Earlier this month DJ Booth published a feature naming the eight producers they feel deserve to be crowned “The G.O.A.T.,” and it got me thinking that while it is incredibly important to honor and give credit to the DJs and producers who have paved the way, we should also acknowledge the next generation who aspire to follow in their footsteps. That’s why this week Sounding OFF takes a look at eight producers behind this generation’s biggest hitmakers.
#1) Metro Boomin’
Metro Boomin’ grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and found he had a talent for producing beats. At the time he was still in high school, when his mother would drive over eight hours for him to work on collaborations with rappers such as Gucci Mane, OJ Da Juiceman, and Future.
Having executive produced several rising artists, he first stepped out from behind the booth in 2013 with his debut mixtape, 19 & Boomin’, and it wasn’t much longer after that the world would know his name.
You better hope “Young Metro” Boomin’ trusts you… because you don’t want to know what happens if he doesn’t. Whether it was hearing his catchphrase in 2016 featured on Kanye West‘s The Life of Pablo, or the Future + Drake collaboration “Jumpman,” or the chart-topping single “Bad and Boujee” by Migos, which first made him a household name… it’s his technical skill that quickly made him one of the most sought-after producers in the game today.
#2) DJ Drama
DJ Drama first gained recognition working with Jeezy before he founded Aphilliates Music Group in 2013, with Don Cannon and DJ Sense. He has become best known as the host of the “Gangsta Grillz” mixtape series which includes more 150 different tapes and work with artists such as Boosie Badazz, Lil Wayne, Nipsey Hussle, Snoop Dogg, Childish Gambino, Meek Mill, Ty Dolla $ign, T.I., Bun B, Ghostface Killah, Freddie Gibbs, Kevin Gates, and most recently, Yung Bleu.
#3) DJ Khaled
“And another one.” DJ Khaled continues to build his brand while being an inspiration to other DJs, producers, and artists around the world who take the time to master their craft. Taking home the 2018 Global Spin Award-winning DJ of the Year is a well-deserved honor for somebody who really built his own brand from the bottom-up.
#4) Mike WiLL Made-It
Trap music producer Mike WiLL Made-It first linked up with Gucci Mane in 2011 and developed a relationship with him and a new work of other artists, which is what would eventually lead the both of them to collaborate with Mississippi rap duo Rae Sremmurd on their chart-topping single “Black Beatles.”
#5) DJ Mustard
Before becoming a frequent collaborator of California based rapper YG and Hip-Hop/R&B singer Ty Dolla $ign, DJ Mustard first gained recognition in 2011 for “Rack City,” the quadruple Platinum-certified single by Tyga. Since then, he has worked with Travis Scott, Tinashe, Schoolboy Q, Wiz Khalifa, and many others.
TM88 is one of the bigger names to pop up from Atlanta’s 808 Mafia, a production team co-created by producers Southside and Lex Luger in 2010 while working with Waka Flocka Flame and the Brick Squad. Today, TM88 has been featured on a variety of mixtapes from artists such as 2 Chainz, YFN Lucci, Chief Keef, Lil Uzi Vert, Smokepurpp and many more.
#7) Harry Fraud
“La Musica De Harry Fraud.” The Brooklyn-born producer was first discovered by French Montana during a recording session in Chinatown and ever since has been a major player in the mixtape scene. Since linking up with French, Harry Fraud has gone on to work with such big-name artists as Juicy J, Rick Ross, Sam Smith, Pusha T, Talib Kweli, The Weeknd, the late-Chinx Drugz.
#8) London on da Track
Before becoming a frequent Young Thug collaborator, London on da Track got his start in 2011 and in just a years time found himself working with Atlanta rappers like Waka Flocka Flame and the Rich Kidz. From there he went on to work with the likes of Drake, Gucci Mane, Kodak Black, 21 Savage, and 50 Cent.
Honorable Mention: I also figured since DJ Booth decided to also toss in something on Manny Fresh, after having unintentionally excluded him, why not toss in something about one more of the DJs in the game who deserves some credit.
#9) J. Period
Nobody can produce a mixtape quite like Brooklyn DJ/producer J. Period. Much more than compilations, his earliest tapes were heavily “Best of”-based but went above and beyond by painting a more vivid picture than the album’s themselves by incorporating artist interviews, phone calls, and various other segues that create an atmosphere more akin to a documentary film than a “traditional mixtape.” He has collaborated with a number of artists most notably of which include Mary J. Blige, Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, Big Daddy Kane, Ms. Lauryn Hill, and Black Thought of The Roots. He has also make tribute mixtapes for the Notorious B.I.G., Michael Jackson, Nate Dogg, and the “Godfather of Soul” James Brown.