Evan Nabavian was invited to occupy Wall St with the Throne, but passed due to a prior engagement.

Having a protege who’s one of the biggest artists in the world is good for your career, even if it means having to produce a Big Sean record. It’s no secret that No I.D. has crept into the ranks of top tier rap producers, thanks to his affiliation with Kanye West. The elder Chicagoan has classics to his name and his catalogue is dotted with big placements, but the turning point was 808s & Heartbreak, where he worked on three songs and subsequently never left Kanye’s side.

Since then, No I.D.’s fingerprints have dusted The Blueprint 3 and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, as producer or co-producer. Plus, he handled Big Sean and Kid Cudi’s G.O.O.D. Music releases. The upswing in visibility culminated in August, when he joined Def Jam as its Executive Vice President of A&R — where he’ll be a high-ranking gatekeeper of commercial rap.  This is the man who produced “Metal Lungies.”

Kanye taught No I.D. to mollify hard beats with hands-to-the-air gospel choruses. But there’s a wide spectrum of hardness in No I.D.’s most recent work. “Ghetto Dreams” doesn’t sacrifice any grit whereas Finally Famous is totally pussified. “Blue Sky” and “The Greatness” fall in the middle, and sound like College Dropout Kanye.

The incessant vocal sample and unnamed guest singer on “Blue Sky” give the beat a non-threatening voice despite heavy drums. It’s preachy but bullish, like “Get By,” which is perfect for Common, who can’t decide how tough he wants to be. Pac Div’s “The Greatness” does the same with a choir, which brings to mind “This Way,” Dilated Peoples’ 2004 single with Kanye.

As of 2011, No I.D. is effectively Kanye’s right hand and the two take cues from each other. No I.D. lends the organic loops and Kanye shares his penchant for hugeness. Should you miss Dropout Bear Kanye, look no further than No I.D, who’s making hard core beats designed for stadium tours.

MP3: Common (prod. by No I.D.) – “Blue Sky”
MP3: Pac Div (prod. by No I.D.)-“The Greatness” (Left-Click)

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