Whenever I watch Brown Sugar, it reminds me of when I fell in love with hip-hop. Sydney, played by Sinaa Lathan, is a journalist for Black-owned XXL magazine, and pours her heart out with the respect and love she has for culture, music, and love. It was my first time seeing a Black journalist, and although I didn’t know it at the time, it most likely planted a seed in my head for my current journalism career.
Anyhow, in the movie, there is a lot of knowledge given to viewers on the history of hip-hop: Who’s in, who’s not, and how to make it. I recently watched the movie, and it inspired me to write about the top 3 hip-hop producers right now. After all, the musicians might get the fame, but it’s the producers that allowed those songs to flourish.
Ahead, a list of 3 epic hip-hop producers who changed the game for good this year, alone when the world leaned into escapism as a means of self-care. Ranking by their influence, talent, consistent track record, number of hits and collabs, it was very difficult to compile just 3.
Note: This of course is merely one single option, and not an extensive list, as it only includes one year, but it is a start. Enjoy the music, fam.
A big name in the industry, who D’Mile produced “Fight For You” by H.E.R, “How Much Can A Heart Take” by Lucky Dane, “Think About You” by Joyce Wright, and multiple songs for Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars‘ album, An Evening With Silk Sonic. He will forever be known for blending hip-hop and soul music together, showing the world the two genres can make magic in the same playing field.
Tyler, The Creator
Maybe you only know him as a musician, but Tyler, The Creator is exactly that: Creates his own music and produces it. It’s no wonder then that he got the 2019 Grammy award for IGOR — the first winner who produced the entire album himself. The artist has even contributed to Snoh Aalegra’s album — really, what can’t he do?
Responsible for J. Cole’s The Off-Season, Jazmine Sullivan’s Heaux Tales, Isaiah Rashad’s “True Story,” Cordae and Common’s “What’s Life” and Smino “I Deserve,” Wu10 hit the jackpot in producing.
A more-than honorable mention in the list of greats: Hit-Boy.
Photo via Rich Fury