The Grammys are more than just a showcase for brilliant recording artists. Music’s biggest night is also an opportunity to celebrate those who steer the direction and craft the distinct sonic imprints of some of the industry’s greatest recordings. The producer is oftentimes the lesser-acknowledged component of popular music, although in recent years, uber-famous producers like Kanye West and David Guetta have become household names.

Nonetheless, throughout the history of popular music, there have been geniuses on the boards and putting in overtime in studios, helping to create hit records, landmark recordings and innovative techniques that shape the way we hear, experience and appreciate music. Some of them accent the work of brilliant songwriters and bands, while others craft beats for our favorite emcees to spit their rhymes over. Regardless of the role that they play, all have made an indelible mark on the art of recorded sound.

So in honor of those that have provided the soundtrack to our lives, here are the 10 Greatest Producers in the History of Black Music …

–stereo williams


Stereo Williams

Todd "Stereo" Williams, entertainment writer based in New York City. He co-founded Thirty 2 Oh 1 Productions, an indie film company.