Boi-1da has established himself as arguably, the most dominant hip-hop producer in the last six years. He has produced for nearly all of your favourite rappers, won a couple of Grammys, and even has a Diamond plaque hanging on his wall at home. Do you know how many records Diamond is? That’s 10 million…for ONE song…that came out just under five years ago! Sure it was a song he produced for Eminem, but in this era of music, any other producer would do some horrible things to have one.
Back in 2008, when I was just starting to familiarize myself with Toronto’s rap scene, I came across Drake’s “City Is Mine” remix with Richie Sosa, Mayhem Morearty and JD Era (classic song by the way). This is the first song I heard that Boi-1da produced. Something about it just stuck out to me. I thought his name was dope too. Its simple, easy to remember and sounds like something you would call a superhero. He had my attention at this point. I then discovered more music he worked on, like Drake’s “Ransom,” the original version of “Forever,” JD Era’s “Rock N Roll,” and of course, Page’s popular anthem, “Still Fly.” I was a fan, and had no idea there was talent like this hiding in Toronto.
After Drake blew up and took over the world, so did Boi-1da. I wasn’t even listening to full albums anymore because I would just pick out all the songs he produced and have them in a playlist. I have never met him before, but can tell he’s very humble. I even compare him to Gucci Mane in a sense (don’t laugh yet). When you talk about producers in Toronto, Boi-1da is the main guy. He’s given so many young producers a shot, that you have no choice but to respect him. Names like Jordan Evans, Matthew Burnett, The Maven Boys, Sevn Thomas, Frank Dukes and KOZ all come to mind when you look at careers he’s helped mentor over the years. Toronto producers are dictating music, and can thank Boi-1da for being their spirit guide to help them on their way to success.
Here is a list of my 6 (because Toronto) personal favourite Boi-1da instrumentals, which you can check out below.
Drake “10 Bands”
(co-prod. with Sevn Thomas)
Drake dropped his surprise album/mixtape “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” last Thursday, and Boi-1da was heavily involved. All the production he did on it is flames, but I can confidently call the “10 Bands” instrumental the hottest on the project. I don’t remember the last beat I was so addicted to, and can already see it taking over the clubs. Now I’ll just sip my tea and wait for Meek Mill to drop a “10 Grams” remix.
P Reign Ft. PARTYNEXTDOOR & Meek Mill “Realest in the City”
(co-prod. with The Maven Boys & KOZ)
The “Realest in the City” instrumental is the best production I’ve heard P Reign rap over. It’s also my favourite song from the Reps Up artist, and not because PARTYNEXTDOOR is Rumpelstiltskin with the vocals, but the way all three of them flow over the instrumental with ease.
Meek Mill “Traumatized”
(co-prod. with Matthew Burnett)
Meek Mill’s “Traumatized” gave me goosebumps the first time I heard it, and in my opinion, is the realest shit he’s ever wrote. The background vocals from Andreena add another level of emotion already created by the hard hitting 808s, and soothing piano.
Drake “6 God”
(co-prod. with Syk Sense)
Anyone else almost have a heart attack when they heard “6 God” for the first time? It took time to grow on me, but when I found out it samples music from “Donkey Kong Country 2,” it earned a million cool points.
Drake “5AM in Toronto”
(co-prod. with Vinylz)
Drake killed the rap game with “5AM in Toronto,” and he wouldn’t have done so without this monstrosity of an instrumental from Boi-1da and Vinylz. Any production that gets that “Comeback Season” flow out of The Boy is already great in my books. Is this the overall best out of Drake’s “what time is it in what city” song releases? I think so.
Kendrick Lamar “The Blacker The Berry”
(co-prod. with KOZ)
This track came out less than a week ago too but fuck it, because it inspired this whole post. The only way anyone will ever beat Floyd Mayweather is to play this beat during their entrance, and if I had to guess, I’d say Boi-1da labeled it “Danger” on his computer when he saved it. The drop is way ignorant, and Kendrick Lamar’s lyrical onslaught makes the instrumental that much better.