Oct 05, 2022

Beats for Leasing: Everything You Need to Know

Different rappers have tracks with the same beats…and it’s okay. Read why beats for leasing are getting popular and how to make your single a hit.

Olds remember the era of celebrity beatmakers, when Timbaland, Neptunes or Scott Storch wrote instrumentals for top artists for six figures. But no one could think of selling the rights to the same beat to more than one artist.

The History of Beats Leasing

Sonplayer Abe Batshon says the idea came to him one day, when he was unable to pull the full price on a beat and asked producers for a big discount, but not taking a beat off market. Thus, the concept of transferring non-exclusive rights was born. In 2008, the concept was realised in the form of Beatstars, a platform for the sale of non-exclusive rights for beats, created by Batshon. 

The market for “beats for lease” was a natural reaction to the way the music industry had changed after 20 years of decline caused by the death of the CD format and Internet piracy. Labels were decisively slashing budgets, and the new environment demanded more practical solutions. The Internet and technology had lowered the entry threshold for young rappers, and beatmakers. They don’t need to invest in expensive hardware.

A new generation of rappers became clients of a new generation of beatmakers who did not want to wait for a superstar to ask them for beats.

Beats to Lease – What are the main rules?

Platforms like Beatstars always offer the buyer several options. The cheapest is an mp3, the most expensive is a track project. The cost is set by the creator of the beat and he also decides what rights to transfer and to what extent.

Every beatmaker has different restrictions. Some forbid uploading tracks with leasing beats to streaming platforms. Some put a limit on the number of listens, after which you have to either buy out the full rights or renew your licence. However, many labels and distributors don’t care about this – they can upload tracks to streaming platforms even with stolen beats.

In theory, Rappers should have tracks with the same beat. But in practice?

There are a lot of examples: Zaytoven released tracks with the same beats as Migos and Soulja Boy. The beat from the Designer’s track “Price Tag” was previously on the iLoveMakonnen track “Everything”.

Sometimes, famous artists can’t record anything good on a beat, and then a noname makes a hit on it. That’s what happened with Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot Nigga” (2014), a beat Lloyd Banks used back in 2012. 

What Do You Do When a Leasing Beat become a Hit?

Usually, the artist keeps track of the track’s distribution dynamics. And as soon as the first popularity comes to him, he tries to redeem the beat. But you might not make it in time! 

It is more difficult if an artist has signed a lease, recorded a hit track, and in the meantime someone has bought out the full rights. Here the crutches begin, though it is solvable. You can re-buy the rights. Or the artist who bought the exclusivity can now sell the licence to use it as the rights holder. 

What are Type Beats?

Lucas Depetti’s beat was uploaded to YouTube as “[FREE] Drake Type Beat “Storm” | Hard Rap/Trap Instrumental 2019″. It’s clear that beatmakers today have to think about Search Engine Optimization as well. All instrumentals on the YouTube channel, through which Depetti sells beats, are titled according to the same principle.

One day somebody had an idea to write in the tags not only the genre and the mood of the track, but also what rapper’s music it sounded like.

There is a misconception that type beats are always an imitation of something low quality. Of course, when Pi’erre Bourne comes along and writes a hit that doesn’t sound like everyone else around, rappers start copying it to jump on the trend. But that doesn’t mean that 100% of those selling music on Beatstars and SoundClick are imitators and copyists, and type beat is not necessarily synonymous with “copypaste.”

Do big artists go to Beatstars for beats and google type beats?

The budgets of big artists allow them to work with proven high-class professionals. But even an upcoming artist with modest home equipment can write a super hit.

Desiigner bought a $200 instrumental for “Panda” on SoundClick, and Fetty Wap found “Trap Queen” there. Someone from the 6ix9ine team googled “6ix9ine type beat” and so acquired the beat for “Day69.” A$AP Rocky was looking for a$ap rocky type beat and found the instrumental for “Fine Whine“. Murda Beatz was selling type beats until he started working with Migos and Drake. It is logical that other star beatmakers of the new generation had to start somewhere – and most likely, these are type beats.