5 Famous Hip Hop Artists And The Equipment They Use

We all have our ideals, and it's only natural to draw inspiration from them. If we talk about music, specifically, I believe every new artist has their music-God. From looks to music style, we want to be like them – and there is no shame in it. That's how you evolve, grow, and find your unique style. Music comes naturally- if you got it, you got it. But, investing in good gear to master your art is another thing. If you are a hip hop enthusiast and look up to your favorite artist for buying the best equipment, this blog is a must-read for you!

Equipment Used By Famous Hip Hop Artists

Legendary hip-hop producers have played a pivotal role in reshaping the hip hop culture. From ‘just a hobby’ to one of the most popular music genres, hip hop music has come a long way. Influential producers have reinvented the art of making beats through their vision and signature sampling techniques. They are the maestros, and what they do is utter magic - but it won’t be wrong to say that their choice of equipment has a lot to do with it.

In this post, I have done a thorough gear rundown of famous hip hop artists. So, continue reading to find out about the equipment used by your favorite Hip Hop artist.


Aubrey Graham, popularly known by his stage name Drake, is one of the biggest names in the hip hop industry today. The singer-turned-rapper artist has a crazy fan following all across the globe, and a lot of people are curious to know how he does, what he does. If you are also a fan, you might find out answers to these questions:

What Microphone Does Drake Use?

Drake has a couple of favorites in this category. For keeping his vocals soft and vulnerable, Drake uses a Neumann TLM 103 microphone. This microphone transmits voice only from the main source and blocks any unwanted sound. So, the result is clear and crisp audio. The other mic Drake often uses for live gigs is Shure SM57. This is one of the most iconic microphones since 1965 and has a reputation for being rugged and powerful.

What DAW Does Drake Use?

Drake uses Ableton Live 10 for making music. The software is packed with a wide range of features like quick editing, a huge digital library, and the ease of sampling multiple MIDI sounds at the same time.

What Music Software Does Drake Use?

Like many other artists, Drake also uses KOMPLETE 13 for processing music and adding effects. This version has a lot of instruments and tools for creating musical masterpieces.

What Autotune Does Drake Use?

Drake uses Antares auto-tune 8 for central pitch correction. The software features various editing modes for real-time monitoring and correction.

What Compressor Does Drake Use?

A compressor plugin Drake often uses is Waves Renaissance Compressor. The program is designed to keep the warmth and originality of the audio intact while canceling out any unwanted sound.

Dr. Dre

Dre began his career as a DJ in the 1980s, and since then, he has become one of the most influential names in the hip hop industry. Dr Dre has produced countless hits and redefined the urban sound with his unique sense of music. Despite his modern and upbeat music, Dr. Dre is quite old school when it comes to equipment. You will be surprised to find out how Dre makes music:

What DAW does Dr Dre use?

Dr. Dre prefers sampling music without a DAW. However, he sometimes uses Avid Pro Tools. The program is designed for mixing complex sounds.

What Does Dr Dre Use to Make His Beats?

Dr. Dre uses vintage equipment like Akai MPC3000, for producing music. Dre admits that he like making beats the classic way and often uses multiple MPC3000’s at a time. For beat production, Dre uses AKAI Professional MPD218 controller. The device comes with 16 performance pads for adding effects. Then Dre uses the classic Roland TR-808 composer, which has long been discontinued by the manufacturer. However, there is a modern version, TR-8S, which has the same sound as TR-808.

What Sound Board Does Dr Dre Use?

Dre's personal favorite is Nord Lead 4 49-Key Performance Synthesizer with 2-Oscillator for making beats. The device has a lot of filters and a wide range of on-board effects. It is the ultimate soundboard for making hip hop music.

What Monitors Does Dr Dre Use for Mixing?

Dre uses Yamaha Active Studio Monitor in his studio. The easy attenuation and accurate sound production make these monitors the absolute favorite of many artists.

What Instrument Does Dr Dre Use?

Dre is a keyboard maestro. Over the years, he has switched a lot of keyboards, but the one that has stuck with him is M-Audio Hammer 88 Piano.

What Turntables Does Dr Dre Use?

Dre is also regarded as the king of manual sampling. He uses the classic Audio-Technica AT-LP5x for seamless sampling.

Kanye West

Who knew this Chicago kid would grow up to be one of the best hip-hop producers of all time? The Grammy award-winning rapper-turned-producer has worked with legendary artists like Jay-Z and developed his unique style. Here's a sneak peek at Kanye's music-making process:

What Microphone Does Kanye West Use?

Kanye uses a couple of microphones, but his favorite is Audio-Technica 4050 Condenser. Designed for every acoustical environment, this double diaphragm microphone maintains the sound quality through built-in noise rejection filters.

What DAW Does Kanye Use?

Just like Dre, Kanye also uses Avid Pro Tools. Due to its compatibility with every OS and its ability to process up to 128 songs, this software has become professionals' favorite.

What Headphones Does Kanye West Use?

Kanye's favorite is Beats Studio Headphones. These noise-canceling headphones are compatible with every OS and are known for their unmatchable performance.

What Equipment Does Kanye Use?

Kanye relies heavily on keyboards and samplers. He often uses Akai MPK2-49, a high-performance keyboard. For making beats, he uses Akai MPC 2000XL. This analog sampler needs no computer or additional tool to function.

