The 10 Most Influential Contemporary Hip Hop Producers

We’ve had a week to digest Until the Quiet Comes, the new Flying Lotus album, and to be honest it still kinda makes our head hurt. FlyLo’s roots lie in hip hop, but this album encompasses everything from weird electronic experimentalism to free jazz, making it the latest installment in a constantly fascinating (if sometimes impenetrable) body of work. These are exciting times for hip hop production — in a weird sort of paradox, while the state of hip hop MCing is largely dismal, the production side of things is more innovative and creative than ever. With the help of resident production whiz and Flavorpill associate Lyle Horowitz, we’ve selected a few of the producers we think are really pushing the creative envelope at the moment — who are your suggestions? (And we’re trying to focus on lesser-known artists here, so please don’t ask us why we haven’t included Kanye West.)

Flying Lotus

It’s interesting to note that today’s most lauded hip hop producer doesn’t really make beats for people to rap over. FlyLo’s own work is largely instrumental, and when he employs vocalists and/or produces for others, it’s usually vocalists whose styles have little to do with conventional hip hop styling — take Gonjasufi, for instance, or Thom Yorke (you may have heard of him). The producer’s style is instantly recognizable — lush, immersive, idiosyncratic, and very, very trippy.