So first of all, a lo-fi hiphop beat is really not that different from any 'regular' old hip hop song. In fact, pretty much the whole sound is based on more chilled out versions of that 90's boombap golden era new york style of hiphop instrumental tracks. It usually sounds more sampled (whether it actually is or not) than electronic, or trap, (And with the obligatory Anime or rain sound effects) but of course in art, all rules are meant to be broken at some point. But yeah, pretty much the main difference is that lo-fi hip hop tracks just aren't really meant to be sung or rapped over. They're not really instrumentals or partial versions of another song. These types of tracks are meant to stand alone as complete musical pieces on their own. And that's definitely true, however it never hurts to keep an open mind to remixes, mashups, songs that sample the song, and other derivitive works that might cooked up when someone else gets inspired to use that awesome beat you just made.

How to Make Pretty Much Any Beat

Now I'll probably do a full post on this some other time, but real quick -- Whenever you're trying to make a certain style of beat, whether it's lofi hiphop, trap, west coast, toronoto or whatever, the most important thing to focus on is the feel of the beat. Basically, how does it make you feel? The second most important thing is what kind of sounds are usually in these kinds of beats? In the case of the lo-fi beats, I mean, the name pretty much tells you what you're gonna get. It's low fidelity. It's gonna sound dirty, gritty, low quality; Kinda shitty actually. But like, good shitty. Like a really expensive torn up off-white t-shirt or something. This beat needs to sound like it's been through something. So we need to find some samples that sound like that. You could even make em. Record yourself shittyly playing instruments and post them online like I did haha. but nah seriously, here are some free lofi drum samples that you can you use for your next beat.

Equip me, Sir

Ok so first you're gonna need a DAW or a beat machine. Use whatever you want, it really doesn't matter. I'm gonna use Logic. Most people probably use FL Studio so maybe just go with that if you're not sure. I use Logic because I record a lot of audio tracks sometimes and I like it for that.

So, it doesn't really matter which part of the beat you start with but I think the hi-hats are a good place to start because if they're in time, it's easier to line everything else up with them timewise.