T-Minus is a name you might not know, but probably should learn. Born Tyler Williams, this Toronto-based producer of Jamaican descent has been on the scene for a few years, making beats for the likes of Birdman, Plies, and Lyfe Jennings. Although he really made a name for himself last year with Ludacris' chart smash "How Low," he's looking to have an even bigger 2011. He's already produced the exceptional T.I. cut "Poppin' Bottles"—a Drake-featured track from No Mercy—as well as Nicki Minaj's "Moment 4 Life" which looks like the next single. We got on the horn with the 22-year-old to talk about how "Moment 4 Life" came about, how Wiz Khalifa's version of "Poppin' Bottles" leaked before T.I.'s version, and how he's currently working on Drake's Take Care as well as Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV.
As told to Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin).
On producing songs for Drake's Take Care...
"I talk to Drake on a regular basis. Man, I've known Drake from a long time ago. I've known him since "Replacement Girl" days, me and Boi-1da produced that. But what happened was, because me and Boi-1da weren't working that much together, and because Boi-1da was so close to Drake, we didn't really get to talk as much. But about three months ago, we kind of hooked back up in L.A., and he invited me onto Take Care. We're all working on his album; me, 40, and Boi-1da.
"I was just in the studio for three days in Toronto with Drake and T-Pain, trying to come up with some records. Drake just went on tour, so when he gets back we're probably going to get back in the studio to do some more work. But his album is a work in progress. [The other day] I was up for 24 hours because we were at the studio the entire night. The new songs were a mix of [rapping and singing]. He actually just did a record in the studio with 40, and man it sounded crazy. It was more of a R&B record, and T-Pain was on it as well, but man, when that finished product comes out it's going to be nuts. I think he's probably going to drop like in the fall, possibly October. But I'm not too sure."
On producing songs for Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV
"Me and Drake had this record that we were going to put on Take Care, but 40 put this crazy mix on it and just made the beat bang—and after Wayne heard the mix that 40 did he was just like, 'Wow, I've got to use this for my album.' So yeah, I'm on the Tha Carter IV. The record is called 'Maybe She Will.' Things could change, but so far, it's Wayne, and they got a verse from Ross, and they got Drake on the hook. I never even heard Wayne's verse. I briefly met Wayne a few weeks ago, when I was in New York, and it was really short, like a few seconds meeting him. It was a session that we were having for Wayne and Drake. Boi-1da was there, too. But Wayne's project, they're trying to wrap it up really soon. He's got a bunch of songs ready for the album. He's just got to get a few more done, and then they're going to push it out."