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The Black Women in Music You Hear but Don’t See

April 3, 2022
80 Picks

Black women producers and engineers are unicorns of sorts, despite always being at the forefront or behind the scenes of many popular genres of music. This goes back to the coveted 1979 hip-hop single “Rapper’s Delight”. It was co-created and produced by Sylvia Robinson, a true trailblazer in hip-hop.  Since then, many Black women have curated blueprints for all styles of music, but their work often goes unnoticed.

Fortunately, we’ve rounded up some of today’s dopest music trailblazers in the game. 

Crystal Caines wants you to Play Tough, Like a Girl
The Guyanese–American producer, rapper, and songwriter also moonlight as an engineer. Born in Harlem, New York, Crystal Caines is an experimental artist who also dabbles in electronica. Her credits include A$ASP Ferg, Baauer, and BIA. She released her newest project, “Late Night” in January 2022.

Even If You Don’t Know Her, You Know Her
Kesha Lee is that girl. The RIAA multi-platinum award-winning engineer perfected some of your favorite records. Her long list of accolades includes Lil Uzi Vert’s “Eternal Intake” (yes, the entire album), Childish Gambino’s This is America, Migos’ Bad and Bougie, and too many Gucci and Young Thug records to name. Kesha is big time, but her fans love how humble and low-key she is.

TRAKGIRL Champions Creators with PAY US TODAY
Shakari Linder, better known as TRAKGIRL is all about girl power. The producer and entrepreneur gained notoriety from Forbes, BET, and others for her musical prowess. Her sound is audibly deep and emotional. She’s worked with the likes of Vic Mensa, Jhene Aiko, and Omarion. TRAKGIRL’S lifestyle brand, PAY US TODAY is a business focused on obtaining fair wages and business rights for creators and producers.

Meet the Producer of the Year
Young and gifted, 25-year-old Wondagurl spent half of her life producing for music’s biggest names. She is behind Jay-Z’s Crown from 2013’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail.” That same year, she created Teen Spirit for SZA and two tracks for Ryan Leslie’s “Black Mozart.” The list goes on from Kid Cudi, Pop Smoke, Drake, and Rihanna’s BBHMM. Wondagurl has many styles and an ear for classic records that stand out. She is crowned the Jack Richardson Producer of the Year by the Canadian Juno Awards.