In today’s music industry, it is always great to have more than one skill. Rappers will sing, label owners rap, singers are the marketing and promotion team, etc. But, let’s focus on the producer.
A producer is the most dangerous asset to have on your team. They are the builders of the sound, creators of the soundscape that will help guide an artist to be competitive and reveal talents they may have not known existed. But, what if a producer decides to be the engineer, mixer and an artist? Let’s explain the negatives and positives for this situation.
The Positive: The producer becomes a one stop shop. If you need beats, they have them because it’s obviously their craft. The producer can also mix the beats and/or sessions, if needed. The producer can also be the artist because they know exactly what needs to be done to the music created. For example, Pharrell Williams and Dr. Dre are some of thee best rappers/artist on the planet. The reason their music is great is because they can envision the final result from beginning to end with beats and lyrics. Dr Dre has been know to mix songs and projects without providing a beat or lyric. Overall, the more skills you have the better.
The Negative: The producer has the potential not be focused, which can take away from perfecting your craft. Producers were less in front of the camera before the Timbaland, Dr. Dre, The Neptunes, P. Diddy (yes, he is a producer!!) era. Their job was to focus on the production and arrangement of the music like DJ Premier or Just Blaze; there may have been a person or team that focused on the mixing like Mixed By Ali or Young Guru; and there was an artist that focused on bringing the music to life like Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston. It would be a team that created the best song possible focusing on their mastered craft.
Could this be greed, fame or consolidation? That’s up to the producer and their capacity to multi-task, but it could possibly be one of the reasons the music isn’t “quality” like “back in the days” as spoken by the average music listener and creators.