Travis Scott

Regarded as one of the best rappers of this decade, Travis Scott defines his music as genre-less. Although most of his fans are hip hop enthusiasts, Travis likes experimenting with different styles. Here’s what he uses for making beats:

What Microphone Does Travis Scott Use?

Travis Scott uses the NEUMANN TLM 102 Condenser Microphone. The large-diaphragm, portable mic is known for its high-quality performance in every setting – be it open space or closed room.

What DAW Does Travis Scott Use?

Travis uses Image-Line FL Studio 11. The program is compatible with every OS and designed for multi-track recording, editing, and processing.

What Headphones Does Travis Scott Use?

Travis uses Beats Solo Pro headphones. These high-performance headphones offer 100% noise-cancellation and the perfect sound for studio recording.

What Equipment Does Travis Scott Use?

Maybe Travis draws his inspiration from Kanye because he also uses Akai Professional MPK49 USB MIDI Keyboard and Akai MPC 2000XL for making beats. Both of the MIDI controllers have a built-in sampler and sequencer for seamless mixing.

Tyler, The Creator

Tyler, the Creator, has recently won a Grammy award for the best Rap album. Interestingly enough, only a few of the tracks had Rap snippets, and the rest of the album was a brilliant display of mad sampling, orchestra, synthesizers, and harmonies. After the release of his 2019 album IGOR, a lot of people have been asking these questions:

What DAW Does Tyler, The Creator Use?

Tyler uses Image-Line - FL Studio 20 Signature Edition Software, an updated version of the same DAW that Travis uses. The software works seamlessly with Windows and Mac and has a user-friendly interface.

What Bass Does Tyler The Creator Use?

Tyler uses Korg MICRO KORG 37 Key Analogue Modelling Synthesizer for adding bass. The synthesizer has 128 editable sounds and is known for its high-performance.

What Does Tyler The Creator Use to Make Beats?

He uses the classic Roland JU-06A Sound Module. This device is a portable, travel-size synthesizer – perfect for touring. It offers an authentic vintage sound that will surely take you back to the '80s.

What Headphones Does Tyler The Creator Use?

He uses Beats by Dr Dre Mixr On-Ear Headphones. Unfortunately, this model has been discontinued by the manufacturer. But, if you want the same sound quality and noise-cancellation, you can use Beats Studio Wireless Headphones.

What Drum Kits Does Tyler The Creator Use?

Tyler has a very upbeat music style and relies heavily on drums. His favorite drum kit is Ludwig Evolution DrumKit. Consisting of 6 different drums, this kit is all you need to produce music.

What Equipment Should You Use For Hip Hop?

Now that you know what your favorite artists use for making hip hop music, it's time to set up your studio. Most of the products listed above are high-end and designed specifically for professionals. In my opinion, you can build a music studio in a way less without compromising on the quality. Here's what you need to produce hip hop music at home:

A Dedicated Machine

You can use your laptop or desktop for this purpose. But I always recommend having a dedicated machine for making music. DAWs and other software take up a lot of space. You can check my detailed article on The Best Music Production Laptops And Computers to get more helpful information.


Unless you are planning to sample every beat manually, you will need a DAW. This is the main software that will handle all the recording, editing, and sampling. One of my favorite DAWs is Audacity. It is easy to use, suitable for every skill set, compatible with almost every OS, and most importantly, it's free! Check out my list for Best DAWs in 2020.

A MIDI Keyboard

MIDI keyboard controllers are plugin devices that let you make music and record it on your DAW. For home studios, a portable device with 25 keys is more than enough. MIDI Keyboards like AKAI MPK Mini MK3 work for beginners and professionals alike. You are also welcome to check out my picks for Best MIDI Keyboard Controllers for your Home Studio to find more.

A Microphone

Use a condenser microphone for hip hop music. Large-diaphragm mics like Rode Microphone NT-1 work well for recording in open spaces as well as home studios. I have covered a complete article on some of the best Condenser Microphones For Beginners, so make sure to check it out as well.


I recommend over-the-ear studio headphones for recording. They are comfortable to wear for long hours and offer better noise cancellation. My personal favorite is the Sony MDR-7506. If you want more options, check out my list for Best Studio headphones in 2021.

You can add more equipment like an audio interface, studio monitors, and synthesizers as you expand your skillset. See what you need when Building your home recording studio.

Final Thoughts:

I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour of these famous hip hop artists' studios and their equipment. Some of the equipment is affordable, while most of it is quite expensive and designed for professionals. So, the best bet to set up your studio is finding the best equipment that fits your budget and skill level. Let me know in the comments which equipment you use for making beats. Good Luck!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What equipment do I need to set up my home studio?

It depends on your budget and music preferences. For the most basic home studio setup, you will need a computer, a DAW, a controller, a microphone, and a pair of studio headphones. Don’t forget to check out these 13 Essential accessories for your home studio.

Is it important to use DAW?

Yes, it is important to use a DAW. It is the main software you will use for recording, editing, and sampling your music. Check out my list for Best DAWs in 2021. To get more in-depth information on why you need to use a DAW along with some of the best DAWs in 2021.

What’s the best Studio Headphones in 2021?

Well, it depends on what kind of headphones you are looking for. There are two types of headphones, open-backed and closed-back. I have covered a detailed article on this topic. So, make sure to check my picks for Best Studio headphones in 2021.

Do I need a mixer to produce hip hop music?

Not initially, but once you are familiar with the basic setup and ready to explore – add a mixer to the music setup. Here's my list of Best DJ Mixers in 2021.

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