Justin Gregory Smith (born January 8, 1978), known professionally as Just Blaze, is an American record producer and DJ. Born in Paterson, New Jersey, Smith attended Rutgers University for three years before dropping out to pursue a career in music production.[1][2][3][4][5] He gained recognition as an in-house producer for Roc-A-Fella Records in the early 2000s, developing the "chipmunk soul" sampling style that was prominent in hip hop during that time.[6][7]

Just Blaze
Smith performing in 2014
Smith performing in 2014
Background information
Birth nameJustin Gregory Smith
Born (1978-01-08) January 8, 1978 (age 46)
Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.
  • Record producer
  • disc jockey
DiscographyJust Blaze production discography
Years active1997–present

Smith produced Eminem's 2010 single "No Love" and appeared in its accompanying music video. He has composed soundtracks for video games, and was a character in NBA Street Vol. 2. His stage name was inspired by the character Blaze Fielding from the Streets of Rage video game series.[8] Smith founded the record label Fort Knocks Entertainment in 2004, through which he has signed artists including Saigon and Ms. Jade.[9] He was awarded a key to the city by Paterson in July 2018, in recognition of his "outstanding cultural contribution" to his hometown.[10]

Production discography

Year Single Chart positions Album
US Hot 100 US
1999 "I Really Like It" (Harlem World feat. Mase & Kelly Price) 61 31 8 The Movement
2001 "Beanie (Mack Bitch)" (Beanie Sigel) 49 11 The Reason
"Girls, Girls, Girls" (Jay-Z) 17 4 3 11 The Blueprint
2002 "Roc the Mic" (Beanie Sigel & Freeway) 55 16 6 State Property
"Song Cry" (Jay-Z) 45 23 The Blueprint
"Oh Boy" (Cam'ron feat. Juelz Santana) 4 1 1 24 19 Come Home with Me
"Hovi Baby" (Jay-Z) 76 The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse
"React" (Erick Sermon feat. Redman) 36 12 8 React
"Boy (I Need You)" (Mariah Carey feat. Cam'ron) 68 29 17 Charmbracelet
"What We Do" (Freeway feat. Jay-Z & Beanie Sigel) 97 47 Philadelphia Freeway
2003 "I Really Mean It" (The Diplomats) 64 Diplomatic Immunity
"Flipside" (Freeway feat. Peedi Crakk) 82 40 Philadelphia Freeway
"Alright" (Freeway feat. Anthony Allen)
"Can't Let You Go" (Fabolous feat. Lil' Mo & Mike Shorey) 4 2 2 27 14 Street Dreams
"Pump It Up" (Joe Budden) 38 16 10 Joe Budden
"Fire" (Joe Budden feat. Busta Rhymes) 48
"Round Here" (Memphis Bleek feat. Trick Daddy & T.I.) 53 M.A.D.E.
2004 "Breathe" (Fabolous) 10 4 2 36 28 Real Talk
2005 "Never Been in Love" (Talib Kweli) The Beautiful Struggle
"Touch the Sky" (Kanye West feat. Lupe Fiasco) 42 23 10 10 6 Late Registration
2006 "Tell Me" (Diddy feat. Christina Aguilera) 47 38 14 13 8 Press Play
"Show Me What You Got" (Jay-Z) 8 3 4 38 38 Kingdom Come
"The Champ" (Ghostface Killah) - - - - - Fishscale
2007 "The Second Coming" (Juelz Santana & Just Blaze) 108 Nike
"Come on Baby" (Saigon feat. Swizz Beatz) The Greatest Story Never Told
2008 "Live Your Life" (T.I. feat. Rihanna) 1 1 1 3 2 Paper Trail
2009 "All the Above" (Maino feat. T-Pain) 39 19 10 If Tomorrow Comes...
"Exhibit C" (Jay Electronica) 86 Act II: Patents of Nobility (The Turn)
"Gotta Believe It" (Saigon feat. Just Blaze) The Greatest Story Never Told
2010 "No Love" (Eminem feat. Lil Wayne) 23 59 9 21 33 Recovery
2011 "The Greatest Story Never Told" (Saigon) The Greatest Story Never Told
"I Love My Bitches" (Rick Ross) 72 Non-album single
2016 "Freedom" (Beyoncé feat. Kendrick Lamar) 35 21 60 40 Lemonade
2019 "Big Tyme" (Rick Ross feat. Swizz Beatz) 119 Port of Miami 2
2021 "We Win" (Lil Baby and Kirk Franklin) Space Jam: A New Legacy
2024 "Durag Bleek" (Memphis Bleek) Non-album single

Awards and nominations


Grammy Awards


The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Just Blaze has been nominated 8 times.[11]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2003 Nellyville (as producer) Album of the Year Nominated
2005 Confessions (as producer) Nominated
2006 Late Registration (as producer) Nominated
2011 Recovery (as producer) Nominated
2012 "Far Away" (as producer) Best R&B Song Nominated
2014 Good Kid, M.A.A.D City (as producer) Album of the Year Nominated
2017 Lemonade (as producer) Nominated
2022 "We Win" (as producer) Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song Nominated


  1. ^ Scott, Damien. "How a Producer for Hip-Hop's Biggest Names Hacked His Way Into the Industry". Wired. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  2. ^ "Learn Straight From Producer Just Blaze (Video) | Rap". Rap Basement. March 22, 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2011.
  3. ^ "Just Blaze to Give Live Q&A in NYC Tomorrow". Xxlmag.Com. March 22, 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2011.
  4. ^ "Just Blaze Is Putting Finishing Touches On Eminem's 'Recovery'". VIBE. April 27, 2010. Retrieved April 2, 2011.
  5. ^ "Hip-Hop Producer Just Blaze On Games, Switch and Crashing E3 With Kanye". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on April 10, 2018. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  6. ^ "What Was Chipmunk Soul?". daily.redbullmusicacademy.com. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  7. ^ "Crazy for Jay-Z - Bomani Jones". Salon.com. November 6, 2007. Archived from the original on May 4, 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2011.
  8. ^ Carter, Shawn (2010). Decoded. Spiegel & Grau. pp. 22. ISBN 978-1-4000-6892-0.
  9. ^ Sidman, Amanda P. (November 4, 2010). "BET puts new spin on NYC underground deejay scene in 'Masters of the Mix' with Just Blaze". New York Daily News. Retrieved April 2, 2011.
  10. ^ Kuperinsky Amy. "Oh boy: Just Blaze gets key to Paterson, recognition for 'outstanding cultural contribution'", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, August 1, 2018. Accessed August 8, 2019. "The music producer Just Blaze has been the pride of Paterson for a while, but now he has the key to the city.... Earlier this month, Smith collected his latest accolade when Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh presented him with a key to the city 'for outstanding cultural contribution' and the city council passed a resolution recognizing his achievements."
  11. ^ "Just Blaze Artist Grammy History". Retrieved March 9, 2023.