Why he's sexy: Mixing sleek beats and soulful instrumentation, RJD2 melds genres into an eclectic mishmash of stylish electro.
What he's all about: Following in the footsteps of DJ Shadow, Ramble John Krohn — better known as RJD2 — has a reputation for building supple, expansive soundscapes, though his best-known composition remains the Mad Men theme. Hip-hop producers often struggle to step out from behind the knobs and forge careers of their own. (Lil Jon and Kanye West are notable exceptions.) Since the mid-'90s, RJD2 has worked to expand hip-hop's borders into pop, jazz and electronica with his collaborations with MF Doom, Cage, Aceyalone and Blueprint. His latest release, The Colossus, returns to familiar electro-soul territory, blending classic disco, funk and hip-hop with sexy dance beats and the occasional soaring guest vocal.