Before there was Metro Boomin & Sonny Digital; it was Speaker Knockerz.

Who was he? Speaker Knockerz was a rapper and producer from South Carolina who in 2013 and 2014 released two mixtapes and ask anyone who has listened to those mixtapes, each track is a banger. If you are between the ages of 14 to 25, I can almost guarantee you have heard one of his songs at a school dance, party, or night club.

But how is he influential you may ask?

First, I am just going to be blunt with you. The sound that is in the clubs and on the radio,  and popping on the mainstream underground, Speaker Knockerz was one of its originators. To a close listener of Hip Hop and a big fan of Speaker Knockerz, I can clearly hear the influence of his production sound and his flow in many of the tracks that are popular today. But that is also just my opinion so maybe I can prove it to you by other means.

You see between 2012 and 2014, Speaker Knockerz was one of the biggest producers in the game! He was one of the producers on Soundclick who was selling $30,000 – $50,000 a month in beat sales / leases. The number of tracks alone that have been recorded and released over his instrumental productions has to be well over 3,000 at least in my opinion. I am including in that number, obscure and popular songs by famous rappers but also as well tracks by at home rappers and small local or regional artists who bought leases and exclusives and released music with his beats but the track never got famous enough.

So he sold a lot of beats? Producers do more then just sell beats.  Even if they aren’t in the same studio with the rapper, there beat is the canvas the rapper paints on. As well as many producers will tell you they often give feedback to the rappers who record on their tracks even if they aren’t personally in the studio with them.  And if it is an established artist or someone on the way to being established who doesn’t need feedback then the producer is helping to continue that artists sound and brand. That’s what Speaker Knockerz was doing and it blows my mind to find out the amount of big names Speaker Knockerz produced for;

  • French Montana
  • Bryson Tiller
  • The Coke Boys
  • Shy Glizzy
  • Gucci Mane
  • Jose Guapo
  • Young Scooter
  • Young Dolph
  • Cash Out
  • Gudda Gudda
  • Cyhi Da Prince
  • Lil Scrappy
  • Rolls Royce Rizzy
  • Taylor J

and the craziest part is, he did all of this before he turned 20!

And you know whats also crazy about his production credit work? He has been dead 3 years and he still has somehow been getting production credits. In 2015, he had a production credit on the “No Chill” mixtape by Jae Millz ( lol but how many people listened to that?). In 2016, a full 2 years after his death, he somehow got three credits, production credit on a mixtape by Snypa (who is that?), feature credit on a project by Ryan Hemsworth, and then one that really truly surprised me was a production credit on the Higher Brothers mixtape/album by Higher Brothers. That’s how influential Speaker Knockerz is, a full 2 years after his death one of his beats ended up on a mixtape by the biggest rap group coming out China.

Now beyond the rappers he produced for, there are also producers that have directly referenced Speaker Knockerz as their biggest influences.

  1. Soulja Boy – Say what you want about Soulja Boy, but Soulja Boy’s production has appeared everywhere all the way to a Beyonce album.
  2. The Shell God – Young producer who credits a conversation with Speaker Knockerz as the thing that got him into producing. Now he has produced for Desiigner, Young Thug, Glo Gang, G.O.O.D. and Kodak Black.

Speaker Knockerz was Metro Boomin or Sonny Digital before there was a Metro Boomin or Sonny Digital, and he could craft rap hits of his own. People often ask what would of happened if so and so rap artists would have lived? What would have happened if Speaker Knockerz was still around? He would have been Metro Boomin and Future rolled into one.

 

R.I.P. Speaker Knockerz

You will always be greatly missed.

 

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