It’s a difficult conversation to declare who the best hip hop producer of all-time is. We all have our favourites and depending on the generation you belong to or region where you grew up, you may already have your mind made up. Regardless, there are several hip hop producers who’ve undoubtedly put in the work and produced enough hits to be considered among the top brass. Here’s a few of the names who have that distinction.
Murda Beatz is a Canadian-based hip hop producer who’s in his mid-20s and still very young in the game. Even so, he’s worked on hit singles including Nicki Minaj’s No Frauds, Gucci Mane’s Back on the Road, Drake’s Nice for What, Migos’ Motorsport, and 6ix9ine’s Fefe. Although his name’s not as well-known as some others on this list, Murda Beats’ work speaks for itself.
Dr. Dre’s had his hands in producing tracks for 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Xzibit, 50 Cent, The Game, Kendrick Lamar, and others. You wouldn’t have had West Coast G-funk without him, creating a unique blend of synthesizers and slow, heavy beats. In his prime, Dr. Dre was an unmistakable leader in the American hip hop scene with tracks from The Chronic and 2001still being stone cold classics.
Jahlil Beats has worked on tracks like Meek Mill’s Ima Boss and Burn, and Bobby Schmurda’s Hot Nigga. Jahlil Beats’ work led him to being signed by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, where he’s since collaborated with Jay-Z, Diddy, Lil’ Wayne, Chris Brown, Tyga, Rick Ross, and so many others. Love him or hate him, there’s no disputing he’s fast building a catalogue of tracks which could one day stand up as classics.
Regardless of what you may think of Kanye West off-record, when he’s at the top of his game, he’s near untouchable. Some of Kanye’s best tracks mix together elements of soul, baroque pop, electronica, industrial, and gospel music. From his early work on tracks from Jay-Z and Alicia Keys to his success from the mid-2000s onwards, his work as a producer has been a major influence on the world of hip hop in both positive and negative ways.
Timbaland’s been at the helm of some of popular music’s biggest tracks in the past three decades, from his early collaborations with Aaliyah and Missy Elliot to his several collaborations with Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, Jay-Z, Madonna, Rihanna, OneRepublic, Drake, and others. Although some can argue Timbaland may have more influence on pop music rather than hip hop, he’s another producer who has been able to bring in avant-garde sounds into #1 hits.
Boi-1da may be Toronto’s best hip hop producer, helming tracks in-house for Drake’s OVO Sound. Boi-1da’s produced tracks like Drake’s Best I Ever Had and Controlla, Eminem’s Not Afraid, DJ Khaled’s No New Friends, Rihanna’s Work, Nicki Minaj’s Regret in your Tears, and G-Eazy’s No Limit. The Jamaican-born Boi-1da is no doubt a producer to watch in the coming years, already with a very accomplished discography.
Missy Elliot is the best-selling female rapper of all-time and her production’s an underrated element of her reputation. Outside of Missy Elliot’s own catalogue of hits under her own name, she’s produced tracks like Keyshia Cole’s Let it Go, Monica’s Everything to Me, Fantasia’sFree Yourself, Jennifer Hudson’s I’m His Only Woman, Jazmine Sullivan’s Need U Bad, and Fantasia and Kelly Rowland’s Without Me.
What list of top hip hop producers wouldn’t be complete without Pharrell? He’s had as many #1 hits as anyone, with continued success across two decades. Lately, he’s produced Beyonce and Jay-Z’s Apeshit, Ariana Grande’s The Light is Coming, and Kid Cudi’s Surfin. Pharrell’s outstanding work is appreciated by most and the fact that he’s still operating at the top of his game says a lot about his ability as a producer.
Tagging the best hip hop producers of our time, any of these names could be placed at #1. These producers continue to be loved by millions and in high demand, with outputs of classic after classic and a high reputation in the community.
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