7. High Klassified
High Klassified first made waves globally with a co-production on Future and The Weeknd’s multi-platinum hit, “Comin Out Strong.”
“I send a lot of beats to the Weeknd, but I wasn’t expecting Future on it. I only found out on Tuesday. I was doing my groceries when I found out. I was fighting a big hangover because it was my birthday weekend, then I got a call saying it was going to be on Future’s album, and my hangover was gone.,” High Klassified detailed to Vice on discovering he wound up on Future’s HNDRXX album.
The producer is a resident of Laval, a suburb just 40 minutes north of Montreal. Klassified is so proud of his hometown that he even took liberty in branding it, creating the “Laval ou rien” (Laval or Nothing) clothing capsule in 2015. Aside from producing for household names like Future and The Weeknd, High Klassified is also holds his own as a solo act. He is signed to Fool’s Gold Records, co-founded by fellow Montrealer, A-Trak.
After a considerable hiatus from solo releases, Klass returned this year with Law of Automata: Valid. The five-song EP flexes his expendable versatility. On the project, there is everything from bossa nova to trap flavor found. Despite his continued success, High Klassified continues to live in his mother’s basement. However, he fully renovated the space to include a state of the art studio.
6. Nicholas Craven
Nicholas Craven is a lord of the underground. He was born in Gatineau, a Quebec town minutes away from the Ontario border. The producer may not have as strong of a following in the city itself than others on this list but his beatmaking is a marvel among rap purists.
His approach to street rap is how The Irishman is as a mob movie: It respects the integrity of the genre while finding a mesmerizing method to add new value towards it. (Conveniently, his Styles P collaboration is in fact named after the Scorsese flick.)
New York hip-hop heavyweights like Benny the Butcher, Sheek Louch, Roc Marciano and Westside Gunn are some of the names in his impressive rolodex.
Craven has enjoyed recent success in teaming up with Ransom. The pair have released a trilogy of tapes together: Crime Scenes, Director’s Cut, and Deleted Scenes.
Chase.Wav’s professional career began at the heels of winning the 2016 Battle of the Beat Makers in Toronto, impressing judges T-Minus, Boi-1da, and T-Minus with his sounds.
Chase has made most of his waves in the Montreal scene, producing for local heavy hitters like KALLITECHNIS, Naya Ali and Loud, the first Montreal rapper to play the Bell Centre local arena. Wav’s beats feel like icing on the proverbial album cake. His inclusion in a given project gives it the opportunity to go from good to great. His ear to the Montreal scene is sure to serve him well; Wav is the type of producer with a strong ability to develop and prosper alongside the local up-and-comers he locks in with.
Zach Zoya’s “Feelings” is a classic, 2000s-inspired R&B track, in which Wav’s production allows Zoya to get in touch with the sound that made him fall in love with the genre.