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You made it now, Lex remembers Jay-Z saying. You got Beyoncé bopping to your beats.
Lex didn’t know whether to hug her or shake her hand. He went with the hug.
It happens about once a year in hip-hop production: someone invents or perfects a sound, someone figures out how to get a weird noise out of some piece of technology not designed to make that noise, someone figures out a way to make a drum machine say the same old thing with a different accent and the whole rap world tilts on its axis. If you manage to change the beat — if your sound drifts upstream from mix tapes to pop radio, if it becomes the only thing anybody wants to hear — you can change hip-hop.


"Lex Luger Can Write a Hit Rap Song in the Time It Takes to Read This." — Alex Pappademas, The New York Times Magazine
See more #longreads from Alex Pappademas

You made it now, Lex remembers Jay-Z saying. You got Beyoncé bopping to your beats.

Lex didn’t know whether to hug her or shake her hand. He went with the hug.

It happens about once a year in hip-hop production: someone invents or perfects a sound, someone figures out how to get a weird noise out of some piece of technology not designed to make that noise, someone figures out a way to make a drum machine say the same old thing with a different accent and the whole rap world tilts on its axis. If you manage to change the beat — if your sound drifts upstream from mix tapes to pop radio, if it becomes the only thing anybody wants to hear — you can change hip-hop.

"Lex Luger Can Write a Hit Rap Song in the Time It Takes to Read This." — Alex Pappademas, The New York Times Magazine

See more #longreads from Alex Pappademas

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