Although they may not get as much love and credit as lead artists for making some of popular culture’s favorite tunes, producers are the backbone of the music industry. As a result, Billboard has taken a moment to recognize some of the greatest contributions by record producers to the evolution of popular music throughout the 21st century.
According to HipHopDX, The Neptunes’ massive collection of hits — including No. 1 singles such as Nelly‘s “Hot in Herre,” Snoop Dogg‘s “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” and Ludacris‘ “Money Maker” — have earned them an impressively high spot on Billboard’s new producer feature. In fact, Pharrell and The Neptunes were both proclaimed to be the second-best producers of the entire 21st century, falling short of the #1 spot and ultimately bowing to Swedish stalwart Max Martin.
Ranked at #2 behind a generally pop-focused producer, Pharrell and The Neptunes were essentially proclaimed by Billboard to be the best Hip-Hop producers of the 21st century. For context, six of the remaining producers mentioned within the top ten were Hip-Hop and R&B-focused producers. In order from top to bottom, Timbaland, The-Dream and Tricky Stewart, Mike Will Made-It, Kanye West, Just Blaze, and Noah “40” Shebib took the third through eight positions in Billboard’s producer ranking.
Where do you think Pharrell and The Neptunes rank in terms of the greatest producers of the 21st century? Do you think any other Hip-Hop producers have had more of an impact on popular music than Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo?
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images