Hip-hop’s 50th year has been filled with so many memorable moments, but, most importantly, it felt like a torch was being passed. Many of the genre’s biggest producers kept their momentum going this year, and instead of opting for their usual bag of tricks, they helped to pay it forward for the next generation of rappers while still connecting with established artists.

Tay Keith ushered in a new era of rap by teaming up with Sexyy Red for her breakout hits and debut mixtape, Hood’s Hottest PrincessMetro Boomin brought together some of the culture’s most popular artists to curate a major motion picture soundtrack for the biggest kid’s film of 2023. The Alchemist also showcased his talents on numerous projects throughout the year, including those with lauded rappers like Earl Sweatshirt and Larry June.

Outside of the usual heavy hitters, new producers reigned supreme as well. RiotUSA exploded onto the scene thanks to Ice Spice, while Clayco pushed the creative boundaries of what was possible in Atlanta rap due to his work with Destroy Lonely. Then there are producers like BNYX, who was seemingly inescapable in 2023 because he had a part in many of the year’s biggest records from Drake and Travis Scott, among others.

As 2023 winds down, there are a lot of talented people behind the boards that deserve recognition for contributing to some of the year's best albums. While this list highlights just 20 of the producers making a mark over the last 12 months, there are many other producers that are still killing it out here. It’ll be exciting to see the ways in which these inimitable creatives continue their work in the studio in 2024. Check out 20 of the best producers of 2023 below.

  • RiotUSA

    RiotUSA has reached A-list beatmaker status in 2023, as the mastermind behind the boards for the vast majority of songs from arguably the year’s fastest-rising star, Ice Spice. In April, the Bronx-bred friends and collaborators cracked the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time with "Princess Diana" alongside Nicki Minaj, debuting at No. 4. After landing a global publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music in June, RiotUSA earned himself a Top Producer of the Year plaque at the 2023 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards over the summer. Now, RiotUSA closes out his breakthrough year with hopes of taking home the Grammy Award for Best Rap Song in 2024 on the strength of the reimagined drill version of Aqua's "Barbie Girl" he laced for Ice Spice and Nicki Minaj’s smash, "Barbie World."

  • Metro Boomin

    At this point in his career, Metro Boomin's elite production skills find him mentioned among the top artists in the game just as much as a dominating force behind the scenes. Metro has racked up production credits on some of the year’s lauded albums, including Travis Scott's Utopia ("Till Further Notice") and Lil Durk's Almost Healed ("War Bout It" and "Grandson"). However, 2023 has been wildly successful for the beatsmith based on his own merit. Metro was tapped as the sole producer of the entire soundtrack for the blockbuster film, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart following its June release. Also, the St. Louis native's platinum-certified studio album, Heroes & Villains, is nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2024 Grammy Awards. The LP is up against two other albums that Metro contributed to: Utopia and Drake and 21 Savage's Her Loss ("More M's"). As if all that isn't enough to solidify his stance as the best of the best, Metro Boomin is also up for a Grammy Award in the Producer of the Year, Non-Classical category.

  • Earl on the Beat

    Earl on the Beat and his methodical production style played an important role in hip-hop's 50th year. Working alongside GENT, Lil Yachty and Noah "40" Shebib, Earl coproduced Drake and 21 Savage's "Privileged Rappers." The fan-favorite cut from Her Loss, helped the 2022 album land a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Album in 2024. Earl also linked up with Karl Rubin, Jean Baptiste and DJ Replay as the four maestros behind hip-hop's first No. 1 hit single of 2023, Doja Cat's "Paint the Town Red." He says he was inspired to create the Dionne Warwick-sampled smash after hearing the legendary singer's voice used on Usher's 2004 track "Throwback" featuring Jadakiss. Other standout production from Earl on the Beat this past year include beats like DDG's "I'm Geekin" and Kodak Black's "Right On Time."

  • Tay Keith

    Tay Keith has contributed to some of the most critically acclaimed tracks in 2023, such as Offset's "Freaky" featuring Cardi B and Travis Scott's "Meltdown" featuring Drake, which he coproduced with Boi-1da, Vinylz and Bynx. However, it's his work with one of the fastest-rising rap stars in recent memory, Sexy Redd that further solidified Tay Keith's undeniable influence throughout the year. He produced Sexyy's "Poundtown," which received the remix treatment for "Pound Town 2" featuring Nicki Minaj. He also coproduced Sexyy's banger "SkeeYee" with Bandbwoi and DJ Meech. The Memphis native's success in 2023 carried on when he joined forces with Boi-1da, Vinylz, OZ, Coleman and FNZ to coproduce Drake's "First Person Shooter" featuring J. Cole. The hard-hitting, chart-topper found Drake tying Michael Jackson's longtime record for most No. 1 hits by a male solo artist in history. Not only that, but Tay Keith's production help on "First Person Shooter" also signified J. Cole reaching the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for the first time in his storied career.

