Here are 2 great videos I found on how rap beats are made. It feels incomplete calling them beats because they can include horns, strings and guitars – a drum makes ‘beats’ but I digress… This first video I found a while ago. It’s pretty amazing watching Just Blaze making a beat in 15 minutes.
Th main tool that Just Blaze is using is an Akai MPC 4000. If you want to skip the intro, and skip Blaze talking through all the gear he has, skip ahead to 2:05.
This is something else, this is a guy ‘playing’ a beat live on electronic equipment. I found this through Pigeon Johns’s twitter feed. Amazing.