When Chauncey Hollis, the wunderkind better known as Hit-Boy, sent Kanye West music for what became West and Jay- Z’s “In Paris,” he had no idea it would become the kind of cult hit that, according to USA Today, whipped concertgoers into such frenzy in Atlanta that they shook the arena harder than it has in recent memory for Hawks games.
“It was amazing,” he told MTV upon learning “In Paris,” which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, was played eight times at a stop on the Watch the Throne tour. “I nev-er even heard of a song played multiple times. That made me feel super special.”
Hit-Boy — a Fontana, California native — has the kind of “special” that’s hard to ignore. Take, for example, the atmospheric vibe he created on Lil Wayne’s “Drop the World,” or the gentle acoustics he conjured for Mary J. Blige on “Stronger,” both sharp turns from his rugged, cin¬ematic “Christmas in Harlem” featuring West, Jim Jones and Pusha T. In totality, Hit-Boy displays a nuanced, complex approach that’s startlingly mature for a producer who’s just 25 years old.
Hit-Boy is “part of a generation that fearlessly takes risks and does not shy away from being different,” his website biography reads, and that’s no doubt why West signed Hit- Boy to his G.O.O.D. Music label. After all, while “In Paris” has won worldwide acclaim, its somewhat bizarre synthesizer notes and arrestingly simplistic beat do not for an obvious hip-hop hit make. But that’s why Hit-Boy has superstar potential: He’s a few steps ahead of what people think they want.
“It’s what we should expect,” he told XXL. “You wanna hear what the next wave should be — what the next sound of beats should be like.”