This time of year is all about traditions and it doesn’t change when it comes to Hip Hop. It’s the end of the year, and the “Top _________ of 2015” lists have started or have wrapped up in some cases. You can peep our “2015 HipHopDX Year End Awards” here

As Hip Hop fans, and humans in general, we seem to gravitate to the idea of “lists,” and organizing our favorites. Whether you are on HipHopDX, social media, in your local barbershop or at a party, having your opinion heard (and understood) is essential.

So who had the dopest mixtape this year? Who had the best album and Verse of the year? And we can’t overlook production! Who was the hottest in 2015?

Just like us, industry vets have these discussions and debates at the end each year. We were lucky enough to talk to some of your favorite producers (and artists) about which producer had the most impactful year in 2015. Now, the question was asked with the stipulation that they could NOT name themselves.

So who’s it going to be? Metro Boomin? Mike Will Made It? Vinylz? Dr. Dre? Alchemist? Is there any wrong answer? Well, you can be the judge of that.

Who do you think was the most impactful producer of 2015?

Denaun aka Mr. Porter

(Producer for Eminem, Slaughterhouse, The Game, Busta Rhymes + More)

I’d say Sounwave! He’s quiet and deadly probably my favorite producer right now… Raw talent and he was able to do music that he loved and stood by without trying to stay current. Having an artist like Kendrick to be able to paint for has to be refreshing. He does what he wants just as I do…  Fuck the system, we can rewrite it.

Hi-Tek

(Legendary Producer)

I would have to say MIKE WILL MADE IT. He made people follow his sound and when that happens you can’t do nothing but ride the wave.

KXNG CROOKED a.k.a. Crooked I

(Slaughterhouse, Shady Records)

In my humble opinion, it would be Dr. Dre. After executive producing one of the greatest biopics ever, he released the soundtrack Compton, which went on to sell over 300K in its first week without a radio single or music video. I like that kind of shit.

Straight Outta Compton Music Video / Talking To My Diary by Dr. Dre from Nicholas Rodriguez-Fernandez on Vimeo.

Lee on The Beats  

(We The Best/ Producer for Drake, Lil Wayne, Big Sean, Chris Brown + More)

I would have to definitely say Metro Boomin or 808 Mafia as a whole.  Why? [Laughs] Shit, turn on the radio or go to the club for a night. He’s everywhere.

!llmind

(Producer for Drake, Eminem, Kanye West, 2 Chainz, J Cole + More)

I would say Vinylz. He had a lot of big singles.

Focus…

(2x Grammy Winning Producer for Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg + More)

My homie Dem Jointz killed this year! Not only did he land huge records on Dr. Dre’s Compton, but he produced big records on Janet Jackson’s comeback LP, as well. Two legends in one year with a sound all their own? I call that an impactful year!

Bink!

(Grammy Winning Producer for Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Rick Ross, Diddy + More)

I feel that Vinylz is the sound the industry is chasing! Super innovative guy.

Vanderslice

(Producer For Freddie Gibbs, Scarface, BJ The Chicago Kid + More)

Just Blaze put out one song in 2015, Alchemist only put out a handful, albeit most of those were really dope if I had to pick one guy I’d say Jake One. He did a lot of the better mainstream rap songs this year. I honestly couldn’t tell you aside from that because the producer as a figure is almost becoming lost in the shuffle because the music is becoming less and less valuable and more producers are selling their souls one lease at a time. The art of the hustle is starting to ruin the art of the music.

King Tech

(Legendary Wake Up Show)

I have to go with DJ Premier, Adrian Younge & RZA.  PRhyme was released in December 2014, but the full instrumental project dropped in March 2015. You are hearing RZA’s influence with what Adrian Younge created, and then Premier just took it to another level. All 3 of these guys helped create an incredible instrumental project and they get my nod for 2015.

DJ Pain 1

(Platinum Producer for  Ludacris, Rick Ross, Lil Bibby, Kevin Gates + More)

I’d have to give 2015 to Metro Boomin.  Aside from producing a string of hits, the majority of a collaborative album between two of the most currently influential rap artists, and influencing a million producer clones, he has stepped from behind the curtain that so many producers have traditionally stood behind.  He’s a name and a face now, to the point where he’s making major headlines for Twitter feuds.  The world is watching now, and it’s not just producers; it’s even casual fans.