Clappers To The Front

Clap clap clap clap: one of the dominant sounds of hip-hop and R&B in the 2010s is a synthesized handclap, hitting hard on straight 8th notes for every measure of the beat. This deceptively simple formula, which was foreshadowed in the previous decade in beats by Soulja Boy and Swizz Beatz, is compatible with any number of rhythms and production styles, from New Orleans Bounce and D.C. Go-Go to Atlanta crunk and stomping EDM. Stars like Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Kanye West, and Nicki Minaj all have their share of clappers, slowing down a soul clap for a relaxed groove or picking up the BPM to a frenzied pace that no pair of human hands would be able to keep up with.