This is Mixtape Daily, so you know the deal: We spotlight the essence of street culture. And when it comes to those behind the boards, it gets no truer than producers who know how to dig in the crates and find a dusty sample that will inject life into a new composition.
These four guys reached deep down, far and wide, to the nether regions of their musical minds to create bangers that became the soundtrack of the past 12 months. Without further ado, we close out our year-end awards by saluting the Top Producers of 2010:
Wax Lift: Smokey Robinson's "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?"
Street Symphony: Kanye West's "Devil in a New Dress"
Originally, this one (co-produced by Mike Dean) dropped as part of 'Ye's G.O.O.D. Friday series, and West picked apart Bink!'s loop of the Motown star's stirring vocals to add his own twist. "Hood phenomenon, the LeBron of rhyme," he spit. "Hard to be humble when you stunning on a JumboTron/ I'm looking at her like, 'This what you really wanted, huh?/ Why we arguing anyway? Oh, I forgot, it's summertime.' "
Wax Lift: Enchantment's "Silly Love Long"
Street Symphony: Rick Ross' "Super High"
Praises to Barry White and his "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little Bit More, Baby," but it's not that sample that raised this stirring Rick Ross track to sublime heights. Rather, it's the way Kent (and co-producers the Remedy) flip Enchantment's "Silly Love Long" that takes this one up a notch. "We shining when it's pitch dark, yeah this bitch a movie, but this time I play a big part," Ross muscles through the beat with his flow. "F--- marketing, look at what I'm accomplishing/ I'm beating n---as by margins bigger than Fran Tarkenton."
Wax Lift: Justice's "D.A.N.C.E." remix
Street Symphony: Jay-Z's "On to the Next One"
While most producers speed up samples, Swizz took the road less traveled and slowed down this driving dance tune into a military-march tempo. The result was Hov's mantra for his next decade of dominance and MTV News' #8 Song of 2010. "Baby, I'm a boss, I don't know what they do," Jay spit. "I don't get dropped, I drop the label."
Wax Lift: Backyard Heavies' "Expo 83"
Street Symphony: "Runaway"
Rick James might be the signature sample on this one, but it's the drum loop from the Backyard Heavies where 'Ye (and co-producers Emile, Mike Dean and Jeff Bhaskar) set their sail for this number to rise to one of the year's best tracks. "See, I could have me a good girl and still be addicted to them hood rats," Yeezy rhymes. "And I just blame everything on you/ At least you know that's what I'm good at."
For other artists featured in Mixtape Daily, check out Mixtape Daily Headlines.