Some say the key to excelling within your field is knowing its history. In music, specifically hip-hop, the genre always evolves off the momentum of yesteryear's styles and sounds. FKi 1st, the storied Atlanta producer who was key in the rise of new-gen artists like Travis Porter and Post Malone (he co-wrote and co-produced Post's hit song "White Iverson"), is still moved by classic hip-hop production, from his region and beyond.

You've definitely heard his work, whether it was the year "White Iverson" blew up, when 2 Chainz's infectious "Watch Out" was everywhere or his Good Gas series was released—he just dropped Vol. 3 in May. In the latest episode of XXL's Pay Homage, 1st chooses five hip-hop beats that shape how he feels about the genre and keep him inspired throughout his own career.

The first beat FKi 1st selects is a true club classic: "Knuck If You Buck" by Crime Mob. This 2004 banger, produced by group member Lil Jay, was a mainstay in parties throughout the South and across the U.S. for years after its release. "You could end a party on 'Knuck If You Buck,' bruh," 1st shares, looking back on his old days. "Drop that shit, fights everywhere, bruh!" He isn't lying at all.

The producer also selects Jay-Z's "Jigga What, Jigga Who." "That's some real Timbaland shit fo' yo' ass," he says happily. "Simple, minimal, but it still gets the job done. I feel like I got a lot of my inspiration from that style." The song, which dropped in 1999, is one of Jay's most unique singles and one of his most memorable ones. To see it still having an impact 20 years later is impressive.

He even pays homage to Mannie Fresh's production on a famed Big Tymers' track. "'Get Your Roll On' had layers, bruh," FKi affirms.

Watch the video below to see the rest of FKi 1st's picks for his most favorite hip-hop beats.

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