Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a breakthrough year for several of Carolina’s most talented acts. Behind their hit singles are the irresistible and unforgettable instrumentals laced with puncturing hi-hats and heaving 808s. The producers throughout the Carolinas have been growing a buzz for a good bit of time—often working with one or several artists frequently while making waves elsewhere occasionally. Fast forward to now, there’s no holding these beat makers back from taking over the music industry.
In light of their recent successes, we selected 9 standout producers that are constantly setting benchmarks and new achievements in the Carolinas. Check them out below.
“Oh Lord, Jetson made another!” A pioneer of his generation, the South Carolina producer has accomplished everything you can name twice. Jetsonmade is a go-to producer who exploded into popularity upon the release of DaBaby’s 2019 viral triumph “Suge” and no, he hasn’t slowed down since then. Since then, Jetson has worked with everyone from Jack Harlow and Playboi Carti to J. Cole and Roddy Ricch.
Almost globally recognized as simple or spacious instrumentals, when you hear the 808’s bounce you know who produced it, or at least who it started with. He’s worked with a plethora of other artists including Lil Keed, Young Nudy, Rod Wave, and Mulatto amongst others. When you bring up producers making major waves in the Carolinas, there’s no doubt that Jetsonmade appears in—if not at the top—that list.
Sumter, South Carolina producer Tahj Money has worked with some of the industry’s hottest new artists and there’s a reason why. Arguably one of the most consistent and consecutive young beat makers out at the moment, Tahj has landed a plethora of placements with Chicago rap star Polo G, ghetto gospel’s Rod Wave, and YoungBoy Never Broke Again.
Inspired by the likes of Zaytoven and Metro Boomin, Tahj got his start in 2016 with YoungBoy’s “H.A.M.” off his 38 Baby project. With the two collaborating on multiple occasions, he’s leveraged that into new relationships and records with artists like OMB Peezy, NLE Choppa, Lil Durk, and Blac Youngsta. If there’s a hot new rapper coming out of the South, then more than likely they’ve tried their hand at a Tahj Money instrumental. His 2021 heat streak continues with Lil Tjay’s “Headshot” and Lil Durk’s “Kanye Krazy,” which received a Cole Bennett video at the top of the year.
21-year-old producer Its2Ezzy is at the forefront of NC’s production scene. He’s been producing for a bit over two years and all that hard work is seemingly paying off as he’s worked with a wide range of fascinating artists and newcomers. Just like his production tag says, “2ezzy on some other shit!”
Taking a different approach than most, Its2Ezzy garnered major success through working with SoundCloud artists like Lil Tecca, Ty Fontaine, and breakout star SoFaygo. One of his biggest records to date is YoungBoy Never Broken Again’s “AI Nash,” which has over 32 million YouTube views on its Cole Bennett-directed video. Elsewhere Ezzy produced 18Veno’s “Sunset,” Xanman’s “Paris,” and Dro Kenji’s “Mixin’.” He’s currently paving a way for other producers within the NC scene one record at a time.
Neeko Baby is leaving his mark in the production space. After gaining momentum through PG RA’s “Pfk” and Blacc Zacc’s “Goner,” he went onto produce one of the biggest anthems of 2019, DaBaby’s “VIBEZ.” It served as one of his first platinum plaques, peaking at No. 21 on Billboard’s Hot 100 charts.
The SC native is easily recognized by his infectious producer tag, “Yeah, yeah, Neeko, you made that motherfuckin’ beat? Ah, nah.” A member of Jetsonmade’s Boy Meets Space collective, he’s notably known for producing Jack Harlow’s “Route 66” Playboi Carti’s “@ MEH,” and YoungBoy Never Broken Again’s “Peace Hardly” to name a few. His rise to popularity continues through his work with artists like Slim Santana, Rot Ken, 18Veno, and Highway.
Hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina, Y2tnb takes a different approach through his production. After signing to Internet Money Records in 2020, he’s gone on to work with some of the genre-bending new wave of SoundCloud and underground artists. Y2tnb worked on Pasto Flocco’s “Shawn M!” and SoFaygo’s “Quit Smoking Dabs” in addition to fairly popular unreleased songs with YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Lil Tecca, and more. There’s a lot of star power in the rising producer who continues to carry the torch for Raleigh.
“Pipe that shit up TNT!” One of the most recognized producer tags coming out of the Carolinas this past year, TnTXD has always been making major noise. The Sumter, SC producer often pairs up with Tahj Money and has seen success in working with artists like Polo G, Rod Wave, and YoungBoy Never Broke Again. Two fan favorites in his catalog include Polo’s “I Know,” which accrued millions of streams and YG’s infamous “Stop Snitchin,” which received a remix from DaBaby. One thing for sure and two things for certain, TnTXD isn’t taking a break anytime soon.
Often paired alongside fellow beat maker Y2tnb, Charlotte native BryceUnknwn is a go-to when it comes to rapidly rising artists such as SoFaygo, SportVVS, and more. He’s also signed to Internet Money Records under DT and is one of the founding members of WEB Records, which houses a plethora of talent. With cosigns from Taz Taylor and others, Bryce is definitely a producer to keep on your list in the coming years.
“Welcome to first class!” South Carolina producer 1st Class has landed production placements with the likes of Chance the Rapper, Gucci Mane, Rico Nasty, G-Eazy, and many more. In 2019, he got his big break with DaBaby’s “Carpet Burn,” which has amassed over 30 million streams across DSPs. Just like Neeko Baby, 1st Class often produces alongside Jetsonmade, and is a part of his producer camp, and has been pushing out hits.
NC sample maker and producer Deskhop is carving out a lane of his own. Another signee under Jetsonmade’s SPACEBOY label, he’s most known for working on “@ MEH” by Playboi Carti and “Traplanta” by Lil Keed. Elsewhere he produced records with 18Veno, PG RA, Lil Mexico, Tino Szn, and Slime Dollaz. For Deskhop, becoming one of the industry’s go-to loop makers is within arms reach.