Top 21 Hip Hop Producers

List of All-Time Best Rap Producers

Although rappers and artists often receive the limelight, it’s important to acknowledge that hip hop producers are equally, if not more, instrumental in crafting the greatest hip hop tracks and albums ever created. Coming up next is a selection of the industry’s finest rap producers who have shaped hip-hop.

It goes without saying that the masterminds behind the beats, the hip hop producers, deserve much recognition for their role in creating some of the most memorable moments in music. Below is a tribute paid to some of the most influential producers in the rap industry — a group of talent that has evolved and risen to prominence from the ’80s through to the modern era, coinciding with rap’s ascent to the top of global music.

Top 21 Hip Hop Producers

Hip Hop Producers Dr Dre

1. Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre crafted the foundational tracks for NWA, produced standout hits such as Snoop Dogg’s “Gin & Juice” and “What’s My Name?” and the iconic albums The Chronic and Chronic 2001. His influence extends beyond the stages of West Coast hip hop, leaving his mark through extensive collaborations with artists such as 2Pac, Eminem, Nas, The Game, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige, and Busta Rhymes, over a career that has thrived from the late ’80s into the 2000s.

Rap Producers Kanye West

2. Kanye West

Starting off as a key producer for Roc-A-Fella Records, Kanye West’s influence would later expand, cementing his status as a legendary hip hop producer. His work for a multitude of leading rap and R&B musicians is impressive, but his personal artistry and production on his own albums are where he has found the greatest success and most notable hits.

3. Mannie Fresh

Mannie Fresh was a one man show who was responsible for all of the production for Cash Money Records, at least until his departure during the mid-2000s. Following his departure from Cash Money, Mannie Fresh would continue his career producing for artists like T.I., Young Jeezy, 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane, UGK, Slim Thug, Webbie, and many more. But his most notable moment was helping to create one of the greatest independent rap labels of all-time.

4. Timbaland

Timbaland is arguably one of the most successful producers of our time with a large collection of awards and platinum and gold records. Despite getting his started in the R&B genre, while also producing for some of the biggest acts like Aaliyah, Destiny Childs, Justin Timberlake, and Ginuwine, Timbaland’s rap production is credited for his work with legends like Jay-Z, Missy Elliot, and numerous others.

Rap Producer Swizz Beatz

5. Swizz Beatz

Beginning his career as a rap producer working with DMX, the Ruff Ryders, and their affiliates, Swizz Beatz would later be acclaimed for production behind tracks from Jay-Z, Beyonce, Lil Wayne, T.I., Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Noreaga and many more. Swizz Beatz was the mastermind behind hits like DMX’s “Ruff Ryders Anthem” and “Party Up In Here,” fan favorite songs on Jay-Z’s Vol.2 Hard Knock Life, Beyonce, and of course every major Ruff Ryders release during their time on top of the rap game.

6. Jermaine Dupri

Jermaine Dupri is acclaimed for crafting numerous R&B chart-toppers for artists like Mariah Carey, Usher, TLC, Jagged Edge, and Xscape. He also played a pivotal role in hip hop through his work with Kris Kross, Da Brat, Bow Wow, and the establishment of Atlanta’s premier independent label, So So Def, contributing to the careers of many leading rap and hip hop talents.

7. Just Blaze

Just Blaze, a pioneer in branding beats with his own name, stands as an iconic figure in the hip hop industry. He rose to fame through his early collaborations with Roc-A-Fella Records’ heavyweights such as Jay-Z, Cam’ron, Beanie Sigel, and Memphis Bleek. Aside from his Roc-A-Fella roots, Just Blaze has left his hip-hop producing footprint across the industry by partnering with heavy hitters like Big Pun, Busta Rhymes, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross, and Nelly, to name a few.

8. DJ Paul & Juicy J

The distinctive sounds developed by DJ Paul and Juicy J, the creative forces behind Three 6 Mafia, has made a comeback, inspiring current artists to weave elements of the Memphis duo’s style into their tracks. This duo not only dominated the party and club scene with their massive hits but also placed Memphis and Southern rap on the industry’s forefront with their street anthems.

Hip Hop Producer RZA

9. RZA

Serving as the architect of the Wu-Tang Clan, RZA has played a pivotal role in both the group’s albums and the solo releases from artists like Method Man, Raekwon, Ol Dirty Bastard, and Ghostface Killah. He would even extending his talents to collaborate with the likes of Big Pun, Notorious BIG, and other hip-hop legends. His creative touch reaches the film industry, where he has earned recognition for his work as a composer and producer of soundtracks for major motion pictures.

10. DJ Premier

DJ Premier is one of the most influential hip-hop producers of all time, known for his intricate sampling and unique scratching techniques. Premier’s career took off as one half of the acclaimed duo Gang Starr, alongside the late MC Guru, with their debut album “No More Mr. Nice Guy” dropping in 1989. His gritty, jazz-infused beats have become a hallmark of the New York hip-hop sound. He has produced some of the most memorable tracks in hip-hop, such as Nas’ “N.Y. State of Mind,” Notorious B.I.G.’s “Unbelievable,” and Jay-Z’s “D’evils.”

