The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Producers
On day 3 of the 2012 RapDose Wrap Up the team breaks down the best producers in the game this year, and list their best songs. Is your favorite producer on The 2012 RapDose Wrap Up: Producers? Find out here.
Yesterday Kenny, Kyle, special guest contributor Johnny5 & I came together to give you our 5 biggest disappointments of the year. Before that in part 1 we covered our favorite mixtapes from 2012 (our selections are here) and now, we give you our idea of the best when it comes to instrumentals.
Time Freeman’s Picks
It’s been a marvelous year for Chauncey Hollis a.k.a G.O.O.D Music’s Hit-Boy. Not only has he managed to sign to G.O.O.D specifically as their producer, he’s also currently working on another deal with Interscope as an artist, all while creating some of the best beats this year. What should be truly valued about Hit-Boy is his consistency combined with his talent to keep his work from ever sounding repetitive. Usually producers have a specific sound but with great creators like Hit-Boy, we have a harder time picking out what he’s been involved with. The only mistake he’s made this year was creating that HitStory mixtape, which was rather lazy. Keep away from the booth and keep em behind the boards.
Beats of the year: T.I.‘s “Harry Potter“, G.O.O.D Music‘s “Clique“, Kendrick Lamar‘s “Backseat Freestyle” along with “Option” and “Break Lights” off of his own mixtape.
Right around the time Drake exploded on the scene his team garnered a similar amount of praise and Matthew Samuels (Boi-1Da) was a result of that, not to say his producing ability doesn’t speak for itself. 1Da spent his year working with various artists and experimenting in sound, collaborating with Rick Ross, Tyga, Alley Boy, Chip Tha Ripper, The Game, Crooked I, Trey Songz, Nas, Talib Kweli and more. Always utilizing new sounds, he shares that unique talent with Hit-Boy to make his work impossible to directly classify.
Beats of the year: Rick Ross‘ “MMG Untouchable, MMG The World is Ours“, Tyga‘s “I’m Gone” featuring Big Sean, Nas‘ “Trust“, Childish Gambino‘s “Black Faces“.
The second Canadian on the list, the 24-year-old composer has had a stellar year. Fresh off of a few powerful hits in 2011 (Wale‘s “Ambition“, Lil Wayne‘s “She Will” and DJ Khaled‘s “I’m On One“) the young producer has continued to remain selectively active throughout the year while creating infectious new beats with fresh rhythms. Quality over quantity, his appearance on a project is always appreciated.
Beats of the year: Kendrick Lamar‘s “Swimming Pools (Drank)“, Joe Budden‘s “She Don’t Put It Down Like You” and T.I.‘s “Go Get It“.
Chicago had a phenomenal year overall with the rise of Chief Keef and his team but they wouldn’t have arrived at this point without the hard hitting production of Young Chop. Often called 2012′s Lex Luger, Chop has become one of the immediate go-to producers for that ruthless sound, one that attacks speakers and murders headphones with an audacity only found after his signature “Young Chop on the beat” sound bite.
Mike Will Made It
Michael Williams IS the producer of the year, without a doubt. Captivating is an understatement for this master of the craft. Mike WiLL has done things in this one year alone that other producers haven’t. He’s revived Juicy J‘s career with a hit single and he’s created a star in the form of Future, all while constantly feeding fans with powerful instrumentals via different artists. Hit after hit, Mike Will refused to miss this year and solidified himself as a force to be reckoned with when it comes to a canvas for an artist. With several songs he’s produced being considered as track of the year, there’s no other possible choice for #1.
Kyle Fall’s Picks
Undeniably the most underground producer on this list, SGP has produced some of your favorite songs without you even realizing it. Although Purrp and ASAP Rocky are currently on the outs, he did produce the wildly popular track “Pretty Flacko” and is the reason the star studded remix didn’t make Rocky’s album. He also did “T.A.P.” from Wiz Khalifa‘s Taylor Allderdice mixtape. It doesn’t stop there for this versatile artist who put out of the most technically sound singles of 2012 “The Black God” alongside his debut album Mysterious Phonk: Chronicles of SpaceGhostPurrp . If this immature west coast artist can stay focused, he has the potential to be one of rap’s elite.
Hit-Boy successfully made the difficult transition from producer to rapper with his HITstory mixtape a few months back and also laid the beat to hit songs like Kanye West‘s “Cold (Theraflu)“, ASAP Rocky‘s “Goldie“, and “Clique” featuring Kanye West, Jay-Z and Big Sean throughout the year. Expect to see some more exciting new music from Hit-Boy on 50 Cent‘s Street King Immortal, Pusha T‘s My Name Is My Name and Lil Wayne‘s I Am Not A Human Being II all coming next year.
Beats of the year: G.O.O.D. Music‘s “Clique“, Kendrick Lamar‘s “Backseat Freestyle“.
