Who are the most Underrated Hip Hop Producers of All-Time? That’s a question hip hop heads always ask. But what about the producers who you never hear about? You know, the ones whose beats fill up your favourite albums but somehow get overlooked in online discussions. This is NOT a typical “most slept on producers” list. That list would be way too long. What I want to do with this post is pay homage to 5 hip hop producers who have been in the game for at least 20 years, produced classic albums, and (in my humble opinion) are more than just slept on, they are completely overlooked.
Cold 187 Um
Gregory Hutchinson better known as Cold 187 um or ‘Big Hutch’, is a certified hip hop legend who seldom gets the respect he truly deserves. Considered by most hip hop scholars as the true creator of G-Funk, (before Dre put his stamp on it), Hutch has been serving up his own brand of unsampled g-funk for over two and a half decades. It was Cold 187 and his group “Above The Law” who helped Eazy maintain Ruthless Records successful streak after N.W.A. split and Dre jumped ship. With so many unique sounding classics under his belt such as Kokane’s “Funk Upon A Rhyme” and “Uncle Sam’s Curse” it’s only right that he gets a place in our list.
John Okuribido, better known as John Bido or Bido 1, is perhaps the most elusive producer on the planet. Bido is the guy we’ve all heard about, but don’t really know anything about. Just google Bido’s name and you will see exactly what I mean. Information on the veteran beatmaker is virtually non existent. Widely known for his extensive work with Geto Boys and other artists from the Rap-A-Lot stable, Bido was an early Rap-A-Lot pioneer who was praised by Mike Dean as being one of his biggest influences. With production credits stretching back to the late 80’s, Bido has provided musical backdrops for, 5th Ward Boyz, UGK, DMG, Ganksta N-I-P and of course the Geto Boys. His contribution to the Southern hip hop soundscape is immeasurable.
Easy Mo Bee
Probably the most well known out of the 5 listed here but still deserves more props. Easy Mo Bee is a veteran producer who got his first big break producing Big Daddy Kane’s “It’s A Big Daddy Thing”. He went on to produce a string of hit records for artists such as 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G, Craig Mack, Wu Tang, Das Efx and many more. He is probably best known for his association with Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy records, producing many of the labels early releases. That was until a dispute between Mo Bee and Puff Daddy over production credits for Craig Mack’s “Flava In Ya Ear” remix turned the relationship sour.
Terry Alan, better known as DJ Slip of Comptons Most Wanted, is an incredibly talented producer/engineer who had a hand in many of my favourite west coast gangster rap albums from the early 90’s, Music To Driveby, 187 He Wrote, Death Threatz, AmeriKKKa’s Nightmare. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent on my walkman listening to MC Eiht’s “We Come Strapped” back in the day. But then it dawned on me recently just how little I actually know about the man whose music I have been praising for more than 2 decades. You would think google had a little more info about a producer, who stands somewhere north of 6 feet 6 and weighs 400 plus pounds, but you’d be wrong. All I can say is Slip’s dramatic production style plays so much like a symphony, that you would swear he had a 90 piece philharmonic orchestra right there in the studio with him. A definite unsung.
If this was a top 5 most underrated list then Buckwild would have to take the number one spot. With a portfolio of production credits that’s completely unmatched, (Big L, Jay Z, O.C, Nas, Method Man, Organized Konfusion, 50 Cent, Big Pun, etc,etc, etc) it seems inconceivable that this man would even be on this list. But ask yourself this question. How many times do you hear Buckwild’s name mentioned in online discussions? Not nearly enough is your answer. One of the things I most respect about Buck is his ability to assist a diverse range of artists, both underground and mainstream without sacrificing the integrity of his craft.
Name your most slept on producers?