"... lyrics ain't nothin' if the beat ain't crackin'."

Hip Hop producers do not get the credit they deserve. The producer is the person who crafts the musical canvas for the artist to bare their soul, and more times than none it's the rapper who recieves the acclaim for the song if it's a hit but if the song doesn't live up to it's expectations, it falls on the producers shoulders. Being a producer is a tough job. They have to make sure that the song is structured in an understandable and digestable fashion, whether it be the keys, arrangements, hook is right or wrong and up to par. The general public thinks the rappers make the beats or can care less about who the person behind the boards are, but the producer is the one who generates more revenue than the rappers and they don't have to deal with the attention, they're behind the scenes unless they make a personal choice not to be. They've pretty much transcended how we relate to not just rap but music as a whole. They can get away with saying how much they've contributed to the game and they can boast about how music pretty much wouldn't exist without them. But a great producer doesn't just "make a beat", the captivate the attention of a listeners.

Picking a top five list of anything is no easy task but I came up with my 5 top producers (in no particular order).

An innovator of the past few decades in rap, Dr. Dre who needs no introduction. He's one of the pioneers of rap  and a living legend. Dr. Dre was the originator of the G Funk era and I'm forever thankful for him because without it, I wouldn't have been so deep in rap. Let me explain, being born and raised in CA, you couldn't go anywhere without hearing a Dr. Dre record. His sound became the mold for the history of the West Coast. We may never hear Detox but The Chronic is more than enough contribution, The Chronic pushed boundaries and introduced people who couldn't experience Straight Outta Compton due to censorship to what West Coast Hip Hop looked and sounded like. It's an album that more rappers need to pay attention to. It's the quality not that quantity that matters for Dr. Dre but it should be stated he's put on enough of your favorite rappers from Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound. And if he didn't put them on he's definitely worked with them from Ice Cube, to Tupac, to Ras Kass, to Nas, he wouldn't have been able to connect with such a regal cast of professionals had it not been for the line his unique talent fell under. He is an icon.

"Nothing handed out, I'm about to take mine" is what Kanye West said on "Big Brother". And he did exactly that. Kanye West started out with a full heart, sacrificing his own career as a rapper so that he can give his strongest production that were made for himself to another very popular recording artist by the name of Jay Z. Ye's rise to fame came under Jay Z's classic album The Blueprint. But the goals he's been able to set for himself as an artist is beyond anything anyone is able to do for their own career in a decade and he's made it happen in a span of 8 years. He was overlooked for willing to take risks but he found a lane that made him comfortable and he took advantage of the self reflecting walk, and he seized his moment. He knows how to make his mark on a record, he's got charisma falling out of the pores and he's the definition of versatile. We'll never see another artist as "genuine" who speaks from his heart like Ye, he went from wanting to just have Jay-Z to share his stories over his musical landscape to touring side by side with his mentor/big brother. He has proven that he's more than just an untouchable producer but an impeccable rapper.

But I think one thing can be said that I don't believe he would argue with. Production wise, Kanye would not be here without one man, The RZA. The RZA is one of the most influential producers of all time, as his style has found different translations through so many producers that have come up today it's incredible. But more importantly, if it weren't for RZA, there wouldn't be a Wu Tang. Wu Tang set the trend for hip hop. He's been able to evolve from a hip hop producer to not even needing anything from Hip Hop anymore, directing his attention to movie soundtracks, and various business ventures. Yet as an artist he still keeps creating quality music. He set the trends for sampling in his production and skits on albums. He's designed classic after classic with each Wu Tang Clan member. RZA was the key ingredient in putting the East Coast hip hop back on the map, as he and the Wu Tang forced their entry in 1993 with "Protect Ya Neck" hitting the radio airwaves with a blatant disregard for normalcy. The rap game hasn't been the same ever since due to his grimey ear's for beats. RZA father most of rap's producers style.

