Hip-hop completely redefined the role of the producer in music history. Sure, a few producers (Quincy Jones, Phil Spector) became a kind of household name prior to the rise of hip-hop, but hip-hop gave producers a central role. Since that time, though, only Dr. Dre and the Neptunes have managed to win Producer of the Year honors (Rick Rubin's also won, but not for hip-hop releases). One particular snub? Timbaland. In 2001, he was in his prime. After crossing over from R&B to hip-hop, he made a permanent mark in the history books, releasing charting single after charting single, and making beats for Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, Fabolous, Bubba Sparxxx, Jadakiss, the Ruff Ryders, Petey Pablo, Ludacris, and Lil Kim, to name a few. But he lost that year to T-Bone Burnett, the producer of the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack, memorable only to people who still buy CDs at Starbucks.
Neptunes and Dr. Dre: The only hip-hop producers to win Producer of the Year