With its origins in the Bronx, the hip hop genre and movement has changed the face of music over the last few decades, and this kind of success simply wouldn’t have been possible without some of the genre’s incredibly talented and innovative producers. Through their techniques, sampling, unique visions, and out of the box ideas, these producers helped to define the genre, paving the way for future artists and setting a standard for all to admire. They’re the masterminds behind each track, the conductors of the hip hop orchestra, and the following five names stand out as some of the most iconic.
These days, Kanye West is perhaps better known for his on-stage presence, political commentary, celebrity lifestyle, and high-profile marriage to Kim Kardashian, but there was a time when he was nothing more than a hip hop producer, and a perfect one at that.
He arrived on the scene in the late 1990s, putting tapes together for various rappers around Chicago, but it was in 2000, when he got a chance to work with Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records, that he really started to make a name for himself, going on to produce big hits for the likes of Alicia Keys and Common.