One of Hip Hop’s oldest arguments is what is more important to a song: the beat or the rhyme? And while this argument will never die, one cannot deny the value of an MC’s ear for the perfect beat. Check out these low-key producer greats whose artistry is responsible for some of your favorite songs and albums:
Krishon “Bandplay” Gaines unique sound caught the ear of fellow Tennessee native Key Glock, who introduced him (Bandplay) to his cousin Young Dolph. The cousins loved the producer’s big band sound so much that 20 of the 22 songs on their Dum & Dummer album was produced by Bandplay.
French Montana – Water
Kizaru – Ballin
50 Cent – N**** N****
Megan THEE Stallion – Ungrateful
Kodak Black – Vulnerable
The world may have come to know WondaGurl’s work after she worked with Drake, but she’s been producing since the age of nine. From an up-and-coming Travis Scott to a living legend like Jay Z, her work has always had range and distance.
Jay-Z – Crown
Drake – Fair Trade
Lil Uzi Vert – Feelings Mutual
Rihanna – B*** Betta Have My Money
Travis Scott – 90210
There’s no question that HitKidd ruled the summer of 2022 by producing the hypnotic beat for fellow Memphis native Glorilla’s F.N.F. (not sure why he didn’t get paid tho), but with credits since age 14, HitKidd is a young veteran who’s just getting started.
Megan Thee Stallion – NDA
GloRilla – F.N.F. -remix
A$AP Rocky ft. Taylor Swift – WETTY
Baby Tate – Slut Him Out
Bladee – Wrist Cry
4. Sevn Thomas
A well-rounded producer, songwriter, and singer, Thomas has made his rounds producing hit records for Drake, Kelly Rowland, Lil Wayne, and others.
Drake – 10 Bands
Kanye West – Real Friends
Rihanna – Work
The Carters – FRIENDS
Lil Wayne – Let it Fly
A Hampton University graduate, Shakari “Trakgirl” Boles was mentored by legendary producer No I.D. Her production credits are diverse, working with artists such as Jhene Aiko, Belly, and Luke James while promoting her 7% Series that pushes for the inclusion of women in the music business.
Vic Mensa – Rebirth
Belly – Maintain
Luke James – Pearls
Jhene Aiko – Overstimulated
DAWN ft. Brooke Candy – Slim Thicc
6. Harmony Samuels
A lowkey veteran, Harmony Samuels’s production credits date back to 2005; he is also a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.
Ciara – I Bet
Freddie Gibbs ft. MoneyBagg Yo – Too Much
Chris Brown – Mirage
Rick Ross – Summer Reign
Teyana Taylor – Put Your Love On
As part of the Top Dawg in-house production team, Sounwave worked on critically acclaimed records, from Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN to the commercially successful The Lion King: The Gift by Beyonce.
Kendrick Lamar – Poetic Justice
Jay Rock ft. Future – King’s Dead
Schoolboy Q – That Part
Taylor Swift – London Boy
Baby Keem – Honest
Click HERE for the Genius Behind the Mic playlist.