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The 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Beats of All Time

58. YoungBloodZ "Damn" (2003)

Producer: Jazze Pha, Lil Jon
Album: Drankin' Patnaz
Label: So So Def, Arista

Before Lil Jon—with the assistance of Dave Chapelle—became a kind of national mascot, his party-starting growls eventually reduced to caricature, he was also one of the defining producers of the early 2000s. Although many tracks would be bigger—"Get Low" was his signature anthem, “Goodies” was an R&B smash for Ciara, and “Yeah!” with Usher and Ludacris made the biggest mark—it was his beat for YoungBloodZ that first marked hip-hop’s shift towards electronic dance music. The searing synthesizer riff was a brand new texture for rap anthems, and, combined with the steady 808s keeping it grounded in Southern tradition, opened a new world for hip-hop production.

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