Here at The Come Up Show, we could have made a much longer list for our favorite producers of 2010. Notably, 2010 was a year of outstanding debut records from long-time hip-hop producers Nottz (You Need This Music) and Ski Beatz (24 Hour Karate School). And everyone’s favorite Dutch beatmaker, Nicolay of The Foreign Exchange, once again created some of the most original and timeless beats of the year for he and Phonte’s project Authenticity. 2010 was also a break out year for double threat emcee/producers Big K.R.I.T and J.Cole, who produce their own beats and also hold their own on the mic. Two artists of this breed make the list below.
But we had to draw the line somewhere, so in the end, very selectively and collaboratively, we chose five producers who were not only the most consistent and excellent throughout 2010, but who were also game changers. We chose the producers that are pushing the envelope of hip-hop now, and will be who will be looked back upon in the future– in the next decade and beyond–for bringing something unique and fresh to the table.
Rather than rank our lists, we place each of these selections on the upper shelf, beside one another. This is the kind of production thats been sitting in our itunes playlists year round, the kind of stuff we keep coming back to time and time again.
[audio:https://thecomeupshow.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Drake-Ft-Young-Jeezy-Unforgettable.mp3|titles=Drake Ft Young Jeezy-Unforgettable CDQ]
“Unforgettable ” (Drake ft. Young Jeezy) from Thank Me Later [2010, Young Money/ Cash Money/Universal Motown]
The first ever album Boi-1da owned was the Slim Shady LP. Who would have thought 11 years later he would make Billboard history with Eminem? “Not Afraid” was the 16th song to debut #1 on the Hot 100 and only the second rap single in history to debut at the top spot.
And there were other successes. After Drake’s smash success “Best I Ever Had” in 2009, there was pressure to see if Drake could follow up with another hit. With the help of Boi-1da, “Over” was an epic summer smash (and the first official single from Drake’s album Thank Me Later). Boi-1da also expanded his resume in 2010 to work with legend Bun-B for his album Trill OG and produced for big- time contemporary artists like Keri Hilson, Lil Wayne, Big Boi and more.
Have I mentioned he just turned 24? Boi-1da definitely cemented his name in 2010 and he is just getting started.
[audio:https://thecomeupshow.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/12-Closed-Chapter-Feat.-Mr.-Porter.mp3|titles=12 Closed Chapter (Feat. Mr. Porter)]
“Closed Chapter” (ft. Mr. Porter) from Album of the Year [2010, Fat Beats/Deacon]
There are many stripes and stars that have earned Detroit’s Black Milk a spot on this list. His self-produced record Album of The Year, (which is also the lyrical performance of his career as an emcee) is a stylistic offshoot of his mentor J Dilla’s sample/live style of hip-hop production that he made distinctly his own throughout an emotionally rocky period in 2009, when Black Milk lost his close friend, Slum Village’s Baatin, and saw his manager HexMurda survive a life-threatening stroke. But even if you didn’t know the story behind the album, you’d hear the sense of strength and perseverance in his beats, which come hard, heavy and strong with mpc drums EQed to the front, just on top the many layers of live instrumentation from Detroit’s The Will Sessions Band.
Yet Black Milk’s live-oriented production doesn’t stop in the studio; it’s actually made, from the outset, to move beyond it. Cross leads his live touring band like hip-hop’s Quincy Jones, stabbing the air during Daru’s accented drum hits and pointing at keyboardist AB to cue licks and melodies, adding a whole other level of musicality and energy to the stage. Other than The Roots and The Beast, no other hip-hop producer is so vehemently morphing the live paradigm in hip-hop, and damn, it sounds good. –K-Lis
[audio:https://thecomeupshow.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/03-One-Foot-In-Instrumental.mp3|titles=03 One Foot In (Instrumental)]
“One Foot In” (Instrumental) from The Stimulus Package Instrumentals [2010, Rhymesayers]
Jake One, born Jacob Dutton, has come a long way since he started busting out tunes on his Casio keyboard back in ’92. ‘One put out his first credited album titled White Van Music back in ’08, and it was dope as hell with features from artists like Black Milk, DOOM, De La Soul, and fellow Rhymesayers Entertainment labelmates Slug (from Atmosphere) and Brother Ali. Earlier this year, ‘One produced The Stimulus Package with another labelmate Freeway, which is easily one of my favourite albums of 2010 not only because Freeway is amazing on it, but because Jake One’s pure “boom-bap” hip-hop beats are incredible. They’re maybe not as structured as you’d expect ‘boom-bap’ to be, but it is definitely that. His earlier influences were Pete Rock, Dr. Dre, and DJ Premier, so imagine slightly sample based, head-knocking, quick deep kicks with dirty snare- type beats. Hell, just go and youtube his name (or The Stimulus Package) and I guarantee you’ll be boppin yo’ head. –J.R.
“Don’t Sleep On Me” (Rich Kidd) from We on Some Rich Kidd Shit Vol. 4 (The Boiling Point) [2010, Ridgeway Ent]
Rich Kidd’s fourth mixtape titled We on Some Rich Kidd Shit Vol. 4 (The Boiling Point) (2010) featured many of Toronto’s premier artists like Tona, Kardinal Offishal, King Reign, Saukrates, and more. In 2010, Rich Kidd also released his first official music video for “Take it slow”, a track that was extremely well received and was eventually placed on Redman’s album. If he wasn’t already versatile enough, Kidd produced gems like “Heavy” by Jessica Kaya, which was on constant repeat for more than a few of us around The Come Up Show.
Rich Kidd is coming to the fore at a breaking point in the Canadian hip-hop scene. At his sold out release party for We on Some Rich Kidd Shit, and as he says in our interview, there weren’t only beautiful women, which isn’t exactly the norm at a hardcore Canadian Hip-Hop show, but more importantly, there were people of all colors and backgrounds there to enjoy good music.
One of my favorite songs on Kidd’s new mixtape is called “Don’t Sleep On Me”. The Come Up Show isn’t, and you shouldn’t either. — Chedo
[audio:https://thecomeupshow.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/11-Blame-Game-Ft.-John-Legend.mp3|titles=11 – Blame Game (Ft. John Legend)]
“Blame Game” (ft. John Legend) from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy [2010, Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella]
The fact we would be extremely hardpressed to find ANYONE to disagree with us that Kanye West is the most prolific hip-hop producer/artist/emcee of 2010 (or this entire decade for that matter) is alone sufficient reason to include him on this list. But beyond all of the lights, the fame, and the glamour that makes Ye the far-reaching star he is, his music is unprecedented, both in style and quantity. I mean, the guy is virtually incapable of making bad music– even his free G.O.O.D Friday series is better than many producers’ entire opuses. Sure, these days, Kanye has co-producers and co-co-producers, but that doesn’t take away from the assured fact that he oversees every aspect of the projects that bear his name, and he does so as a meticulous, obsessive compulsive, perfectionist. G.O.O.D ass job, Yeezy, we’re rooting for you. –K-Lis