25 New Producers To Watch For

Behind the scenes and behind the boards, there producers are making noise.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Rap is always molting and changing. While the up-and-coming rappers who are making waves in the game are relatively easy to spot, it can be tough to spot the producers. In an era where mixtapes are prevalent but proper production credits aren't, it's hard to identify the beasts behind the board anchoring these MCs with dope beats. Which sucks because nowadays there's more and more people producing, especially because having original production on a mixtape has become commonplace (rather than flipping already popular beats). And thanks to the Internet, more producers are emerging from all over the map. 

So like we did last year and the year before, we've come to round up some of the new names making waves in hip-hop production this year. We've got new producers making strides on the mixtape circuit, established MCs trying their hands at crafting beats, co-producers making waves behind the scenes and more. Everyone here did great things this year, and we're eager to hear where their work will take them in the years to come. Here are 2013's 25 New Rap Producers To Watch For (presented in alphabetical order)...

Written by Craig Jenkins (@CraigSJ)

RELATED: 25 New Rappers to Watch Out For
RELATED: The 10 Best Rap Producers Right Now 
RELATED: Pigeons & Planes - The Best New Artists of 2013
RELATED: Green Label - The Best Music Producers Under 25


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Childish Major

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From: Atlanta, Ga.
Has Produced For: Rocko, Future, Two9, Wiz Khalifa, Rome Fortune
Twitter: @Childish_Major
Signature Beat: Rocko f/ Rick Ross & Future "U.O.E.N.O" (2013)

After work with Georgia spitter Rome Fortune on his underrated Beautiful Pimp mixtape this year, Atlanta's Childish Major scored a major hit with Rocko's comeback single "U.O.E.N.O." The song's dark production coupled with Rocko, Future, and Ross' verses made for an unlikely and frequently remixed Billboard Top 20 hit—even in the wake of the controversy that arose from Ross' bars about dropping a molly in a girl's champagne.

Crazy Mike

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From: Memphis, Tenn.
Has Produced For: Juicy J, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj
Twitter: @Mr_CrazyMike
Signature Beat: Juicy J f/ Pimp C "Smokin' Rollin'" (2013)

Juicy J's return this past year has been nothing short of miraculous. While rap's dirty uncle deserves much of the credit for it—having written, performed, and produced quite a lot of his most recent work—attention must be paid to his frequent collaborator Crazy Mike. Mike co-produced just about everything Juicy J has worked on this last year, and that has meant great placements: From cuts off Juicy J's Stay Trippy to tracks for Lil Wayne (I Am Not a Human Being 2 highlights "Gunwalk" and "Trigger Finger") and Nicki Minaj (The Re-Up's raunchy "I Endorse These Strippers").

Dun Deal

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From: Atlanta, Ga.
Has Produced For: Migos, Gucci Mane, Kevin Gates
Twitter: @IAmDunDeal
Signature Beat: Migos "Hanna Montana" (2013)

Gucci Mane's sedate, reflective "Point in My Life," Young Thug's triumphant rock anthem "I'm Fo Real," Migos' crack rap earworm "Hannah Montana," Kevin Gates' steel drum infused bedroom anthem "Strokin," all of these and more are the work of Atlanta beatsmith Dun Deal. Dun Deal's penchant for fleshing out trap productions with lush live instrumentation often makes his beats the emotional focal points of whatever album he's on, and his restless versatility ensures we'll be hearing his name a lot more in the years to come.

Earl Sweatshirt

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From: Los Angeles, Calif.
Has Produced For: Mac Miller, Earl Sweatshirt, Kilo Kish
Twitter: @earlxsweat
Signature Beat: Earl Sweatshirt f/ Domo Genesis "20 Wave Caps" (2013)

When Earl Sweatshirt returned to hip-hop last year he came back not only as a rapper, but as a producer. Much of his major label debut Doris was self-produced, sometimes with help from friends. The jazzy, punchdrunk boom bap of "523" is all Earl, and the delicate, droning "Guild" is too. Earl also contributed beats to Mac Miller's Watching Movies with the Sound Off, pursuing a variant of the sparsely melodic but texturally fascinating work originally offered by his buddy Tyler, the Creator.

Erick Arc Elliott

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From: Atlanta, Ga.
Has Produced For: Trinidad James
Twitter: @fortebowie
Signature Beat: Trinidad James "$outh$ide" (2013)

Atlanta's Fortebowie has displayed a preternatural gift for druggy, spacious trap sounds over early releases like Something About Bowie. With the just released deluxe edition of his EP Vice Haus, he doubles down on his rep with a spate of songs that incorporate unorthodox source material (the intro samples Fiona Apple's "Every Single Night") and a gritty but always melodic street rap heft into Bowie's rapper/singer act. He also gifted Trinidad Jame$ with the spectral "$outh$ide," one of the better showings on James' 2012 debut Don't Be S.A.F.E. 

