Everyone loves to debate the best rapper alive because of course, but without the producer they'd just be some guys saying words into the air. It's the producers who really make the world go around, and so we're proud to say that after thousands of votes it's two very daring and integral producers who have taken home the Best Producer of 2014 awards.
Reader's Pick: El-P
These days, in movies, television, and, of course hip-hop, originality is hard to come by; that's what makes Run The Jewels so special. Nobody is making music like Killer Mike and El-P. Their experimental sound, which ventures into uncharted sonic territory, challenging the listener with something new and different. Still, despite a cutting edge sound, they drip hip-hop from every pore. After all, what's more hip-hop than shaking up the system and giving absolutely zero fucks about who it offends? A large reason why their sound is so unique, is EL-P's production. Fusing so many different styles, sounds, and atmospheres, El-P creates the foundation for Run The Jewels' incendiary flavor. Sure he uses samples like any other producer, but the way he does it is unlike anyone else. He doesn't make beats, he makes events, he makes musical volcanoes which erupt and leave us enveloped in scorching hot lava.
Run The Jewels has two other awards, Best Hip-Hop Album and Best Emcee (Killer Mike), so it seems only fitting that El-P gets some love too; if it weren't for El-P, what would Mike rap over? Here, it's the fans who give RTJ some love, picking EL-P, as producer of the year, completing the Run The Jewels trifecta. Great pick, DJBooth Nation!
Staff Pick: Statik Selektah
Producers as a whole are woefully underrated and under appreciated, so it only feels right to give the most underrated of the underrated time to shine. Here at DJBooth, we celebrate great music, whether it's a chart topper or a song from an unknown; at the end of the day great music is great music. He may not have sold a million-gillion albums, but in 2014 Statik, an expert scratcher and whiz with the samples, made great music...and made a ton of it. Though he is only a producer, the Behind The Boards alum puts out more material than most rappers. Not only does he have an album of his own, a twenty song who's who of the most respected emcees in the game, but he also released a joint project with Jared Evan and hosted a Jamla mixtape. All of that alongside several singles including one for Mick Jenkins, the unanimous pick for Best New Artist. If songs on a up-and-comer's project don't impress you, than perhaps Eminem does. Thought so. Statik is also the man behind the end-of-the-year blockbuster, "Detroit vs. Everybody." All of that and he still has time to host a radio show. Statik Selektah is working harder (and better) than your favorite producer. Period.
Congrats to El-P and Statik, who both show that despite all the superstar producers making moves, it's the more independently minded beatsmiths DJBooth gravitates towards. And for the complete list of award winners, hit that link below: