Lists

The ten best rap producers of all time

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6. Q-Tip Along with DJ Premier, Q-Tip was arguably the most impactful producer on the sound of rap in the '90s. Not only did he popularize alternative hip-hop with his work on the first three A Tribe Called Quest albums, but he also had a hand in producing some of the decades most important hardcore albums. 9th Wonder credits Q-Tip as the originator of feel-good hip-hop. If that's not high praise, I don't know what is.

5. RZA RZA's intense love of Kung Fu and imagination are among the primary reasons New York experienced it's hip-hop golden age in the early to mid '90s. A direct and obvious descendent of DJ Premier, RZA not only created great tracks that oozed hip-hop's very essence, he created an aesthetic that made listening to rap as exciting as watching incredibly skilled fighters test their techniques against each other. Kung Fu was a perfect match for hip-hop's style wars, and RZA gave his clan the perfect setting to showcase their moves.

4. Marley Marl Marley Marl has had a monumental influence. He earned his reputation as the producer of the most formidable hip-hop collective of all time, the Juice Crew, consisting of Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap and others. Marley Marl is also credited as the first producer ever to sample a breakbeat, which he did on MC Shan's "The Bridge," so it would be impossible to overstate his importance in the evolution of hip-hop during the golden ages that followed his innovations.

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Noah Hubbell