415-858-9050 415-858-9050
Scout Music Design lab

Music Design Lab Challenge #1: Sung Hip Hop

Thanks for your interest in the Scout Music Design Lab


Challenge #1:

Create a fun, modern hip hop / pop crossover banger with a sung hook.


Creative Brief: 

Modern, simple mainstream hip hop pop with sung hooks are always in demand for ad, tv and movie projects, as well as radio and streaming. The challenge is not to lose the realness or let it get cheesy. 


Reference tracks:

1 DRAM & Lil Yachty “Broccoli” – So easy and dumb and fun. 

2 Flo Rida “My House” – A monster hit with a lot of uses in film/tv. Half a billion Spotify plays.

3 DJ Khaled & Justin Bieber “I’m the One” – Totally addictive track. 750mm plays.

4 Kid Cudi / Pharrell “Surfin'” – Feel good flow.

Post Malone / Ty Dolla $ign – “Psycho” – Real, chill, modern. Hypnotic.

Big Boi – “All Night” – A total banger. Unexpected piano riff, half time drums bring the groove.

7 Nappy Roots “Good Day” – Classic sunny hip hop.

8 Snoop & Bruno Mars “Young, Wild & Free” – So catchy


Potential lyric themes: 

Having fun / Good times / Doing your thing / Enjoying someone 

Be creative with it – paint a picture, set up a situation or setting. Show don’t tell. Snoop does a great job at this. “My House” and “Surfin'” do this really well too.


Keys to success for the track: 

Lyrics: Study the lyrics of the referenced songs. Simple, universal themes. Surprise elements. Conversational. Set a specific place/mood. Or be silly and loose. 

Melody: Really hooky, memorable, simple. 

Instrumentation: Big kick and beats. Fun keyboard sounds and samples. No heavy minor key sounds. Modern/unexpected bass sounds.

Vocals: I love the sung chorus on “Broccoli.” So rough and raw and fun. Maybe all sung like “My House?” Sung chorus with rap verse? 2 vocalists? 

Production/Vibe: Groove. Use for loops and fx that feel right for this. Combination of big sounds and unexpected/broken/geeky sounds.


Submissions: Open

Send demos, full tracks, full or partial lyrics, grooves, chord progressions, melodies… 


How to submit:

1 Send email to with Full Name and Phone #. 

2 I’ll invite you to a folder where you can upload demos, lyrics, etc. 

3 By submitting music to the folder, you agree to the Splits / Track Ownership below.


Splits / Track Ownership: 

By submitting music for this challenge, you agree to the following:

1 (Composition) All writers will divide the 100% writer share of the song(s). Each writer’s share will be based on their contribution to the finished composition(s) as determined by Scout. Scout will control 100% of the publishing to account for the direction, strategy, coordination and improvement of the composition(s), as well as the licensing, registration and collection. 

2 (Master) Performers will divide 50% ownership of the master recording(s), based on their contribution to the finished recording(s) as determined by Scout. Scout will control 50% of the master recording(s) to account for the direction, strategy, coordination, improvement, mixing and mastering of the master(s), as well as the licensing and collection.

3 Each writer and performer will be given a full split sheet with all parties’ ownership. 

4 Scout will have the exclusive right to promote, license and negotiate deals on behalf of the composition(s) and song(s), to bring exposure to our work on the song(s) and to help us all earn money based on our joint efforts.

5 This deal does not apply to music you produce outside of this challenge, and you are free to enter into other deals on any other compositions and songs you write or perform.


Scout Music Design Lab overview:

The Scout Music Design Lab is part of Scout Music, an Oakland music production and publishing company started in 2005. 

The purpose of MDL is three-fold: 

1 to assist up-and-coming musicians to learn techniques and strategies to create music on a world-class level.

2 to create truly outstanding and in-demand music styles for tv, movie, advertising placement and label opportunities that will generate significant revenue for all involved. 

3 to give in-depth mentorship and exposure to participants in MDL.


More info on the Scout Music Design Lab.



Spread the love