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Producers to Watch

Five producers who will change the sound of rap in 2012.

Location: San Antonio, TX
Age: 26
Notable beats: ASAP Rocky, “Trilla,” Shady Blaze, “Ima Get Em,” Lil B, “Cocaine”
Signature sound: Groggy anthems influenced by Houston hip-hop and weed, often lo-fi and raw but never amateur.
What to expect in the future: Collaborative album with Western Tink, further work with ASAP Rocky, a solo album with cuts by Lil B and Main Attrakionz.

Location: Toronto, ON
Age: 23
Notable beats: The Weeknd, “What You Need,” The Jealous Guys, “Genesis”
Signature sound: As he puts it, “dark, drippy, futuristic shit.”
What to expect in the future: A solo release with many uncleared samples.

Location: Atlanta, GA
Age: 27
Notable beats: Gucci Mane, “Scotty,” Soulja Boy, “Ocean Gang Splash”
Signature sound: Cinematic, warped beats with a predilection for digital samples—very strange bangers.
What to expect in the future: Work with Young L, Rocko, Young Dose, Future, 2 Chainz and artists on Young Money and Grand Hustle.

Location: Atlanta, GA
Age: 20
Notable beats: YC f. Future, “Racks,” Future, “Same Damn Time,” Roscoe Dash, “Awesome,” Juicy J, “Me”
Signature Sound: Mid-tempo trunk poppers for Auto-Tune champions.
What to expect in the future: Work with Future, Rick Ross, Plies and Roscoe Dash. A mixtape with various artists on his beats, and his own debut rap mixtape.

Location: Detroit, MI
Age: 22
Notable beats: Danny Brown, “Die Like a Rockstar,” Danny Brown, “30,” Chip$, “Ponzi Scheme,” Skywlkr, “LSD”
Signature Sound: A blunted meeting of soul horns and electro.
What to expect in the future: Tracks on Danny Brown’s album, a digital release of his 2011 instrumental cassette Blueberry Cough and projects with Das Racist’s Victor Vasquez, MondreM.A.N. and Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire.

Producers to Watch