In 2010, a new generation of rap producers, from AraabMuzik to Droop-E, made huge strides both artistically and commercially. But none distinguished themselves more than Lex Luger, the 19-year-old Virginia native behind both Rick Ross's "B.M.F (Blowin' Money Fast)" and a good deal of Waka Flocka Flame's Flockaveli. (Not to mention the new Kanye West/Jay-Z track "H.A.M.") Lex's best beats are as evil as anything this side of Shawty Redd, but hit you so hard you barely notice.
Because of the size and similarity of most Luger beats, their effectiveness depends on the emcee. Flocka, who discovered the producer through MySpace in mid-2009, succeeds because his verses are as rough and as powerful as the beats, the raspiness of his voice aligning with the grainy sound quality you're likely to find on a 128 kbps DatPiff stream. Flockaveli is filled with guests as anonymous as Kebo Gotti and Ice Burgundy, their interchangeability both creating further havoc and emphasizing the marquee rapper's own dominance. Conversely, Ross stands unfazed at the eye of the storm and lets the drums, bass, and synths swirl around him. And just as Luger's production pushes these rappers to do their best work, their flows add to the beats a dynamism that might not otherwise be present. Critics have suggested that Luger's beats are easy to rap over, but in reality, Luger productions present the emcee with a direct challenge: Distinguish yourself or be consumed by the snares and laptop brass. Here are 10 lesser-known tracks featuring lesser-known rappers who gave it a shot; if played at the proper volume, any of these could easily blow out your speakers, eardrums, and anything within range. Including the guy rapping.More »