Hip-Hop Producer I.D. Tags Explained

by Aaron Zorgel

February 21, 2012






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Though conceived as a method of beat-piracy prevention, Producer I.D. tags have become a part of the rich history of self-identification in Hip-hop. Here is a list 11 of the biggest Hip-hop producers in the game today, and an evaluation of the Producer I.D. tags they use.

From its inception, hip-hop has always been influenced by the desire to self-promote. When one of the founding fathers of hip-hop said “I’m Kurtis Blow and I want you to know that these are the breaks,” he was unknowingly setting a precedent of self-identification that would permeate the genre infinitely. Kurtis Blow was the first rapper to be signed to a major label, and once the commercial viability of the genre was proven, rappers everywhere took note. To this day, self-identification and self-aggrandizing is a major part of Rap and Hip-Hop. When you’re an up and coming artist, announcing your name on the track is an effective way of making yourself known to the listener.Because rappers have the tools (you know, a voice) to identify themselves on a track, we’re usually intimately familiar with the people behind the voices. The autobiographical nature of hip-hop, as well as the importance of public image, positions these hip-hop vocalists as identifiable characters in the landscape of popular music. What’s often overlooked is the framework on which everything is built – the track itself. Without DJs and producers providing the music, there is no Hip-hop.In the past 10 years, necessitated by the advent of the internet, producers and DJs have been finding a means of self-identification. On the internet, thousands of hip-hop instrumentals and beats are uploaded to music services daily. These instrumentals are scooped-up by aspiring rappers who add vocals, and push the finished tracks back to the internet for listener consumption. To avoid going un-credited, and to build a reputation, both emerging and established producers add Producer I.D. tags to their tracks. A producer I.D. tag is an audio sample that is added to a finished beat that identifies the producer in some way, usually announcing their name or a catch-phrase that is attributed to that producer. These tags appear on multiple finished beats, and are something of a sonic “signature,” or trademark for the track’s creator.Though conceived as a method of beat-piracy prevention, Producer I.D. tags have become a part of the rich history of self-identification in Hip-hop. Here is a list 11 of the biggest hip-hop producers in the game today, and an evaluation of the Producer I.D. tags they use. You might hear some you recognize, because these audio tags are all over pop and rap radio.

11 Producer I.D. Tags (Compilation)

Just Blaze

Name:  Justin SmithAge: 34Hometown: Paterson, NJNotable Tracks: Kanye West “Touch The Sky”, Jay-Z “Girls, Girls, Girls”Just Blaze is an in-house Roc-A-Fella producer from New Jersey, best known for his work with Jay-Z. His tag is one of the most recognizable. When you hear “JUST BLAZE!” it’s a Pavlovian response; the listener prepares him/herself self for some dramatic chopped samples and funky live drums.Creativity: 3/5Clarity: 4/5Execution: 5/5Recognizability: 5/5Total: 17/20

Mr. Bangladesh

Name: Shondrae CrawfordAge: UnknownHometown: Des Moines, IANotable Tracks: Ludacris “What’s Your Fantasy?”, Lil Wayne “A Milli”Bangladesh chose his name because his keyboard-centric production style sounds different – it’s foreign to your ears. His tag is not unlike that of Just Blaze, but with a goofier voice. It’s recognizable for sure.Creativity: 3/5Clarity: 4/5Execution: 4/5Recognizability: 5/5Total: 16/20

Lex Luger

Name: Lexus Arnel LewisAge: 20Hometown: Suffolk, VANotable Tracks: Kanye West & Jay-Z “H*A*M”, Waka Flocka Flame “Hard In Da Paint”Lex Luger rose to prominence making trap beats via FL Studio on his Compaq laptop at his father’s kitchen table. His tag is unmistakable. Extra marks for creativity.Creativity: 5/5Clarity: 4/5Execution: 4/5Recognizability: 5/5Total: 18/20

