Behind the Music: Highlighting the Producers of Today’s Sound

By: Lee Mcintosh

When it comes to creating great music, the artists are the ones who receive most of the recognition for the creation of the song. Their name is what’s attached to the song, their flows, their likeness, and even the features that the artist may have. However, the song making process all begins with one entity… the producer/s. No matter how creative the lyrics may be, how great the artist’s cadence sounds, the beat behind it all is a huge factor behind the overall appeal of the song, and that is what moves people and captures their attention as soon as they hit play.

We are in a different era of music now. Technology has advanced to a point where producers and artists don’t have to be in the studio together anymore. This can be a gift and a curse at the same time. Often so, producers may send over a beat pack to an artist and then they select the songs they want and don’t want. From there, the studio session may be recorded or put on Instagram live, and the producer may be nowhere in sight. This may create confusion as to who actually made the beat, considering that there’s no face attached to the beat. Unless you really know your producer’s sounds and techniques, you may not be able to distinguish who is the mastermind behind all the production we love today.

Here at Lyrical Lemonade, we are all for giving artists the recognition they deserve, but we never want the producers to go unnoticed. The difference between producers and artists is that producers aren’t as visible as the artists are. In fact, most producers only distinguish themselves by their producer tag. From Pi’erre Bourne’s “Yo Pi’erre, you wanna come out here?”, to Wheezy’s “Wheezy outta here!”, this is what we hear immediately and can pinpoint exactly who made what beat. We have created a list of producers who have been all over your favorite songs but could use a little more shine and appreciation for their contributions to the rap game.

*Please note that there are countless other incredible producers creating today’s sound (Pi’erre Bourne, Kenny Beats, etc.) — the aim of this article is simply to highlight a few that we feel deserve more attention.

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Chasethemoney is a producer from St. Louis who is most notably known for collaborating with Chicago-native rapper Valee. His memorable and catchy producer tag is actually done by Valee himself. He is most known for his simple, yet hard-hitting production that has become somewhat of the standard sound for the new wave of rappers. His production was heavily inspired by the southern sound of mesmerizing hi-hats, deep 808’s, and satisfying snares. He adapted most of his sound by listening to the trap GOATS like Metro Boomin’, Lex Luger, and Young Chop.

During his come up, he has been placed on a HUGE amount of mixtapes and albums. He was invited to the Dreamville sessions earlier this year and secured a placement on the Revenge of the Dreamers III album with “Sunset”. He is the mind behind “Faucet Failure” by Ski Mask The Slump God, “Off Deez” by J.I.D, and “Piped Up” by Comethazine. He has proven by now that he is holding the throne as one of the new pioneers for upcoming hip-hop producers and he is here to stay.

Producer Tag: “Chase the money, chase the money!”

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Take A Daytrip

This dynamic producer duo consisting of David Biral and Denzel Baptiste got their first big break in 2017 for being the producers behind Sheck Wes’ smash hit, “Mo Bamba”. Coming from New York, their sound is definitely unique and one of the more versatile to come into the rap game. Working out of a small studio in New York, they have managed to create a chemistry that often doesn’t exist as much in the current climate of producers. Most producers work best by themselves; Daytrip however, work best when they are both in the same room, bouncing fresh new ideas off of each other. While best known for their production in hip-hop, they see no restrictions when it comes to producing music for other genres as well.

Besides “Mo Bamba“, they are most notably known for their production on “Worst Luck” by 6LACK, “Legends” by Juice WRLD, and have collaborated with YBN Cordae multiple times on “Target” and “Broke As Fuck“. They are currently on their way to securing more gold and platinum plaques in the near future for their contribution on the Lil Nas X EP. They are the true definition of being resourceful, starting from the ground up, and having integrity on being original and innovative at the same time.

Producer Tag: “Daytrip took it to ten”

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Smoko Ono

Smoko Ono has made a huge contribution to the Chicago scene during his upbringing. Part of the “Save Money” crew, Smoko has made a name for himself by being a frequent collaborator with Chicago-native Vic Mensa. His big break came when he received producer credits alongside Mike Dean and Kanye West on the 2015 hit “U Mad” by Vic Mensa. Since then, he has never slowed down, making sure that his sound stays consistent in the Chicago scene by handling lots of the production on Vic Mensa’s There’s a Lot Going On EP, and his album, The Autobiography

After years of uploading beats on Soundcloud and collaborating with local talent, he recently landed a placement on Yung Bans’ album Misunderstood with the song “100 Shells“. He also produced on Chance the Rapper & Jerimih’s Christmas album, and most recently, produced on Chance’s The Big Day with “Hot Shower“, “Sun Come Down“, and “Handsome“, as well as more co-production throughout the rest of the project. This is yet another huge step up for Smoko, and quite apparently, he’s ready to take things up a notch once again with his latest round of placements.