Rap Producers Neptunes

11. The Neptunes

Led by Pharrell Willams, the Neptunes would begin their career by helping to write the classic party hit “Rump Shaker” by Wreckx N Effect, but their real break would be with Mase’s “Lookin’ at Me” and Noreaga’s “Super Thug.” Some of the Neptunes’ most notable productions include hits for artists such as Jay-Z “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)”, Britney Spears “I’m a Slave 4 U”, Snoop Dogg “Drop It Like It’s Hot”, Justin Timberlake “Rock Your Body,” and Kelis “Milkshake.”

Rap Producers Scott Storch

12. Scott Storch

Having his career breakthrough with The Roots as their keyboardist, Storch gained recognition as a producer with his first major production credit on the hit “Still D.R.E.” by Dr. Dre, featuring Snoop Dogg, in 1999. He has a distinctive production style, often infusing lush keyboard melodies over hard-hitting beats. Storch’s production catalog boasts massive hits, including “Lean Back” by Terror Squad, “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent, and “Naughty Girl” by Beyoncé.

13. Beats by the Pounds

The Beats by the Pounds were a collection of producers, KLC, Mo B. Dick, Carlos Stephens, DJ Daryl, O’Dell, and Craig B, that played a major role in the success of No Limit during their run of the late 1990s. Everyone is aware of the dominance of No Limit Records, but Beats by the Pound were the men behind all of No Limit’s albums. After a fallen out with Master P, the group would continue under a new moniker, the Medicine Men.

14. Trackmasters

Trackmasters, the production duo consisting of Poke and Tone, emerged as influential figures in the hip-hop and R&B scenes during the ’90s and early 2000s. They initially made waves with their work on LL Cool J’s Mr. Smith album in 1995, delivering a polished sound. The duo contributed to artists like Nas, with their production on his hit “If I Ruled the World (Imagine That),” and crafted chart-toppers for performers such as Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, and Jennifer Lopez. The Trackmasters were known for their seamless integration of samples with original production, earning them much fame for their contributions to multi-platinum albums.

15. Rick Rubin

Rick Rubin is a legendary figure in the music industry, known for co-founding Def Jam Records in the early 1980s. Rubin has been instrumental in the careers of the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, and Run-DMC, among others. His debut as a producer came with the cult classic “Rock Hard” by the Beastie Boys in 1984. Over time, he has earned numerous accolades, including multiple Grammy Awards. His most notable works include the Aerosmith collaboration on “Walk This Way” with Run-DMC.

16. Mike Will Made It

No producer was hotter than the Atlanta native during the 2010s, as the rap game was transitioning to a new era of hip hop producers. With Gucci Mane being his first major production credit, Mike Will Made It would go on to produce for Kanye West, Future, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, Juicy J, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, and just about every big named rap artist, along with pop stars like Miley Cyrus.

Rap Producers DJ Mustard

17. DJ Mustard

The Dr. Dre of the new West Coast hip hop scene, but has built his own name, created his own lane, and separated himself from any other rap producer in hip-hop. Since the beginning of the 2010s, DJ Mustard has been on the very top of the industry with production credits for hits like YG’s “My N****,” “Big Bank,” and “Who Do You Love,” Ella Mai’s “Boo’d Up” and “Trip,” Rhianna’s “Needed Me,” Big Sean’s “I Don’t Fuck with You,” or Tyga’s “Rack City.”

18. Zaytoven

Migrating to Atlanta from the Bay Area after working with California legend JT The Bigga Figga, Zaytoven would eventually become renowned for his work with Gucci Mane, but later with other artists. One can say he and Gucci Mane both got their start together as Zaytoven produced Gucci Mane’s first hit “So Icy.” Since the 2005 debut, Zaytoven has been a staple in the Atlanta rap community with production credits with Gucci Mane, Future, and 21 Savage, just to name a few.

Hip Hop Producer Metro Boomin

19. Metro Boomin’

Originally hailing from St. Louis, Metro Boomin’ was one of many producers and artists who made their way into the Atlanta music scene. Also like many other creators in the Atlanta music, Metro Boomin’s would get his big break working with Gucci Mane. Since, he has arguably became one of hip hop’s top producers of the 2010s and 2020s. Now Metro Boomin’ is known for working with Future, Drake, Gucci Mane, Lil Uzi Vert, Migos, 21 Savage, Kodak Black, and more.

Hip Hop Producers Lil Jon

20. Lil Jon

Lil Jon became one of the prominent figures in the rise of the southern hip-hop subgenre known as crunk. He debuted in the music scene with the East Side Boyz, releasing the album Get Crunk, Who U Wit in 1997. Known for his high-energy beats and catchy hooks, Lil Jon has an extensive list of hit records, including “Get Low,” “Throw It Up,” “What U Gon Do,” “I Don’t Give A…,” and “Yeah!” with Usher and Ludacris, which helped define the sound of early 2000s hip-hop and R&B.

21. Drumma Boy

Known for his signature “Listen to this track, bitch” tag in his productions, he debuted in the music industry in the early 2000s and quickly became known for his work with southern hip-hop artists. Drumma Boy’s notable productions include “Here I Am” by Rick Ross, “Put On” by Young Jeezy, and “Money to Blow” by Birdman featuring Lil Wayne and Drake. Throughout his career, he has received recognition for his contributions to southern hip-hop, including nominations for several awards.

Top Rap Producers Related Topics:

1 Top 45 New York Rappers of Today

2 Top 35 Atlanta Rappers of Today

3 Best Hip Hop Groups, All Time

4 Top 15 Best Female Hip Hop Artists of All-Time

*The above list is in no particular order.

Share Page with Friends:

Categorized in: