bookfeatureBODYimage_behindthebeatIn this edition of BBoyTechReport’s BOOKCLUB we take a look at the famed “Behind the Beat.” Behind the Beat was written by Raph (Rafael Rashid) and published by Gingko Press (Berkley, California). The initial pressing of Behind the Beat hit the streets and market place in 2005. The book was an instant hit with DJs and Beatmakers around the world. Subsequently, the book sold out everywhere and became hard to find.

The seemingly instant success of “Behind the Beat” was met, in 2006, with a 2nd and 3rd pressings in March and November respectively. Since 2006, “Behind the Beat“again became one of those rare and famed sought after books. Those fortunate enough to get their hands on them were simply lucky and even envied. While others copped multiple copies like rare vinyl re-pressings of classic jazz tunes. You know the drill, cop one to read and one to keep in pristine collectors condition, stashed away on a shelf somewhere never to be touched. I’m almost certain, during this time,  “Behind the Beat” made the occasional appearance on the 2nd hand markets of Amazon and Ebay where sellers jacked the price up to “ridiculous.”

Fast-forward to May 2013… Gingko Press surprised Beatmakers and DJs with yet another repressing. This was indeed a welcomed event seeing as though the demand for the book never really waned and/or decreased. I imagine  Gingko Press has kept its finger on the pulse of the demand and finally decided that now was the right time to drop yet another pressing on us. Well, whatever the case and the motivation I’m glad they’ve repressed it for a 4th time this year because it is the perfect book to add to the BBoyTechReport’s BOOKCLUB.

Why? You may ask… Well, it’s always cool to get a glimpse, and in some cases a long glare, into some of the most prolific beatmakers, producers and DJs labs. As beatmakers, producers and DJs ourselves we seem to always be interested in what other producers are using or have used to get a certain classic sound on cuts that we’ve grown to love.

For instance, it is possible that these images of Dilla are the most popular studio pics of him in the lab. Sure, it’s his LA home lab but these images were all over the internet when he passed away years ago. Even today a quick google of the words “Dilla Studio” will return these images within the top results. Certainly, in my eyes anyway, these images are considered classic.



Beyond the classic Dilla pics, Raph does a damn good job at giving insight into how each of these photo sessions / lab visit came about. He also includes bits of factual production credit data for his gracious hosts. A couple of my favs are Madlib’s and Mario Caldato Jr’s labs. The classic gear and vinyl are in abundance in these labs.

Behind the Beat” is one for the lab and / or coffee table of every beatmaker, producer and DJ. Raph certainly put together and impressive collection of photography here. Frankly, at least in my humble opinion, “Behind the Beat”  is our generation’s version (in terms of relevance and artistry) of TIME LIFE photography books. The difference is that “Behind the Beat” is for us by us thru the eyes of a prolific photographer with an acute sense for the “beatmakers perspective.”

Here are a few words from the publisher regarding “Behind the Beat

“The revealing photographs found within the pages of Behind the Beat expose the creative spaces of top DJ’s and music producers from the UK and US. This book is an open invitation to step into the private world of the hip hop home studio and discover its inner workings. Featured are the studios and equipment of some of the most influential music creators working today including: DJ Premier, J DILLA, DJ Spinna, Skitz, Nextmen, Taskforce, DJ Swamp, DJ Cheapshot, E-Swift, Beyond There, Kut Masta Kurt, Fat Jack, Herbaliser, Runaways, Jehst, Beatminerz, DJ Shadow, DJ Design, Dan the Automator, Chief Xcel, Braintax, Young Einstein, Numark, Cut Chemist, Thes One, J zone and Mario Caldato Jr” – w w w. g i n g k o p r e s s . c o m


  • Author: Raph (Rafael Rashid)
  • 160 Pages
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Size: 9 3/4” x 9 3/4”
  • 300 Illustrations
  • ISBN: 978-1-58423-510-1
  • Price: $24.95

The BBoyTechReport Book Club features and recommends exemplary books for the composer, beat maker & producer looking to expand his/her knowledge of making music and “making it” in music. The books featured here represent the high standard of BboyTechReport’s quest to present beat makers & producers with the tools and knowledge that will inspire the creation of incredible music. Stay tuned to The BBoyTechReport Book Club… “Better reads for better beats.”

No more articles