Top 10 Producers of 2011

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    Top 10 Producers of 2011
    Behind every great track is a great producer, and 2011 featured an array of talents behind the boards. From burgeoning upstarts to already acclaimed heavyweights, there was a lot to choose from. It doesn’t just take producing a hit record to be considered the hottest, the impact of that track is also a huge deciding factor. As the year winds down, <em>XXL</em> ranks the 10 top producers of 2011. Let the debate begin… —<em>XXL Staff</em>
  • big-jerm-e-dan
    10. ID Labs
    Pittsburgh production duo, ID Labs—comprised of E. Dan and Big Jerm— will be closing 2011 with a couple notches under their belts. Crafting tracks such as Mac Miller’s “Knock Knock,” Wiz Khalifa’s <em>Rolling Papers</em> tracks “When I’m Gone” and “The Race.”
  • drumma-boy-feature
    9. Drumma Boy
    “Drumma on the track” was a familiar phrase this year as the Memphis native made his presence felt on a slew of popular hits including Drama’s summer smash “Oh My,” Jeezy’s street salvo “Flexin,” Wiz Khalifa’s brooding <em>Cabin Fever</em> highlight “Phone Numbers” and more.
  • hitboy-image2
    8. Hit-Boy
    Hands down, Hit-Boy has one of the year’s best songs in the Throne’s blustering “Niggas In Paris.” Also responsible for Pusha T’s irrefutable “My God” expect a big year for the burgeoning G.O.O.D producer in 2012.
  • Jahlil-Beats
  • Lex-Luger-postimage
    6. Lex Luger
    Just when many counted him out after having a big year in 2010 with Ross’ “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast),” Smoked Out Luger delivered once again in 2011. Despite getting criticism for sounding repetitive and the underwhelming “H.A.M” earlier in the year, Luger recovered on Wale’s tantalizing “That Way,” Ace Hood’s block smash “Hustle Hard,” and Ross’ iPhone jingle, “9 Piece.”
  • Just Blaze
    5. Just Blaze
    It’s somewhat hard not to give Just the top spot after having a hand in an array of projects this year. Besides crafting the bulk of Saigon’s oft-delayed <em>The Greatest Story Never Told</em> and spots on Joell Ortiz’s <em>Free Agent</em> (“Battle Cry”), as well as Mac Miller’s <em>Best Day Ever</em> (“All Around the World”), Just’s true highlights came when he upped the ante on records like the clattering <i>Self Made, Vol. 1</i> opener, “Self Made,” Ross’ “I Luv My Bitches,” and Drake’s “Lord Knows.” Justin Blaze was back on his circa Dynasty era bullshit. With more heat in the works, 2012 is shaping up to be one interesting year.
  • Noah "40" Shebib
  • Kanye West
    3. Kanye West
    It’s extremely difficult to overlook the grandeur that was <em>Watch the Throne</em> this year. One of the pivotal reasons it was such an impactful project was the sound architect, Kanye West. Despite not having an array of production credits outside of the collaborative effort, 'Ye managed to craft himself one of the best and most important albums in recent memory. Now, how’s that for getting high on your own supply.
  • T-Minus
    With all the singles that came out this year, T-Minus was on one hell of a run. The Toronto producer captured mainstream attention with successful hits such as Nicki Minaj's "Moment 4 Life," the irresistible “I’m On One,” the strip club denizen’s anthem “She Will,” and also playing a major role on Drake’s <em>Take Care</em> producing five of the 19 tracks, including current singles “Make Me Proud” and “The Motto.”
  • no-id
    1. No I.D.
    Dion's been a problem, but he finally earned recognition for his beats this year. Not only did the Chi-town O.G. help shape up Big Sean’s <em>Finally Famous</em> debut—which garnered success with the certified gold single, “My Last”— he’s also had a hand in <em>Watch</em>ing <em>the Throne</em> (“Primetime”), worked on J. Cole’s <em>Cole World</em> (“Never Told”) as well as crafting Common’s <em>The Dreamer/The Believer</em>.


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  • JAck

    Lex luger, hands down

    • Decatur GA BOI

      Lex Luger? Personally, I think most of his music sounds the same. When you say “Best”, to me that means diverse, trail blazing and authentic…I give that to Kanye. He continues to push the envelope on different sounds, not the same ole synth laden, triple snare poppin garbage we hear ALL DAY LONG! Sorry.

