In hip-hop, there’s always been appreciation for having a “calling card.” Whether it’s a rapper having a go-to ad-lib or a production style being so unique that you know it every time a song plays, artists within the genre want to stick out. One of the ways producers separate themselves from the pack is with a tag, an audio drop that plays during their beats that makes it clear who produced the track. Surging to popularity in the early 2000s, producer tags are everywhere now. Add in the prevalence of social media and the much smaller proximity of producers to fans and your tag can become huge. Here, XXL highlights some of the most popular producer tags, from the names you need to know in hip-hop.
Whether it’s ChaseTheMoney’s “ChaseTheMoney ChaseTheMoney,” voiced by Valee, EarDrummers pitched-down tag or the internet favorite P’ierre Bourne catchphrase, “Yo, Pi’erre, you wanna come out here?,” rap listeners already know what they are in for, just off of a short audio clip. In hip-hop today, the tags add to a song, creating hype and anticipation when the song has barely started.
For the record, there’s a mix of new names with popular tags, along with veterans. Mike Will Made-It has been putting in work for a while, and you definitely know his producer tag when you hear it. There’s also Tay Keith, who just got his big break in 2018 with BlocBoy JB and Drake’s “Look Alive”; every time you hear his beats, he makes sure you know who put the work in. And Southside’s “Southside on the track, yeahhh!” has been heard for years.
Take a look at some of the coolest producer tags in hip-hop.