Before anything is said, a beat must be made. Every hip-hop track has an emcee attached to it, but many tend to forget the person who creates the foundation that the emcee stands on. The foundation was created by the producer. Producers are the focal point of a track before the lyrics come to fruition. Before anything is said, a beat must be made. All producers have different styles and processes for how they make a groovy beat to compliment the emcee. Some styles are more sought-after depending on the current hip-hop trend, but many producers pioneer the trend. Here are two Texas producers I believe will take hip-hop in a new direction.
Houston, Texas Is home to “CAM.I.AM,” a brilliant hip-hop producer. Cam has been creating for about 7 years and doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Over the last 3 years, Cam has been consistent in producing for artists across the U.S., but most importantly, he represents his city. Cam’s hip-hop influences span across the globe, but the most major influence is on the East Coast of America, the birthplace of hip-hop. It’s only right that Cam’s production feels like the Renaissance era, complete with dusty snares, muffled kicks, and bouncy hats. Really displaying a boom-bap soundscape. Luckily, we’ve gotten a few different tapes by CAM.I.AM with just instrumentals. The beat tape “Royalty,” originally released on SoundCloud in 2021 and rereleased on all major streaming platforms, is one of my favorites because CAM.I.AM captures the essence of hip-hop while also fusing the trap environment. I recommend the track “Control System”, It’s incredibly chill while giving us a good amount of bass to keep the head nod in motion. Most beats on this tape sample sound from the 70’s to 80’s era of soul and jazz, but don’t fall victim to the old formula of boom bap. CAM.I.AM production is simple on the surface, but for an avid hip-hop fan, you will be enamored by the complexities within.
“Paulo” is another artist from Houston, Texas, and poses a triple threat in music. Paulo raps, sings and produces his own music all by himself. Before Paulo started creating music, he performed as a drummer for a high school in Alief. This sparked an interest in music and led him to create it with his own hands. Paulo’s influences came from Wiz Khalifa and his early production team, consisting of Sledgren and TM88. The sound was mostly trap-inspired, with heavy 808’s, fast hats, and thumping kicks. Soon, Paulo started to come into his own and began to venture into other genres, blending them with traditional hip-hop. Currently, Paulo doesn’t have any beat tapes, but 99% of his songs are produced by none other than himself. My personal favorite song by Paulo is “Da Goat.” “Da Goat” sounds as if you’re floating across the Milky Way galaxy, only accompanied by the sound of spacey synths and Paulo’s vocals.
Talent is no stranger to Texas, and these two producers are well-equipped to bring us a new wave of sound. Make sure to be on the lookout for more releases and keep up with them by following their Instagram accounts, @camiamproducer and @itskingapollo. Producers hold the responsibility of keeping hip-hop relevant for years to come, as well as the condition the genre is in.
Written by: Danielle De Lucia