North Texas Daily

Math freshman brings hip-hop instrumentals to the internet

Math freshman brings hip-hop instrumentals to the internet

Math freshman brings hip-hop instrumentals to the internet
March 03
18:39 2022

TicTacZakk is a YouTube channel of hip-hop instrumentals created by math freshman Zakk Gilmore. He works mainly with samples that preserve pre-existing songs that the beats are sourced from.

Gilmore started his channel in June 2021 with the instrumental for “Bound 2” by Ye, commonly known as Kanye West. Having just heard the album “Igor” by Tyler, the Creator, he noticed the same sample was used in “A BOY IS A GUN*.” Since he had been toying around with Audacity — an audio program on his computer — he decided to try to recreate the instrumental for “Bound 2” and upload it.

Finding this sample helped him garner supporters, but some of his fans are grateful for the kind of content he creates all around, said long-term fan and subscriber Walker Moore.

“[I keep watching for the] clear dedication, which has been apparent since the beginning of his channel,” Moore said.

Before the Ye sample, he used his platform to upload transcriptions for songs in video games and the audio for a podcast theme song. “Bound 2″ was his first instrumental, but he did not start uploading them consistently until a few months later.

After uploading some videos in September from the album “Disco!” by MIKE, Gilmore found the Wiki page for the album “Half God.” On this site, he found it was produced entirely by producer and rapper Sage Elessner, and featured artists such as Earl Sweatshirt, Navy Blue and Jesse James Solomon, which sparked his interest.

After listening to it, Gilmore began to alternate between creating instrumentals from “Half God” and the ones he hadn’t done from “Disco!” During this process, he found his YouTube niche, but the work of The Alchemist finalized his channel’s future.

The Alchemist is a producer known for his work on “Haram” with Armand Hammer, “Bo Jackson” with Boldy James and “Alfredo” with Freddie Gibbs.

The Alchemist is especially known for his rare samples, which launched Gilmore into the world of sample hunting. In doing so, he began to find sounds from Iranian funk, Uruguayan prog rock and ’60s doo wop. Gilmore said this turned sample finding into an exciting challenge, but also a way to uncover forgotten music.

“Without the existence of the sampling community, countless records would’ve vanished completely,” SoundCloud artist and producer Danny K said.

Gilmore found passion in unearthing these hidden tracks and finding out how they had been adjusted to the songs that sampled them. As he continued to fall in love with the process, he stays committed to finding new songs and albums to sample, he said.

Because TicTacZakk began to produce more content, his subscriber count has also increased. Regular viewers have started to leave comments requesting instrumentals, complimenting video quality and asking about sources of samples, which he generally chooses not to reveal.

Gilmore said the channel’s growth has thrilled him, as he jumps at the chance to interact with fellow music lovers and sample enthusiasts. This led him to start live-streaming through the “community” feature on YouTube to engage with the audience and answer questions. Shortly after, he announced a Discord server that he uses to interact with the community he has created.

“His influence will only grow with the army of like-minded individuals he’s creating right now,” said Ansel John, Discord member and TicTacZakk subscriber.

In the future, Gilmore plans to continue creating instrumentals and uploading videos while increasing his following.

“Even if you don’t consider yourself a hip-hop fan, I think everyone out there could find something worthwhile in these instrumentals,” Gilmore said. “Give it a shot, and I don’t think you’ll leave disappointed.”

Image source TicTacZakk on YouTube

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Susan Moore

Susan Moore

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