Currensy‘s “Cigarette Boats” EP with Harry Fraud is one of rap’s best kept secrets from this past year. If you don’t know what Harry is all about, it seems he best fits when he takes on the entire production of the project himself. He is great at capturing a certain vibe cover to cover and his project with Currensy contains 5 perfect songs that epitomize his style. His work with French Montana and the Coke Boys should never be ignored either, that’s his bread and butter.
Don’t let Young Chop‘s age fool you. The 18 year old GBE producer, much like frequent collaborator Chief Keef often gets swept under the rug and not taken seriously as a result of his lack of experience in the game and in life. Not everyone is ignoring the raw musical talent on the boards in the GBE camp though, as Chop provided instrumentals for Pusha T, Birdman, Kid Ink, Big Sean, GLC, Ace Hood, Gucci Mane, King L and plenty of other artists in just one calender year.
Mike Will Made It
If you don’t know who Mike Will is, you probably don’t listen to rap music. You can find his work on projects like Rick Ross‘ Rich Forever, Rihanna‘s Unapologetic, Gucci Mane‘s Trap God, 50 Cent‘s The Lost Tape,2 Chainz‘ Based on a T.R.U. Story and just about every other notable release from this year. Things aren’t about to slow down for Michael Williams either, he already has confirmed work on French Montana‘s debut Excuse My French, Juicy J‘s upcoming album Stay Trippy, Currensy‘s Immaculary and Lil Wayne‘s I Am Not A Human Being II. Where this dude gets the time to make all that music I have no idea. Last I checked there were only 24 hours in a day.
Johnny 5′s Picks
Make no mistake, the west has been very active in 2012 — from producers to artists. DJ Dahi has been at the forefront of this new renaissance, gaining placements for Dom Kennedy, Freddie Gibbs and more importantly Kendrick Lamar‘s debut album good kid, m.A.A.d city which is riding a lot of critical attention. His beats are woozy yet melodic yet they almost always have their own distinct personality. If “Money Trees” is any indication, Dahi is set to be in a league of his own in 2013.
Beats of the year: Dom Kennedy‘s “My Type Of Party“, Kendrick Lamar‘s “Money Trees“, Pac Div‘s “F*ck Yall“.
You can’t count out JL on any producer list, in any year. The tandem of superstar instrumentalists returned to give Rick Ross‘ God Forgives, I Don’t a group of bangers (“Sixteen” “Maybach Music IV“), laced Nas on Life Is Good (“No Introduction“) and united Scarface and DJ Khaled on Kiss The Ring (“Hip Hop“). This year the League wasn’t about quantity, yet the quality of their work is as good as it’s ever been.
Betas of the year: Rick Ross’ “Sixteen” & “Ten Jesus Pieces“, Scarface, Nas & DJ Khaled‘s ”Hip Hop“, Nas‘ “No Introduction“.
Coming off of a 2011 that included the monster smash “Ni**as In Paris,” Hit has seen his placements double this year as he enjoyed the success of contributions on albums from Justin Bieber (“Right Here“), Nicki Minaj (“Come On A Cone“), and key contributions to his own G.O.O.D. Music team’s Cruel Summer compilation (“Clique“). Hit-Boy is as diverse as ever, combining his own neo-funk bounce with the likes of Pop stars this year and even finding time to lace Kanye West with his own killer soundscapes. Hit-Boy truly went global this year, and next year will hopefully find him firmly at the top of this list.
Beats of the year: Justin Bieber‘s “Right Here” Nicki Minaj‘s “Come On A Cone” & “I Am Your Leader“ Kanye West‘s “Cold (Theraflu)“.
Chicago had a big year. And that’s mostly due to the production of Young Chop. With a sound that truly matches the ferocity of his city, Chop introduced us to Chief Keef -- and he also broke out as a clever new take (not retread) of the sound that Lex Luger and Southside have mastered. His 808’s are grandiose on songs like “Love Sosa” and he effectively shows his understanding of the goth-crunk soundscapes that made his contemporaries so popular in the wake of legends like DJ Paul and Juicy J. Even when showing a little versatility on songs such as Big Sean‘s “Guap“, it’s the “Don’t Like” and “Mula” beats that we really love to hear from him, and hope to hear more from next year.
Mike Will Made It
Mike Will Made 2012. Contributions for Kanye West (“Mercy“), his timeless partnership with breakout star Future (“Turn On The Lights“), his help in the revival of Juicy J (“Bandz A Make Her Dance“) and his first #1 single (2 Chainz ”No Lie“) notwithstanding — Mike Will is a monster behind the boards. His beats are purely ‘final level of Mega Man 2’ quality, each epic in it’s own way and never sounding the same twice. His meteoric rise will only continue next year, and I’m personally excited because Hip Hop or not – Mike Will is a force to be reckoned with.