Forget buying $100,000 tracks from super-producers—the ability to self-produce beats in-house has become a financial and creative necessity for rappers. Shrinking budgets and little to no A&R involvement mean that artists who produce their own beats, like Soulja Boy and The Cool Kids, have a leg up. But for an up-and-coming rapper who doesn't make their own music, the best move is to recruit someone you mesh well with to become your go-to in-house producer. Let's not forget that most of today's biggest hitmakers—from Timbaland to Swizz Beatz—earned their stripes as in-house producers before going on to find freelance success. Could the following 5 newcomers be next?
WORKS WITH: Drake & October's Very Own
HOME TEAM HIT: Drake "Best I Ever Had"
WHAT'S NEXT? While doing more work for Drake's debut Thank Me Later, this in-demand Canadian producer (who also did Kardinal Offishal's "Set It Off" with Clipse & Dr. Dre) is rumored to be working on beats for Dre's Detox.
WORKS WITH: So Icey Entertainment
HOME TEAM HIT: OJ Da Juiceman f/ Gucci Mane "Make The Trap Say Aye!"
WHAT'S NEXT? In addition to helping craft Gucci Mane's highly-anticipated fourth official album, this Bay Area native is branching out into R&B with work on Usher and Jagged Edge's upcoming LPs.
WRIGHTRAX (Deuce & B. Wright)
WORKS WITH: Big Sean & G.O.O.D. Music
HOME TEAM HIT: Big Sean "Getcha Some"
WHAT'S NEXT? After producing the majority of Big Sean's recent mixtape UKNOWBIGSEAN, they're hard at work on Sean's Def Jam debut Finally Famous, as well as the J Records debut by fellow Michigan artist Mike Posner.
SWIFF D (twitter)
WORKS WITH: Pac Div
HOME TEAM HIT: Pac Div "Mayor"
WHAT'S NEXT? Fresh off producing Church League Champions mixtape and tracks from Jadakiss and Meth & Red's latest albums, Swiff is focusing on Pac Div's major label debut Grown Kid Syndrome.
THE INKREDIBLES (Lee Major and Moe)
WORKS WITH: We The Best Music
HOME TEAM HIT: Ace Hood f/ Trey Songz "Ride"
WHAT'S NEXT? They've already scored a hit with Jeezy ("Vacation") and a gang of tracks for Khaled affiliates Fat Joe and Rick Ross, and now the duo has a song on Jay-Z's Blueprint 3 album ("Real As It Gets" f/ Young Jeezy).