    • JugularKill

      I can’t take anyone serious if they don’t mention Kanye West.

      He’s way ahead of the trends. Every time Kanye drops something it’s out of this world.

      I have almost a thousand music albums and there’s a hand full that stand out in terms of production:

      Jay-z Kanye – Watch The Trone,
      Michael Jackosn – Dangerous
      2Pac – All eyes on me
      NERD – In Search Of

      When it comes to Hip hop/ RNB production you can put Kanye next to Pharrell, Quincy Jones, Teddy Riley and Prince.

      • the1987kid

        I totally agree with that asessment u just made, Kanye West & The Neptunes (I like Chad over Pharrell though) are the best producers to me hands down, for the past 10 years they have push hip-hop & r&b into different boundries mixing chamber pop with latin jazz, philly quite strom, alternative soul & other various styles. To Me Kanye West has been the best from 2005-till now!

  • kenzo1

    drumma boy aint from atl jackass hes from memphis errybody from da south aint from atl

    • what r u talkin about

      nobody on here said anything about drumma boy being from atlanta, it clearly says memphis. Learn 2 read first b4 u start writing jackass.

  • In Your Fucking Face

    Jahlil Only Produced Ima Boss Tone Beats Did House Party. Get It Right

  • JDiablo

    Kanye west


      As much as I would like to give Kanye more respect and the props he deserves as an artist. His ego and actions ruin him in my eyes, no matter how good he or people believe he is.

      • http://xxl nattilight

        i second that ….. he is way to cocky and his talent does not match up to his ego .. he is way overrated and has less talent than most , hell royce da 5 “9 has way more talent than him.

  • Real Talk

    Soooo what about S1? Power was still hot this year. He produced on Watch the Throne and he also produced Beyonce’s single “Best thing I never had”. To ME, he’s above at least 7 of these dudes. 40 shouldnt even be on here now should ID lab. They are indie cats that the masses have never heard of.

  • jfl11

    Just Blaze, Kanye, 40, or No ID. You don’t get the top spot for 1 or 2 bangers alone. Those other 4 had majority roles in producing for entire albums. Just gets the spot because Saigon’s album was flat out the best of ’11.

  • Matt

    kanye west, t-minus, hitboy and jahil beats for sure.

  • Roman

    This shit is got to be
    ID labs or no ID
    if not i got, no idea.

  • Tic706

    Where the hell is Statik Selektah? This is why most rap mag’s are a joke now. Statik has been turning out some dope beats this year. Check out the album he did with Bumpy Knuckles “Lyrical Workout”.

    • aude 860

      thts wat im talkin bout

  • Pingback: ID Labs Named Top 10 Producer of 2011 by XXL

  • DBS

    Just Bligedy Blaze, son.

  • hiphoplover

    Im going to give this to Just Blaze for one good reason. Every other beat that came out this year damn near sounded like a Lex Luger remake beat. Meek Mill house party beat is all Lex Luger sounds regardless of who did it. The sounds and drums used to make the track has been used too much by soooooooo many up and coming producers. All these non creative dudes looking for a hit by cloning someone else. I mean how you supposed to be be a leader when you follow someone else format. Jahlil Beats has a couple that sound like Lex Luger remakes also. Artists dropping mixtapes and albums and every track sounds the same. It’s depressing.

  • D

    dopest producer right here

  • JayFromTX

    best producer is Stefan Green from VA

  • Jacob Horenburg

    The ‘indie cats’ at ID Labs just produced a chart topping album, all the way. Aside with all of the Wiz Khalifa that has gone huge, i think that they have quite the listening base haha

  • blackthidot

    ID Labs! Let’s gooooooo!

  • donte

    big krit and cardiak should be on this list and jalil beats and drummer boy should be higher

  • Ycd976

    KeY Wane should be on that list, he did dope work for Big Sean Tyga Chevy Woods No I.D. and a lot of other artists.

    • YachtBoss

      I agree wit you on that. Memories for Big Sean was a big song for him that was probably Big Sean’s most serious heart felt tracks next to So Much More an Love Song.

  • DoogieHouserKiller

    This is just the reason I don’t phuck with hip-hop anymore…. Well, a major reason.

