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Henry Adaso

Top 10 Producers of 2012

By December 29, 2012

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That inescapable hit you hear everywhere you go probably hinged on one smartly placed loop, or sample, or hook. So, yeah, a quality beat is still a vital ingredient in the hit-making process. And in 2012, several producers -- new and old -- kept our ears fresh with an array of hits. Here are the 10 producers that stood out to me in 2012.

10. Big K.R.I.T. 
9. Kanye West
8. T-Minus
7. Harry Fraud
6. The Alchemist
5. Sounwave
4. El-P
3. No I.D.
2. Hit-Boy
1. Mike WiLL Made It


December 30, 2012 at 9:43 am
(1) Dan says:

How out of touch I suddenly feel when I’ve never heard of No.1…

December 30, 2012 at 10:01 am
(2) arel says:

wait… you really put El-P that far down?

January 1, 2013 at 9:03 am
(3) arel says:

…this list has changed… now my comment looks stupid

January 1, 2013 at 9:59 am
(4) Jon says:

@Dan: Mike WiLL produced songs like Bandz That Make Her Dance, No Lie, Tupac Back, Mercy, and Turn on the Lights. Honestly, I only know that cuz I googled it and I can’t say I like a single song listed there. Wish DJ Premier was producing more songs…..

January 1, 2013 at 10:30 am
(5) Kush says:

im glad you didnt miss Harry Fraud, you can add araabmuzik to that list too

January 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm
(6) Henry says:

Arel – You’re the man. Thanks for pointing out the El-P thing. I had him at #4 in my original list.

Oh yeah, while on the subject of producers, take a gander at this other list: http://therapup.net/2012/12/beats-by-tru-the-10-greatest-producers-of-2012/

January 1, 2013 at 6:53 pm
(7) mike says:

clams casino knows what’s up

January 2, 2013 at 4:31 am
(8) Jaap says:

@Mike: He’s one of my favorite new-school producers too, but even though he released a new collection of instrumentals in 2012 most of the tracks they belong to where produced and released already in 2011. His productivity probably wasn’t high enough in the given timeframe to be considered for a list like this.

@Jon: I don’t like most of those songs either but that has more to do with the rappers on ‘em. Those Mike Will beats do knock though.

January 2, 2013 at 9:00 am
(9) Henry says:

Jaap – Exactly.

January 2, 2013 at 9:31 am
(10) Jon says:

@Jaap: Yeah, I’ll give you that. I’ll have to find competent freestyles over his beats I guess. 2 Chainz does have a knack of wasting good beats to me.

@Henry: Is there gonna be a top 10 mixtapes too or were there not enough good mixtapes in 2012?

January 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm
(11) gan says:

Where is Apollo Brown?

January 2, 2013 at 11:05 pm
(12) Miguel says:

Great list! Too many good producers to name recently. Hoping Apollo Brown makes the list next year.

January 3, 2013 at 7:20 pm
(13) Ai says:

I thought NO I.D. should’ve been in the top spot. Especially with the greatness he displayed laying out tracks for Nas on Life is Good.

January 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm
(14) SDK says:


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