You might not know his name—but you’ve heard his work.
Dante Ross, born and raised by political activists on New York’s pre-gentrified Lower East Side, would play a pivotal role in the golden age of hip-hop. Named as one of Complex Magazine’s Top 25 Greatest Hip-Hop A&Rs, Ross got his start at Tommy Boy Records, where he would sign and handle the careers of De La Soul and Queen Latifah. At Elektra Records, he would go on to sign Brand Nubian, Grand Puba, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, KMD, Busta Rhymes, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard.
As a producer, he has worked on a range of hit records by artists such as 3rd Bass, Del the Funky Homosapien, Run-DMC, and Everlast—including the multi-platinum album Whitey Ford Sings the Blues and the gold follow-up, Eat at Whitey’s. Ross earned a Grammy in 1999 for his production work on Carlos Santana’s Supernatural and also produced and cowrote two songs featuring Macy Gray and Young Z for the soundtrack to Eminem’s 8 Mile.