  • Jenn

    ID Labs!

  • Lore


  • 2883Joker

    What about SouthSide & the rest of 808 Mafia. Best production team of 2010 & 2011.

  • Diggz

    Seven and Boi 1da

  • steve


  • brackin

    jahlil wins but tone beats should of been on the list too.

  • YoungCannon305

    wheres Cardiak at?? Start it up, 600 benz, y’all don’t really hear me tho, outlaw, THE REVIVAL!!!!!!!!

  • man_EE

    the top 5 of this was pretty accurate ! y’all throwing kanye out there like that but check the credits he hasn’t been producing every song on his projects ! t-minus should be number 2 arguably one he had im on one, she will, moment 4 life, underground kings, make me proud, HYFR dude just been on fired ! NO ID produced basically half of big sean’s album, never told, and the dreamer the believer (amazing production) so XXL is pretty accurate

  • Dinero Mula

    How come Cardo On The Beat didn’t make that list ? that nigga was making noise from the underground scene mane so was Clammy clams … also THC made some noise too …. XXL be on niggas dicks too hard .. swear they do

  • Tucken 44

    Yo @ dinero i was about to say the same thing .. where is Cardo at ? that nigga made a gang of heat in 2011 so did Justice League too , THIS LIST IS WACK !

  • Shawn Jhey

    hahaha wtf did Kanye do this year that was outstanding on the producing tip for 2011 ??? he barely did that much on WTT … Im with the underdogs bruh such as : Seven , Cardo , Sounwave, THC , Poleyester , Like (pacdiv) Sledgren, Kuddie Fresh, Statik, Mr Rogers … the list goes on

  • F-O

    I’m pretty sure you forgot Statik Selektah… Dude has produced like 5 or 6 albums this year… Not voting on this

  • Bernard

    Man that’s a tough one..
    ID Labs are dope as hell and are really good at sampling shit..
    I Like Jahlil’s creativity with beats
    Lex Luger’s shit just bumbs hard as hell
    40… I think i’d have to go with 40
    His shits smooth and comes out hella clean! He’s a genius and Drake is very lucky to have someone like him on his team.

  • Shuge

    Cardo On The Beat should be up there too he made some of my favorites joints this year from Proceed By Wiz Spitta Sean , Grind’n By Dom Kennedy That Good by Snoop & Wiz , Menace II Society By Freddie Gibbs Poly Dom K …. he made a gang of shit on the underground tip G ! y’all show no love to the underdogs like homeboy just said

  • Yaboy

    Lex Luger & T-Minus

  • Brunch

    I personally think that I.D labs killed it this year. I mean two of the biggest up and coming names this year was Mac, Wiz both of which beats are produced by I.D

  • A

    y’all keep sleeping on AraabMuzik smh

  • WaffleManB*TCH

    ayo..kid pistol is doing well for up n coming. i’m always looking at independent and risiin cats. from my hometown too

  • hipnoman

    where the hell is Big K.R.I.T.

  • matt

    For some reason it wont let me vote but im gonna go ahead and cast it for T-minus cuz hes every way on alot of club bangers and coming up fast

  • Bajan

    No I.D hands down! Followed by Kanye..


    NO i.d HANDS DOWN!

  • Rap’L

    (The Dreamer/The Believer)
    Warner Bros.
    (c) 2011

    Beats: [XXL]
    [ S ] [ M ] [ L ] [ XL ] [ XXL ]

    Lyrics: [XXL]
    [ S ] [ M ] [ L ] [ XL ] [ XXL ]

    Originality: [XXL]
    [ S ] [ M ] [ L ] [ XL ] [ XXL ]

    Common album is seriously a DAMN! Classic!.
    I’m very Pleased that this album.
    Was definitely made, with the Real Common.
    People slept on him with “Universal Mind Control”, for him trying a new style. Well! No more of that, I’m here to say I’m a “Believer”. Cause He came Perfect on this album.
    I wouldn’t be writing this, if it wasn’t a Pure Classic!

    Next Classics in Line
    I’ll love to See is:

    Jay Electronica, Kendrick Lamar, Nas.
    Thats coming from me,
    a True Hip-Hop Fan
    Named, Raphael

    One Love

  • Gee Khalifa

    Kanye West be da baws!

