Even the finest ingredients cannot guarantee an appetizing meal if the person behind the chopping board doesn’t get its preparation right. Moderation, timing and restraint all contribute to how tasty a dish turns out, and those very distinctions are what the HipHopDX staff took into consideration while shortlisting this year’s most effective studio chefs.
Rapping, singing and that wonderful place in between have all flourished in Hip Hop over 2023, but not without the assistance and fine-tuning of some of the most proficient beatmakers the genre has to offer. Mastering the grill is essential to letting vocalists cook to their full potential, and a number of producers stood out this year for either building on the fundamentals or offering new approaches to help develop their craft further.
The Alchemist, Metro Boomin and Hit-Boy have made it back on the nominees list as they continue soundtracking the culture, while BNYX and Conductor Williams join the fold this year with a fresh new identity that tastefully represents the past, present and future.
Review all of our Hip Hop Award categories and nominees and check out our nominations for Best Hip Hop Producers of 2023 below.
Editor’s Note: Nominees are listed in alphabetical order.
Best HIP HOP PRODUCERS Of 2023 NOMINATIONS
The 2023 Hip Hop Producer of the Year is…
Over the past year, The Alchemist has reached every corner of Hip Hop by working with Drake, Earl Sweatshirt, Larry June, Action Bronson, Curren$y, Hit-Boy, MIKE and Wiki, among others. Prolific as ever, he dropped four LPs, two EPs and multiple singles to add another spectacular year to his resume.
As he continues to uplift heroes and aspirants with equal vigor, his legacy remains under construction until further notice with unwavering support from the community he helped cultivate. It was a great year for Hip Hop production, but The Alchemist edged out the competition as our Producer of the Year.
Emerging from the Philadelphia collective Working on Dying, BNYX has been on quite the cosmic high this past year, having landed a string of commercial hits for some of the biggest names in the industry. Back in 2017, the Haitian-American beatmaker was forced to drop out of college and work at an AT&T store in order to stabilize his monetary struggles. Around that same time, he heard a remix of Rae Sremmurd’s “Swang” and ended up creating a rendition of his own that blew up on social media, once again setting him in a hopeful direction. Over the next few years, he completely immersed himself in the Hip Hop ecosystem and began working with Yeat. And the rest, as they say, is history.
At just 28 years old, BYNX earned his first Grammy nomination for working on Travis Scott‘s UTOPIA. Furthermore, he’s worked with heavyweights such as Drake, Lil Uzi Vert, The Kid LAROI and Lil Tecca, among several others, which all came in the span of just 12 months.
A champion among purists, Conductor Williams has been churning out one slap after another as part of Griselda collective, The Heartbreakers, along with fellow producers Camouflage Monk and Denny Laflare. On his way to the spotlight, the Kansas City native made a name for himself by working closely with rap aficionados like Westside Gunn, Conway The Machine, Mach-Hommy and Rome Streetz before finally reaching a broader audience.
Earlier this year, Drake hyped up his eighth studio album, For All the Dogs, with the release of “8AM in Charlotte” just a day before the entire tracklist went live. If hearing the golden child spit a bar-heavy verse wasn’t enough already, fans with a healthy appetite for Hip Hop were thrilled to recognize the unmistakable “Conductor, we have a problem” tag preface the vocals (even though it cuts off after just the first word). Just a little over a month after its release, Drizzy released the extended cut of the album and it featured Williams once again on another beat. With that, it’s safe to say he has everybody’s attention.
Nas‘ already legendary career enjoyed a renaissance the likes of which Hip Hop has never seen before, and it is largely due to Hit-Boy’s prowess inside the studio. A partnership reminiscent of the traditional MC and DJ duos of the ‘80s and ‘90s, the cross-coastal team dropped six albums in four years, split into two deeply compelling trilogies. 2023 marked the end of said alliance that earned them four Grammy nominations and one win, securing their spots in the royal sphere as they went their separate paths.
Of course, this is just another year for Hit-Boy atop the game as he has been racking Grammy nominations for a decade now — with a total of 13 to his credit, he has contributed to some of the most successful records of the past 10 years by acts like Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Kanye West and JAY-Z, to name a few. Based on associates alone, his excellence is damn-near impossible to dispute.
A strong case can be made for Metro Boomin being one of the most powerful producers of all time considering his name alone generates millions of streams, views and sales, placing him right next to rappers and singers operating at the highest level. Sure, he isn’t the first beatmaker to lead with his own brand, but he’s among the most successful to ever do it. For instance, take his sets at Coachella earlier this year that attracted fans from around the world and were energized by cameos from Future, The Weeknd, 21 Savage, Don Toliver, John Legend and Diddy, all of whom could’ve easily secured late-evening spots at the festival.
As one of the most sought-after trap stars of today, having Metro’s tag introduce a verse is known to do wonders for those involved. For that reason, his demand continues to increase as he mass produces some of the biggest hits of the industry. Add to that his most recent solo offering, Heroes & Villains, and it becomes clear how he has attained superstar status despite remaining behind the scenes for the most part.
Check out our previousaward winners.
Artwork and Graphic Design by JR Martinez.
Paragraphs written by Karan Singh.