It’s always a shame when the incredibly gifted go unheralded. The people behind the scenes who work so hard, only for the heaps of praise to be given elsewhere. Sometimes, however, those individuals behind the curtain get their day in the spotlight, too.
With the incredible genius that BOOTS displayed on his production for Beyoncé’s self-titled album, he was able to make his own music and get the recognition he deserved for masterminding a good majority of that masterpiece. Here, we hope to show you some of the people behind the year’s biggest hits who aren’t the big deal super producers. Or maybe they have been and you just don’t know their names yet. Here’s six lesser known producers behind the biggest rap albums of the year.
Clams Casino has been long known on the internet for his incredible instrumental mixtapes, much of which are comprised of his wavy beats that he gave to the likes of Mac Miller, Lil B, and A$AP Rocky. But this year, the producer’s work went into overdrive with numerous credits on Vince Staples’ album of the year candidate, Summertime ’06.
For all the credit that the rappers of Top Dawg Entertainment get, and rightfully so, the in-house production crew for TDE rarely is heralded as they should be. Both Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly and Jay Rock’s 90059 would not be what they are if it weren’t for Sounwave, Dave Free, and Tae Beast, better known as Digi+Phonics.
You know how The Weeknd came to blow up seemingly out of nowhere after simmering for what felt like five years? Well, none of that would have happened without his trusted partner and producer Illangelo. He was behind some the XO head’s biggest hits like “Crew Love,” Wicked Games,” and more recently “The Hills” and “Tell Your Friends.” His name definitely deserves far more recognition as a hit maker.
For someone who has quietly worked as hard as DJ Dahi has for the past few years, it feels like the motherload of payment finally came in for 2015. He is finally getting proper recognition with his fingerprints all over multiple tracks from albums from Dr. Dre’s Compton, Wale’s The Album About Nothing, Vince Staples’ Summertime ’06, Big Sean’s Dark Sky Paradise, Lupe Fiasco’s Tetsuo and Youth, and oddly enough even Madonna’s Rebel Heart. Dude definitely had some good karma come in, because all of his production has been untouchable this year.
For someone to be a literal teenage unknown, and submit a beat to Jay Z, only to get on his album and become a superproducer is nuts. But it happened with the now 18-year-old beatmaker, and now after her initial rise in 2013, she’s all over the hottest hits of this year. Her work was on Young Thug’s Slime Season, multiple tracks on Drake’s If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late and Travis Scott’s Rodeo, and lastly she co-produced “B*tch Better Have My Money.” That’s a not bad resume for someone who just became eligible to vote.
Future has several trusted producers: Southside and Zaytoven in particular. But no one cultivated the Future Hendrix sound more than Metro Boomin. Metro has been successfully working with Atlanta rappers for years and producing incredible songs, but all of his breakthroughs seem to happen with the Astronaut kid. They truly appear to be catalysts for bringing out the best in each other. Metro’s work appeared on a few albums like Meek Mill’s Dreams Worth More Than Money and Travis Scott’s Rodeo to name a few, but really, his enormous year was due to his impeccable work on Future DS2 and What a Time to Be Alive. We could even count the buzz from Future’s late 2014 release of Monster, as well. If you didn’t know before, you definitely know Metro Boomin this year.