Producer Spotlight: DJ Mustard
We've admittedly spent a lot of time on the West Coast ratchet scene, but it's only because it has produced one of the most distinctive sounds heard in rap this year, as well as one of the few avenues for rappers to reach an increasingly stratified (and dangerously segregated) pop market. DJ Mustard, the young producer whose career marks the scene's transition from brightly colored teen "jerkin'" antics to moody, intensely sexual "function" debauchery, defined the sound more than any other.
DJ Mustard's first big national hit was Tyga's 2012 smash "Rack City," and like any good rap producer, he has cranked out a few carbon copies, like TeeFLii's "This D." But he has also made some imaginative variations. The deep, rumbling bass sound of Young Jeezy's "R.I.P." was Mustard's tribute to vintage "Freaky Tales" Too Short, who has become an unlikely but entirely appropriate godfather to this new era of West Coast party rap. B.o.B's "Head Band" is buoyed by sharp, ringing whistles, like a naughty nursery rhyme.
Mustard has a repertoire of L.A. locals he regularly works with, including Tyga and YG, the latter's career in ascendance following the release of two Mustard-produced smashes, "You Broke" and "My N*gg*." It remains to be seen if 2014 will be as bountiful. At the moment, the future seems bright.