- We round up the best hip hop production courses money can buy.
- Level up your music production with these 7 courses.
- Both free and paid options included.
Whether you’re making beats for fun with your mates or seriously trying to get into music production, a lot of people find Hip-Hop to be the most identifiable and approachable genre either through their own personal exposure to it or their cultural or mainstream exposition to the genre in its many forms or subgenres including trap. boom-bap, lo-fi, west coast, drill rap or one of the many other forms of subgenres that span across the broader label of Hip Hop.
This article should be considered a go-to resource for Hip Hop heads looking to get started in one way or another regarding their music production; for those looking to learn from the ground up or refine their sounds, or even for those having trouble picking a direction to head in artistically, these resources should be a good starting point.
Perfect for those looking to craft a variety of modern and vintage sounds from a producer who has been in the mainstream from 1996 until 2020, continues to produce hits, and has a thorough enthusiasm for teaching.
Timbaland is an absolute legend in the Hip Hop production community, with his first big jobs being productions for the likes of Ginuwine and Aaliyah in 1996, Timbaland has been responsible for Missy Elliott’s debut album among other singles, and Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me a River (single) and FutureSex/LoveSounds (Album).
Timbaland also continues to work with artists such as Jay-Z Drake, Rihanna and Ludacris, amongst a swathe of other household names in the rap/hip hop community.
Timbaland’s Masterclass is comprised of 12 ‘steps’ that he deems necessary to get one’s self on the road to being a fully-fledged producer, he covers everything from starting out and playing around with ideas to tweaking drum samples and manipulating vocals.
Timbaland also shows you the construction and creative steps that led to some of his greatest hits and musical achievements.
To view the lesson plan and find out more, check out the Masterclass here.
While this course is mainly geared towards people using the Native instruments Machine, a lot of these courses contain seriously valuable knowledge when it comes to setting up any MPC or Ableton Live (comparable daw’s) drum rack regarding use for live or studio based percussion and production.
This course goes into what I would call a ‘deeper dive’ into the intricacies of setting up and perfecting your kits, mapping your console of choice (again; translatable to other devices/drum racks) – Capsun will show you how to create sounds from scratch and modulate them to become your own.
Capsun’s course also involves an explanation of midi and drum sequencing and helps you put it to use via his live demonstrations and video tutorials, which make up a fundamentally large part of the course. The visual aid of the videos and Capsun’s verbal instructions will aid you in other facets of your productions even if you don’t use any ‘beat hardware’.
Capsun is a UK based producer living in Brighton. He is a singer, intricate and intelligent sound designer and renowned producer. He owns and operates both Capsun Pro Audio and 91Vocals. Capsun currently works with directly and creates sounds and sample packs for audio and sample companies like Splice, Native Instruments, Akai Pro/MPC, Producertech, Loopmasters and Novation, to name just a few.
To view the lesson plan and find out more, check out the Loopmasters course here.
Once again we have Capsun entering the fray, this time with a follow-on to his previous tutorial that we listed above.
This course differs from the beat design course through its inclusion of much more content regarding the actual construction and delivery of a finished song or beat, and specifically helps the viewer learn the principles of Trap and Future Bass that have subsequently evolved out of Hip Hop.
This lesson is geared towards producers with a little bit of an understanding of beat structure and the fundamentals of building a drum rack.
This course will give you more of a further developed understanding of how to create portamento vocal stabs, lay down melodies, chords, structures, basslines, and use tools, sounds and arrangements that you may not have been able to create otherwise.
Ultimately, this course is an amazing follow-up to the previous one. By doing both of them, you’ll be able create something that winds up as ultimately a lot more than ‘just a beat’ and get you in-line with a more approachable way to achieve what you want musically.
To view the lesson plan and find out more, check out the course here.
This course is an in-depth look at all of the functionality and purpose behind Native Instruments’ most recent hardware controller in their renowned series of Maschine controllers, this one being the MK3.
This course is presented by Rob Jones of ‘Manor Studio’ in Essex, UK. Rob has produced many songs that have had success in the top 40s and as an extremely open-minded and talented multi-instrumentalist. Rob is also a fully certified Ableton Live trainer.
He teaches you all the fundamentals and skills that you need in order to kickstart your music production career and get that ‘edge’ you’ve been looking for when it comes to shaping and crafting sounds
- How to make patterns with the pads
- The ins and outs of soundslots in Maschine, by building a kit from scratch
- Advanced techniques with Maschine’s Sampler, showing how to record, edit and slice like a pro
- How to use Maschine’s instruments and effects
- Advanced signal routing
To view the lesson plan and find out more, check out the course here.
For those individuals looking to craft their own unique sound, rather than go after something that’s ‘hot right now’ or those who are looking to break out of a box of mediocrity they may find themselves stuck inside of; this course from Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo is well worth having a look at.
Enongo AKA Sammus is a fantastic minded individual renowned for having an intelligent approach to songwriting and lyricism, stemming from her creative and methodical approach which she shares as a part of her course. Beatmaking is one thing, but creating intelligent arrangements, hooks, vocals and conveying a message is a whole other ballgame.
Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo AKA ‘Sammus’ is an MC/Rapper, songwriter, producer and is currently working on a PHD at Cornell University, Sammus has been involved with projects for groups such as NOISEY, Afropunk, VICE, Impose Magazine and many others throughout her illustrious career.
Sammus has performed her music at SxSW and PAX East and has a wealth of knowledge to share with her subscribers. Sammus has broken her course down into (excluding her intro video) 7 steps.
These steps are what she uses to bring out the best in her own creative work and as such will provide you with a significant amount of knowledge and assistance when trying to work out a unique and intelligent way of conveying your message.
Kia Orion is a multi-talented producer who founded ‘Beat School’ in 2016, a well-known online platform for teaching new producers how to make hip hop and other styles of electronic-based music. Kia has a passion for teaching music as much as he does for making it and has introduced his own three step system to help you get creating as fast as possible.
Don’t be fooled by the ‘three-step simplicity’ of it all. These three steps are covered across 40 individual lessons (totaling 3h 5min) and classes teaching you the best ways to approach your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) in a way that feels manageable to you and is broken down into enough detail for you to really absorb each process that you are run through as a part of the class.
You will find that each lesson seamlessly leads into the next and if you pay attention you should have no trouble following this course. This course is one of the holy grails of courses for beginners.
Throughout his career, Young Guru has earned his reputation as one of the most renowned recording and mixing engineers in music today. Having worked with artists such as Jay-Z, Beyonce, Drake, and Kanye West, Young Guru has received several Grammy nominations for his works and collaborations.
Fast forward to now with the ever-growing world of online education outlets, Guru has decided offer his skills, secrets and vast amounts of industry knowledge in the form of several Skillshare courses.
This online Skillshare class is made up of four sections, which include exclusive videos and materials broken up into the following lessons:
- Organizing a Mix – working with the basic components to a DIY mix, which include the Digital Audio Workstation [DAW], the tracks, and the controls, and how to optimally organize all of the audio information and tools for the task at hand
- Determining Levels – how to arrange levels in accordance with the artist’s vision for the song
- Adding Effects – how to work with basic effects like phasers, enhancers, reverb and delays, as well as create negative space or blend/fade where appropriate
- Tonal Balance – how to recognize when perfect tonal balance has been achieved
Learn How To Mix Music With Young Guru is the highest-ranking and most popular course for music production on Skillshare, and for good reason.
Having also done this course myself some time ago, I can say that it is definitely worth checking out and absorbing the wealth of knowledge that Guru offers up.