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  • Writer's pictureOmar Pusey

J. Cole's "Procrastination”: YouTube Music Producers in Hip-Hop

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

I remember the days of rappers throwing their unreleased content onto SoundCloud, whether it was Lil Wayne or Juice WRLD, it felt almost therapeutic finding something that wasn’t recognized within the mainstream. The type of songs that music artists loved but never even released for a profit. Some songs aren't released at all, with only a select few ever listening to the songs left in the artists "vault”. Well recently, I experienced the same feeling when a J Cole track was released without warning, by a producer on YouTube. J Cole’s track dubbed “procrastination (Broke)” was released on January 18th on YouTube for the world to be accompanied by an interesting photo that captured a conversation between the producer and Cole.

J Cole X bvtman “Procrastination”

Within the message we see Cole show appreciation to the producer, wanting him to promote the song on his YouTube channel. The song would serve as a testament to producers out there who provide their beats and instrumentals to the public for free. Cole even said a song like Procrastination would normally stay in the “vault”, but he just couldn’t keep it for himself this time. Just imagine all of the potential hits that music artists have in their “vault”.

“It’s a million artists out there right now just like me, hungry and searching every day for something to spark a word, a melody, a hook, a verse, a punchline, a way to vent, or a way to cut through,” the text says. “On a day when I couldn’t find much motivation, I was looking for anything to inspire me. Out of curiosity, I typed in ‘J. Cole type beat’ into YouTube. Yours was the first I saw. I pressed play, focused, and wrote this.”

After Listening to this song it prompted an idea into my head: Is it currently the generation of the music producers? If you haven’t noticed, Hip-Hop producers creating their own albums has become normative behavior. From producers like Metro Boomin to DJ Drama, it seems as if producers without an album are falling behind. But what is a music producer? I assure you they are more than just a cool catchphrase in the intro of a song.

What is a music producer?

I'm going to assume that most of you do not know what a music producer is, think of a music producer like a movie director. The music producer oversees the recording and overall production of the album. For solo artists such as rappers, a music producer is essential because in most cases they do not have a band with them, making the producer essential to the development of the song. The producer will manage everything from booking the recording studio to developing beats. However, within hip-hop most people think of the music producers as beat makers because most hip hop producers create their own beats.

Most successful hip-hop producers and beat makers provide their works and services to rap artists for great recognition and profit. If you listen closely to some rap songs, there are often curated intros or watermarks to tell listeners who the producer was, known as the producer tag. My personal favourite tag is Pierre Bourne’s, who used a clip from The Jamie Foxx Show:“Yo Pierre you wanna come out here?”

The music producers who aren’t fortunate to work with the best rap artists feature their works on platforms like YouTube and Beatstars to make a profit. That’s where J Cole found bvtman, a beat maker with over 130k subscribers on YouTube. It wasn’t a coincidence that Cole found bvtman’s work, he was posting J Cole Type Beats weekly. After posting “Procrastination”, btvman’s views and engagement increased significantly on YouTube. Within the age of digital, as an artist you are now capable of finding any beat you want online just by typing “type beat”. This might be one of the greatest moments for a music producer, Cole’s gesture might’ve given YouTube beatmakers the exposure they deserve.

Listen to "Procrastination" here:


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