How would you rate these 33 Hip Hop/R&B producers?
• Swizz Beatz
o I like his production style, especially his trademark bells, whistles, claps, and some weird sound effect (many consider this trait annoying) although many say that he has fallen off in terms of quality and is now overrated. Songs can be repetitive, but are always energetic and up-tempo.
Party Up (Up In Here), On to the Next One, I Can Transform Ya
• Polow Da Don
o My favorite music producer. He can produce everything from epic, synth-heavy arrangements to slow-burning instrumentals to silky-smooth, R&B-flavored production (to name just a few). Polow's mastery at melding synths, drum arrangements and sample selections is pretty awesome. There’s an impressive consistency to Polow Da Don’s production extending beyond a signature sound. His beats hit more than miss, in my opinion and he is arguably the most versatile producer out there.
Promise, Runaway Love, Boy Looka Here, Crying Out For Me, Turnin’ Me On, Hero, Love In This Club, Drop It Low, Lil Freak
• Mannie Fresh
o He’s fallen off in recent years, but his signature ‘Southern bounce’ style used to dominate the radio airwaves. His production has always been a ‘hit-or-miss’ for me: some of his beats are good, while others I don't lik. It all depends on the listener’s taste.
Still Fly, Go DJ, Big Things Poppin’ (Do It)
o I like his production, as his songs typically have a light, ‘airy’ feel to them as a result of the various synth sounds he employs.
Lonely, Soul Survivor, The Sweet Escape, Don’t Matter, Right Now (Na Na Na)
o Also another personal favorite. The vast majority of his songs are ideal for cruising in your car, as they are on the slow side yet have a very heavy bass line (even more so than Timbaland). His productions typically sound 'wet and muddled' as opposed to 'dry and grimy'. Not necessarily a bad thing.
A Milli, Break Up, Lemonade, Did It On ‘Em, 6 Foot 7 Foot
• J.R. Rotem
o Yet another one of my personal favorites (up there with Polow and Bangladesh). He makes beats that adapt to the artist he produces for, and I usually can’t tell if he handled a song unless he has his ‘J-J-J-J-J-R’ tag on it. Whether fast or slow, I am a big fan of his refined, clean-sounding production sound. You will like his songs on the first listen.
Push It, The Boss, Bust It Baby (Pt. 2), Whatcha Say, Fly
• The Runners
o Many songs produced by The Runners have an epic-sounding tone to them, such as “Go Getta”. But their slower songs tend to sound mellow and soulful, such as “Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home)”. In my experiences, songs produces by The Runners take a couple listens until they grow on you.
Hustlin’, Go Getta, Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home)
• Tha Bizness
o While their slow R&B beats are some of the best I have heard, the faster ones meant to have some sort of rap on them have much to be desired as they tend to sound rushed, sloppy, and underproduced. They try to add in too many instruments and when you listen to it, the beat sounds overly crowded (listen to "Strip").
No B.S., Every Girl, Strip
o His beats would best be described as ‘smacky’ because the drums are loud and always hit you hard.
Best I Ever Had, Forever, Over, Not Afraid, Speakers Going Hammer
• Drumma Boy
o I like his beats, but he sounds a lot like Just Blaze (not that that’s a bad thing).
Shawty, Lose My Mind, No Hands
• Lex Luger
o Whenever you see his name in song credits, it will more than likely be a guaranteed club-banger. I like his production style (which contains a lot of bass and modern sounds), but he is slightly overrated in my opinion. If you would take any 10 of his beats, five would probably sound the same. I usually associate him with Waka Flocka Flame and Rick Ross, as these are two artists he commonly produces for.
Hard in da Paint, BMF, H.A.M., Hustle Hard, Grove St. Party
I went in to more detail with the 11 producers I believe are the biggest names today, but here are my own ranking of 33 big producers (not necessarily a 'Top 33' list). I did not rank Kanye West, Timbaland, or The Neptunes because they are simply too good:) :
1. Polow Da Don
2. J.R. Rotem
4-T. Jim Jonsin
4-T. Scott Storch
5-T. Kane Beatz
6. J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League
7. Jermaine Dupri
8. Lex Luger
9. Drumma Boy
10. Just Blaze
11. Swizz Beatz
13. The Runners
15. Lil' Jon
16. Tha Bizness
21. DJ Khalil
22. Kevin "K-Mac" McCall
23. Cool & Dre
24. Ryan Leslie
26. DJ Toomp
27. Mannie Fresh
28. Soulja Boy
29. Jazze Pha
30. Ron Browz
31. David Banner
NOTE: I like all the producers on this list, as I understand that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get where they are. I am judging these producers by their most popular hits, as I