It’s really a tricky thing, choosing an instrumental hip hop beat, and the reason is because when you listen to a song on ITunes or on the radio or wherever, what you are hearing is a polished and completed product that someone else has already made all the choices on. But when you choose an instrumental hip hop beat to work with it’s much more difficult to gauge how hot the beat actually is and if the beat will work with you.
The other point to take into consideration when choosing a hip hop beat, or rather, another skill which you need to develop in order to choose wisely, is to find instrumentals that you can actually work with. In many cases you will hear an instrumental rap beat that you know has a sound popular at the moment, but it’s not actually right for your personal rap style. In which case, the product you produce at the end of the process won’t actually sound as good as it might have. It’s actually better for you and the song you produce to choose beats that might not seem currently popular but that you can work with, rather than choosing instrumental beats that seem hot at the moment. And this is because so much of the quality of the finished product has to do with your interpretation of the music and your performance on the track. And if the beat is not something that you can work with then what you produce at the end really won’t be worth the time you spent to make the instrumental rap beat into a song.