in this regard, you have improved dramatically! Finally, your timing has exploded, you really have a better understanding of time and swing now. I can only think that this has come from a more intense and extensive MusicStudy.

Honorable Mentions:

Brandon F – “SW9”
Dope boom bap with a LOT of room for a very lyrical MC to paint a portrait. Drums knock, and the overall compositional framework is straightforward and effective.

Notes.

Gee Wiz – “C.A.M.A.O.”
Too much choppy programming of the sample. When you chop a sample, it should sound “seamless.” That is, one shouldn’t be able to hear or envision exactly how and where you chopped something. For one thing, it’s distractive; another thing: it sounds overly redundant. And the thing is, the sample that used (especially the “camouflage” vocal phrase) sounded dope…but you didn’t let it play out.

Jooney – “Dear Beloit”
This beat was epic, really big…actually, TOO big. There’s so much going on, and even though it sounds good, there’s really not much room or space for a rapper to get busy. The beat is overpowering, but not in an inviting way. Never forget, always leave room for the rapper. The most effective beats are those that are ready to be paired with lyrics.

Krugenstein – “G 92”
Decent, nice programming, but it sounds somewhat like Nas’ “Dr. Knock Boots.”

Final thoughts.

Again. Again everybody proved just how much they value our community (crew): NOBODY put up dead weight! Everybody took the battle serious, and paid homage to the talent level of our members. Sure, Midwest Authority won…but NOBODY lost. The beats that are being cooked up by the members of TBC are only getting more problematic. And that leads me to believe merely what I’ve always believed: That the talent coming out of the TBC will soon be world-renowned…

Congratulations to Midwest Authority
Midwest Authority, hit me with a PM, include your full name and complete address for your prize money. Also, include a pic so I can feature you, on the home page of BeatTips.com.

*To hear all entries for the March 2010 BeatTips Beat Battle, click here.

April BeatTips Beat Battle will begin on Friday March 16th…


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Articles, Beat Breakdown, Beatmaking, BeatTips, BeatTips Beat Battle, Dope Music, MusicStudy, The BeatTips Community (TBC), Themes, Theories, and Concepts

About Author

Amir Said (aka Sa’id) is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BeatTips. A writer, publisher, and beatmaker/rapper from New York, Said is the author of a number of books, including ‘The BeatTips Manual,’ ‘The Art of Sampling,’ ‘Ghetto Brother,’ and ‘The Truth About New York.’ He is also a recording artist with a number of music projects, including his latest album 'The Best of Times.' Follow him on Twitter at: @amirsaid and @BeatTipsManual