How to Produce Music Like: El-P

El-P has enjoyed a long career as a rapper and producer, and continues to thrive as one half of Run the Jewels. Depending on where you look on the timeline of El-P’s discography, you might hear anything from dusty vinyl samples and chopped drum breaks to trap beats and futuristic synth leads. What you’ll never hear is a simple, boring, predictable loop — because the only thing that’s certain in an El-P production is an absolute fearlessness when it comes to experimentation.

El-P got his start in the early 90’s when he co-founded Company Flow in Brooklyn, NY. He later went on to run his own label, Def Jux, producing for all of the artists under his wing. After a solo stint and several other collaborations, El-P stepped out of the spotlight for a short while, only to return stronger than ever in 2013 with his new partner-in-crime, Killer Mike. El’s beats are typically wonky, dark, and aggressive, with the right amount of complexity balanced on a backbone of good old-fashioned boom-bap.

Here are a few things to try the next time you need that El-P edge on our track.
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