The Final 4 Of Hip-Hop’s Greatest Producers Has Been Determined By YOU.

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Today (February 28), Round 3 voting closed for “Finding The GOAT Producer.” This competition, launched in early January, beginning with 32 producers (including two Wild Card inductees into the bracket). The 32 eventually became a pack of 16, then an Elite 8, and now reaches its Final 4 in this battle-themed tournament.

Notably, the closest race came between two producers closely associated with one another. J Dilla defeated A Tribe Called Quest (which was Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad) with 59% of the vote. Famously, Dilla joined Tribe in the mid-’90s to form The Ummah. The other winners were notably all winners by 67-69% percent, approximately. The largest margin of victory was Dr. Dre’s defeat of fellow Compton, California native DJ Quik. At various points in their careers, the two men were label-mates, collaborators, and even for a brief moment in the early ’90s, nemeses. While the battle was hard fought, these two triple-threats are reportedly getting along great in the 2010s, and still occasionally working with one another.

Here are the Final 4 producers battling it out, beginning Thursday (March 2):

DJ Premier
Dr. Dre
J Dilla
Pete Rock

All four of these producers belong to at least one major group (Gang Starr, N.W.A., Slum Village, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth). In some cases, there are multiples. Only DJ Premier (who has reportedly dabbled in rapping) has not put out a vocal solo album, outside of group work. Although J Dilla died from Lupus more than a decade ago, his material continues to release (including 2016’s The Diary), joining the three others in active careers.

The producers of Round 4 have apparently never all worked on the same album. Three of the four contenders participated in Raekwon’s 2009 album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Pt. II. DJ Premier was not involved in that LP.

The entire “Finding The GOAT: Producers” series thus far.