The slow-burning “Brooklyn drill”-style single peaked in Billboard’s Top 40 at #22 and was his first solo hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
Only 20 years old, the East London-based producer has successfully blended equal parts of UK grime, Chicago drill, and New York’s take on trap, combining it into a unique, exciting musical subgenre. In breaking down the making of “Dior,” take particular note to how he discusses how much space and room he gives the artist to be able to both rap and ad-lib. Impressively, there’s a “less is more” to what 808 Melo does. As much as Pop Smoke was credited for having such a unique voice, the track he’s rapping over is almost specifically engineered to highlight exactly what he did, and how he did it.
Watch the making of “Dior” above.
Though not a top-ten Billboard hit, Hit-Boy notes in the video that the energy of the track still leads to moments that are “too epic.” He highlights the way that the sing-along hooks ride over the track’s scattershot percussion as particularly impressive.
Hit-Boy’s three-year stint in the G.O.O.D. Music camp yielded top-ten Billboard chart productions like Kanye West and Jay-Z collaborations “N**gas In Paris” and “Clique.” Working with Kendrick Lamar in 2013, the Los Angeles-native producer notes in the clip that he felt a brotherhood with Compton-bred K. Dot, making the collaborative process relatively simple. He takes us through the production layers that comprise the track, showing a deceptively simple brilliance to Lamar’s bell-ringing, sing-along club anthem.
Watch the making of “Backseat Freestyle” above.
The soulful trap rap ballad reached #1 on the Billboard charts six weeks after its December 6 release. As the Genius clip notes, this was accomplished without a video accompanying the track. If looking for the “secret” to the hit, there’s a nod to the Roland SRX Orchestra VST.
30 Roc is currently signed to a production deal with Mike WILL Made It‘s EarDrummers Entertainment. He has produced other notable club favorites, including Yo Gotti‘s 2017-released Nicki Minaj collaboration “Rake It Up,” and “Bartier Cardi,” Cardi B‘s 2018-released collaboration with 21 Savage. He’s also the producer of “King’s Dead,” the Black Panther soundtrack single featuring Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Future, and James Blake.
Watch the making of “The Box” above.
Shmurda’s breakthrough track was released in 2014 and peaked at No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Over the past five years, the music video has reached 590 million views on Youtube.
Jahlil Beats made a name for himself producing for Meek Mill before working with Shmurda. In the video, he breaks the hit song down layer-by-layer in FL Studio.
Watch the making of “Hot N#gga” above.
Watch the making of “Ransom” above.
Related Post: How Lil Nas X’s ‘Panini’ Was Produced
DJ Premier performs on NPR’s Tiny Desk series. (Photo source: NPR)
After close to 30 years in the game, the legendary DJ Premier is still going strong. This year alone, he started a new record label, dropped his Miguel-assisted single “2 Lovin U,” and completed a 16-city tour.
Despite his many projects, Premo recently took the time to perform on NPR and speak with Genius. Both his set and interview are available to watch below.
On Monday, the Houston-native became the first DJ ever to perform on NPR’s Tiny Desk series. Accompanied by his touring band, The Badder Band, Premo delivered a nine-song medley of some of his classic productions. He and the five-piece ensemble gave the tracks new energy.
Premo also sat down with Genius for their conversation series, Genius Level. The insightful hour-long interview covered most of his illustrious career. The former Gang Starr member reflected on his early days with the group and working with Nas, JAY-Z, and The Notorious B.I.G. He also discussed his new label, TTT (To The Top), as well as his production process.
Watch his Tiny Desk performance:
KRS-One — KRS-One Attacks
KRS-One – MC’s Act Like They Don’t Know
Das EFX — Real Hip-Hop
Nas — Nas Is Like
Jeru The Damaja — Da Bichez
Gang Starr — Step in the Arena
Gang Starr ft. M.O.P. — 1/2 & 1/2
Royce Da 5’9″ — Boom
Gang Starr — Moment of Truth
Watch his interview with Genius:
– His favorite beat (1:20)
– Producing Nas’ “N.Y. State of Mind” (2:30)
– His beginnings (5:30)
– How he started with Gang Starr (8:50)
– Working with Guru (15:30)
– Rumors of a posthumous Gang Starr album (18:50)
– What it’s like being an in-demand producer (21:00)
– Working with Biggie (22:40)
– Working with JAY-Z (26:45)
– Rumors of working with Kendrick Lamar (29:18)
– Working with D’Angelo (31:30)
– Working with Christina Aguilera (35:00)
– His current production process (37:20)
– His current projects and plans for the future (50:00)
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