The production style of hip hop beats in the current era differs significantly from the beats produced in the 1990s. While opinions on the quality of the beats may vary, there are several reasons for this difference in sound.
Firstly, technology has advanced significantly since the 90s. Music production software and hardware have become more accessible and affordable, allowing for a wider range of individuals to produce beats. This has resulted in a more diverse pool of producers, many of whom may not have the same level of musical training or knowledge of traditional hip hop production techniques as producers from the 90s.
Additionally, the musical preferences and tastes of hip hop listeners have shifted over time. The hip hop landscape has evolved to encompass a wider range of sounds and styles, and as a result, producers have incorporated elements from other genres into their beats. This has led to a departure from the sample-based production style that was prevalent in the 90s and the incorporation of more synthesized sounds.
Furthermore, the music industry has undergone significant changes since the 90s, including the rise of streaming services and declining album sales. This has put pressure on artists and producers to create music that appeals to the masses and generates streams, leading to a homogenization of sound in hip hop.
It's worth noting that despite these changes, there are still many contemporary hip hop producers who are creating beats that are inspired by and pay homage to the classic production style of the 90s. These beats often incorporate the use of samples, live instrumentation, and traditional hip hop drum patterns.
In conclusion, the differences in sound between contemporary hip hop beats and those from the 90s can be attributed to a combination of advancements in technology, changes in musical tastes and industry trends, and the influence of a wider range of producers. While some may argue that the beats from the 90s were of a higher quality, it's important to recognize that music is subjective and that the evolution of sound in hip hop reflects the changing times and influences of its creators.