St. Louis's Chester Watson has got the one-two whammy of rapping and production.



These 5 Producers Are Heating Up Hip-Hop

One of the best things about hip-hop is just how deep the rabbit-hole leads. On the surface level, you’ve got your emcees, the spokespersons of the hip-hop world. Deeper down in the trenches you’ve got a song’s collaborators and music samples, helping to hype up a track. And then, burrowed in their hidey-holes, you’ll find the producers, cooking up earth-shaking beats.

Producers make up hip-hop’s backbone, providing the supporting rhythms without the weighty strain of celebrity. So far, 2016 has got its fair share of mainstream producers rocketing up the charts. A random radio station will have London on da track, Metro Boomin’, and the Drake-approved sounds of Noah “40” Shebib. But, beyond the FM dial, there are so many different sounds being honed and hedged for mass consumption. Let’s take a peek.

Young’n Chester Watson Has Two Modes of Attack

19-years-old Chester Watson has been working behind the boards and in front of the mic—double trouble in the hip-hop world. The beats he makes sound alien, a cross between Star Trek sound effects and Tibetan singing bowls, backed by a tremorous bass that shakes the joints loose. Crossed with his calm-headed wordplay, Watson’s two-headed beast makes him one to look out for.

Shawn Kemp is a Hip-Hop Legend

A shroud of infamy has followed LIL UGLY MANE. After the emcee announced his retirement in 2013, a series of singles and occasional leaks kept his fans fed as he developed as a beatmaker under the pseudonym Shawn Kemp (not to be confused with former basketballer Shawn Kemp). LIL UGLY MANE’s beats are weightless–soulful samples submerged in rank bong water. With songs like “Bitch I’m Lugubrious,” the rapper’s discography is brutal, dystopian rap theater.

RonnyJ Makes Rap Beats for the Mosh

Nowadays, “banger” is a term that’s thrown around lightly. Drake’s “Hotline Bling” is infectious. But it is not threatening to shatter the clayware on your bookshelf. RonnyJ’s beats…now those are bonafide bangers. Frequently collaborating with Floridian rapper Denzel Curry, His breakouts “Threatz” and “Flying Nimbus” are all-out assaults. Get your blood thinners ready, because these beats should come with a warning label.

Kaytranada’s Jazzy Synths Put Pep in our Step

This is Kaytranada’s breakout year. His collaboration with emcee Wiki (part of NY’s Ratking collective) was a resounding success. And his solo album, 99.9% was a who’s who of trending up-and-comers in the hip-hop and R&B scene. Speaking to Milk in 2013, Kaytranada revealed his appreciation for all sorts of music, from Louie Armstrong to Aaliyah. His enriched sound speaks for itself–all that studying paid off.

Charlie Heat Is Next on Your FM Dial

We’re waiting with bated breath for the next Charlie Heat-produced song. After all, Charlie Heat helped turn Kanye West’s “Facts” into a legit hit for The Life of Pablo. His recent remix of Desiigner’s “Panda” is similarly varied and dimensional. The producer, who had previously worked with Lil’ Uzi Vert, has reached mainstream success under West’s G.O.O.D. Music label. Now, we’re all just anxious for his latest creations.

Cover image via Part Time Wizards.

Stay tuned to Milk for more of the hot shit.

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