  • The Alchemist

    With a production discography that dates back to the 1990s, The Alchemist has earned the stripes required to lend his elite skills to artists spanning all corners of the rap game. His joint projects like Voir Dire with Earl Sweatshirt and The Great Escape with Larry June have made for some of hip-hop's most renowned studio efforts of 2023. On the mainstream tip this past year, The Alchemist coproduced Travis Scott's "Lost Forever" featuring Westside Gunn alongside James Blake, Dominic Maker and Travis himself, which debuted at No. 46 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Al's contribution also helped Cactus Jack's Utopia album to secure a No. 1 chart position on the Billboard 200 for four straight weeks. The Alchemist continued his dominance right through the tail end of 2023, by lacing the beat for "Wick Man" on Drake's For All the Dogs: Scary Hours Edition and by dropping his most recent solo album, Flying High, Part 2.

  • Go Grizzly

    An already renowned producer out of Atlanta, Go Grizzly kept his hot streak going through 2023. He coproduced two of the year’s biggest rap tracks from female rappers: Latto’s “Put It On Da Floor Again” (alongside Pooh Beatz and Squat), which topped the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay charts in August, and Nicki Minaj’s “Red Ruby Da Sleaze” (with Cheeze Beatz and Tate Kobang). Both tracks are structurally very different. Latto is given a menacing backdrop, driven by grimy trap drums and an unforgiving bass line, while Nicki's record is silky smooth, employing a vibrational Afrobeats energy. These dichotomies show that Go Grizzly couldn’t be put into a box in 2023, as he also lent his talents to Quavo’s vulnerable solo effort, Rocket Power, and closed out the year by locking in with R&B crooners Ryan Trey and Queen Naija.

  • Southside

    Coming up as the cofounder of Atlanta’s 808 Mafia production and songwriting team with Lex Luger back in 2011, Southside’s multi-layered trap beats became paradigmatic of ATL’s bustling trap scene. In 2023, Southside continued to remind skeptics of his skills and consistency as a producer. He crafted some massive records this year including Drake’s “Daylight” (coproduced with T9C and Smatt), Offset’s “On The River” and Young Thug’s “Hoodie” alongside Metro Boomin. Southside’s immersive sound also helped Lil Durk tap in on “Before Fajr” (coproduced with Smatt, Desro and Looisey) and Southside even dabbled in EDM music by teaming up with Polo G and Marshmello for the latter’s “Grown Man.” Southside continues to prove his beats are in high demand.

  • UV Killin Em

    Residing in Los Angeles, by way of Tel Aviv, Israel, UV Killin Em quietly became one of the most sought-after production talents these past two years. He first tapped in with Sleepy Hallow on “2055,” in 2021, crafting the rapper’s three-times platinum record. Soon after, UV began making numerous songs with some of the world’s biggest rap talents including NBA YoungBoy, Suicideboys and G-Eazy. In 2023, he joined forces with Drake, Sexyy Red and SZA as a coproducer for Drizzy’s smash “Rich Baby Daddy.” His production work can also be heard on Kodak Black's “Snipers and Robbers," Dro Kenji “Throw Up,” Real Boston Richey's “Site Flipping” and Hunxho's “I Ain’t Crazy."

  • Coupe

    Coupe has been Young Nudy’s go-to guy for a few years now, but he truly came into his own as the rapper's producer in 2023. The beatmaker sprinkled his woozy, minimalist production all across Nudy’s fourth studio album, Gumbo. The end result is one of Nudy’s most cohesive projects, with “Peaches & Eggplants” emerging as arguably the biggest track of his career. The song even peaked on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart at No. 7 after it got the remix treatment from Latto and Sexyy Red—arguably the two hottest rappers of 2023. The track was certified platinum in September. Coupe also served as executive producer on Kenny Mason’s 6 album, capping off quite a big year for the buzzing Atlanta producer.

  • No I.D.

    No. I.D needs no introduction. He's been out here creating classic beats for decades. The veteran producer’s roster includes iconic work with Common, Kanye West and Beyoncé. No I.D. continued his seemingly never-ending hot streak in 2023, convincing Killer Mike to craft his Grammy-nominated solo album, Michael, which briefly saw André 3000 come out of rap retirement for “Scientists & Engineers.” No I.D. also tapped in with a member of Chicago’s new class of rappers, linking with Saba for his song "Hue_man nature."

