Ayatollah‘s signature soulful sound played a key part in the beat-driven explosion in mid-to-late-90’s hip-hop. He burst onto the scene with Mos Def‘s “Ms. Fat Booty”, the lead single from the gold-selling Black on Both Sides, and went on to craft Rawkus-era classics like Styles P and Pharaohe Monch‘s “The Life.” Since then, he’s gone on to work with some of the biggest names in hip-hop, including Ghostface, Rakim, Talib Kweli, Cormega, Royce Da 5’9″, Tragedy Khadafi, and Masta Ace.
Ayatollah is the rare producer who has managed to bridge the gap between classic New York hip-hop production and today’s current flashy style. With influences such as Marley Marl, 45 King, and Pete Rock, Tollah has been able to create a unique sound steeped in hip-hop culture, one that is nearly impossible to mimic in today’s world of copycat beatmaking. With a series of acclaimed instrumental albums to his credit and a production discography that continues to grow, Ayatollah is far from finished. “I want people to pay close attention to my different sounds and styles,” he explains. “I want to give more to the world.”