Top 25 Rap and Hip Hop Producers of All-Time
While the actual artist and rappers get the majority of the credit, rap producers deserve at least half of the credit if not all for some of the best hip hop songs of all time and this list will provide a true example of the work that hip hop producers contribute to.
Dr. Dre, behind NWA’s earliest hits, some of Snoop Dogg’s biggest songs like “Gin & Juice” and “Whats My Name”, classic albums of The Chronic and Chronic 2001, and not to forget numerous songs for 2Pac, Eminem, The Game and 50 Cent.
Kanye West, once as the main producer for Roc A Fella Records, Kanye has become one of the most iconic music producers of all time.
Timbaland, despite producing for some of the biggest R&B acts like Aaliyah, Destiny Childs, Justin Timberlake and Ginuwine, Timbaland’s rap production is hard to come by with the likes of Jay-Z, Missy Elliot and numerous others.
Swizz Beatz, starting off with producing records for the Ruff Ryders and their affiliates would later be acclaimed for production for Jay-Z, Beyonce, Lil Wayne, T.I., Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes, Bone Thugs, Noreaga and more.
The Neptunes, beginning as Pharrell Williams help write the classic party hit Rump Shaker “Wreckx N Effect”, but the Neptunes led by Pharrell Williams would get their break with Noreaga’s Super Thug track which would spearhead their movement of producing for the top artist in the music industry, not just Hip Hop.
P Diddy (Puff Daddy), being the head of Bad Boy Records, which included Notorious BIG, P. Diddy is responsible for numerous hip hop hits from artists like Jay-Z or the Lox, while also a number of R&B songs from Mary J Blige, Total and Mariah Carey.
Mannie Fresh, the one man show of the production for Cash Money Records until his departure during the mid-00s where he would produce tracks for some of the top southern artist.
Just Blaze, affiliated heavily with Roc A Fella in the beginning by producing for Jay-Z, Camron, Beanie Siegel and Memphis Bleek, and continue by working with Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Big Pun, T.I., Fabolous, Eminem and others.
DJ Premiere, starting in the late 1980s with Gang Starr his catalog would later include Nas, Jay-Z, Notorious BIG, MOP, Fat Joe, The Lox, Mobb Deep, KRS-One, Heavy D, Rakim and more.
Jermaine Dupri, mostly known for a number of R&B hits for Mariah Carey, Usher, TLC, Jagged Edge, and Xscape, his hip hop production led to the rise of Kris Kross, Da Brat, Bow Wow and Atlanta’s first top independent record label, So So Def, while also producing for other artists.
RZA, the mastermind behind Wu Tang and all of their early solo projects while later producing scores and soundtracks for some Hollywood’s top movies.
Scott Storch, originally starting out with The Roots and later getting his claim to fame for working with Dr. Dre, T.I., Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Eve, Mobb Deep, and more along with Pop acts like Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Pink and Christina Aguilera.
The Best Hip Hop Producers of Today
(Producers who began in the later part of the 2000s)
Mike Will Made It, @MikeWillMadeIt
DJ Mustard, @Mustard
Metro Boomin, @MetroBoomin
Hit Boy, @HitBoy
Murda Beatz, @MurdaBeatz
Jahlil Beats, @JahlilBeats
Street Symphony, @IAmStreetSymphony
Honorable CNOTE, @HonorableCNOTE
Beanz & Kornbread, @BeanzNKornbread
Continued List of Greatest Rap Producers, All-Time
Mike Dean, the man behind many of Houston’s and Rap A Lot’s earliest hits, as well working with Kanye West, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Travis Scott, The Weeknd and many more.
N.O. Joe, the most underrated southern producer as N.O. Joe is behind a number of Ice Cube, UGK, Scarface and Geto Boys, and numerous other top artists hits.
Rick Rubin, one of the first known hip hop producers as his production dates back to the 1980s with the likes of LL Cool J and Run DMC.
Beats By the Pound, a group of producers that included KLC, Carlos Stephens, Odell, Mo B Dick, and Craig B who were the people behind the scenes to one of the greatest independent record labels, No Limit Records.
Rockwilder, a respected East Coast hip hop producer who has worked with Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Big Pun, Redman as well West Coast artist.
Trackmasters, expanding from the early 1990s to the 2000s and has worked with Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, Nas and others.
DJ Paul & Juicy J, the founders of crunk music, despite the movement being called “Get Buck” instead “Get Crunk”, from dark hype music to soulful sample using music, DJ Paul and Juicy J were very versatile while helping produce music from UGK, Three 6 Mafia, Project Pat and more.
Daz Dillinger, the most unknown and underrated West Coast producer as Daz was behind a number of Death Row hits including 2Pac’s All Eyez On Me.
Eric Sermon, starting his production career in the late 1980s with his group EPMD and later working with Redman, Method Man, Too Short, Xzibit, Ja Rule and Keith Murray.
NO I.D., starting with Common in Chicago during the 1990s and continuing with DMX, Jay-Z, Drake, Method Man, Ghostface Killa, Kanye West, Vince Staples and more.
Lil Jon, the era of the 2000s Lil Jon’s sound was one of the most sought after productions for a single.
Dame Grease, the majority of the production on DMX’s Its Dark and Hell Is Hot, Dame would later be known for work with LL Cool J, Wu Tang, The Lox, and others Nas.
9th Wonder, making music throughout the 2000s since working on Jay’Z’s Black Album and continued by working with Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz, Nipsey Hussle, Rapsody, and a number of soulful Hip Hop and R & B acts.
Editorial credit: Nicoleta Ionescu / Shutterstock.com