You can't have a hip hop producers conversation without throwing DJ Premier into the mix, he's one of the greatest to ever do it. Aside from being the driving force behind the Gangstarr foundation, DJ Premier is the mastermind behind most of your favorite albums. When he's behind the boards, you know it's going to be a hard bass thumping cyclone of a record. He's is the sound of New York hip hop, from the specific samples of soul, jazz, funk. The drums always left a neck thrusting chaotic rhythm in motion worldwide. He's composed 3 of the timeless gems on Illmatic. 3 masterpieces on Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt. He's also been blessed with the ability to crossover into other genres working with talented artists ranging from multi platinum pop scarlett (Christina Aguileria) to rock & roll superstars Limp Bizkit, scaling mountains while maintaining his credibility as one of the most authentic names hip hop and music in general.

Another direct descendant whose DJ Premier influence is clearly present amongst tracks is the super official Alan The Chemist. This man has HEART. I remember around '02 - '03, in a random public access interview with Jeru Da Damaja, they asked "Who's gonna carry DJ Premier's torch?" One of the names Jeru Da Damaja belted out with the quickness was "The Alchemist". Alan The Chemist has gained notoriety for being one of the grimiest producers in hip hop, amongst being one of my favorites of all time. From working with Dilated Peoples, Mobb Deep, Nas, he's become synonymous for delivering the essence of the streets through his compositions as well as a critical monster behind the boards. The funny thing is, he started out as a "rapper" with the group, The Whooliganz and he went by the alias "Mudfoot". But when that didn't work out, Mudfoot developed another more fitting moniker, he focused more on honing his production skills for childhood friends, Evidence and his crew Dilated Peoples. With those gates opening, he eventually took on making music with the infamous Queensbridge duo Mobb Deep, and from there working with Snoop Dogg, The LOX, and Nas. Within that time he has developed his own vibrant yet gutter signature sound that allows the listener to sit comfortable as they fall into the trance of the Chemist. I can say ever that since then, he's stood the test as one of my favorite producers of all time.

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  • Randy

    kanye the goat

  • Regy

    Using reason that's doooope

  • that truth

    tl;dr but

    Hip Hop producers do not get the credit they deserve. The producer is the person who crafts the musical canvas for the artist to bare their soul, and more times than none it’s the rapper who recieves the acclaim for the song if it’s a hit but if the song doesn’t live up to it’s expectations, it falls on the producers shoulders

    entirely untrue. i hope you don't get paid to write for this site

  • imaGe

    where's dilla??????

  • http://snd.sc/zw21Vc Click Here

    Kanye the GOAT? WTF? You entitled to your opinion. My Biggest influences in making beats is "DILLA",DRE, Khalil,Flying Lotus, Premo, NUjabes,No I.D, and Q-tip(yep he derserves alot of credit) , Kanye Nice but in my opinion he aint fukin alot people i just named. If I ever get a chance showcase some beats on here,trust me you wont be disappointed , But anyway DETOX is Coming Out." I Know personally!", the marketing plan is the real hold up, its already mix all the way complete.

  • dirtye33

    i would rather listen to dope lyrics accapella than whack ones on a hot beat anyday "streets help niggas niggas dont help the streets yall use beats for help we help the beats" jada

  • Thinker

    I don't ever remember hearing anybody blame the producer for a shitty song. I mean u said it urself "The general public thinks the rappers make the beats or can care less about who the person behind the boards are," although I do think the former statement is a bit untrue

  • Crewsheff

    Crazy how every producer mentioned build their foundation from sampling. Music's influence continues to transcend through generations. I almost feel like producers now are redefining the hip-hop production. Stepping away from samples or at least using samples unconventionally. I wonder what the Top 5 Hip-Hop Producers list will look like 10 years from now.

  • G

    No Dilla! Wtf

  • unclesam

    "Hip Hop producers do not get the credit they deserve. The producer is the person who crafts the musical canvas for the artist to bare their soul, and more times than none it’s the rapper who recieves the acclaim for the song if it’s a hit but if the song doesn’t live up to it’s expectations, it falls on the producers shoulders."

    This is completely false. NO ONE THINKS THAT WAY. I have never hated against Miss Peas but c´mon son this is terrible.

  • http://www.backpackersdelight.net BackpackersDelight

    I think you always kill your columns for this site. On point as fuck. Gotta follow you on Twitter.

  • brite

    To choose 4 of the worst producers in the game right now is telling.

    At least show the hottest ones in form right now, Lex Luger, Spaceghostpurrp, Tokimonsta.

    And that other clown was right, no dilla means your list is total shit.

    And Dre is overrated as fuck.

  • marty mcfly

    No Pete Rock? Anyway just for some honorable mentions: Large Pro, Erick Sermon, Hi Tek, Black Milk, and Nottz.

  • cp3

    Its her opinion, you can't hate on someone's opinion if their list looks different than yours, we're all entitled to making our own list

  • http://Shy Shy

    ALC, nigga. WESTSIDE.

    .
    Stoupe The Enemy of Mankind def in my Top 5 tho. Probly my fave producer from the East.
    and this is HER top 5, guys. not yours.

  • http://drivewayblues.tumblr.com/ Just a Music Guy

    Kanye is a GOAT. That is all

  • LexiCon

    let's not forget guys like DJ Quik, Timbaland, Danja and others, who based their production on original composing rather than sampling. And don't forget white piano boys like Scott Storch and J.R. Rotem. Their drums must sound generic, but piano arrangements are fucking insane!

  • roybot

    damn stop hatin obviously no ones going to like the same production. you guys prolly cant even agree with each other, let alone her.
    Madlib's on my top-5 just because of his pure prolificness and not being afraid to experiment even if it doesnt turn out well. TDE's Sounwave on the comeup tho

  • marty mcfly

    Nobody is hating on her top 5 just by mentioning other people that could be also considered great. One minute people acting like they hate her guts and that next people is running to her defense when it aint even that serious. Calm down

  • Diego Inglewood

    Safe choices make for a boring list

  • electrotherapy

    In no particular order:
    Dr Dre
    Just Blaze
    Neptunes
    J Dilla
    Alchemist
    DJ Khalil
    Hi-Tek
    DJ Premier
    9th Wonder
    Black Milk
    Soundtrakk

  • dantefiero

    I agree with most of this list i would just swap out Alchemist for Timbaland

  • busstophustle

    You need to step up your editorial game, Pyrex. I feel like I learned little to nothing from this. Dedicate an editorial to shedding light on up and coming producers or unsung producers, something with a more coherent tie back to 2DBZ. With this and your Trayvon piece, you seem to just be fishing for page clicks.

    Using an editorial opportunity to present a rushed and poorly written piece giving credit to producers most (quite possibly all) of this site's readers already know does little to contribute to the greater conversation about Hip Hop. It just keeps it stagnant.

  • 1

    Very Dope article, even though only one of your top 5 makes my top 5

  • http://www.2dopeboyz.com/2012/04/27/2dbz-presents-truly-yours-when-the-beat-comes-in/ bryan

    woah woah woah wtf people! you guys left out DJ Quik! he gets no credit i swear

  • JAyP

    there are SO MANY PRODUCERS its too much for a top 5 really in my opinion because all kind of producers have changed our lives or gave us that nostalgic feel of good memories. YES Producers deserve more credit but it is great they don't get too much attention for the simple fact that it doesn't cause distractions from their craft. The environment of a Producer is very lowkey so if thats being disturbed the whole genuine vibe of it all is ruined

    THANK GOD FOR PRODUCERS & THEIR TALENT to give us listeners something to cherish

  • PLATA-O-PLOMO

    HIP HOP aint just about a BEAT & A HOOK but I gotta admit if the BEAT aint TIGHT ... I dont care if my FAVORITE RAPPER is spitting his BEST VERSE I will only listen once aka NO REPLAY VALUE ... THE BEAT & THE HOOK is like the PYSICAL BEAUTY of a WOMAN & the LYRCIS are the PERSONALITY ....P.S FUCK DR. DRE ... His TIME is OVER ... im sure when DECOX finally DROPS it will have a FEW BANGERS! but DRE SUCKS @ RAPPING & everyone know he doesnt WRITE he has GHOSTWRITERS & actually DRE has many GHOST PRODUCERS also like HITMAN ... MEL MAN ... ECT ... I wish DRE would drop DECOX soon as possible though then he could go back into HIDING & SUCKING DICK & EATING PUSSY like PAC said & make like 10 BEATS A year (lol) I could name 25 PRODUCERS RIGHT NOW whos BEATS WIPE their ASSES with DR. DRE BEATS

  • gerald

    were you high when you wrote this?

  • Obama Fried Chicken

    Producers that have influenced me in my personal taste:

    Timbaland
    Dr.Dre
    Danja
    Polow Da Don
    Soundtrakk

    Other mentions:
    The Neptunes
    DJ Khalil

    Nonetheless, this list is a bit plastic but I love their music and sound regardless. I have a huge collection of underground records that represent the classic 90s warm hip hop sound, it would be impossible to trace those range of unknown underground producers.

    I applaud ALL hip hop producers in general for bringing innovation to the game of music. Even though some of us overdose on making some corny stuff for that mainstream demand, we are still one of or THE most innovative genre in music history. And I salute the producers.

  • Kermit

    I would argue Still D.R.E. is one of the greatest beat in hip hop history or the best beat period in hip hop. The mixing on the record is the best mixing I ever heard on a hip hop beat alone. I have personal favorite beats but from student of music - that beat is the best representation of hip hop.

    P.S.
    Detox will NEVER come hahaha

  • Oenomaus

    Sorry Miss_Peas but I have to correct you, when u say about Premo

    "Plus he’s one of the few that can actually say that he provided a track for the ill collaboration of Method Man & The Notorious B.I.G for Biggie’s debut album Ready To Die"

    Im sure it was Easy Mo Bee that did "The What"

  • illmatic27

    wow so much east coast music, for some one that grew in LA))

  • JustAFanOfMusic

    That nigga Lex Luger!!!

  • jiz

    Easy Mo Bee did "The What".

  • david

    @Oenomaus and jiz You're right it definitely was Easy Mo Bee, Premo produced 'Rap Phenomenon' for Red, Meth and Big but that was after Big passed and it wasn't on his debut

  • Gregory Kruxx

    Although Im in agreement with Kanye, Dre and Rza. Not the rest of the list for top 5. Primo is in my top 10 but not 5. He was in fact an architect and innovator but ya know what. He has made a crazy crazy beat in years. All his shit sounds the same these days. You ever think thats why certain artists dont work with him any more??? @nd Childhood for Nas in my opinion was the last dope I mean really dope beat he did. Im still a fan of the man and his work but Primo lost a step. Yeah I said it.
    Next time do a top 10. And oh. Primo did not do the What as they implied in the article.

  • marty mcfly

    Premo didnt do the What for BIG but he did Unbelievable, 10 Crack Commandments and Kick In The Door, Thats 3 masterpieces with BIG. The MC with prolly the greatest "rhyme-scheme of all time ( anyone, Tyson, Jordan, Jackson, action, pack guns, ridiculous...). Also Premo did Regeneration with Nas, For The Record with Torae, You with Evidence, 2nd place with Royce, Born to Trap with Game, 25th hour with Reks etc etc... just last year and they was all dope.

  • marty mcfly

    scheme"

  • dreW

    Easy Mo Bee did "The What" haha, and I thought Kanye initially got known for "This Can't Be Life" off of "Dynasty"... Miss Peas needs to check her "facts" before she publishes them...

  • that truth

    Thats 3 masterpieces with BIG. The MC with prolly the greatest “rhyme-scheme of all time

    deaadddd @ big having the best schemes of all time. nobody from the writers to the commenters know shit about hip hop on this site

    ms peas gonna say the neptunes produced TROY next and try to pass if off as fact

  • that truth

    “Plus he’s one of the few that can actually say that he provided a track for the ill collaboration of Method Man & The Notorious B.I.G for Biggie’s debut album Ready To Die”

    wow I wanna lay off but that's just horrible writing. bitch did you pass the 8th grade? 1. it's false and 2. if he did make the beat, he'd be the only one that made the beat for the collab, not one of the few

    dumbbitch.jpeg

  • marty mcfly

    @that truth, Thats really the truth cause I aint heard too many rappers with a better rhyme scheme then BIG. He was saying something on records and dropping metaphors and punchlines all over the place and on top of that he delivered the rhymes with multiple styles at once. COMEONSON thats some superior rhyming right there.