Jay Cue

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From: San Mateo, Calif.
Has Produced For: Metro Zu, Tyler Major, KC 2.0, Pyramid Vritra, Vince Staples, Lombardi & Luwees
Twitter: @JayCuePyramid
Signature Beat: Jay Cue f/ Tyler Major "Enjoy the View" (2013)

Jay Cue is a member of the loosely Odd Future affiliated Cali rap clique NRK, a.k.a. Nobody Really Knows. Jay's cultivated a hazy, synth-laced sound not that removed from his California rap brethren over releases like Pyramid Life and Visions of Utopia. As if his grasp on hip-hop isn't enough, he switched gears last year on Asleep at the Keys, a quick EP showing off his singing skills and surprising ease with R&B production.


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Kid Cudi

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From: Cleveland, Ohio
Has Produced For: Kid Cudi
Twitter: @ducidni
Signature Beat: Kid Cudi "Immortal" (2013)

Kid Cudi's amicable split last year from Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music imprint as well as his talented in-house producers Emile and Plain Pat was a major point of concern for his fanbase. But the risky gambit ultimately paid off. Cudi's third solo album Indicud was self-produced in full and revealed a natural talent behind the boards over singles like the stomping "Immortal" and the echoing, cavernous "Girls" as well as deep cuts with Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Haim, RZA and more. 

London on Da Track

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Mac Miller

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From: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Has Produced For: Mac Miller, Vince Staples, Ab-Soul, Freddie Gibbs
Twitter: @MacMiller
Signature Beat: Mac Miller "Avian" (2013)

Mac Miller picked up hip-hop production in earnest last year, and it didn't take him long to hit his stride. After getting his feet wet with the instrumental releases You and Run On Sentences Vol. 1, Mac followed up by producing a grip of tracks on his sophomore album Watching Movies with the Sound Off including the album's downcast emotional centerpiece, "REMember." He also produced the entirety of Vince Staples' laidback, hypnotic Stolen Youth.

Matt Martians

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From: East Point, Ga.
Has Produced For: The Internet, Jet Age of Tomorrow, Kilo Kish, Odd Future
Twitter: @TheSuper3
Signature Beat: The Internet "Dontcha" (2013)

Odd Future's Matt Martians comprises one half of both the Jet Age of Tomorrow (he and Hal Williams' largely instrumental future jazz outfit) and The Internet (Syd tha Kyd's R&B project and lately, Mac Miller's touring band). Matt knows his way around a hip-hop beat, as he's shown whenever his rapping friends stop by on a Jet Age project. But he's also a wiz with meaty full band productions, like the ones on the Internet's just-released sophomore effort Feel Good, which finds Syd cutting through Matt's elaborate neo-soul with a poise beyond her years. 

Metro Boomin

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From: St. Louis, Mo.
Has Produced For: Future, Gucci Mane
Twitter: @MetroBoomin
Signature Beat: Future "Honest" (2013)

Future made his name working with producers like Mike Will Made It on tracks like "Turn on the Lights," but for this year's F.B.G.: The Movie, Future took a chance on up-and-coming St. Louis born producer Metro Boomin (who'd previously gotten work with Gucci Mane and Southside and TM88's 808 Mafia collective). The pair came out with "Karate Chop," the trap banger with the oft-pilfered staccato flow (and the remix with the Lil Wayne Emmett Till lyric controversy). The duo linked up again for "Honest," the lead single off Future's new album with the same name, which traded the menace of "Karate Chop" for quiet reflection. Metro Boomin has also appeared on releases by Wiz Khalifa, Ludacris, and Ace Hood.

Mike Zombie

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From: Willingboro, N.J.
Has Produced For: Drake
Twitter: @MikeZombie
Signature Beat: Drake "Started From The Bottom" (2013)
Mike Zombie produced one of the biggest songs of this year with Drake's "Started From The Bottom" which automatically got him a spot on this list. We're not sure how much of a hand 40 played in the song (his hand seems to guide every Drake song) but we're willing to bet on Mike Zombie anyway. The drums on "Started" are undeniable so we're eager to see what he can do next. 

Nate Fox

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Nez & Rio

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From: Chicago, Ill.
Has Produced For: ScHoolboy Q, King Louie
Twitter: @NezandRio
Signature Beat: ScHoolboy Q "niggas.already.know" (2012)Nez and Rio rep the Chicago rap collective Treated Crew, which also counts Gzus Piece, Mic Terror, Chance the Rapper, and more as members. In the past few years, Nez & Rio have stepped outside Treated to work with King L on Drilluminati's "Band Nation" and ScHoolboy Q on Habits & Contradictions' "Druggys With Hoes Again" and "niggaHs.already.know.davers.flow," lumbering productions that parlay unusual synth textures into their sinister beat construction.