  • Hit-Boy

    Hit-Boy had a huge year in 2022. In 2023, he only turned it up a notch. The California native extended his prolific run with Nas with the albums Magic 2 and Magic 3, while also putting out two solo projects: Surf or Drown and Surf or Drown 2. He even did a collab offering with Musiq Soulchild, Victims and Villains. Hit still had time to contribute to one of rap’s biggest releases, coproducing Travis Scott’s “Delresto (Echoes)” featuring Beyoncé with Travis, Mike Dean and others. In addition, he blessed Don Toliver, Brent Faiyaz, Blxst and more with records. HB closed out the year with two Grammy nominations for Best Rap Album for 2022’s King’s Disease III and Producer of the Year. And also produced tracks on The Truth Is In My Eyes, the album released by Big Hit, his father, in December.

  • J.U.S.T.I.C.E. LEAGUE

    While J.U.S.T.I.C.E. LEAGUE’s production credits were not vast in 2023, the duo of Erik "Rook" Ortiz and Kevin "Colione" Crowe contributed to two of rap's favorite commercial street albums. They produced two records on Conway The Machine’s Won’t He Do It LP, including "Kanye" featuring GooseByTheWay and Drea D’Nur, and "Chosen One" featuring Jay Skeese. Jeezy employed the "Aston Martin Music" creators to produce the majority of his new 29-song double album, I Might Forgive… But I Don’t Forget, which includes favorites like the nostalgic "What I Gotta Do," coproduced by April 4th Beats, the cinematic "No Complaining" coproduced by TM88, ATL Jacob and others, and “If I’m Being Honest” coproduced by Rey Rodriguez.

  • ATL Jacob

    After taking home XXL’s Producer of the Year title in 2022, ATL Jacob continued to be one of the main players putting their stamp on hip-hop in 2023. Jacob was all over the place this year. Whether he was providing the punch to Lil Durk’s Almost Healed album ("Big Dawg" coproduced by Hendrix Smoke) or pop vibes on the Nicki Minaj single "The Last Time I Saw You," coproduced with Too Dope!, Frankie Bash and others. He also holds coproduction credits on Jeezy’s I Might Forgive…But I Don’t Forget album ("No Complaining," "Sad," "They Don’t Love Me," "Shine on Me"), Sexyy Red’s Hood Hottest Princess ("Strictly for the Strippers" featuring Juicy) and Rick Ross and Meek Mill’s Too Good to Be True joint album ("Million Dollar Trap," "800 Karats" and "Star Island").

  • Mike Dean

    Mike Dean is like hip-hop’s version of a ninja, silently killing it year after year. 2023 was no different as the veteran beatmaker had his hands all over the rap landscape. He coproduced Quavo’s Takeoff tribute ode "Without You" with Murda Beatz, along with tag-teaming with Metro Boomin on The Weeknd’s top 20 Billboard hit "Double Fantasy" featuring Future, and working with Metro on multiple songs on the Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse Soundtrack. Dean doubled back with The Weeknd and Metro on the Playboi Carti and Madonna collaboration "Popular," which peaked at No. 43 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Travis Scott’s Utopia album includes production credits from Dean, who also mixed the project and coproduced four songs including "Circus Maximus" featuring The Weekend and Swae Lee and "Delresto (Echoes)" featuring Beyoncé.

  • BNYX

    BNYX had one helluva breakout year in 2023. After landing several credits on Yeat’s Afterlyfe album, he scored Drake's loose single "Search and Rescue" with SadPony, Wesley Curtis and BeautiflMvn. The Pennsylvania native stacked his resume with coproducer credits on Lil Uzi Vert’s "Aye" featuring Travis Scott. Scott then tapped him for "K-Pop," "Sirens" and "Meltdown," off LaFlame's No. 1 album, Utopia. The producer can also say he's part of a Grammy-nominated album: Utopia is nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2024 Grammy Awards. BNYX also handed Drizzy another big assist with contributions to the rapper's No. 1 single "Slime You Out" featuring SZA as well as seven more tracks on For All the Dogs, including "Rich Baby Daddy," "IDGAF" and "Fear of Heights." To close out the year, he connected with Nicki Minaj for "Blessings" featuring Tasha Cobbs Leonard, coproduced by Sad Pony and Beau Nox.

