Top 5’s | NK-OK

Within Hip Hop culture, determining one’s Top 5 is a debate that will seemingly continue forever. So, with that being said, I’ve asked artists to share and justify their Top 5 selections…


NK-OKTop 5 Producers

Pete Rock

“The track he produced for Nas called, ‘The World Is Yours’, was the first old school Hip Hop record I ever bought because it’s one of my favourite beats he’s produced. I’m so honoured and still can’t believe that I shared the same stage as him at Brooklyn Bowl at the O2 last year.”

Kanye West

“I really got into Kanye West through College Dropout. I loved his use of samples [and] it’s still my favourite album. I also love the drum programming on ‘Get ’em High’, I love his fashion too and his statement in creativity – he is an original. I recently used Livingstone studios and Kanye recorded there.”

J. DIlla

“He is the God of Hip Hop swing. With him, it was not only his drum groove, but also how he chopped and placed samples down the track. From research, I know he could make a beat in twenty minutes, for example ‘Little Brother’ by Black Star. Questlove said in his Red Bull interview, “Dilla made the beat in front of me and only took twenty to thirty minutes”. From doing even more research on the sample he used on that track, there was no instrumental 2 bar, but he made the sample sound like it had by using clever chopping of samples. The guy was a genius.”

Stevie Wonder

“Stevie was the first artist I really started liking at age 8 years old; ‘Contusion’ was my first favourite of his. It’s actually quite a complicated song, but for some reason it reacted with me aged 8. The rest of ‘Songs In The Key Of Life’ was just incredible. I’m a massive fan of Stevie Wonder’s and will be seeing him at Hyde Park this year – I can’t wait.”

Thelonious Monk

“Even though Monk is more of a composer than a producer, he’s gotta be on this list! So, when I was 13, my Grandma bought her favourite jazz album and Monk was on it. I started to research him even more and I found his track called, “Off Minor”, and the emotion in the track was so different I kept thinking, “What sort of mood/creative space was he in when wrote that song?”, because when you listen to it, it takes you on this happy/twisted journey and I say twisted because in the intro it’s happy, then he does this run at 0:24 that makes you go, “What the fuck…?”. It’s not a crazy rhythmical run, it’s where he goes harmony wise – is very different from where piano players of the time would normally go. He went there! That’s why I love his playing.”

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