If you know anything about me, you know I love monte booker. He’s been my favorite producer for years, working with so many of my favorite artists with his signature clicky and bouncy sound – if you have ever listened to a song of his, you will understand exactly what I am talking about. It’s a sound so distinct that you can pick out his production within the first few seconds of a track, something that only Pharrell can do. While this could very easily be devoted to only songs with Smino, monte has also made amazing tracks with Noname and a star studded Dreamville lineup.
I often have an internal debate about the best Smino song. From “L.M.F.” to “I Deserve” to “Popeyes,” there are just so many to choose from. However, one that always shines through is the monte produced “Anita.” It’s a beautiful ode to all the important women in Smino’s life, singing, “Anita / I need her / So free don’t flee from me.” monte puts a little grooviness in the beat, laying down a synth riff between the signature glitchy percussion. There are so many elements combined into one in a way that only this duo could accomplish, creating for one of Smino’s most diverse sounding listens.
Telefone is an indisputable classic album, one that is top five all time for me. It features amazing production from the likes of Phoelix and Saba, as well as monte and Cam O’bi on “Sunny Duet” featuring theMIND. Noname explores the meaning of love on the track, navigating a mentally confusing time and constantly daydreaming of the future with her significant other. The co-production brings two worlds together - the background harmonies from Cam O’bi pair perfectly with the jumpiness of monte’s style. Speaking on the track, O’bi said, “That vocal scat thing is something I just started playing on top of it and people in the room were like, ‘Oh shit, what is that?’ It almost sounded like a video game but with babies.” A sultry second verse from theMIND highlights beautiful vocal layering, while a stripped down version of the beat lets his voice shine.
Last but certainly not least, monte booker blessed us all with his production on Dreamville’s Revenge Of The Dreamers III. He delivered on not one, not two, but three tracks: “Passcode” with Ari Lennox, Smino, Buddy, Mez, and Gupadad 4000, “Late Night” with Cozz, Omen, Buddy, and Landstrip Chip, and my favorite, “Spin Move” with Saba, Bas, Smino, and The Hics. “Spin Move” has a fuzziness that feels like you’re listening to a vinyl, while a melodic laced instrumental flows seamlessly with everyone’s verses. Saba kicks it off with an incredible eight bars before Bas delivers a passionate verse about keeping your head up. If that wasn’t enough, Smino, per usual, struts in with a confident, although seemingly cut short verse. Roxane Dayette of The Hics tops it off, delivering her beautiful vocals in the style of an interlude. monte’s Twitch breakdown of the track is fascinating to watch as he describes how each individual part of the beat came to be.