The term producer is thrown around nowadays, much like the word freestyle. A producer is an individual who puts all the pieces of the musical puzzle together to form the picture….for your ear that is. A freestyle is a verse spit off the top of one’s head on the spot, not reciting a written. Today I came across a dope interview between DJ Premier and Pete Rock discussing this very topic and knew I needed to do a quick post on it.
In hip hop there are beat-makers and there are producers. Beat-makers are people who sit in their studios, craft beats, sell them to artists, and rarely have any further relationship with the track. Producers are people that create a song from the ground up. They also sit in studios and make beats, but they then have a hand in crafting the song that we hear. They work with the artist in the songwriting, and the arrangements, producing a great product. You see what I did there…..
In no way am I hating on beat-makers. I am one myself and I respect the art. I wish I could call myself a producer and feel like I’ve earned the term, but I don’t think I can. Two men that fully deserve the term “producer” are DJ Premier and Pete Rock. If you don’t know both of these names, yet claim to know hip-hop, you need to reflect on your ignorance. These two greats helped mold the face of hip-hop. They have worked with everyone….and I literally mean everyone. Or anyone who means anything for the most part. I honor and respect these two as they know more about music than most in the game, and have a greater love and appreciation than most in the game.
This video interview is pretty dope as they talk on a number of subjects, not limited to what it means to be a “producer.” This interview was also conducted after Guru’s death so you can imagine there are some interesting things said in regards to his life and work. Check the interview. If you need a more detailed listing of these guys contributions because you don’t know…..that’s what Google’s for, cause I don’t have any more time to drop knowledge on your dome.