Is The Era Of The Super Producer Over?

I think this question is rhetorical, but is the era of the super producer completely over? I can’t help but feel that whole idea is a product of the old music industry, the one that is being disregarded and left for dead more and more as each day passes.

The one hit wonder, with a big record that breaks regionally before spreading nationally, or comes to life via myspace or a youtube video- the one hit wonder has put the super producer out of business. And why? Probably for a few reasons, but the main one being that super producers just aren’t very reliable when it comes to making hits anymore. They recreate a sound that worked once, over and over again, and consumers are too smart for that nowadays. They’re not buying it. You have to be more creative. You can’t just keep selling them the wheel. You really do have to reinvent it.

Notable current and former super producers who I think are stuggling for relevancy, regardless of whether they’ve had hits recently:

1) swizz beats- his sound is just not interesting anymore. Too much yelling, not enough substance.

2) the neptunes- better as a rock band

3) scott storch- where’s this guy been?

4) lil jon- see above. Crunk really is dead.

5) Dr. Dre- headphones> songs he produced in last three years

Who else is struggling for relevancy? Who are the new super producers that have taken their place?

Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • LEO


    • King Capone

      Where the fuck is three 6 mafia in all this super producer discussion??
      Dj Paul & Juicy J r supa producer’s like a muthafucka!! you know how much beats these niggaz have done!!

      paul & juicy have made more n better beats then any of the niggaz yall talkin about,includin Dr.Dre.

      they just underated,they got major deals n they still dropin underground albums with grade a quality beats,do yall fuckin reaserch.

      • RiZob

        COSIGN LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER! Paul and Juicy are indeed the the shit!

      • 619

        What the fuck are you talkin’ about? Better beats than Dre? Don’t get your shit twisted! You said do the research so here it is, Dre produced the whole albums on:
        Straight Outta Compton
        The Chronic

        He also produced joints on these classic albums:
        All Eyez On Me
        It Was Written
        Marshall Mathers LP
        Get Rich Or Die Tryin’
        The Documentary

        Act like you know dumb fuck. Mafuckers act like they forgot about Dre.

  • ri067953

    Yo, I praise god that there aren’t anymore “super-producers” per se. You still have producers making banging music but they no longer have to play the forefront. This means that wack artists cannot hide behind their weak shit by saying so and so produced their track. More often then not, those that lay low (DJ Quik and even Dre to a certain extent) will make banging music regardless if they are getting spins on the radio or not.

  • JOVA

    I consider Kanye West the only super-producer right now. Timberland had the title last year with all his hits, but it was mostly pop. Im waiting for Just Blaze to come with some fire. The song he did on T.I’s album was pretty hot and was different from the usual stuff he does.

    • amar

      i agree, the jus blaze rags song on t.i.’s album is gonna be the biggest thing to come outta that whole album…it’s bigger than the one with rihanna is about to be

      does a super producer have to be all over the place in a major way all the time (like kanye)? or can he just put out one extremely hot track on a hot album every month or few months to still be considered it?

  • DV8

    i believe so….nobody wants to pay those crazy ass prices for beats. There are plenty of people with talent that just need that break. I see a lot of artist nowadays working with these people who just want to get on and are not charging alot for beats. These “super-producers” are pop now. Hiphop is headed back underground and cats aint fucking with those big ass budgets for albums.

  • Trouble

    I think about Mannie Fresh, he made all them Cash-Money beats before they broke up, he was my favorite producer of all.

    But producers are on a come up so them dudes you mentioned better get there weight up, especially Dre, I mean he wasting time and talent.

  • avon

    just blaze
    kanye lost it as well
    mannie fresh
    where the fuck are the trackmasters

    • King B

      You couldn’t be anymore wrong….Just Blaze is the shit now, Hi-Tek puts out hot shit, Kanye stays on point mannie fresh…well yeah…premo is still on point too but he’s just fucking with underground artist nothing major

  • John Cochran

    I agree with the homies above. Kanye is the only one left and nobody wants to pay timbaland a half a mil when they album gone barely go gold anyway. Polow comes to mind, but he does more R&B than rap. You don’t need the nigga thats gone make the beat and sing the hook no more. Look at Jeezy, who in my opinion has bangin beats on that recession shit. Aint no big names on it. Speaking of Jeezy, I listen to that album more than The Game or Nas’ recent shit. Their’s got kinda boring after a few spins.

  • Tip Dreezy

    I don’t think the era of the super producer is over, or the idea of certain individuaks exceling in freelance production. What i do feel is that the producers who have defined the “super producer” era, have either gotten bored (Just Blaze, Timbaland), lazy (Lil Jon, Scott Storch), or have gotten to point in their career where dont feel the need to play the major label hall of mirrors game(Kanye West, and have begun to follow ther artistic muse, whatever that maybe. With that said you have more producers doing their own thing and coming into game, but trying very hard to keep the restraints of “being a super-producer” at arms distance (Bangladesh, Shawty Redd, Alchemist, and Green Lantern etc)

  • Pierzy

    I think The Neptunes still qualify because they’re constantly trying to re-invent themselves. Is Preemo a super producer? He should be…

    • Shawty J

      “I think The Neptunes still qualify because they’re constantly trying to re-invent themselves. ”
      How have they been reinventing themselves? Sure they’re doing new N.E.R.D. music but those two of them don’t even make beats together anymore. Chad has completely jumped genres as far producing. And Pharell (under the Neptunes name) has been producing solo, dropping stale tracks left and right.

  • Shawn Blaze

    I really doesn’t matter if they do pop if you have multiple past hits and albums…and a present hits and albums then you are a super producer. And Premo is one…remember he produce for Christina Aguliera in 2003 or 2004…Premo is a legend just look at his track record

  • capcobra

    remember when you had to hustle and keep it a had to have somebody else work and take a 30/70 cut and shit…you couldn’t even be on the strip wit your own shit..well it ain’t like that no more!!…niguz could whip up some bullshit..move it and get paid without a co-sign…just gotta be smart.have heart and an entrepreneur spirit…you don’t need majors.big name producers.big budget videos.dancers….none of that shit…you can record in the crib..shoot the video it on the internet..and with the right promotion you can become successful…in most cases it helps more if you not affiliated with none of these niguz anyhow….just think…selling 30 thou independent is still a 6 digit year…so fuck super producers…time for the artist to get paid!

  • Rae Tha Great

    JR Rotem
    9th Wonder
    Drumma Boy
    Me (RAE)
    Kanye and Just Blaze can’t fall off. Its more just can’t remember. PEACE

    • J.G.

      I Agree but you did forget Polow Da Don, he ain’t put out a wack beat yet

  • TheCo!!inB

    you can’t even be a super producer to me unless your on projects that consistenly due numbers and you’ve worked in at least 3 different styles of music.
    Timbaland is the last standing supeproducer….he’s continually reinvented his sound and done so without compromising the quality of his music. Kanye hasn’t done anything outside of hip hop (all his r n b joints were rap beats I aint stupid) the neptunes should stop turning turned down references into NERD songs and Dre just isn’t concerned with music unless it’s his own….he’s gonna move over to scoring pretty soon.
    super producers are dead indeed

  • Harmen

    the runners and cool & dre are at the top for the time being
    just blaze was number 1 before not now

    oh! and drumma boy is hot out there lately, and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. league
    those are the only guys i would no matter what give they’re beat a chance

  • Vicious Seiger

    Everybody has their time. RZA, Trackmasters, DJ Premier, DJ Scratch, Mannie Fresh and many of the ones named above have either burned themselves out by doing too much [esp. RZA] or they fade into obscurity because they can’t adapt to the times and bring anything fresh to the table. I just think it’s a changing of the guard. Not to mention has anybody noticed that most of these superproducers have some kind of assistance/co-producer [Dr. Dre with Mel-Man & Mike Elizondo, Timbaland & Sean Garrett]. Another challenge contributing to this is so many producers and wanna-be producers jump on the latest craze [hint,hint - Auto Tune/Vocoder] that it’s hard to tell who’s making what and then you have the producers who are not following trends being left out in the cold by major labels and artists since they don’t utilize the same techniques that labels think will sell records [hint, hint Auto Tune]. Either way, everybody has their time to shine and when’s time’s up – it’s best to just walk away and be remembered as the one setting trends and not following them.

  • Danny Myers

    I like DJ Toomp, Drumma Boy and Alchemist, rright now. DR.Dre and Timbo are still hands down are the only super producers right now. Fuck whether or not they are hot right now. Does Jordan still have to be playing today to get his due?

    • WeGlobal

      Scott Storch shits on all of them

  • Shawty J

    The age of super produers may be over. But not because the producers have fallen off. That’s just one reason. The other is price range.

    I mean seriously, a Dre beat will cost $75,000 and that’s if you’re a Aftermath/Shady/G-Unit artist. Other wise it’s $250,000 which a pretty much kill your budget. Other super producers are asking for like $50,000-$100,000 per track, and with industry in the shape it’s in a super producer is too far out of reach.

