Ayatollah (record producer)

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Lamont Dorrell, known as Ayatollah, is a hip-hop record producer from Queens, New York who has produced for predominantly New York-based rappers including Mos Def, Talib Kweli, R.A. The Rugged Man, Tragedy Khadafi, Wordsworth, Vast Aire, Afu-Ra, Guru, M.O.P., Inspectah Deck, Cormega, Ghostface Killah as well as many others. R.A. the Rugged Man had said in an interview that he was the first person to ever buy a beat from Ayatollah. Broadly speaking Ayatollah's production encompasses a soulful, authentic east coast hip-hop sound which has brought him steady success and acclaim since the late 1990s.


Ayatollah first received mainstream recognition after producing Rawkus rapper Mos Def's hit Ms. Fat Booty, the first single off his Black on Both Sides album;[1] whilst subsequently receiving a gold plaque for probably his most well-known track to date, Styles P's hit "The Life" featuring Organized Konfusion legend Pharoahe Monch, which appeared on the Rawkus Records compilation Soundbombing III.

Ayatollah is a favoured producer of many Queensbridge MCs in particular, and after working with Cormega on Rap's a Hustle on his debut The Realness, the latter spoke of working on a subsequent album produced solely by Ayatollah, an eagerly awaited project which has since failed to transpire.

He has released many instrumental albums, 2003's unofficial debut So Many Reasons to Rhyme and since then in 2006, Listen, on Nomadic Wax, Now Playing on Nature Sounds, and The Quixotic. He has also worked with hip hop legend Rakim on an unreleased song from The Wash soundtrack entitled A Cold Feeling.

His production has also featured on a flurry of releases over the first half of this decade and he has since collaborated with Brooklyn newcomer Okai on the album Dekonstruktion of the Mind, a well-received 2006 debut entirely produced by Ayatollah. He recently became the producer for the group T.H.U.G. Angelz, with Wu-Tang Clan affiliates Hell Razah and Shabazz the Disciple.

In 2015, Ayatollah began working with the hip hop production team Widowmaker to form the trio COLOSSUS. Their debut instrumental album, "Ayatollah Presents: COLOSSUS" was released digitally on June 7th, 2015.[2] A limited vinyl pressing was released in mid-August, 2015.[3]





  1. ^ Strock, Owen (2005) "Ayatollah Now Playing", CMJ New Music Monthly, Issue 137, 2005, p. 40, retrieved 2010-02-05
  2. ^ Bandcamp. "Ayatollah Presents: COLOSSUS". Bandcamp.com. Bandcamp. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Fleamarketfunk. "Ayatollah Presents: COLOSSUSS". Fleamarketfunk.com. Retrieved 25 June 2015.