What is the definition of a beat or beats in hip hop music?
By definition, the term beat or beats in rap or hip hop music means the exact same thing as “rap instrumentals” or “rap beats“, which are produced by hip hop producers in the music industry. A rap instrumental is a piece of hip hop or rap music performed solely by real or digital instruments, with no vocals.
The word “Beats” is a synonym for instrumentals, as they mean the exact same thing. So when someone says “I got beats bro”, they really mean, “I have instrumentals available for you to record your vocals to”. For example, “I need some beats to rap to”, “I got beats for sale”, “I just rapped on a beat“. A beat, in rap is a thing, therefore it is a noun.
Hip Hop producers make rap beats using beat making software. Producers then sell beats to artists who are looking for instrumentals to sound good with their lyrics.
Depending on the situation, the artist will write sometimes write new lyrics to a beat they just found or use the beat for a song that work well with a song they already wrote. Artists rap or sing to the producers beat in a recording studio where an audio engineer records the artist’s vocal arrangement and combines the vocals along with the beat to make a song. Finally, the two tracks are professionally mixed and mastered to produce the final master of the record.