Who You Wit: Ski Beatz Ranks No.5 As Jay-Z’s Best Go-To Producer

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

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

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

Diddy and The Hitmen Rank No.6 As Jay-Z’s Best Go-To Producers.

5. Ski Beatz
Before Reasonable Doubt, Jay-Z was best known for the rapid-fire rhyme style he and Jaz-O used. Over time, though, S.Carter began to find his voice. And it wasn’t as a Bone Thugs knockoff. Instead, he refined his delivery to be as smooth as a Playboy playmate’s airbrushed pictorial. Gone was the anxious, high-pitched flow and in its place a more cavalier, act-like-you-had-champagne-before attitude. Partnered with Ski’s production on “Dead Presidents II” and “Feelin’ It,” Jay dismissed rivals as easy as he doubled-down on a hand of Blackjack. At times, it sounded so effortless as if he was waving the threats off while he was actually calling in bets to his bookie. “Without rap, I was crazy straight/Potna, I’m still spending money from ‘88,” he rapped on “Dead Presidents II.” The tragedy, at least to die-hards, is that the two didn’t collaborate as much as their talents should have allowed. The ratio of their success compared to the small body of work is a testament to their limited time together. But, like the hustler he is, Jay saw other acts circling Ski for beats and broke free from his main connect. Then he reloaded.

Released Tracks: 6
Album Appearances (1pt): 2 = 2pts
Officially Released Singles (2pts): 3 = 6pts
Grammy Nominations (3pts): 0 = 0pts
Top 40 Singles on Billboard Hot 100 (4pts): 0 = 0pts
Signature Track (s) (5pts): “Politics as Usual,” “Dead Presidents II,” “22 Twos,” “Streets Is Watching,” “Who You Wit” 5 = 25pts
Total: 33pts

Tune in tomorrow as XXL cracks Jay-Z’s Top 4 favorite go-to producers.

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  • Donte

    of course number 1 is going to be Just Blaze or Kanye West, my favorite beat of all time is U Dont Know, the way Just Blaze flip that sample OMG!!!!

  • Sucka free

    jay’s best beats came from this guy

  • jfl11

    Pretty predictable countdown but I like it props to XXL for this it’s cool. Out of the 5 left it’s gotta be Blaze, Kanye, Timbo, Neptunes… then who? No I.D.? He hasn’t given Hov enough beats tho as far as I can remember.

  • sdakar


  • Georgia Boi

    #4- Just Blaze
    #3- The Neptunes
    #2- Timbaland or Kanye
    #1- Timbaland or Kanye

    I got Just @ #4 because he’s the only one left that hasn’t given Jay a Grammy nom which loses him some points and he’s only given Jay 1 Top 40 hit (“Show Me What You Got”)

    The Neptunes are @ #3 because they haven’t given Jay a Grammy nom either.

    Timbaland and Kanye are neck and neck in every category.

  • neic

    why dont he work with just blaze no more? just is one of the best ever. did they fall out?

  • Walo

    Cut the politics out & keep it 100…The list should go like this

    1. Ski
    2. Bink
    3. Just Blaze
    4. DJ Premier
    5. Kanye

    That’s off the strength of the actual quality of the records they made with Jay

    Pop Culture has RUINED Hip Hop…and all the media outlets are a big part of the problem. XXL, The Source, RapRadar, Nahright, MTV, Rolling Stone, etc…

  • http://www.xxlmag.com streetlife

    I got to agree with @Walo. Bink gave Jay some bangers. ‘The Ruler’ Back, 1-900 Hustler, My Momma Loves Me, All I Need, You Me Him Her. Bink is one of the best. Ski Beats gave Jay a classic sound too. Just Blaze gave Jay that raw old soulful/gutter sound.