Who’s the Greatest Hip-Hop Producer Of All Time? Starting Monday, You Decide.

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On Monday (January 9), Ambrosia for Heads will launch the third installment of our “Finding the GOAT” competition. It began in 2014, when we asked you, the readers, to vote for the greatest MC of all time. Last year, the tournament-style contest shifted focus to greatest Hip-Hop album of all time, and again we received an overwhelming number of votes. With the new year under way, we are introducing Finding the GOAT: Producer Edition.

“Finding the GOAT Producer” will feature Hip-Hop’s greates producers vying for the number-one spot. Thirty producers were pre-selected by a panel of experts, and two slots will be reserved for wild-card entries, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to insure no deserving beat maker is neglected. The contest will consist of 6 rounds, NCAA basketball tournament style, commencing with the top 32, then the Sweet 16 and so on, until one winner is determined. For each battle, two producers (or collective of producers, e.g. The Neptunes) will be pitted against one another to determine which one advances to the next round. Producers will be seeded, based on the research conducted in the pre-selection, to insure that higher-regarded producers (for example, DJ Premier and Dr. Dre) do not face off prematurely.

Similarly to the presentations in “Finding the GOAT MC” and “Finding the GOAT Album,” for each battle there will be editorial about each producer that contextualizes the match up, as well as sample songs, to help voters in their consideration. There also will be a poll in which votes will be cast, and readers will be able to see the % differential in votes, real-time. Though there also will be an enormous amount of debate in comments, on social media, in barbershops and back rooms, which we encourage, only votes cast in the official ballot will count. In prior “Finding the GOAT” battles, just a handful of votes often decided the results, in early and late rounds. So while we want everybody to talk about it, be about it too, with the vote that counts. Here is an example of the types of polls you’ll see.:

Once the initial 30 producers in Round 1 have faced off against another producer, the wild card pool will take place. Two winners will be selected from the wild card pool, and face each other for the final battle of Round 1 to determine the last producer to join the Sweet 16 in Round 2. Voting will continue over the next 5 rounds, until only one producer remains.

As with the other Finding The GOAT competitions, this is done with the utmost respect to all of the great Hip-Hop producers over time. It is intended to be both a celebration of them and an opportunity for fans of the culture to engage in a great debate. Let the games begin.