Rappers may get all the praise for their abilities on the mic, but it's producers who truly deserve most of the credit. After all, as hip hop fans have seen time and time again, an MC can have the most amazing punchlines, craziest flow and majestic wordplay, but if the beat behind it is terrible then it's going to sound like garbage.
Luckily, hip hop fans have been given a number of outstanding producers who have been able to consistently put together incredible beats for MC's to rap too. From the legends like Dr Dre and the most outspoken man in music today, Kanye West, to underrated musical maestro's like J Dilla and Large Professor, the quality of beat-smiths has only gotten better.
The real question is, who is the best behind the boards when it comes to putting together an actual song for rappers to leave their mark on?
It's a damn shame that J Dilla only really began to get the props he deserved in the mainstream once he passed away, but for many of hip hop's finest rappers his talent as a producer was never in question. If there was one word to describe Dilla it would be "different". While other producers from the east coast solely focused on gritty beats with an almost sinister feel to them due to their environment, Dilla's production had a much cleaner, spacey vibe to it.
In fact, you could have Dilla's instrumentals playing in the background while working and it wouldn't distract you; it would just seep into your consciousness while you went about your day. Dilla's uncanny ability to create beats that were hard and had impact, yet were still soft, meant that although they had a chilled out vibe to them, they still had the hip hop feeling that fans craved.
His work on songs like The Pharcydes' Runnin', Q-Tip's Breathe and Stop & Common's The Light showcased how great of producer he actually was. It's just a pity that we didn't get to have more music from him before he died.Best Work: J Dilla - Life