How to produce Hip Hop Beats: Song Structure

By | April 7, 2021


Create an Intro section. This is usually from 1 to 8 bar. This should captivate the listener. Many decide if they will listen to the rest of the song based on the quality of the intrusion.


Create a first Verse part. The most common length for a Hip Hop verse is 16 bars. With Hip Hop music, this part can be anything from a single loop repeated several times to a full on orchestrated music that progresses with time and has transitions.


Create a first hook section Usually about 4 to 8 bars. This should be kind and in line with the lyrics written for Chorus. Sometimes the rhythm matches the rest of the song, sometimes it’s a whole new beat and feels completely.


Create a new Verse section. The most common thing to do is copy the first Verse section and paste it after the first Hook to create the second Verse. Something most producers will do to add a little dynamic to the second verse, add or subtract a sound or two and maybe replace one of the melodies with a note.


Create a second hook section. This will basically be an additional 4 to 8 bar of the first hook. Some manufacturers add a little more dynamism to this part and build it up to move on to decomposition.


Create a Bridge / Breakdown. The bridge or decomposition is usually between 1 and 8 bar. This can be a stripped down drum beat, an instrumental solo or a remix of the main beat.


Create a third Verse section. This part is usually similar to the first and second Verse part. Some producers add some changes to the rhythm of the third verse or introduce a new melody to the song.


Create a third Hook section. This is usually Hook who takes you into the Outro of the song. This hook part is sometimes mixed with small drums towards the end to give the feeling that the song is winding down.


Create an Outro section. This is usually anywhere from 1 to 8 bar. This is an extension of the final Hook, an instrumental split, complete silence to allow for a vocal break or something in between. Some manufacturers will simply fade out and call it Outro. Some do not include an Outro at all.

Tips and warnings

  • The secret to producing Hip Hop music is to be careful not to overproduce. Some producers come across producing a hit to the point where an emcee can’t even rhyme it.
  • An important aspect of producing Hip Hop beats is your song structure. Without the right structure, an emcee will have a hard time grasping the rhythm. A Hip Hop beat should compliment the emcee’s lyrical skill and vice versa. Hopefully this article will show you some simple steps that will give you a basic guideline for how most Hip Hop music is structured.