The Beat Off Sessions
I started making beats back in the late 90's. My only reason was because there was nowhere to get beats. The internet wasn't really a thing and who makes rap beats in Great Bend, Kansas?
It's pretty odd to do something every day for 20 years and not even be very good at it. Everyday I sit down and think, "I have no idea what I'm doing." I took a lot of piano lessons but still can't play 1 song. I know nothing about drumming and I'm incredibly insecure about my understanding of music theory. "Is this even real music?"
Anytime I create something that I'm excited about it's probably pure luck. I'm not a gifted musician who can just make anything sound good. I don't unleash pure genius. I sit down and sort through garbage.
The talent I have isn't a talent at all. I just show up everyday. It often feels like digging through dirt looking for a diamond. Any potential for something good usually gets destroyed because I jump in the way and over think it. A possible diamond becomes a sapphire but I'll take it because it's better than dirt.
My Dad, who's nuts about hunting, said something that's been burned in my brain. I think about it everyday, especially when nothing's going right. "You don't judge the success of the hunt by what you got, but my how much effort you put into the trying."
It's weird. Beat making always felt like hunting or fishing and most days I get skunked. When I started applying that type of thinking my attitude changed and so did the number of days I'd get skunked. I started seeing crappy days as a good thing. Maybe 10 horrible, embarrassing beats in a row meant a jewel was around the corner.... Maybe part of the diamond is the dirt itself? I don't know.
The only thing I do know is to keep trying and don't quit. If you're painting or fishing, hunting or doing homework, don't give up. ESPECIALLY when things get frustrating. The frustration is a test and indicator the fish are about to start biting. Cast again and not because you need a fish but because you enjoy the process.