Producers: The Backbone of the Atlanta Hip-Hop Industry


Ask yourself; what attracts you to a popular hip-hop song? Is it the artist’s persona? Perhaps. Is it their lyricism? Quite possible. While these traits captivate the masses, beats are what intrigue me the most. I’ve always found myself keen to the individuals behind the scenes. Individuals that don’t receive the credit they deserve. These are the producers.  

The scope of this article will shed some light to the producers that emerged from the Atlanta hip-hop scene. Dabbling in hip-hop production myself, the roles of the modern hip-hop producer are absolutely essential. They provide a melodic canvas for rappers to paint on.

Zaytoven: the Father of Atlanta Trap

If anyone deserves credit for starting the new wave of trap-style hip-hop production, it’s Zaytoven. Zaytoven was and is the front runner of the types of beats we listen to today.

After linking up with Gucci Mane at the beginning of both of their careers, the two established a relationship that still lives on. After many hours spent in Zaytovens’ basement in Atlanta, Gucci Mane exploded to the top of the hip-hop game. His sheer talents on the keys that we all know and love is what makes his melodic style of beats so unique.

These Beats Sound So Metro

We’ve all heard the infamous tag. Metro Boomin was one of the earliest culprits to emerge from the Atlanta trap scene. At the ripe age of 19, Metro began working on his first ever mixtape, 19 & Boomin, with Young Thug, Future, and Gucci Mane. In fact, his most notorious tag comes directly from his song with Young Thug “Some More.” However, Metro wasn’t the only producer that contributed to this track… 808 Mafia had a few things to add.

The 808 Mafia Takeover

Founded by Lex Luger and Southside, 808 Mafia is a team of producers as well as a publishing company. The most notable producers from 808 Mafia are Southside, TM88, Tarentino and YK 808. Originating in Atlanta, rapper Waka Flocka Flame approached these individuals with the idea of a production team in mind. Little did they know that they would create an entirely new wave of trap production.

I’ve always admired 808 Mafias’ sound and style, the heavy bass and unique melodies. One of my personal favorites produced by 808 Mafia, is “March Madness” by Future. Don’t worry, the 808 Mafia tags won’t be going away anytime soon…they produce like a clockwork.

I encourage any hip-hop/trap fan to take an intricate listen to the next song that comes up on your playlist. Listen for the producer tag, listen to the beat, and acknowledge what is being orchestrated behind the scenes.

-Thomas Huncke


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