It can be an incredible moment when those who inspire others, become inspired by someone they inspired. This tongue-twisting conundrum happens every so often in the rap game, and one way it does is through type beats.
Popularized in the mid-2010s, producers have primarily used YouTube to post instrumentals they’ve made that are designed for a high-profile artist. These are commonly referred to as type beats. In fact, after looking up “A$AP Rocky type beats,” Pretty Flacko himself used one for his 2015 track “Fine Whine.” Similarly, Joey Bada$$‘s 2015 track “Christ Conscious” also originated when the New Yorker found a favorable “Joey Bada$$ type beat” on YouTube.
It seems that when a rapper is struggling to find a beat that connects with them, they look to those who have studied them and emulated their past work. The most recent superstar emcee who indulged in this practice was J. Cole, and the producer he stumbled upon just so happened to be one of the GOATs in the type beat community.
On Jan. 18, producer BVTMAN uploaded a new song to his YouTube channel titled “procrastination (broke).” However, unlike most of his uploads that are primarily type beats for rappers like Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Mick Jenkins or J. Cole, this one happened to include vocals from Cole himself. Instead of solely an instrumental, the track included a Cole verse where he delivered bars about the recent lack of motivation he’s been facing in the midst of crafting an upcoming album.
I need to finish this album“procrastination (broke)” — BVTMAN, J. Cole
But hell, how many more times
Can I send this wooden pail down in that well
And pull it back up with the hope that it’s filled?
The beat used for “procrastination (broke)” came from BVTMAN’s Andre 3000 x J Cole type beat titled “The Reunion,” which he posted to YouTube in June 2022 and now has over 680,000 views. While it’s not uncommon for BVTMAN, who has 139,000 subscribers, to gain loads of attention for his beats, this experience is something completely new for the Brooklyn-raised beat maker.
“I just really upload beats until something happens. I’m just going to flood YouTube with all my beats and somebody’s bound to see it,” he said. “I expected an artist that’s up there to eventually hit me up, but an artist like Cole? Nah. I didn’t expect that.”
Cole found “The Reunion” when he searched “J. Cole type beats” on YouTube, and it was one of the first ones he stumbled upon. Then, after being inspired by it and writing a song to it, Cole had Dreamville co-founder and president Ib Hamad reach out to BVTMAN to let him know.
“Through Instagram, (Ib) messaged me,” he said. “We spoke our peace and then he mentioned, ‘Yo J. Cole was inspired by your beat. He was searching type beats from you and he had this verse that he laid down on it. He ain’t wanna throw it in the vault. He did something, I’ma hit you back in a couple days.’ So, I bothered him for a couple of days and was like, ‘Yo, did Cole really do somethin?’ He finally hit me back and he said, ‘Yeah.’ And in 30 minutes he sent it to me and man, I went crazy as soon as I got that song.”
Along with sending the song Cole recorded over “The Reunion,” which was now titled “procrastination (broke),” Ib relayed a message via Cole directly to BVMTAN. In the note, Cole asserted that he wanted the song to live on BVTMAN’s YouTube page and that he wanted to stop vaulting all the music he was making. BVTMAN used the screenshot of this text message as the song’s cover art.
“Me doing this for a while, and me trying to achieve greater things and excelling, for him to do that, that really put a stamp and gave me clarity of what I’m doing,” he said.
Nearly a month later, the song has reached over 3 million views on YouTube, already making it the most popular video he’s ever uploaded. The song currently cannot be monetized yet, likely due to clearances BVTMAN would need to get from Cole and Dreamville. But at the moment, he isn’t worried about putting the song on DSPs or any of the finances involved. BVTMAN is just glad his work paid off.
“I didn’t really overthink it. It’s just a big deal,” he said. “I didn’t really think you know, ‘Is he doing it for me or for him?’ I was just like, ‘You know what, it’s good music getting dropped, and this is Cole, let me just put it out.’ All of that extra business stuff, we can do that another time.”
BVTMAN first joined YouTube in 2010, and first started uploading type-beats in 2019. Throughout his channel’s history, he has made over 450 type beats that include J. Cole as one of, if not the only, inspiration.
Full circle moments like these don’t happen often in hip-hop, especially when your inspiration is as big of an artist as J. Cole. So, it’s especially satisfying knowing BVTMAN, who has long been a follower of Cole, was the producer to which J. Cole bestowed this honor.
“Back in the day when I was listening to him in his early mixtape stages, all I remember was the soulfulness, the inspiration, the motivation, the storytelling,” he said. “That’s what I think about when it comes to making J. Cole type beats.”
Check out “procrastination (broke)” by BVTMAN and J. Cole below!