  • that truth

    you don't know what a rhyme scheme is. metaphors and punchlines are completely unrelated to rhyme schemes and big barely spit any punchlines. a rhyme scheme is where you rhyme words in your bars and that's it. as far as rhyme schemes (compound rhyming) big was solid for his time but there are dozens of rappers far superior to him in that category

  • C

    premo
    peterock
    dilla
    large pro
    lord finesse
    dr dre
    alchemist
    kanye
    rza
    9th wonder
    muggs
    havoc
    dj quik
    timbaland

    1.premo and 2,pete rock other than that no particular order

  • C

    oh ya Q-tip^^^^^

  • marty mcfly

    I know what a rhyme scheme is, I just added that other stuff in there to describe a level of control and calculation involved in his scheme. Yes i've heard people use a bunch of patterns for long periods of time like Big Pun, Elzhi and even Cam did it for the whole Purple Haze album BUT Big did it differently. Not only was he rhyming put he was pausing in between certain words for a certain kind of effect in pronunciation and also breaking some single words into two by syllable and then bouncing off that pattern at the same time. Big would use a rhyme scheme to also serve a purpose, not to just prove he can rhyme good. So once he used the same rhyme scheme for too long he would switch up to a different one showing he had control over it. So yeah, as far as rhyme schemes (word patterns) go? BIG had that on lock. I realize this section is about beats but I just put that out there about BIG since his name came up.

  • marty mcfly

    And if you look at the two of the Premo produced songs with him, Unbelievable and Kick In The Door, you'll see those beats compliment BIGs choppy word play and rhyme scheme. Good morning and OUT

  • A$AP Patrick

    you trolls dont know NOTHING about hip hop obviously or whats in

    Best producers: (in no particular order)

    1. Lex Luger
    2. Lil Lody
    3. Drumma Boy
    4. Hit Boy and Chase N Cashe
    5. Southside
    6. Just Blaze

    All your fav producers are irrelevant and old. They are broke

  • Neo

    Not a SINGLE mention for Kno?

    1. Dilla
    2. RZA
    3. DOOM
    4. Kno
    5. Premier

  • http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/16497-back-from-the-dead/ Shawn

    RZA, No I.D., Pete Rock, Premo, & MARLEY MARL for THEE 90s!
    DILLA, KANYE & ALC FOR THEEE '00s!!

  • realtalk©

    Exile
    Alchemist
    No ID
    Chuck Inglish
    Kanye

  • jjj

    no dilla, alc, or battlecat? im out!

  • mark

    LOL WTF!! Kanye Does Not Belong! IDC If He Produced Some Ill Songs, He Doesnt Belong Next To Preme & Dre. Kanye Is Ok Next To Eminem. (Eminem best MC/Producer)

  • mack

    here is some of Eminem's Productions:1. Eminem ft. 50cent-You don't know
    2. Trick Trick ft. Eminem-Welcome 2 Detroit
    3. Akon ft. Eminem-Smack That
    4. Llyod Banks ft 50cent-Hands Up
    5. 50cent-Im supposed to die
    6. Jay-Z-Moment of Clarity
    7. Eminem-Superman
    8. DMX ft. Eminem-Go To Sleep
    9. Game ft. Eminem-We Ain't
    10. 2pac-Thugs get lonely too
    11. Eminem-Bully (unreleased)
    12. 2pac ft. Biggie-Runnin
    13. Eminem-Way I am
    14. 2pac-Ghost
    15. Eminem-8 mile road
    16. Eminem-Lose Yourself
    17. D12-One Shot Two Shot
    18. Nas-Carry the cross
    19. Eminem-Toy Soldiers
    20. Lloyd Banks-Without my Glock
    21. Tony Yayo-Drama Setter
    22. Eminem-When Im Gone
    23. Eminem-Mocking bird
    yeah....

  • http://www.datpiff.com/Tieran-Cline-The-Difference-mixtape.339131.html Tieran Cline

    I'd have to say Premier is the goat. The list is pretty solid though.

  • Tarikh Mizan

    check for nu producer Japanese Jellyfish

    soundcloud.com/japanesejellyfish

  • C

    What about Dilla? He's got to be worth a mention.

  • stankoniac

    Ali shaheed Muhammed? J Dilla?

  • jkenzo

    let's be real here, dilla's impact to hip-hop AS A WHOLE isn't as important as those mentioned above. i feel as if dilla's career has been tainted because of his death. do not get me wrong, his production is great, but i can't help but point out those who bandwagon him just because everyone else does.

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