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Who You Wit: Diddy and The Hitmen Rank No.6 As Jay-Z’s Go-To Producers

Dr. Dre Ranks No.10 As Jay-Z’s Go-To Producer.
Trackmasters Rank No.9 As Jay-Z’s Go-To Producer.

DJ Premier Ranks No.8 As Jay-Z’s Go-To Producer.

Swizz Beatz Ranks No.7 As Jay-Z’s Go-To Producer.

6. Diddy and The Hitmen
Sean Combs and Shawn Carter have long been friends and their professional relationship reflects that. Diddy’s contributions to the two albums he worked on primarily in Jay’s discography are separated by a decade, 1997’s In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 and 2007’s American Gangster. Diddy was in the driver seat, in terms of production, but he had a different collection of beatsmiths both times. On In My Lifetime, young guns like Deric “D-Dot” Angelettie, Ron “Amen-Ra” Lawrence and Stevie J. were coming off of their masterpiece, Life After Death. Buoyed by the success but, in an instant, grounded by Big’s death, the Hitmen returned to the lab with Brooklyn’s next in line. At the time, though, the public wasn’t ready for Jay to be remade into a more refined version of himself a la Biggie. But in retrospect, the album aged better than a bottle of wine from Bordeaux. “You Must Love Me” is as open as the guarded rapper has ever been and “Where I’m From” is still quoted in spades. A new edition of Hitmen, led by veteran duo Sean C. & LV, faced a different challenge 10 years later. Now, a globe-trotting Hov wanted to take it back to his Bed-Stuy days with the conceptual American Gangster. One loop later, however, via the retro soundscape of “Roc Boys” and Jay triumphantly returned to being the CEO of the R-O-C.—XXL Staff

Released Tracks: 13
Album Appearances (1pt): 3 = 3pts
Officially Released Singles (2pts): 2 = 4pts
Grammy Nominations (3pts): 1 = 3pts
Top 40 Singles on Billboard Hot 100 (4pts): 0 = 0pts
Signature Track (s) (5pts): “Where I’m From,” “Roc Boys (And the Winner Is…),” “Imaginary Player,”: 2 = 20pts
Total: 30pts

Tune in later today as XXL begins revealing Jay-Z’s Top 5 go-to producers.

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