Take yourself out of the mix.
Make it sound exquisite.
Hide the production’s effects.
Make it felt, but not quite audible.
Derive everything from a single source.
Get to know how the parameter can modulate the overall mood.
Picture someone using this or the music being useful to them.
Does it still work when played softly?
Hide nothing in the mix.
There’s a whole other piece in those two measures.
Do twenty iterations, then save the eleven (or twelve) best ones.
EQ might fix it.
Imagine the ideal listening environment.
Stick to one sound set. (It’s enough.)
Rigorously build upon the off-the-cuff.
Continually evolve the sounds.
Complexify something small.
Imply instead of articulate the beat.
Build towards a climactic point at the mid-point, then wind down.
Manage the pacing: spend longer getting there.
Imagine the backing track without the singing or rapping,
then make it more interesting to compensate.
Make a sound’s entry point imperceptible.
Use delay, not reverb.
Say less to leave room for the listener.