Producing a hip-hop beat takes serious practice, but M. Sayyid, a member of the New York-based alt-hip-hop group Anti-Pop Consortium, is ready to play professor. In this two-part interview with Billboard.com, Sayyid demonstrates how he makes "fire on the MP" -- the MPC 2000XL synthesizer, used by such acts as Linkin Park, DJ Shadow, Kanye West and Dr. Dre.
Sayyid starts with a basic drum loop and adds a throbbing bass line. In order to create a sample to go on top of the beat's foundation, he then records himself, cranks it up to level 16, and ends up with a knocking, multi-layered beat.
In part two, Sayyid tackles "the bounce." Starting with the drum loop again and creating another sequence, he adds in a synth line to keep things bumping. With Sayyid's guide, the possibilities are endless with this synth machine.
Sayyid and fellow Anti-Pop Consortium members Beans, High Priest and Earl Blaize are known for their freeflow lyrics -- the quartet met at a poetry slam event -- laced over modern production techniques. After going dormant in 2002, the group is back in action now and will release "Fluorescent Black" later this year.