Paris Beuller

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From: Chicago, Ill.
Has Produced For: Lil Durk, ZMoney
Twitter: @ParisBeuller
Signature Beat: Lil Durk "Dis Aint What You Want" (2013)

Paris Beuller is probably best known for his work with Chicago rapper Lil Durk. He produced the majority of Durk's promising debut mixtape I'm Still a Hitta, including the shimmering, snaking debut single "L's Anthem." He's also given beats to hometown acts like Dreezy and ZMoney in addition to pursuing a career as a solo artist. But he made his mark when he linked back up with Durk this year for the singer's searing back-from-prison anthem, "Dis Ain't What U Want."


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From: Detroit, Mich.
Has Produced For: Danny Brown, Chip$
Twitter: @xskywlkr
Signature Beat: Danny Brown f/ A$AP Rocky & Zelooperz "Kush Coma" (2013)

By now you're probably familiar with the rap and EDM-loving Detroit wildman Danny Brown. If you loved the snarling chainsaw grind of "Blunt After Blunt" or the turnt up grime revival of "Bruiser Brigade," both highlights on Brown's XXX, or the barely contained mania of "Kush Coma" and "Dip," off his latest project Old, know that these are all the work of resident Bruiser Brigade producer and DJ, SKYWLKR. SKYWLKR's also done work with Boldy James, Deniro Farrar, and Main Attrakionz, and his self-released beat tapes Strawberry Cough, Blueberry Cough, and Impressions are more than worth investigating.

The Gift

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From: N.Y.
Has Produced For: A$AP Rocky, Bodega Bamz, A$AP Ferg
Twitter: @VERYRVRE
Signature Beat: A$AP Ferg "Hood Pope" (2013)

You may not recognize Veryrvre by sight, but if you've paid any attention to the last year of new New York hip-hop, you're more than likely familiar with their work. The trio of Ta$h, Basham, & Wash produced "Persian Wine" and "Purple Kisses" off the A$AP Mob debut mixtape Lord$ Never Worry last year along with tracks for A$AP affiliated Tan Boys representative Bodega Bamz on his Strictly 4 My P.A.P.I.Z. mixtape. This year, they blessed A$AP Ferg with the washed out, aquatic production for "Hood Pope," off Ferg's debut album Trap Lord.


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From: Ontario, Canada
Has Produced For: French Montana, Travis Scott, Jay-Z
Twitter: @WondaGurlBeats
Signature Beat: Jay-Z "Crown" (2013)

16-year-old phenom Wondagurl met Kanye West's protege Travis Scott after showing promise at a series of beatmaking contests as a teen. She gave Scott the brooding, hellish beat for "Uptown," which landed on his Owl Pharaoh mixtape this year. But her big break came when Scott played a beat of hers for Jay-Z during sessions for Magna Carta...Holy Grail. Wondagurl's beat became album highlight "Crown," another slab of the snarling intensity displayed on "Uptown." A placement on a platinum selling record, and she's not out of high school yet. The sky's the limit.

Young Ravisu

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From: Poland
Has Produced For: Chief Keef
Twitter: @YoungRavisu
Signature Beat: Chief Keef "Citgo" (2012)

Polish producer Young Ravisu's stroke of luck came last year after Chief Keef, on the hunt for beats for his then-unreleased debut album, searched "Finally Rich type beat" on Youtube and stumbled across Ravisu's personal channel. The beat Keef heard quickly became the beloved Finally Rich bonus track "Citgo," a bit of retro-futurist proto-ambient music that, like the rest of Ravisu's body of work, brings early electronic music sensibilities to a trap setting to create a package both vaguely familiar and relatively unprecedented. He told us earlier this year that he's getting offers to produce for more acts and he dreams of moving to L.A. We hope he does not just to hear his beats but to read his endearingly entertaining interviews.  

Yung Carter

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From: Atlanta, Ga.
Has Produced For: Rich Homie Quan, Yung Jonez, Young Dro, Lil Wayne, T.I., Kevin Gates
Twitter: @YungCarter2058
Signature Beat: Rich Homie Quan "Type of Way" (2013)

Thanks to Rich Homie Quan's infectious hook writing and flair for talking shit, his song "Type of Way" came from nowhere to become one of the biggest rap songs of the summer. But the loping synth squelch that accompanies Quan's crooning is all Yung Carter, an Atlanta producer and frequent Quan collaborator. Carter's work on the Quan's 2012 mixtape Still Goin In netted the duo an unlikely Billboard hit. All signs point to a promising future Quan, and with Carter in his corner, it seems all the more likely.

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