When DJ Premier speaks, people listen. And they should—the OG behind the boards has crafted more classics in 25 years than most other producers combined, and has worked with the likes of The Notorious B.I.G., Nas, Jay Z, Rakim, Snoop, D'Angelo and, of course, Guru with their group Gang Starr. And the man has hardly slowed down; last year alone he delivered for the vets (Big Daddy Kane, Fat Joe, Inspectah Deck) and up-and-comers (Joey Bada$$, Rapsody, Mack Wilds) alike, staying fresh but remaining true to the boom bap feel that he helped develop in hip-hop.
But hip-hop has changed a lot since the days when Preem's brand of production was all over the airwaves—these days, you're far more likely to hear DJ Mustard or Mike WiLL Made It than Primo or Pete Rock. So when XXL recently sat down with DJ Premier to talk about his favorite beats of all time, we also wanted to ask him another question and get his take on which producers are truly impressing him in 2014. Click through to check out DJ Premier's top five producers who are killing the hip-hop game right now. —Carl Lamarre