the gurus who have helped shape this musical genre now known as hip-hop.
Yeah, they are also hell of good rappers and their record sales bear testimony to this but to be frank I never gave much props for their abilities on the mic but rather on the production side of it all.
Dre and Timbaland can do magic when on the turntables and they have managed to create sounds, which are synonymous with them, and they can’t be mistaken for someone else’s.
Dre with his psychedelic g-funk inspired sound while Timbaland’s music revolves around the hard hitting and fast paced drum beat laced with a funky bass.
To a greater extent Dre helped change the rap music that we hear today with his adventurous, psychedelic and funky beats which became a trademark in the rap game.
No rap song you heard in the mid to late 90s was without the whining and somehow mellifluous psychedelic feel and up to now that technique is being taken to another level by others.
If you listen to Wizz Khalifa’s hit song “Black and Yellow” you can feel the Dre influence and presence, although the good old doctor wasn’t even near the production.
Swiss Beats also is one of the most premier names in hip-hop mainly due to his production skills though, also he is also a good rapper who can be counted among others.
That brings me to the question I have today. Why is it our local producers are never given credits when they churn out their deadly beats, which make our artistes all the more popular?
We have the likes of MacDee (Macdonald Chidavaenzi) who has helped many a group or artistes among them Xtra Large, Maskiri and a host of others with his sublime beats but he is never given any respect that he deserves.
The late TBA was never really that popular when it came to music as he was overshadowed by his artistes, but he was one of the best producers this country has ever seen when it comes to urban grooves.
Layan is the unsung hero when it comes to the dazzling success man of the moment – Winky D – as he is the one credited with laying most of the infectious beats that have made the Bigman great.
Why is it that we don’t give credit to some of the people who make musicians what they are today for I don’t believe a song or record could be the same without the producers’ beats and input?
Producers play a very important role in the development of music as they shape up and sort out everything that we hear at the end of the day and I would say they are more like editors with the musicians being the reporters.
I got thinking about this when I heard the Tam Tam Riddim from DJ Mbale who has been in the urban grooves game for sometime but is relatively unknown.
The youthful Mbale real name Gabriel Mbale, I would say is one of the best producers in the urban grooves movement having worked with the likes of Sani Makhalima, Leonard Mapfumo and a host of others but is still an unknown entity.
When I heard his Tam Tam Riddim which features a lot of artistes like Rute Mbangwa (surprise, surprise), Cindy, Ngoni Kambarami, Sniper I felt my cheeks sinking to my boots, for his talent was not being fully utilised.
Yes we have the likes of Mockery, Layan who happens to be Winky D’s brother who are among the best producers in the country, but I tell you Mbale has now joined the gentlemen’s club and I know more is going to come from him.
Mbale, who was nurtured by Sanii Makhalima as well as Heshi Mufeshi Records, is one of the best producers in the country when it comes to dancehall music.
I was really taken aback by his use of the keyboard to come up with scintillating and out of this world beats which would put many a Jamaican riddim originators to shame.
We have to give more props to the producers who lay out the beats and the flow for the musicians that we all revere, especially in the urban grooves and their names should be cast in stone as well.
I have heard some of these artistes’ input on some of the songs, especially the lyrics and I am convinced if it weren’t for the good beats from the producers most of these songs would have been dog’s breakfast.
We need these producers and have to give them nuff respect as well as they are helping forge a way forward in our local music.
Rather I see them as players who are not appreciated as they are always in the background but they play a very important role in the production of music.
To hip-hop aficionados you will recall that Public Enemy, one of the greatest rap outfits ever, made a name for themselves due to the innovative ways of their production team the famed Bomb Squad.
The Bomb team was just out of this world and I still remember during the days gone by, folks would just buy an album when they saw the credits of the Bomb Squad.
I believe that without these producers we would never hear the good sounds that we hear today and as such we have to note and count them among others.
Producers play a very important role in our music and as such they should be respected and given the respect they deserve for they play a major role in the shaping of our music.
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