Emcees get all the glory, but really it's the producers who are setting trends, creating hits and making the rappers sound awesome. Let's face it: without a great beat, a song just won't hit. In 2014, we heard our fair share of great instrumentals from some really amazing, diverse producers, but there has to be a winner... so vote!
For a full breakdown of the 2014 Best of the Booth Awards, including nominees in every category, click here.
With all due respect, if you don't know the name DJ Dahi, you don't know production! Dahi's resume is as impressive as it is diverse. In 2014 alone he produced for Mick Jenkins, Tinashe, ScHoolBoy Q, Travis Scott, SZA, Logic, Big K.R.I.T. and even pop star Lilly Allen.
Dr. Luke is not a name hip-hop heads may instantly recognize, but a "Best Producer" ballot would be incomplete if it didn't include arguably the most successful beatsmith in contemporary pop.
Run The Jewels is one of the most exciting, incredible and unique endeavors in hip-hop (Its latest full-length, of course, received a "Best Album" nod this year.), and El-P's production is a huge reason why.
In addition to releasing a solo mixtape, Crack Music 7, Jahlil helped put Bobby Shmurda on the shmap with his production on "Hot N***a."
Mike WiLL Made It
Some of the most popular songs of the year—"Move That Dope," "No Type," "Buy the World"...—were produced by Mike WiLL, and countless more were influenced by his sound. Coincidence? I think not.
Pharrell dropped one of the most successful pop albums of the year, and still had time to make all your other favorite artists, from ScHoolboy Q to Ed Sheeran, sound great. Oh yeah, and "Happy" was still everywhere...
The Social Experiment
The Social Experiment came out of nowhere to take the second half of 2014 by storm, producing multiple singles for Chance the Rapper and even finding their way onto J. Cole's album.
One of the most consistent producers in the game, Statik never stops churning out quality hip-hop. In addition to dropping an album of his own (featuring all your favorite emcees) Statik released a joint LP with Jared Evan, had his production featured on Mick Jenkins' BoTB-nominated The Water[s] and, most recently, produced a little song called "Detroit vs. Everybody."