So, I'm going to write something that supports or rejects each piece of advice - because, seriously, as b-side says, some of this is so whack, that it needs to be jumped on and squashed before we have a whole generation of know-nothings claiming this is the best advice they ever read......
10 Track Commandments
# 10. Unless it’s a rare sample don’t sample the first 10 seconds. Don’t loop the first ten seconds of "Thriller."
No argument here - the more obscure it is the less likely that someone else has already flipped it. Does not excuse you for failing to license your use of it though.
# 9. Do you. Which means if you sample, sample. If you play keyboards, do that.
Kind of a nothing statement - in essence do what you do best. But this can be an inhibitor, stopping folks from developing new talents and skills
# 8. Always make beats with a MC in mind. Ask yourself, "Does this sound like Busta joint or a Nas joint?" That’s the best way to build up your catalogue.
Kind of good advice, but what if you are trying to break new ground - doing something in someone else's style is going to stop you breaking that new ground.
# 7. Don’t put more than 10 beats on a beat CD. I put 30 on one once and MCs can’t absorb all of that at once. I learned the hard way.
This is kind of cool - it follows the 7+/-2 rule identified in the late 1950's, that says that we have trouble distinguishing between more than 5-9 items presented for consideration - there's a lot more to it than that but that is the nutshell version.
# 6. Flippin’ Bob James’ "Nautilus" at least once is a right way of passage, even if you don’t play it for anybody.
That's "Rite" or "Ritual" of passage. As to why that particular Bob James tune, no idea (I have probably heard it but I have heard so much music, that it sometimes get jumbled up inside).
# 5. If you make beats on a computer, don’t have Limeware or something on it. You’ll get viruses and lose everything.
No, do not have that computer connected to the internet at all is the best way to avoid viruses and other shit. Software itself is not the cause of viral problems, it is the software that gets downloaded with it that causes those problems......
# 4. Some people don’t like to record with a lot of people in the studio, butI like to record with a lot of different people there because you get a lot different feedback on the record.
Stupid advice as every person who offers an opinion on what to keep or what lose is entitled by law to a cut of the profits made when that tune is sold.
This is why split sheets are important.
I would also suggest keeping a guest book that gets filled in for each session, wherein a guest acknowledges that they will not make unsolicited contributions during the session and have not contributed to the creative process at the end of the session - sounds kind of mean but covering your ass should it ever come to court is your number one priority when making music.
# 3. If you want longevity in this game, align yourself with larger entity and be the main producer like, Marley Marl, The RZA, The Neptunes, Mannie Fresh, Organizied Noize, The Bomb Squad, Dr. Dre. They don’t just make beats, they provided the landscapes for a whole crew for years.
Names become names only after a sustained period of success.
This advice is hard to act on as you cannot know what success you will have initially nor what success people you work with and for will have.
Might as well say, "become the next big thing and then work your name for all it's worth sucka".......
# 2. Forget reading the manual. You gotta break something to figure out how it works. Peter Jennings didn’t graduate from high school. It’s about natural ability.
Breaking shit is all well and good, but if you do not understand how something should work breaking it first won't help a damn.....
It is never just about natural ability - without work that natural ability is worthless.
And without studying the game, you're never going to break the game......
# 1. Stick to your equipment. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make beats on a bucket with some sticks.This is hip-hop. If you can drop 40 points a night in Chuck Taylor’s, do it. You don’t need Nike Shox.
Sticking to your equipment is cool - don't buy something simply because zozozo says it's the best thing since sliced bread, unless you really need it, you will have put your cash down for something that may not get used at all or may be out of date in 6 months.
#0. learn everything you can about the music you want to make;
who's a has been,
how to play a new instrument,
how to play your current instrument better.
In short, being a professional means that you don't stop working at it, working out, studying or learning simply because you made it; if anything you need to work harder so that the next big thing doesn't steal your spotlight too soon......