Hits decoded: Recreating the beat of Blueface’s “Thotiana”

Love it or hate it, there’s something undeniably irresistible about Blueface’s catchy and off-kilter “Thotiana.”

Is it the offbeat rapping? Is it the combination of the bare-bones, stripped-back beat and the toylike piano melody? Whatever the reason may be, “Thotiana” is unavoidable, heard blasting from every lowrider with remixes by the likes of YG, Cardi B, and Young M.A. In this entry to our Hits Decoded series, we’ve decided to take a crack at recreating it – take a listen below, and splice the project to download the Ableton session and experiment with the track yourself.

The beat to “Thotiana” is essentially comprised of just four elements: a piano melody, a Rhodes, the drums, and a small strings part. “Thotiana” is fairly minimal and most of the stems are left dry – the piano melody, the chord progression outlined by the Rhodes, and the strings have little to no effects added. The rimshots and claps sounded just enough like a Roland TR-909, so that’s what we used here, as well as drums from Gill Chang’s sample pack. To recreate the Rhodes and piano, we grabbed some one-shots from Sam O.B.’s sample pack, along with a few others as well.

Honestly there’s not much more to say, because what lies at the core of “Thotiana” is its ability to do a lot with so little. What do you think defines this track? What do you want to see us recreate next? Leave any comments down below.

February 25, 2019

Max Rewak Max Rewak is a record producer, audio engineer, and music writer, based in New York and currently working in Sounds content at Splice.