In a recent profile with GQ, Drake divulged the details of his forthcoming third album to writer Michael Paterniti. In the time they spent together at Drake’s California home, Drizzy touched on his working relationship with his longtime producer 40 – who’s overseen every project Drake’s put out – and went on to mention, “At this point, I can’t have anyone but 40.” While the two are certainly creatively in-sync, the working bond they have as rapper and producer is nothing new in hip-hop.
While groups from the Golden Era (Tribe, Gang Starr, Eric B. & Rakim) were often comprised of MCs and producers, as artists have embraced solo careers it’s become common for them to repeatedly team with go-to producers who both understand their sound and can help them reach their full sonic potential. So far, this year in hip-hop has spawned some classic hits from frequent collaborators who are constantly on the same wavelength. As the saying goes: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
We were inspired to take a look at some of the best pairings making music now. From 40 and Drake to Kendrick and Sounwave to Harry Fraud and Action Bronson, they have a clear chemistry that’s yielded some incredible music. Read on to find out the 15 best producer/rapper combos right now.—Eric Diep, Dan Buyanovsky, Chisom Uzosike, Chris Mench, and Raven Irabor