Beyond The Beats: Mike WiLL

Young Jeezy f/ Future “Way Too Gone” (2011)

Album: Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition

Mike WiLL:“I ran into Jeezy at Magic City, in Atlanta. That night, DJ Esco was playing all of my records for Magic City Monday. Next thing you know, Jeezy sent his manager to come holler at me about ‘TM103.’

 

I told Jeezy, ‘This is where people want to hear you at, right now. This is VIP music.’

 

“We ended up knocking out ‘Nicks 2 Bricks’ and ‘Sittin’ Low,’ but when the tracklist came out for Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition, I wasn’t anywhere on it. I said to myself, ‘Shit. I thought I was going to make it.’ He had decided to use those tracks for his mixtape The Real Is Back 2, instead.

“They had the ‘TM103’ listening party in New York, and when they came back to Atlanta that Wednesday, they hollered at me and said, ‘We’ve got to turn the album in Friday. We need you to send over a couple club records. Come to the studio.’ I’m thinking, ‘I’m not about to make the album. Let me just pull up.’

“I went to the studio, and they told me the album was almost done, they just needed something for the clubs. I thought, ‘This is where I like to come in: in the clutch.’ So I played a bunch of aggressive ‘Tupac Back’ style beats, and he had me put about five beats to the side. Then I played him the beat for ‘Way Too Gone,’ which was called ‘Champagne Campaign’ at the time.

“It’s crazy, because I had played that beat for him a while back, and I had played it for Future before, too. Future loved it when he heard it. I told Jeezy, ‘This is where people want to hear you at, right now. This is VIP music.’

“When he heard it, he said, ‘Shit. All I need is two blunts and a light.’ He knocked it out, and on Saturday, I was getting all kinds of texts from different DJ’s like, ‘Yo this shit you did on Jeezy’s album is fucking crazy!’ The engineer hit me like, ‘You’ve got Jeezy in here rearranging ‘TM103.’’

“Then, I was with Future on his birthday, and he said, ‘Yo I just did that record with Jeezy on your beat. It’s going to be one of the biggest songs of 2012.’ I got to hear the song during the mix, but when it got on the album, it was still really brand new to me, Jeezy, Future, and everyone else.”

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