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13 Best/Underrated Producer-Rapper Collabs From 2017

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  Jan 02, 2018 16:47
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Here are the 13 most notable producer-rapper collaborations of 2017.110 Single-Producer Albums You Need To Revisit

Last week, we highlighted the most underrated collaborations between two rappers from this past year. However, with a year as overwhelming as this one, it would be a shame not to go a step further and touch on the specific subsect of producer-rapper combos that’ve bubbled to the surface. This unique pairing of minds is beast of its own; since the conception of the genre, it’s been this powerful pairing between a beatmaker and an MC that has led to genuine innovation.

Every Drake’s got a 40, every Kendrick’s got a Sounwave. Historically, from Eric B. & Rakim to Mike WiLL Made It & Rae Sremmurd, and everyone in between, these sorts of creative alliances have often resulted in the most fully realized iteration of either involved artist. There is an unspoken language between the best duos and it's this level of understanding that could ultimately lead to an impressively cohesive final product.

These partnerships have always existed behind the scenes, but haven't been all that appealing as a mainstream narrative until the rise of household names like Mike WiLL or, say, a Metro Boomin. And now that there seems to be a resurgence of public interest in the crucial joining of forces that have led to some of our most favorite recent efforts, it's important that we give credit where its due.

Our list of 13 notable producer-rapper collabs from 2017 aims to not only highlight "the best of" but showcase the most underrated as well. It's a melding of both.

13. Yo Gotti x Mike WiLL Made It - "Gotti Made-It"

Yo Gotti is an underrated rapper - he’s got great control over his voice and a deceptively clever pen. Mike WiLL is an underrated producer - his range has never been properly documented, let alone appreciated. Both veterans at in their own right at this point, this unlikely pairing proved to be one of the more entertaining side projects of the year.

12. Hoodrich Pablo Juan x Danny Wolf - "HoodWolf"

With banger after banger, HoodWolf is proof that one of Gucci’s newest signees, Hoodrich Pablo Juan, was already on a quite a tear before getting the 1017 co-sign. This collaborative effort with young up-start Danny Wolf puts both artists’ talents on display; HPJ’s colorful and often times outlandish rhyming feels more at home over Wolf’s deep, trunk-rattling instrumentation than over any of his usual counterparts. Hoodrich Pablo Juan & Danny Wolf - HoodWolf

11. Dom Kennedy x Hit-Boy - "Courtesy of Half-A-Mil"

As Kendrick, YG, Kamaiyah and a slew of others lead their coast to new levels of prominence, Dom Kennedy & Hit-Boy have been making their own mark on the west coast as the newly minted duo, Half-A-Mil. On this debut, they stumble upon a sharp, new-age sound that highlights Dom’s understated charisma as much as it does Hit-Boy’s refined production. Together, they provide a balance to the proudly regional sound.

10. Kirk Knight & Nyck Caution - "Nyck @ Knight"

Nyck @ Knight is a vastly overlooked joint effort by Pro Era's longtime producer-turned MC Kirk Knight and lesser known counterpart, Nyck Caution. Up until user @All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ made a point to highlight the tape in the comment section of this previous piece, even I was woefully ignorant to the dynamic pairing of Knight's executive production and Caution's focused rhymes. Don't be like this writer - go check out this tightly wound 8-track lyrical exercise ASAP! 

9. Young Thug x DJ Carnage - "Young Martha EP"

Although a collaboration with Metro Boomin or London On Da Track is what we're all dying for, this surprise joint offering from Thugger & Carnage was a refreshing change of pace. Cinematic and gleefully over the top, this 4 song EP sees both artists turning things up a notch for a high-octane showcase of their versatility.  

8. RJ x DJ Mustard - "The Ghetto"

Following the success of MrLA, RJ returns with an effort executively produced by his label-head, DJ Mustard. Mustard not only brings his signature bounce, he finds new grooves for RJ to fully flex his elastic vocal range over. Armed with a defiant sound and true to self lyrics, the self proclaimed Mr. LA  attempts to stay true to his roots while shedding light on the influence his region has had on his continuously developing artistry. 

7. Gucci Mane x Southside - "El Gato: The Human Glacier"

While it’s easy to mark Gucci as the human embodiment of “quantity over quality,” his ear for beats and the subsequent songwriting abilities he showcases shouldn’t be understated. With each of his most recent collaborations (Everybody Looking with Zaytoven & Mike WiLL Made It; Droptopwop with Metro Boomin; El Gato: The Human Glacier with Southside), Gucci has managed to tap into something unique and thoroughly engaging. Full of self-mythologizing and triumphant introspection, El Gato… is a surprisingly varied mix of icy hooks and stone-cold wordplay. And with Southside at the helm, Gucci is given plenty of room to show off his current favorite flows, ad-libs and one-liners.

6. Buddy x KAYTRANADA - "Ocean & Montana"

Buddy's debut EP has been a long time coming. Executive produced by eclectic wizard KAYTRANADA, it is a collection of five exemplary songs meant to highlight the 24 year old MC's sharp pen as well as his great, instinctual approach to writing infectious melodies. Ocean & Montana is a clear case of a seasoned beatmaker providing otherworldly inspiration for an earnest artist bursting to achieve beyond his means. 

5. Payroll Giovani x Helluva - "Payface"

Payface sees Detriot rapper Payroll Giovani shedding the connection with producer Cardo that initially garnered both of them much critical acclaim. Instead, Payroll opts to test out his chemistry with Helluva, who's recently gained some notoriety for his work with up & comer, Tee Grizzley. As it turns, lighting can indeed strike twice on the same spot; Payroll Giovani effortlessly wields one of the most commanding new voices on the scene and it is clear that he's at the forefront of a new Detroit renaissance.

