Delayed Impact: Super Producer Hit-Boy Is Finally Receiving Grammy Recognition

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With a production discography boasting modern hip-hop classics including Kanye West and Jay-Z’s “Ni**as in Paris,” Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode” and Beyoncé’s “Sorry,” it’s somewhat surprising to learn that Hit-Boy (real name: Chauncey Alexander Hollis Jr.) is a first-time nominee for producer of the year, non-classical. For the 2022 Grammy Awards, the Californian hitmaker was finally recognized for his beat-making on Nas’ “King’s Disease II” and contributions to the “Judas and the Black Messiah” soundtrack, which includes one of his own songs, “Broad Day.”

What would it mean to win producer of the year?

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It would definitely be a dream come true. We’re in a crazy era where certain people like to discredit the Grammys or discredit the award shows, period. It’s not everything, but it is a high honor. Just to be recognized is amazing, but to win? That would be major, man. Just for the people that have followed my story and know how much I’ve stayed down, that would be major.

Do you feel validated by the nomination?

A lot of people were hitting me last year, like, “Man, you should have been in there for producer of the year.” But that’s the way it goes, you can’t feel any way about it. 2020 and 2021 were my biggest production years and I haven’t even had any super-high, top-10 charting records. It’s more so about my consistency and quality level. I’m getting the most recognition and love I’ve ever had. I’m just locked in on a different level.

What takes the production of Nas’ “King’s Disease II” to the next level?

What separates the music we’re making together is that we’re really in here thinking about every step. We’re having two-hour long conversations before we even start working. We’re just formulating the ideas, and by the time we get to work, it flows. We’ve got a true friendship and work relationship.

How does it feel to have your song, “Broad Day,” on the “Judas and the Black Messiah” soundtrack?

That was everything to me — it was personal validation on the artist front. I also sampled Troop’s “Spread My Wings” on the song: My uncle is in that group, my grandmother started the group, so that’s all lineage. To be able to sample a song that I literally grew up on … it’s just insane to me that it worked out and got to be on a meaningful soundtrack.

Are we going to get an album from you next year?

A million percent. You’re going to get a lot of things from me. Man, I got a lot of stuff going on. Executive producing more albums, working on just a lot of stuff. I’m doing an artist project featuring my vocals and I’m also doing a production project with just Hit-Boy beats and different artists that I rock with and that rock with me.

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