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date: 11 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces a history of rhythm technologies in hip hop and examines the creative workflows in contemporary production practices through an analysis of three amateur beat-making instructional YouTube videos. The workflows in these case studies illustrate the online production and perception of hip hop as producers demonstrate techniques and tacit knowledge used to design dynamic grooves, and the fan discourse of viewers’ comments and questions help explain and legitimize the uses of rhythm technologies. Based on this work, the chapter suggests that hip hop instructional videos are a convergence culture in which amateur musicians blur the lines between fan and producer, engage the history and future of a vibrant musical art, and show how the guiding concepts and skill sets of beat-making are learned and circulated as aural tradition.

Keywords: rhythm technology, hip hop beat-making, electronic music production, workflow, creativity, YouTube, fandom, convergence culture, aural tradition

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