Craft of Creating: Behind Hip Hop Production

Editorial Staff

20 March, 2023


Issue 01


The world of music is not just a collection of sounds. It’s a profound expression of the human soul. At the heart of this art form are the music producers. The pioneers who shape our sonic landscape. The creative glue that binds our imaginations together, and the visionaries who bring real-life magic to our ears.

They express their unique identities through music, weaving together notes and rhythms to create masterpieces that transcend time and culture. They are the unsung heroes who have influenced an entire generation. Leaving an indelible mark on the very fabric of our society. Hip-hop, has become an integral part of American culture. With roots stretching from coast to coast. It has been a driving force in the music industry, transforming how we listen, dance, and express ourselves.

We honor all of these music producers who have contributed to this cultural revolution on our new segment Kazi Approved. Recognizing their legacies and their profound impact on the world around us. Through their artistry, music producers have opened up new avenues of exploration and discovery. Allowing us to dive deeper into the nuances and symphonies of the hip-hop industry. They have helped to shape the very foundation of American record production.

We, at this moment, are creating a new way of honoring the explorers of music who have influenced an entire generation.

Maaly Raw

Jamaal Henry, known to the world as Maaly Raw. He is a visionary trap producer hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s bustling and dynamic streets.

He is recognizable by his producer tag “Dat Be Maaly Raw!” resonating with artists far and wide. His beats conjure otherworldly melodies often described as a fusion of trap music and electronic dance (EDM) elements. Featuring futuristic and spacey synths that leave his listeners spellbound. With effortless promptness – he can produce a beat in under an hour.

He has a talent for crafting intricate arrangements that seamlessly blend different musical genres and styles. Contributing to his reputation as a luminary in the music industry. Collaborating with Lil Uzi Vert for the chart-topping hit “Money Longer. Released in 2017, rocketed his career, preceding him to collaborate with other artists.

Maaly Raw’s sonic masterpieces have earned him platinum-selling status. With hits like “444+222,” “Sauce It Up,” and “XO TOUR Llif3” that have become beloved by fans and critics alike. In a relatively short period, Maaly Raw has created a distinct sound. Making him a sought-after collaborator in the music industry. He is poised to leave a mark for the years to come.

AXL Beats

Arriving on the scene in late 2016, at 15 years old, Manalla Yusuf Abdul-Aziz. Established as AXL Beats, successfully exported the sound of the UK drill overseas.

His London-rooted beats gained the attention of Pop Smoke and Fivio Foreign in 2018. Who both adopted his style and wanted to work with him exclusively. He then became the producer of choice for New York rappers, crafting several of the borough’s signature styles.

Most notably in Brooklyn. Where AXL has collaborated with local artists such as Sheff G, 22Gz, Polo G, Smoove’L, and Sleepy Hollow. “Big Drip” by Fivio Foreign and Pop Smoke’s “Welcome to the Party” became hits globally in 2019. Grounding his foothold in the Big Apple. “War” by Drake and “Gatti” by Travis Scott are his original masterpieces. Both are characterized by their heavy use of 808-style drum patterns, minimalistic production, and trap-influenced sound. In the US, the drill sound had been primarily associated with Chicago. But, with AXL beats influence he is recognized as partially responsible for importing a new drill sound to New York.

Leading a generation of US rap artists. This young man has nursed the genre to evolve. Blending elements of grime, trap, and hip-hop to produce an unorthodox London-influenced version of beats. New York drill, born from London’s essence, elicits emotions from intensity to hometown pride. This goes hand in hand with the basis of London Drill, a genre that reflects the realities of life on the streets of the UK. Now at only 22. AXL’s career takes off, bringing the sound of the Britain streets to the heart of American hip-hop culture. His legacy is only just beginning, yet his influence is so vast.

Rico Beats

Rico Beats, whose name is Ricardo Lamarre, is a distinguished American record executive, producer, and songwriter. Whose genuine love of music has been the driving force behind his many successes. He has produced a plethora of critically acclaimed works. Including Nicki Minaj’s “Roman’s Reloaded,” Pusha T’s “Exodus 23:1”, and Pop Smoke’s “Shake the Room,” to name just a few.

Rico previously served as co-manager for the late rapper Pop Smoke alongside the esteemed American record executive Steven Victor. He lent his incredible production prowess in a panoply of tracks. Including “Sweetheart,” “Hello,” “AP,” and the hauntingly beautiful “Tell the Vision,” among others, on Pop Smoke’s third and final album “Faith.”

He has established himself as a notable personality in the music business, having worked with numerous A-list artists. He continues to produce records and remains an icon living who leaves a lasting impression on the music scene.

Dizzy Banko

New York, an iconic hub of emerging talent in the music industry. Has been a noteworthy focal point for up-and-coming music producers and artists. Among these talents, we find the brilliant mind of producer Dizzy Banko bred in the Bronx.

Banko’s latest release, “Don’t Play With It” by Lola Brookes has been making waves since its debut, reaching chart-topping success and drawing attention from industry insiders. Banko has established himself as a rising star in the world of hip-hop production. Now transitioning to become a rapper in his own right.

This multifaceted artist and veritable visionary embodies the spirit of hustle and determination that characterizes the city that never sleeps. He operates at a breakneck pace that matches the tempo of the city’s subway system. His talent and speed set him apart, as he lives in the future, always moving towards the next big thing. Banko has demonstrated exceptional production skills in many successful collaborations. With hip-hop’s biggest names like Lil Wayne, Pop Smoke, Pardi Fontaine, Dreamdoll, Dave East, and Fivio Foreign

This up-and-coming artist and producer possesses a rare foresight and aims to be a household name in hip-hop.

As we draw to a close. Let us not forget these luminaries whose radiance is set to blaze a trail in the years to come. May their ascent be meteoric as the ebb and flow of music continues to shift with time. So, keep your ears attuned to the rhythm. For the next four Kazi Approved Producers that are sure to inspire and delight.

Editorial Staff

20 March, 2023

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