You’ve Decided. DJ Premier Is Hip-Hop’s Greatest Producer Of All-Time (Video)
Today (March 9), the winner of Ambrosia For Heads’ Finding The GOAT Producer competition, the quest to name Hip-Hop’s Greatest Of All-Time Producer, was determined. In the championship round, DJ Premier defeated J Dilla 63.41% to 36.59%, meaning that Preemo is the GOAT Producer, as decided by AFH readers.
Beginning in January, nearly 100 producers were considered in reaching this decision. Producers from the 1980s through the 2010s were included, as selected by a panel of experts, and including wild card entries that allowed for write-in votes by readers. In short, any and every worthy producer was given consideration in the competition.
Of all producers in the contest, none had a more challenging road than Preemo. He kicked off the competition facing his Illmatic peer, Large Professor, whom he defeated by a whopping margin of 91.15% to 8.85%. From there Premier took on Rick Rubin, the man who laid the production foundation for Def Jam Recordings. The Houston born DJ and producer defeated Rubin by a similarly handy margin of 84.66% to 15.34%. Next, Preemo was matched against Wu-Tang Clan’s abbot, RZA, who garnered 33.03% of the vote to Premier’s 66.97%. In his final 4 match up, before facing Dilla, Premier defeated Soul Brother #1 Pete Rock, his friend and frequent competitor in beat battles, 79.61% to 20.39%. While Dilla would prove to be Preemo’s toughest adversary, each of his victories were decisive.
Literally meaning “first in importance,” Premier is consistently touted as one of music’s preeminent producers, regardless of genre. Stretching back nearly 30 years, Premo’s production discography reads like a map for Rap’s sonic growth; from his 1990 work with Jazz great Branford Marsalis to his release with R&B singer Miguel just this month, DJ Premier has never shied away from pushing the limits of Hip-Hop beatsmithing. Of course, his work with Gang Starr reigns eternal, and the master sampler created groundbreaking records with Nas on Illmatic, The Notorious B.I.G. on Ready to Die and Life After Death, Bahamadia on Kollage, Jay Z on Reasonable Doubt, Rakim on The 18th Letter, and Mos Def on Black On Both Sides. In short, it’s difficult to find a year in the 1990s in which Premier did not have a formative role. Since 2000, he has produced hits for everyone from Common (“6th Sense”) to Anderson .Paak (“Animals”), not to mention collaboration projects with Royce 5’9 (as PRhyme) and countless remixes. Whether it’s his expert sense in looping, the uncut rawness of his groove, or the keen attention paid to background elements, there’s no question that DJ Premier is indeed great, and now he has been chosen as the greatest by tens of thousands of deeply knowledgeable readers.
The vast majority of Premier’s classic records were created in the legendary D&D Studios, which he ultimately took over and re-named Headquarterz Studios. Take a look at Preemo discussing the history of the space, above, and stay tuned for more on the GOAT Producer.