4. Problem x DJ Quik - "Rosecrans"

The west coast is not only alive & well, it is thriving as we head into this new year. In fact, there are so many noteworthy acts coming out of this new Golden Era that a project that slaps as much as Rosecrans was all but forgotten when it came to many year-end lists. This full-length follow up to their initial six song EP sees both the rapper & producer comfortably in their respective grooves, delivering a healthy mix of charismatic storytelling and disarming punchlines. It’s clear that Quik finds as much inspiration in Problem’s regional swagger as Problem does in Quik’s nostalgic beatmaking.

3. Offset x 21 Savage x Metro Boomin - "Without Warning"

Metro’s work-ethic and consistency therein can’t be praised enough. He’s basically squatted on the Billboard Top 100 list for the entirety of 2017 and has helped everyone from NAV to Big Sean fight for their spot in the limelight during an undeniably overcrowded year. However, with the number of disparate rappers he works with, it’s not always a harmonious pairing of minds. Without Warning was a rare moment where everything clicked - we were already used to hearing 21 Savage over Metro’s trademark slasher-flick aesthetic, but Offset’s presence seemed to breath new life into the tried & tested stylings of the former two. The tradeoff not only between 21 and Offset, but between Metro’s existing template for 21 and new sounds for Set, make for endlessly compelling repeat listens.  

2. Jay-Z x No. I.D. - "4:44"

Jay-Z is setting the template for rap’s elder statesmen in real-time. As brutally honest as it is reserved and unsure, 4:44 finds the titan in the midst of genuine & natural artistic growth, decades into his career. Over No I.D.’s free-form, sample-driven compositions, Jay explores previously well-shrouded aspects of his life and allows his insecurities a rare moment to breathe. Concise and with nary a wasted word, the entire 9-track sequence is a masterclass in intimate songwriting. 

1. Rapsody x 9th Wonder - "Laila's Wisdom"

The best MCs are able to synthesize a lifetime worth of experiences into a poignant perspective that resonates with a given listener regardless of race, religious affiliation or sex. That’s why it never made sense to this writer that we place “female” rappers in a category of their own - it’s not only a clear attempt at marginalizing some of the most important voices in our culture, it feels counterproductive to the longevity of this genre. Thankfully, Rapsody doesn’t give two fucks about how you rank her. With 9th Wonder adding structure to her sprawling vision, she tackles each and every song with the assured confidence of a well-established vet and her POV is never compromised for commercial appeal. Lalia’s Wisdom is a career defining record and one that may led Rapsody to multiple well-deserved Grammys. Bravo!
View Original Article
Music News Entertainment producer rapper Rapsody 9th Wonder Jay Z DJ Quik Gucci Mane Metro Boomin 21 Savage Offset Features joint project 2017 Hotnew17 joint album collaborative project
26 Comments
Han Solo
- Jan 3, 2018

YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOW THE FUCK YOU FORGET MC EIHT AND DJ PREMIER?????????????????????? YOU BETTER DELETE THIS WEBSITE RIGHT FUCKING NOW

CNG
- Jan 3, 2018

fuck! there's always 1! smh

Bankroll SHKREEEEEEET
- Jan 3, 2018

Nudy x Pierre...Carti x Pierre....

Half Ape Half drake
- Jan 3, 2018

Rosecrans

laugeel
- Jan 3, 2018

DJ QUIK A LEGEND

Bottom Comment
- Jan 3, 2018

Laila's Wisdom is not entirely produced by 9th Wonder though you idiots

BTBTBTBT
- Jan 3, 2018

nyck @ knight was amazing go take a listen if yall missed it

You actually put that underwhelming El Gato at #7?

All-Amerikkkan Bada$$
- Jan 2, 2018

WORRDD. Ay thanks for the shout out CNG and HNHH and thanks for showing Nyck @ Knight some love!!!

RJ Go Hard
- Jan 2, 2018

Second goes to that Dj Mustard and RJ! That shit is a certified banger.

RJ Go Hard
- Jan 2, 2018

Dj Quik and PROBLEM should be number one!

rowe852012
- Jan 2, 2018

Y'all sleep on that problem tape. 🔥🔥🔥

Luc DeLorenzo
- Jan 2, 2018

Buddy is 24, not 18!!!!

CNG
- Jan 2, 2018

good catch!

Carlos Adriano
- Jan 2, 2018

Problem kill the tape

Aiden Pearce
- Jan 2, 2018

How tf are these underrated.... Edit: aight I didn't see it said best/underrated, but that's a bullshit headline. Are they the best or underrated?

Michael Baidoo
- Jan 2, 2018

Dumb comment

Spirit Sword
- Jan 2, 2018

The last 3 albums on this list are probably the best ones

RJ Go Hard
- Jan 2, 2018

That's funny as fuck. Dj Quik and PROBLEM the best one

Spirit Sword
- Jan 3, 2018

@RJ Go Hard : I'll check it out

19YearOldJimiHendrix
- Jan 2, 2018

Lojii X swarvy had a tape called Due Rent ... if u like real east coast shit u gonna vibe to this heavy

Thx bruh dat shit is chill af

Doomsday
- Jan 2, 2018

No huncho jack. Im glad

Spirit Sword
- Jan 2, 2018

that project had multiple producers, inconceivable that it would make this list

Doomsday
- Jan 2, 2018

@Spirit Sword : oh shit u right

John F Kennedy
- Jan 2, 2018

4:44 was the best rapper/producer collaborated of 2017. Laila's Wisdom was also great

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