  • me

    It’s funny because all these people suck… All these wack producers making these techno sounding beats… I have some respect for I.D. Labs, but I hate the MC’s they support… #RIPHipHop

  • isme


  • KC

    ID Labs!

  • SKNY

    who picks these lists really????

  • Cmon Son

    JAISU better be on here in 2012!!! This cat is the TRUTH!



  • J.H

    needed to have southside up there

  • http://its_RonnieG Ronnie Galindo

    jahlil beats hands down next year he gonna be blowin up

  • vursatal

    I think Lex Luger had the most hits on the radio as far as rap goes.

  • OBD

    Exile. Damu. Madlib. Kanye.

  • Merce123

    If Kanye’s MBDTF was this year then he’d be the best hands down but the beats on WTT wernt as good as what he usually does so i would say No I.D. was the best producer of the year his joint on j coles album was amazing and common’s album has the best production ive heard alll year im definately gettin the dreamer, the believer. anyone else think ?uestlove should have been on this list?

  • ShaZan1011

    No I.D. HANDS DOWN! Listen to Common’s new LP and you’ll believe it

  • Angelo

    Ehhhh…garbage list to me! Nobody on this list made INCREDIBLE beats…Now Arch Druids, Alchemist, Tommy Maas, Don P, Black Milk all had some gangsta ass shit this year…This list here is “Hip Pop”

  • ark

    No Alchemist? Your lists have turned to straight trash. Fuck XXL.

  • Mel

    Great list, great producers but I believe No I.D. is the best producer at this very moment. He is a genius, he makes some dope music.

  • Bizzy

    Big KRIT had hot tracks for himself & others

  • MikeT

    where the fuck is big krit on this list?

  • MikeT

    XXL sucks it should be big krit, knows whats up

  • Zig2233

    Im saying, What about Drumma Boy…..

  • Shayla

    Lex luger!!!!!

  • young mark

    jahlil beats

  • Kieran

    No J Cole??

  • SoloDolo

    Where’s Xaphoon at ???

  • atm

    ski beatz

  • Roman

    kanye and ID fo sho.



  • TrackOfficialz

    wat abot Kane beatz with super bass nICKI smh

  • Gems

    It has to be between T-Minus and Jahlil Beats. They mad crazy noise in 2011. Jahlil helped to stamp the summer anthem with that “I’m a Boss” joint and T Minuscame through with that “I’m On One”

  • Da_Kid

    Kanye West for the stylish productions he makes

    Lex Luger for the heavy beats !!

    Noah “40″ Shebib for his good productions me made for Drake !!

  • hippaToDaHoppa

    blended babies

  • hippaToDaHoppa

    …or statik selektah

  • Jean Verite

    Kanye West & No ID hands down.

  • SlimNatey

    I respect Kanye as a musician. He is a great producer. Definitely a candidate.

    However, I personally like Lex Luger. I can’t describe it past I love his beats. Musically, they are basic, but you don’t want rap over a symphonic-like level beat. Many (or most) traditional East Coast-style beats are basic. Basic is good for rap. I vote for Lex Luger.

    And to the people that say Lex’s beats sound the same, they aren’t. There are many similar sounds in his beats, but that is called defining your sound. You don’t listen to listen to them in great enough depth to understand their differences

    P.S. I’m a huge Waka Flocka fan. Check me out at


  • Nick

    the fact that big k.r.i.t. isnt even on this list is hilarious…c’mon xxl you just lost a potential subscriber with that list

  • B-Jamz

    where’s boi-1da …

  • That one kid

    Kanye obviously. Lex Luger does strictly bangers. Kanye switches it up as many people have already said in these comments. Watch The Throne was one of the best produced albums I’ve ever heard. I would get into Kanye’s history but this is the best producer of 2011 so I’ll refrain.

  • Big D

    Dr. Dre as alwayz.

  • 92ivans

    lex Luger, he put out more beats this year and they were

  • Kioko

    Just Blaze, Drumma Boy or Kanye, im a big fan of Luger i think its his break out year but i need more diversity from him before he hits that list. 4th Luger.

  • beats by the pound

    T-minus , Lex luga , jahil all made an impact this year

  • adam

    No ID for sure. every track on common’s new album was amazing, sweet was really good.

  • Loddy

    Capo Decina, Jiroca and T-Minus