I feel the same way about a lot of what you guys said. There are a good amount of live instruments in hip hop though. The Roots are who made it famous and cool to use live instruments, but Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, Atmosphere, Mos Def, (who often plays percussion or regular drums at live shows), Outkast, (Andre 3000 is multi-talented, playing many instruments, (I'm not sure if drums are included)), and of course, the sub-par Gym Class Heroes.
In regard to drum machines, although you don't need the patience or discipline to play a steady beat throughout a song, (like ?uestlove of The Roots), or the ability to sit at a drum set and play a beat, (although many modern beat makers can, and do), you certainly need the creativity. Most great producers are very eclectic and creative in the beats they make. Whether they use a drum machine, electronic set, or real set, some of the better producers are very creative in that aspect.
Just my 2 cents.
Originally Posted by crdirtRider856
I would like to see what Tony Royster is doing for Jay Z these days but havent been able to find the time.
BTW, The Roots played for him on MTV Unplugged. Check that out if you get the chance.