  • Wheezy Outta Here

    Wheezy Outta Here laced some of 2023's biggest albums with his signature whimsical trap beats. Draped in synths, high hats and a plethora of other wide-ranged instrumentation, Wheezy crafted the musical backdrop for four tracks on Young Thug's Business Is Business: "Cars Bring Me Out" featuring Future (coproduced by Dez Wright), "Wit Da Racks" with 21 Savage, Travis Scott and Yak Gotti (coproduced by Dez Wright), "Global Access" featuring Nate Ruess (coproduced by Metro Boomin, Alex Bak, Bobby Raps and Peter Lee Johnson) and "Sake of My Kids." The Mississippi-bred beatsmith also added his unique touch to Lil Durk's Almost Healed, coproducing "300 Urus" with Juke Wong, and "Cross the Globe" featuring the late Juice Wrld (coproduced by Charlie Handsome). Don Toliver's Love Sick album also got the Wheezy touch. He set the tone sonically on the Travis Scott-assisted "Embarrassed" (coproduced by Dez Wright).

  • Boi-1da

    Boi-1da is a seasoned production vet by now. Just check his decorations by way of award nominations, charting records and his heavy-hitter production catalog. In 2023, the Toronto native pushed his creativity to new heights, kicking the year off by assisting Jahaan Sweet for Don Toliver's Love Sick track called "Do It Right," which delivers a modernized flip of The S.O.S. Band's "Take Your Time (Do It Right)." Boi-1da also perfectly melded violin strings and ticks on Travis Scott and Drake's "Meltdown," which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. He coproduced Travis' "K-Pop" featuring The Weeknd and Bad Bunny (coproduced by Illangelo, Jahaan Sweet, BNYX and DVLP) and "Skitzo" (coproduced by Jahaan Sweet, Sevn Thomas, Nami, Nik Dean, Coleman, Slim Pharoah and Travis Saylas). And of course, Boi-1da made a notable appearance on Drizzy's For All the Dogs album. He helped to craft the vibe for rap giants Drake and J. Cole on "First Person Shooter" (coproduced by Vinylz, OZ, Tay Keith, Coleman and FNZ). Boi-1da also made his presence known on Offset's Set It Off album ("I'm On," "Skyami," "Blame It on Set"). Closing out the year, 1da graced Nicki Minaj's first album in five years, Pink Friday 2, among many other tracks.

  • DunkRock

    One of the biggest songs of 2023 is instrumentally assembled by DunkRock, alongside Flo. Gunna's "F*kumean" from his A Gift and a Curse album, finds Rock and Flo impressively uniting heavy bass, pianos, flutes and 808 ticks. The track, which was Gunna's first single following his YSL RICO trial dealings, became his first No. 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, also peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. DunkRock is also responsible for cocrafting YoungBoy Never Broke Again's "Like Madden" with producers Cheese and Dex. He helps utilize guitars, 808 ticks and drums for country music-inspired trap beat. Rock is the coproducer behind Lecrae's "Price Up" with Money Jezus and 206Derek as well.

  • Conductor Williams

    Kansas City, Mo. producer Conductor Williams was already a recognized name by rap fans as part of the Griselda collective, but in 2023, he spread his wings. Conductor not only put his usual boom-bap stamp on Westside Gunn's supposed final album, And Then You Pray For Me, but he dropped off an album of his own instrumentals and linked with Conway The Machine for Conductor Machine. Somewhere along the way, Conductor also made time to chop up some soul samples for Drake. Drizzy then used the beat as the backdrop for "8 AM in Charlotte," (coproduced by Mario Luciano and Jason Wool), a beloved fan favorite off his For All the Dogs album. The song also became the next entry in Drake's coveted timestamp series. The Conductor followed it up by linking with the 6 God again for "Stories About My Brother," from Scary Hours 3. These moments capped off the producer's biggest year yet, and found him taking a big step into the mainstream spotlight.

  • Clayco

    Clayco, one of Destroy Lonely's go-to producers, emerged from the internet with a seemingly never-ending collection of glitchy, immersive beats this year. The Atlanta native spent the year piloting many of the tracks on Destroy's 2023 album, If Looks Could Kill. He crafted suffocating beats that were far more then meets the eye. Clayco helps make Destroy's guttural Auto-Tuned drawl sound euphoric on "Flyy sht" as he seamlessly interweaves uplifting synths and with grinding guitar strums along with coproducers ssor.t, AM and Carter Bryson. On the title track, Clayco teams with ssor.t and Carter to pull influences from emo and pop punk music that enmesh Destroy's voice in a hazy cloud. As one of the brightest new producers making waves in 2023, Clayco's superpower is making these densely layered instrumentals sound completely effortless.

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