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BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time: Nottz

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#18 – Nottz

By AMIR SAID (SA’ID)

Nottz, who’s music is by and large both a fine example of, and homage to, the soulful “boom bap” sound of the hip hop/rap music tradition, is acutely tuned in to the essence of using recorded music in his creative process. And his mastery of the art of sampling—as well as the art of arrangement—is on full display in the song, “Shine So Brite.”

Here’s a simple truth: Within the beatmaking tradition (of the broader hip hop/rap music tradition), the more beatmakers who make beats, the more fluid the notions become about what constitutes a dope beat. But hip hop/rap music, perhaps more than any other twentieth-century American popular music form, has the incredible power to reuse, retool, reconceptualize, and recontextualize the very fundamentals that gave rise to its existence. Because of beatmaking, hip hop/rap music’s chief compositional process, hip hop/rap is one of the only popular Western music form that can rotate in new generations of music makers who feature sounds that authentically span any of its pivotal styles and eras.

This means that any serious student of the beatmaking tradition can reproduce any one moment in hip hop/rap’s history (particularly its most soulful moments), in the exact style, sound, sonic template, feel, mood, and texture. Thus, for all intents and purposes, hip hop/rap music has an impenetrable force field. One in the form of a legion of beatmakers (now and in the future) whose commitment to hip hop/rap’s core musical processes, in effect, protects against its own demise.
By perpetually reusing and recalibrating beatmaking’s most unique processes and methods, in the finest, perhaps truest manner, these beatmakers ascend towards the graces, and sometimes ranks, of beatmaking’s most important architects and pioneers. To be certain, these beatmakers that I speak of (both masters and novices) may not always get the recognition from the mainstream (or even the underground) that they deserve. However, all of these beatmakers embrace and enjoy their personal role in helping to preserve the hip hop/rap music and beatmaking traditions. This is why I’ve always appreciated Nottz and the music that he makes.

Nottz Makes Timeless Hip Hop/Rap Music. Nottz, who’s music is by and large both a fine example of and homage to the soulful “boom bap” sound of the hip hop/rap music tradition, is acutely tuned in to the essence of using recorded music in his creative process. And his mastery of the art of sampling — as well as the art of arrangement — is always on full display, especially songs like “Shine So Brite.”

But it’s not just the timeless nature of Nottz’s beats that’s worth examining. Nottz also developed his own style and sound. The Nottz sound (or one of Nottz’s main sounds) is characterized by a unique bounce — the Nottz bounce — and use of sampled piano chords and strings. The Nottz bounce resides somewhere between east coast boom bap and west coast swing. A great example of what I’m talking about is “Home Sweet Home” (M.O.P and Lord Have Mercy). It also should be pointed out that Nottz isn’t just a sample-based master. He’s equally adept at making synthetic-sounds based beats. And a key feature of Nottz’s synthetic-sounds based beats is that always have an element of soul to them.
SPECIAL NOTE: Listen to Nottz’s work with Busta Rhymes and M.O.P.

Nottz Beats (Songs) Recommended for Study:

“Be This Way” – Ghostface Killah beat by Nottz

“Home Sweet Home” – M.O.P feat Lord Have Mercy beat by Nottz

“Footprints” – G-Unit beat by Nottz

“Everybody Rise” – Busta Rhymes beat by Nottz

“W.O.L.V.E.S.” – Krumbsnacha feat. M.O.P beat by Nottz


“Barry Bonds” – Kanye West feat. Lil Wayne beat by Nottz

“Extinction Level Event (The Song of Salvation) – Busta Rhymes beat by Nottz

“Open Your Eyes” – Pusha T beat by Nottz

“Pass The Courvoisier” – Busta Rhymes feat P.Diddy beat by Nottz (original version)

“Where We About to Take It – Busta Rhymes beat by Nottz

“Get Out” – Busta Rhymes beat by Nottz

“The Way You Want It” – T.I. beat by Nottz

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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