While rhymes do indeed matter, it is the beat that helps keep most interested in a hip-hop song. Over time, producers have innovated in a number of ways, from the days of Marley Marl and DJ Premier to Timbaland and Kanye West at present. The beauty of this genre’s beats is the limitless supply of samples and techniques used to define the sound, where other types of music can barely be as creative.
Where there is an endless list of great hip-hop producers from the past and present, there have only been a select few to shape, shift and redefine the culture as a whole. The list includes Just Blaze and Kanye West, both of whom played considerable parts in Jay Z’s classic The Blueprint, and J. Dilla, who some consider to be the most underrated to ever step into a studio. Take a look at the other influential hip-hop producers from the past decade who made our list.Click to start the list