As an active kid growing up on the eastside of Atlanta, GA, Robert “Brent” Horton played sports year-round while rooting on his favorite hometown teams with his favorite local radio stations blaring nearby. Across genres and no matter who the artist was, he gravitated towards music produced by such luminaries as Timbaland, The Prodigy, Organized Noize, and The Neptunes, captivated by both the originality and the quality of the sounds being utilized.
It was a 10th grade high school band class that would transform his perspective of simply enjoying music into a passion for creating, gaining inspiration from homegrown ATL talent. Classmates playing DJ Jelly mixtapes introduced the idea of matching unrelated instrumentals and vocals from popular songs into new tracks, sparking the imagination on a brand new journey:
“I thought to myself ‘what if could do that with my own creations’ and when I was introduced to FL Studio, simply put, my life changed forever. I was suddenly able to create the ideas in my head that were inspired by my favorite producers, musicians, and artists. And now I can honestly say, I’ve taken my dreams with music farther than I ever imagined.”
While attending Georgia Southern University and adopting the moniker Ribah On the Beat, playing off of his RBH initials, he became an established beatmaker by producing his first song that was ever performed in a talent showcase, in front of roughly 2,000 people. After becoming an FL Studio Paid User and linking up with T.I.’s Grand Hustle label of artists in 2004, Ribah never looked back at chasing his dreams.
Perfecting a bassy, innovative production sound that’s equal parts electronic, clean 808s, and arpeggiated melodies, Ribah leaned into the musical sensibilities he was raised on in the mecca of urban music:
“Atlanta is the greatest city in the world when it comes to music production. The combination of Miami Bass, Memphis crunk, and Texas screw are my roots.”
By 2006, one of his more progressive beats was shared with a brand-new artist signed to Atlantic Records named Bobby Ray, also known as B.o.B. to the industry. Although unknown at the time, Ribah felt a special connection to someone staying true to their sound and that meeting led to the song that changed his career in 2007, “Haterz Everywhere” which was featured on the multi-platinum international album debut The Adventures of Bobby Ray.
From that song, Ribah’s signature sound was in full rotation on Atlanta radio and began receiving spins across the nation while helping to break a future superstar. In fact, “Haterz Everywhere” landed in a Disney Movie “Step Up 2”, EA Sports “Fight Night Round 4” and led to even more collaborations with artists like Rick Ross, Juvenile, Killer Mike, and members of Three 6 Mafia. His production has since been featured on multiple nationwide LP retail releases in stores such as Best Buy, FYE, and more.
More recently Ribah’s dual love of sports and music has found an inevitable connection, with an original composition being picked up by Fox Sports South to be featured in the “Chopcast LIVE” pregame show for the Atlanta Braves in 2018. Along with additional production for prominent Atlanta sports talk radio, it’s clear that Ribah’s dedication to his craft has not gone unnoticed:
“I’ve always let my work do the talking and if people want to discover me, then to let them discover me in the credits. I want to do things like create a stadium sports anthem, break an unknown artist to expose to the world, and create a new sound that I can call my own. Trends come and go and you may be ahead of the game or behind, but your “sound” will always come around.”
Although 2020 was a year of uncertainty and stagnation, Ribah persevered through the monotony by producing a beat for every day of the calendar year, while also landing a co-production (The Beat Hawks) called “Tycoon Freestyle” on Willie The Kid’s critically-acclaimed Capital Gains project. His lasting piece of advice is a testament to his longevity in the pursuit of production greatness:
“Have fun, stay true to your sound and when inspiration does not hit, be patient. It will come.”
– Robert Brent Horton a.k.a Ribah On The Beat