If any producer has his finger on the pulse of America it’s DJ Mustard. The 24-year-old L.A.-native and “ratchet” pioneer has been a fixture of the Hot 100 in 2014, producing hits for everyone from YG and Ty Dolla Sign to Jennifer Lopez and Tinashe. Even songs that don’t bear his signature sonic stamp (“Mustard on the beat, hoe!”) are starting to reflect his influence (see Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX’s smash “Fancy”).
With the end of summer approaching (*sigh*), we played Mustard seven of the season’s biggest definitive bangers — from “Fancy” to “Rude” — and had him give us his candid opinion. This was the result.
1. DJ Snake & Lil Jon - “Turn Down For What?” (prod. by DJ Snake & Lil Jon)
“There’s nothing I don’t like about this song,” Mustard says. “It was a nice crossover for Lil Jon; his voice really makes the song. The saying itself ‘Turn down for what’ was just really smart.”
2. Magic! - “Rude” (prod. by Adam Messinger)
“You know what’s crazy? I thought this was Miguel when I first heard this guy’s voice,” says Mustard. “But the song is dope, though, I like the Caribbean vibe. It’s crazy that it hit no. 1.”
3. Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX - “Fancy” (prod. by The Invisible Men and The Arcade)
*Grunts.* “No comment,” says Mustard. In a previous interview with Hot 97, he admitted that he thought the song sounded like one of his.
4. Sam Smith - “Stay With Me” (prod. by Jimmy Napes and Steve Fitzmaurice)
“Sam Smith is Amazing,” says Mustard. “I love ‘Latch’ and to follow that up with a song like this and have them both hit? That’s dope. This is one of those songs that I find myself singing all the time. Staaaayyyyy with meeee. The choir on this is my favorite part.”
5. Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne and French Montana - “Loyal (East Coast version)” (prod. by Nic Nac)
“I always play this whenever I’m DJing — people love it,” Mustard says. “I think Chris has another hit album in him. Even with all the controversy, that never stops the music. He always comes with hits, so I think he’ll be good.”
6. Meghan Trainor - “All About That Bass” (prod. by Kevin Kadish)
“I’ve never heard this one before,” says Mustard. “It’s aight, I guess.”
7. Tinashe ft. Schoolboy Q - “2 On” (prod. by DJ Mustard)
“The best song of the year,” says Mustard, laughing, after hearing the first note of his hit for the R&B up-and-comer. “Her label reached out to me and I did that one in one night. I like working with new artists. Anybody can get a hit with a big artist, but for a brand new artist like her to have a song that big is a good thing. I’m happy for her.”
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