The 25 Best Rapper/Producers of All Time

We can debate the elements of hip hop all day long, but the essential building blocks of a rap song remain the same: Beats & Rhymes. We all have our favorite MCs, and when they link up with our favorite producers, the anticipation is almost too much to bear. Biggie flowing on a Premier beat. Dre x Snoop. Mannie Fresh x Lil Wayne. Neptunes x Pusha T. You already know before the first listen that certain combinations are going to be fire.

But what about those gifted individuals who can do both? Those who can deliver the rice and the beans, the weed and the blunt, the peanut butter and the jelly? We’re talking about those rare hip hop hyphenates, the double threats, the rapper/producers.

Earlier this month, while delving into the making of Diamond D’s Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop, we began reflecting on the DITC co-founder’s versatility as both a master beat builder and microphone controller. Never a shy guy, Diamond D did not hesitate to proclaim on the Fugees’ “The Score” that he was, “By far the best producer on the mic.”

“I’m just a fan of hip hop,” the double threat J Rawls once said. “You know what I really like? Yo, I like when my favorite producer grab the mic and let ’em know what time it is. So I had to do a joint like that.” The title of said song was “Best Producer on the Mic,” and it featured Diamond D, Oh No and Kev Brown. That one came out so dope, J Rawls made a part two with Nottz and Oddisee.

All the above-mentioned parties deserve a place in this conversation. But when we talk about a rapper/producer that’s slightly different than a “producer on the mic.” We’re not grading on a curve here. No extra credit for putting in a good effort. And while collaborating with a team is part of the producer’s job, for this list we’re focusing on stand-alone rapper/producers as opposed to those who mostly worked as part of a crew or collective.

Some are much better at one skill than the other (you know where Dr. Dre stands on this continuum), but there are a select few who can do both at the highest levels. That rare balance, the ability to deliver both beats and rhymes at an exceptional caliber, is what we’re talking about right here. The full package. Read on, and prepare for some heated discussions. We certainly had a few while putting this list together. But we can’t stop won’t stop. MASS APPEAL takes our responsibility that seriously, just like we know we don’t have to ask you to let us know how you feel in the comments. We do this for the culture. And so do you.

Related Posts


Kanye and Tyga Admire Usher’s Chain on New Song “Feel Me”


Missy Elliott is Back with Wild “I’m Better” Video ft. Lamb


Missy Elliott “WTF (TroyBoi Remix)”


Kanye West’s 40 Most “Kanye” Quotes on His 40th Birthday


Missy Elliott Joins Aminé For the “REDMERCEDES” Remix


Latest News

nas-rapture Film


Mass Appeal’s new Netflix series premieres this weekend at SXSW
same Hot Takes

It Was a Type Beat Year

The search for something new in a year of sameness
shea serrano Features

Shea Serrano Quit His Teaching Job, Now He Has Two Best Sellers and Two TV Shows

"It is funny to just walk in and just be a Mexican, because I’m usually the only one there"
mf doom Features

The 10 Best DOOM Songs of 2017, Ranked

Even after 'The Missing Notebook Rhymes' went missing, the masked villain still caused havoc
worst cops Features

The Worst Cops of 2017

The hall of shame
donald trump Features

32 Songs That Dissed Donald Trump in 2017

The "F.D.T." wave
lil peep News

R.I.P. Gus, Long Live Lil Peep

Resisting nostalgia at the speed of the internet
88 rising Features

Sean Miyashiro of 88rising Connected the Cultures

With 1.25 million YouTube subscribers and a gang of talent, 88rising controlled the new East-West flow
eminem Video

Eminem By the Numbers

You may know how many f*cks he gives, but what about the other crucial figures from Slim Shady's career?
tape Features

Why 2017 Was Rap’s Year of the Tape

Seven labels explain why they're still rewinding cassettes back
safdie brothers Features

The Safdie Brothers Got Gritty as 2017’s Filmmakers to Watch

"You might not like the feeling that you're feeling, but you can still be entertained by that feeling."
best albums Features

The 25 Best Albums of 2017

The essential sounds that defined one very strange year
hey arnold Humor

Everything About Christmas is Awful, Except the ‘Hey Arnold!’ Special

The one redeeming thing about this trash holiday
combat-jack Features

Knowledge Darts Vol. 32: Winter Solstice

I never got to say thank you
jeezy Video

Open Space: Jeezy

"You can’t just crush a diamond with a rock. It’s hard, it’s tough. But it’s bright."

Rhythm Roulette: Boi-1da

The wait is over