    I mean if producer are charging that much, a new rapper might as well make his own beats or get one of their homies/ DJs to do their beats for them.

  • Sozzay

    Lil Jon wasn’t lazy! His old lable put him on the shelf so he wasn’t allowed to do any work. Label drama kept him out of the game for a minute.

    • Shawty J

      No, he was lazy. The label can prevent him from releasing songs, but the label can’t prevent him from producing other artist, as they don’t own his publishing.

  • grandma

    MAN WHAT ABOUT DRUMMABOY! i completely agree that the super producer is dying off, but dude had all of Rocko’s album, 3 songs on The Recession, 4 songs on Paper Trail. The way i see it he’s a new super producer who is doing quite well

  • Vega Diamond


  • Matt

    Actually,Swizz is the only one on this list that dnt belong,yeah this year hasnt been as hot as the last but u cant expect someone to keep up wit that pace….he has had alota songz on artists albums this year.i think he might be the best right na

  • Federal Ranga

    “I see a lot of artist nowadays working with these people who just want to get on and are not charging alot for beats.”

    Co-Sign. I know niggaz these days will practically give beats away, risking everything to get discovered and get out there. They’re not picky with the artists they work with and not looking for the conventional.

    Tha’s the problem with these “superproducers” today. They gone straight Hollywood.

    Producers In Trouble or Fallen Off:
    Just Blaze – Where you been?
    Timbaland – This ain’t 2006 no more
    Mannie Fresh – Get back on your job
    Scott Storch – Did Timbaland scare you?
    The Heatmakers – Missing?
    Polow Da Don – Switchin to R&B

    Producers Bubbling (or again):
    Bangladesh – Bring Thump Back
    The Runners – Consistent…
    Don Cannon – Gems (to far in between)

    • Ryan

      Just Blaze has the #1 single in the country you stupid idiot loser virgin…honestly, end your life.

    • ab

      da runners are doin it big..theyve been on cris brown,rickross,wayne,keisha cole,list goes on..
      justice legaue-does alot of wayne beeats.
      ..and my boy pharrell fell off but he’ll be back.beside who still got money coming in from icecream ,bbc,jewelry line.

    • WeGlobal


  • grp03

    mannie fresh needs to come back

  • Lord Maximus

    Whoa, first off, Kanye is a “super producer” first off, secondly, JR Rotem (I don’t really like him too much) has produced a lot of recent hits, most of them from Sean Kingston. I could go on, but this whole topic is ridiculous.

  • ito

    swizzy still doin his thing..

  • fla all day

    swizzy sucks his shit all sounds the same wit the dumb ass yellin in the backgroung.

  • NIc Diamonds

    It is dying out because there are so many cats that do beats and you never hear from them again. Like one track and im out. Theres not a new Swizz, Timberland or Kanye West in the game right now. I mean who’s changing up the sound? The Next super producer will change the game and then his sound will get bitten up so well be right back where we started. I’d like to think I can be next to go for that spot.

  • Federal Ranga

    @ Ryan:

    Nigga, chill wit that bullshit. What’s the song’s name again, dumbfuck? I sure ain’t heard it a lot in Miami…

  • Boogie Knights

    I consider a super-producer someone like myself, who does the beat, the mixing, and every step of the song process themselves. Kanye dosen’t do his own mixing,.. Dr.Dre does, and didn’t he work on relapse. Timbaland is a superproducer. I think before this article was made, someone should’ve defined the difference between a beat maker & a REAL super producer. Maybe its that the super producers are just rare to find, cuz anyone can just make a beat. but no one has a signature sound, except people like Timbaland, Polow Da Don, I’d even put T-pain in the ranks of super producer because he has more involvement on the writting & mixing aspect too.

    • WeGlobal

      your a faggot you didnt even mention the great scott storch smh

  • dynamicwayne

    I totally understand where you’re coming from with this post I honestly hope it goes back to the way it was but whats the chances when the industry is flooded with so many new singles, mixtapes, etc Good Read.!!

  • Nik


  • monkeystan

    So PussyZzz 4got abt Dre huh!!!

  • WeGlobal

    Scott Storch is the best producer ever, way more talented than dre, dr dre is very overrated

  • WeGlobal

    i’ve heard over 600 scott storch beats so my opinion is very valid

  • BBorisov

    Are you crazy? Swizz Beatz is still a super producer he produced the best songs on “Last Train To Paris”, French Montana feat. J Cole’s – Diamonds. Swizz have always been original. Same thing for The Neptunes.