Producer Tag: “And then the smoke got me!”

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PyrexTurnMeUp (Shortened to Pyrex) is one of the freshest new school producers to come out of Atlanta. His rise to fame seemed to be overnight, but years of groundwork proves that to be false. What both defines him and differentiates him from his peers is his choice of samples and lead sounds in his beats. The 808s, snares and hi-hats are memorable to say the least, but the backing of the beat is what stands out the most in the songs that he produces. He is a frequent collaborator with YSL member Lil Keed, producing a lot of his older discography. Being inspired by the early trap sounds, Pyrex makes it a priority to make sure the 808s hit right and always bump no matter if you’re listening on headphones, in the car, or at the spot.

Where he shines the most is when he collaborates with Lil Keed, having been produced a lot of his older singles such as “Move It” and “Drown“. He also produced on Lil Keed’s debut album Long Live Mexico on the track “Snake“. Another notable production credit would be on DaBaby’s “Pony“. His talent also landed him an invite to the Dreamville sessions, in which he landed not one, but TWO placements on the album with “Costa Rica” and “Sunset” (alongside Chasethemoney). The south always has something new to offer every single year and with that, comes a new wave of producers as well. Pyrex has the right ear for music and he knows what it takes to make a hit regardless of who he is with.

Producer Tag: “Pyrex whipper”

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Cardo is EASILY one of — if not, the most — underrated producers in the rap game right now. He has been producing for many years and has evolved immensely not only as a producer, but as a tastemaker as well. Cardo is most known for his early collaborations with Wiz Khalifa and being a Taylor Gang signee — by the way, there’s nothing like that moment when I heard “Mezmorized” off Kush & Orange Juice for the first time. Back then, his production was so unique and something that had never been heard before, and now, maintaining this, Cardo has gone on to produce for major artists such as Nicki Minaj, ScHoolboy Q, Drake, Travis Scott, and countless other industry mainstays.

You would think someone with a track record like his would get more appreciation than he currently does. His ability to produce not only singles, but full albums as well is beyond impressive. He is credited as an executive producer for Baby Keem’s 2018 album The Sound of Bad Habit, and he teamed up with Pi’erre Bourne in 2018 for their collaboration album Pi’erre & Cardo’s Wild Adventure. He has battled with various labels regarding receiving his producer credits on certain artist’s albums, but nonetheless, he has solidified his stance as one of the most influential producers that this generation has ever seen.

Producer Tag: “Cardo got wings”

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Nick Mira

Nick Mira is one of the best producers we have seen to come out of Virginia in a very long time. He is the mastermind behind most of the production for Chicago’s own Juice WRLD, and a vital member of the producer collective Internet Money with producer Taz Taylor. Having produced so many songs for Juice WRLD back in the Soundcloud era, it would eventually land him the biggest break of his career when he produced the smash hit “Lucid Dreams“. This only proved that the best of his abilities has yet to come. Ever since then, he has been hitting with full force and never letting off the gas pedal when it comes to his ability to create masterpiece.

Despite producing well over thirty songs for Juice WRLD, Nick Mira is also known for his production on “That’s A Rack” by Lil Uzi Vert, “Welcome to the Rodeo” by Lil Skies, and Billboard Top 10 smash “Ran$om” by Lil Tecca. He doesn’t always use a producer tag in his songs, which can cause lots of confusion as to what he produced exactly. That being said, it’s important you keep an eye out for his sound, because it will be heard on many, many albums to come as Mira continues to identify the next generation of stars from the ground up.

Producer Tag: “Internet money, bitch”

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One of the hottest producers to come out of the Carolinas, JetsonMade has helped to push forward the southern sound that has been a main staple in today’s popular music. Best known for collaborating with southern artists, he adds his inimitable flavor to every beat he touches, and as a result, he’s mastered the sound of the current generation of stars right now. With this, he’s also one of the producers that takes the extra time and care when it comes to the most minute details of every beat. He focuses on those small sounds that may not even be heard, but adds to the overall vibe of whatever song he produces.

In regards to placements, Jetson’s production is scattered all over DaBaby’s album Baby On Baby. Additionally, he is the talent behind the chart-topping single “Suge“, “Goin Baby“, “Carpet Burn“, and “Backend“. Other production credits include “Drop the Top” by Lil Gotit, “Zone 6” by Young Nudy, and “Oh My God” by Lil Keed.

Producer Tag: “Hol’ up, Jetson made another one!”

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As we can see, producers are some of the most important people when it comes to overall song creation. Some producers love to be in the spotlight, others may like to live in the shadows. Nonetheless, we can not deny them their well-deserved respect and appreciation for being the masterminds behind the sounds that we all know and love. In an era where the artists receive most of the praise and the publicity, always stop and take the time to appreciate the producers behind the songs as well, for they deserve every ounce of love they can get.

Post by Lee Mcintosh