J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League

Names: Erik “Rook” Ortiz, Kevin “Colione” Crowe, Kenny “Barto” BartolomeiAge: UnknownHometown: Tampa, FLNotable Tracks: Rick Ross “Aston Martin Music”, Ace Hood “Body 2 Body”J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League stands for “Just Undeniably The Illest Composers Ever.”  In my opinion, this tag doesn’t do their incredible musical productions justice, har har.Creativity: 2/5Clarity: 3/5Execution: 3/5Recognizability: 4/5Total: 12/20

Tha Bizness

Names: Henny & Dow JonesAge: UnknownHometown: Seattle, WANotable Tracks: Chris Brown “Strip”, Young Money “Every Girl”These guys are a full-service production duo, offering photography and videography as well. They use a production interface called Maschine to make most of their beats. This tag utilizes a text-to-speech application, a common practice for tagging beats.Creativity: 3/5Clarity: 3/5Execution: 4/5Recognizability: 4/5Total: 14/20

Drumma Boy

Name: Christopher James GholsonAge: UnknownHometown: Memphis, TNNotable Tracks: Birdman feat. Drake & Lil Wayne “Money To Blow”, Waka Flocka Flame “No Hands”Drumma Boy’s mother was a professional opera singer, and his father a professional clarinetist. His tag doesn’t even mention his name (“Listen to this track, bitch!”), but it’s definitely one of the most creative and, hmm, persuasive tags out there.Creativity: 5/5Clarity: 5/5Execution: 5/5Recognizability:1/5Total: 16/20

Don Cannon

Name: Donald Earl CannonAge: 36Hometown: Philadelphia, PANotable Tracks: Young Jeezy “Go Crazy”, Ludacris “Undisputed”Don Cannon’s manager is Chaka Zulu, who is also manager for Ludacris. Don Cannon is vague about the origin of his beat tag, but it’s said to have been taken from EA Sports’ Madden NFL 2002.Creativity: 5/5Clarity: 4/5Execution: 4/5Recognizability: 5/5Total: 18/20

Jahlil Beats

Name: Orlando TuckerAge: 23Hometown: Chester, PANotable Tracks: Meek Mill feat. Rick Ross “Imma Boss”, Chris Brown feat. Tyga “Holla At Me”Jahlil signed to the ridiculously successful (hi, Jay-Z) RocNation management company at 22. His tag features the voice of a child — that of his own niece.Creativity: 4/5Clarity: 4/5Execution: 5/5Recognizability: 5/5Total: 18/20


Name: Chadron MooreAge: UnknownHometown: Decatur, GANotable Tracks: Yung Joc “It’s Goin’ Down”, Boyz n da Hood “Dem Boyz”Nitti signed with So So Def (Jermaine Dupri) in the year 2000. He’s credited with popularizing “snap music,” a type of rap music that heavily features a sample of snapping fingers as the snare. His tag also features the voice of a child.Creativity: 4/5Clarity: 4/5Execution: 4/5Recognizability:  5/5Total: 17/20


Name: Abraham OrellanaAge: 22Hometown: Providence, RINotable Tracks: Solo Material (“Streetz Tonight”), and production for for the Diplomats.Working elements of Trance into hip-Hop instrumentals, araabMUZIK uses an Akai MPC drum machine to craft his beats in a live setting. He’s known for being one of the most skilled live beat-makers.
Creativity: 3/5Clarity: 4/5Execution: 5/5Recognizability: 5/5Total: 17/20

Kane Beatz

Name: Daniel JohnsonAge: 26Hometown: Miami, FLNotable Tracks: Nicki Minaj “Super Bass”, Lupe Fiasco “The Show Goes On”Kane has had 5 singles chart in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 since 2010. He’s pretty attached to his current tag (“Kane is in the building”), given that he has just started a record label called “The Building.”Creativity: 4/5Clarity: 3/5Execution: 4/5Recognizability: 4/5Total: 15/20

Tags: Music, Featured, News, AraabMuzik, Don Cannon, hip-hop, Jahlil Beats, Just Blaze, Kane Beatz, lex luger






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