The Beat Makers: Top Black Producers Who Defined 2023

From Metro Boomin to Tay Keith, these folks dominated from behind the boards.

Black music had another strong year in 2023. With hip-hop marking its 50th year in existence and the rise of other genres worldwide, including afrobeat, amapiano, dancehall, punk, club, and drill, much of the success of this year’s biggest hits came from those behind the boards.

Whether it was Sexyy Red dropping some catchy bangers or Lil Uzi Vert making us wanna rock, the sounds behind your favorite artists helped carry the day in a big way. Below is a list of Black producers who either continued to make their mark this year or made 2023 their launchpad for a successful future in the culture (in no particular order).

  • Tay Keith

    In 2023, it seemed like Tay Keith had his hand in everything. The 27-year-old Memphis native helped reacquaint hip-hop fans with some hometown early 2000s Project Pat/Three 6 Mafia-inspired beats – whether it was Sexyy Red’s “SkeeYee” or Drake’s “First Person Shooter” (with J. Cole). He also helmed the beats for Travis Scott’s “Meltdown,” Offset and Cardi B’s “Freaky,” and GloRilla’s “Wrong One,” just to name a few. Keith lived up to his tag this year.

  • Jahaan Sweet

    Perhaps what’s so special about Jahaan is his versatility. This year, he produced everything from Travis Scott’s “Sirens” to Taylor Swift’s “Lavender Haze,” after he had an already stellar 2022, creating instrumentals for Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, and Eminem. This young bull is not one to be messed with.

  • Metro Boomin

    What is there to say about Metro Boomin that hasn’t already been said? That said, 2023 was still one of the superproducer’s biggest years to date as he was not only behind the boards for some of the year’s biggest hits like Lil Durk’s “War Bout It” and Travis Scott’s "Til Further Notice" (featuring James Blake and 21 Savage), Metro also released his own Grammy-nominated album full of bangers with Heroes & Villains. “Superhero” still goes dumb!

  • ATL Jacob

    ATL Jacob not only had a strong 2023, but he closed the year off in a very formidable way. Producing Nicki Minaj’s “FTCU,” “Fallin 4 U,” and “Let Me Calm Down,” the 25-year-old also found work creating a slew of beats for both Jeezy and Rick Ross & Meek Mill’s albums that dropped within the last two months.


    While MCVERTT may not be a household name (yet), music fans have heard his work. The Jersey Club producer is best known for being behind Lil Uzi Vert’s “Just Wanna Rock” but has other, more regional hits on the East Coast, including 41’s anthem “Bent,” IShowSpeed’s “Shake,” and the numerous collaborations he made with Bandmanrill, who were able to merge Jersey Club and Bronx drill for an entirely new sound that is currently taking over the tri-state area.

  • Hit-Boy

    In 2023, Hit-Boy was a busy man. Aside from working on Nas for another two new albums (Magic 2 and Magic 3), the superproducer also showcased his versatility producing a full debut LP for his father Big Hit while cranking out Travis Scott’s “DELRESTO (ECHOES),” Rapsody’s “Asteroids,” Jennifer Lopez’s “Can’t Get Enough,” and even headed up albums for Musiq Soulchild (Victims & Villains) and Belly (Mumble Rap 2).

  • Cash Cobain

    Whether it be Drake’s “Calling For You” (feat. 21 Savage), PinkPantheress’ “Nice to meet you” (feat. Central Cee), or on his own solid breakout LP Pretty Girls Love Slizzy, Cash Cobain made 2023 his. The sexy drill hitmaker has ushered in a new wave in NYC, taking the Big Apple by storm. Undoubtedly, the #OnTheVerge alum and self-proclaimed “sample god” is here to stay.

  • Hitmaka

    Hitmaka’s 2023 was a very solid one. He helmed the production for Chris Brown’s 11:11 while making the beats for 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne’s “Transperancy” (featuring Usher), Rick Ross & Meek Mill’s “Gold Medals” (featuring Jeremih), and Queen Naija’s “Soul Tied.” As of this year, the veteran producer has compiled 77 million records sold, nine billion streams, and nine Grammy nominations.

  • Working On Dying

    Philadelphia production collective Working On Dying had an insane 2023, most of that via the contributions of BNYX and F1LTHY. The former produced Nicki Minaj’s “Blessings,” Travis Scott’s “MELTDOWN,” and Drake’s “Slime You Out” and “IDGAF,” while the latter helmed numerous songs on Ken Carson’s A Great Chaos and Young Thug’s Business is Business.

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