Today’s generation of Southern producers are all about collaboration. Guys like Metro Boomin, C4, and the 808 Mafia crew are always going half on a beat – one guy might do keys, another does drums, the third does the sample, etc. It might seem like too many chefs in the kitchen, but the product is usually a meticulously crafted beat with every sound making maximum impact in the right place.
If there are two guys who’ve mastered the art of beat collaboration, it’s DJ Spinz and Dun Deal. They’ve each got multiple hits to their respective names, but together they make tsunami waves behind the boards. Turn up your stereo and blast the Best DJ Spinz x Dun Deal Beats.
10. Future – “No Love” (2013)
In last year’s lead-up to what we thought would be “Honest,” Future unleashed “No Love,” a ballad that strikes the treasured balance between a heartbroken human and a lean-sipping robot. The swirling electronic bleeps that Spinz and Dun Deal lay, along with drums that aren’t too busy to drown the ATLien, set the stage for Future to drift away into his own feelings.
9. Kevin Gates – “I Don’t Know What To Call It” (2013)
Gates is a special dude. He can rap over anything, from melodramatic beats to hype sh*t, and Spinz and Dun Deal laced him with two beats on the stupidly underrated Stranger Than Fiction LP from last year (see “Money Magnet” too). Listen to how he interacts with the melodic beat on “I Don’t Know What To Call It,” singing while subtle organs play in the background. Keys and synths shine for the chorus before the whole thing comes together. Gates needs to be working with these two more often.
8. August Alsina – “Get Ya Money” (2013)
Trap beats for rappers are one thing; fleshed out R&B songs for pop artists are another. Spinz and Dun Deal are Jermaine Dupri to Alsina’s Usher on “Get Ya Money” as romantic strings and hand claps envelop the young crooner. If anything, these two beatmakers can hypnotize the sh*t out of you. Need more proof that Spinz and Dun Deal should keep collaborating with Alsina? See “Inhale” below.
7. Kickstand – “Boomerang” (2014)
What’s better – Kickstand’s puking sound effect or the creepy crawl of this beat? Some of these Southern producers just do too much. Spinz and Dun Deal seem to tell themselves that less is more in the studio, so while it might seem like it doesn’t take two to make a beat like this, who knows whether it would have been made any other way. “Boomerang” is reminiscent of Thug Motivation: 101 production: just menacing enough to let the MC dominate.
6. Stuey Rock & Future – “Anyway” (2013)
Future is at his best when he sounds like he’s flying over mountains, serenading exes with anguish as he clutches a bottle of Actavis. It’s usually the production that stimulates that kind of reaction from him, and here the beat is haunting, but in a triumphant way. Synths wash over the track like a rising sun, taking flight as drums chop up the song into pockets for Future to sulk in.
5. iLoveMakonnen – “Tonight” (2014)
Here’s one of many dope things about iLoveMakonnen – you can go back through his projects from recent years and hear early versions of songs that are just now being released in their final, fully fleshed out forms. “Tonight” is one of those tongs you can hear in multiple iterations throughout his discography, but all those drafts culminate in the vibrant record found on this year’s iLoveMakonnen EP. Peep how EDM seeps into the end of the track. Utterly infectious.
4. Cash Out – “She Twerkin” (2013)
Truth be told, Cash Out always does splendid work with Spinz and Dun Deal, but “She Twerkin” is their best joint to date. It’s all in the drums (and that triangle-esque sound effect lurking behind them) for this strip club anthem. Again, simplicity is the goal; you need the ear(s) to know where every little sound fits. “Addicted To My Love” (below) and “Drip” are only further illustrations of how well Spinz and Dun Deal mesh together.
3. Zach Farlow – “Solo” (2014)
Zach Farlow has some heat on the low, but being white and making Southern rap doesn’t afford him much wiggle room. Still, “Solo” is one of his best tracks by a mile, and it’s largely thanks to the stunning production. A lot of the best beats coming from the South sound like audio drugs, perhaps because this generation does a spectacular job of blending their drug use into the sound they create. Listen to the sloshing going on in the background of this beat, which sounds a bit like Future’s “Ain’t No Way Around It,” produced by Mike Will Made It.
2. PeeWee Longway – “Trenches” (2013)
This track is a f*cking monster. The chorus makes it an automatic anthem, but the beat really pulverizes PeeWee’s tap dancing flow. An expert build-up buoys the beat as Dun Deal slips in his signature electric guitar. It makes the “Trenches” sound like the garden of Eden.
1. iLoveMakonnen – “21st Street” (2014)
Bout to buy a crib on 21st street just so I can incorporate this song into my personal branding campaign. If you don’t move to this, check your pulse. Shoulder bop. Shake your ass. Do something. Have a coffee. Wake up. Enjoy life. “21st Street” is bananas.