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​Photos by: Alchemist - Scott Dudelson/Getty Images, Tay Keith - Shy McGrath/Getty Images, Metro Boomin - Eric Charbonneau. Photo illustration by Srikar Poruri for Okayplayer.
Photos by: Alchemist - Scott Dudelson/Getty Images, Tay Keith - Shy McGrath/Getty Images, Metro Boomin - Eric Charbonneau. Photo illustration by Srikar Poruri for Okayplayer.

The Most Important Producers in Rap Right Now

These five beat makers are reaching new heights in hip-hop.

Music begins with the beat. In the world of hip-hop, the songs are a perfect marriage of production and lyrics, with each side of the equation elevating the other. Of course, there are incredible rappers and producers out there, and with the high level of competition, there’s always a new group that sticks out of the crowd. In recent years, it’s not particularly new names, but established ones finding another gear. The five producers highlighted here have different styles and approaches, but they all make magic, and in Hit-Boy’s case, literally.


As a producer, Hit-Boy has played every position. He was the talented up-and-comer under Polow Da Don’s teaching in 2009 and the producer of the diamond 2011 single “Niggas In Paris” by Jay Z and Kanye West. In addition to that, he’s been rapping on his own through it all, whether it’s with LA legend Dom Kennedy (as the duo Half-a-Mil), his father Big Hit, or any of the friends he’s made over the years. One of the most important stretches of Hit Boy’s career was his producing six straight albums for Nas, the two building a cross-generational camaraderie that benefited them both. The six albums are evenly split across two series (King’s Disease and Magic) with Magic 3, the last entry, dropping last September. This year, Hit executive produced (with The Alchemist) Benny The Butcher’s Everybody Can’t Go, with seven of his beats landing on the album.

Hometown: Fontana, California.

Style: Modernized boom bap, California hip-hop’s bounce gone global.

Nas - I Love This Feeling (Official Video)

Metro Boomin

Young Metro, Young Metro! A producer who needs no introduction, Metro Boomin made his name crafting futuristic trap beats. As his career continued, Metro’s style became more melodic and involved more instrumentation. A perfect example is Young Thug and Drake’s “Oh U Went”; a laid back, sample-driven production with a one-of-one bounce, that will still rattle your speakers. Metro has long-standing relationships with a who’s who of relevant rappers and has been key in the rise of both 21 Savage and Future. We Don’t Trust You, Metro’s weeks-old collaborative album with Future, is a runaway hit, featuring some of Metro’s best beats ever.

Hometown: St. Louis

Style: Sweeping orchestral beats, arena-filling bass boomers, classic Atlanta trap.

Future, Metro Boomin, Travis Scott - Cinderella (Official Audio)

The Alchemist

A hip-hop legend across generations, The Alchemist has been on a long run. Whether it’s his work with Mobb Deep (and Prodigy as a solo artist) around the 2000s or his multiple classics with Boldy James in the 2020s, ALC has stood the test of time. The Alchemist’s style consists of expertly chopped samples and unique drum patterns. It has never gotten old, because ALC has always found a new way to create. As a veteran in every sense of the word, The Alchemist has a much longer discography than the other names on this list, but his unwavering relevance over the years puts him in this conversation. As a producer, The Alchemist is so certified that he has multiple game-changing projects with the same artists. Curren$y? Their 2011 collaboration Covert Coup and 2018’s Fetti (which also features Freddie Gibbs) were critically acclaimed and sound totally different. The same holds true for ALC and Action Bronson on Rare Chandeliers and Lamb Over Rice and Boldy James with The Price of Tea In China and Bo Jackson. As of recently, The Alchemist manned the boards for last year’s The Great Escape with Larry June, produced half of Benny The Butcher’s Everybody Can’t Go, has two beats on Roc Marciano’s latest album, Marciology, produced on ScHoolboy Q’s Blue Lips, and has a new album (Heads I Win, Tails You Lose) on the way with Oh No, as the duo Gangrene.

Hometown: Beverly Hill, California

Style: Flipping old samples into modern gangster beats and complex insrumentals.


Conductor Williams

Conductor Williams is a throwback to the early days of hip-hop. A true sample magician, he finds loops and sounds that no one else does, transforming them into haunting, piano-driven beats. An in-house producer for Griselda, his style has helped define the label’s style, cooking up classics with Westside Gunn, Rome Streetz, Mach-Hommy, and more. His career took a huge turn in 2023 when he produced “8 AM in Charlotte,” a song Drake released the day before he dropped his album For All The Dogs. The gritty, sample-based beat was equally out of the norm as it was perfectly in Drake’s wheelhouse, and introduced Conductor Williams to a new crowd. In no time, everyone will be familiar with that “Conductor, we have a problem!” beat tag.

Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri

Style: Dark loops with heavy keys off-the-beaten-path sample chops.

Drake - 8am in

Tay Keith

Already a well-known and highly successful producer, Tay Keith has carved his own lane. Starting in 2018, he has already produced hit songs with his neighbor BlocBoy JB, Drake, 21 Savage, Travis Scott and more, thanks to his reworking of classic Memphis production with a next-level understanding of melody. BlocBoy JB’s “Shoot” got Tay Keith through the door, and producing both “Look Alive” and “Nonstop” for Drake turned him into a star. There’s something about Tay Keith’s sound that’s instantly distinct, and it’s not just his boisterous producer tag. Recently, Tay Keith has teamed up with Sexxy Red, and is the man behind the boards for her breakout song “SkeeYee,” along with her just as big (if not bigger) follow-ups, “Pound Town” and “Get It Sexxy.” The two are a formidable duo, and this run Tay is on has reminded everyone why he’s so sought after.

Hometown: Memphis

Style: The old days of Memphis hip-hop, new age Atlanta party rap, minimalist bangers.

Sexyy Red "Get It Sexyy" (Official Video)