The code of the beat.

BeatTips MusicStudy: Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek (Reflection Eternal) – “Just Begun” feat. Jay Electronica, J Cole, & Mos Def

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Lyrically Studded Affair Marks this Subdued Sample Gem

By AMIR SAID (SA’ID)

Big fan of Hi-Tek. I am. And I consider Talib Kweli to be one of the most engaging lyricists around. So needless to say, I looked forward to this much talked-about joint that features Jay Electronica, J Cole, and Mos Def. Thankfully, I was not let down.

The beat is subdued, nothing too heavy, which is a good thing as allows each rhymer to find their own “lyrical rhythm.” I particularly like Hi-Tek’s drumwork; it’s a throwback to an era where beatmakers balanced the drums with the track rather than use them overpower, or in some cases, undermine the track. I also dig the understated (simple) chop arrangement that Hi-Tek chose. The chops are well defined, and the rhythm of the beat is relaxed and straight ahead. Finally, as for the rhymes on this joint, I think each rapper delivered a quality verse. Perhaps more importantly, each rapper situated well with the framework and nuance of the beat.

The music and video below is presented here for the purpose of scholarship.

Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek (Reflection Eternal) – Just Begun feat. Jay Electronica, J Cole, & Mos Def


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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