This episode first ran on KQED.org.
The Bay Area’s vibrant hip hop and R&B scenes include a wealth of talented MCs and singers, but it’s often easy to forget the important behind-the-scenes role that music producers play in crafting great songs. A skilled producer doesn’t just provide a instrumental backdrop for an artist to showcase their craft; instead, the best producers elevate their artists, adding emphasis that highlights a song’s melodic immediacy or depth that demands repeat listens.
This mixtape showcases a dozen songs from local hip hop and R&B artists working with local producers. Some of the MCs in this set — including Elujay, Versoul (fka Babii Cris), and Shy’An G — are impressively pulling double-duty as producers themselves. And increasingly, talented producers like Ian McKee, Drew Banga, JULiA LEWiS, and Mikos Da Gawd are establishing identities as artists, not just skilled sonic craftspeople behind the boards.
Listen to the mixtape to learn more about all twelve producers spotlighted in this mix.
Ian McKee – “Plans (feat. Beejus, Mani Draper & Turk)”
Produced by Ian McKee
JULiA LEWiS – “Potential (feat. Rexx Life Raj, Ciscero & Mikos Da Gawd)”
Produced by JULiA LEWiS and Mikos Da Gawd
Mikos Da Gawd – “Angels (feat. Bruh From Last Night & Tia Nomore)”
Produced by Mikos Da Gawd
Elujay – “Worth It (feat. Joyce Wrice)”
Produced by Elujay