Producer Series Mix #8: No I.D.

1. Common - "I Used To Love H.E.R."
2. Jay-Z f/ Nas - "Success"
3. Rhymefest - "Fever"
4. DMX f/ Cam'ron - "We Go Hard" (mp3)
5. Ghostface f/ Sheek Louch and Styles P. - "Metal Lungies"
6. Beanie Sigel - "Man's World"
7. No I.D. f/ Dug Infinite - "Jump On It" (mp3)
8. No I.D. f/ Common and Dug Infinite - "State To State"
9. Common f/ No I.D. - "In My Own World (Check The Method)" (mp3)
10. Common - "Invocation"
11. All Natural - "Thinkin' Cap" (mp3)
12. Do Or Die f/ Johnny P and Ric Jilla - "Be Alright"
13. Rhymefest - "Get Down"
14. Bossman - "You're Wrong" (mp3)
15. Jay-Z f/ LaToiya Williams - "All Around The World" (mp3)
16. Method Man - "Tease" (mp3)
17. Usher f/ Alicia Keys - "My Boo"
18. Bow Wow f/ Omarion - "Let Me Hold You"
19. G-Unit - "Smile"
20. Common - "Resurrection"

I mentioned a couple months ago that the death of Scratch Magazine might spur me the bring back my other big writing outlet for nerdy rap production shit, and here it is. This is one that I'd been working on before/during the series' nearly yearlong hiatus, and decided to finish it after No I.D.'s profile suddenly skyrocketed in the last few months, first from Kanye* mentioning his name 80 times on his album, and then No I.D. himself producing the hardest song on Jay-Z's new album. This is also probably the best of these mixes that I've done so far, and the hardest to choose tracks for because he's got so many fucking great beats.

Ernest "No I.D." Wilson (a.k.a. Immenslope) has had a pretty interesting and varied career, going from producing mostly other Chicago artists in the 90's, including Common's 2 best full-lengths and his own great, out of print '97 solo album Accept Your Own & Be Yourself (The Black Album) (really more of a duo album with Dug Infinite), to doing sporadic album cuts for big East coast rappers earlier this decade (including his first Jay-Z collab 5 years before American Gangster, one of my favorites off Blueprint 2), to hooking up with Jermaine Dupri and co-producing big mainstream hits like "My Boo" and "Let Me Hold You." But he's also pretty consistently made great sample-driven beats, and it's not a stretch at all to say that he probably taught Kanye almost everything he knows about producing.

Elliott Wilson's interview with No I.D. after "Success" really made it sound like this could be the moment where the dude becomes a name brand in and of itself, instead of a footnote in Kanye's career and someone that the word "underrated" is eternally attached to. No I.D. also did a track on the new Ghostface album called "World Champs," but as far as I know that track hasn't leaked yet. And his tenure working under J.D. wasn't all pop and R&B, and includes probably the best track my Baltimore fam Bossman made during the period that Jermaine had him signed to Virgin Records.

* One thing I'd love for someone to clear up for me about No I.D. and Kanye is the whole deal behind Rhymefest's "Sister" and 213's "Another Summer." The former's production is credited to No I.D. and the latter is credited to Kanye, but they're the exact same beat. Not just the same sample, the EXACT same instrumental note for note (Kanye also used the same beat for the studio version of Alicia Keys' "Unbreakable," which was an album outtake later released as a live version on her Unplugged album). Makes me really wonder if their professional relationship in recent years goes deeper than mentor-protege.

Previously in the Producer Series:
#1: Shondrae "Bangladesh" Crawford
#2: Rich Harrison
#3: Kevin "Khao" Cates
#4: Chad Wes Hamilton
#5: Neo Da Matrix
#6: Carl "Chucky" Thompson
#7: Polow Da Don
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