There's lots of talented young producers on the rise right now, but Mike WiLL Made It is making his presence felt in a big way. Best known for producing Meek Mill’s “Tupac Back” and Future’s “Ain’t No Way Around It,” Mike Will is quickly establishing himself as the go-to heatmaker for some of hip-hop’s biggest stars.
His latest banger to set the rap scene ablaze is “No Lie”—2 Chainz’s Drake-assisted first single, which was released last Tuesday—with a video already in the works. We caught up with the man behind the boards to find out just how “No Lie” came together and what other surprises Mike WiLL’s got in store for us in the near future.
As told to Julian Pereira (@Broadway_Jay)
On 2 Chainz f/ Drake “No Lie”
“2 Chainz and I have a history. It’s always an honor and pleasure working with him, because it seems like everything we do is dope. We just have that organic chemistry. I’ve been rocking with him since 2008, when he was Tity Boi. That was before he switched his name up and started doing his solo thing. We’re kind of like family.
“We’ve been working all these years to catch a single together, but in the past, big dogs like Drumma Boy would always come up with the craziest joints, like ‘Spend It’ and ‘Boo.’ We thought we had a single together once before, with ‘La La’ on Codeine Cowboy, but it was too slow, and ‘Spend It’ became his single instead.
I heard it one time and I told him, ‘Bro, you don’t even have to play it back. I already know what that is, because I can sit here and tell you the hook right now. If I can recite the hook after only one listen, then it’s a wrap. That’s what you call a hit record.'
“Going into his album, he reached out to me and said, ‘Bro, it’s album time. It’s time to get them ones.’ So I went down to Atlanta and started playing all of my craziest joints. I played him chick records, hard records—all that shit. He laid one down immediately, which he’s using for his album. Then he took the beat for ‘No Lie’ and said, ‘Man, I’m going to do something big with this. Don’t give this to anybody.’
“I gave Tit the track around January or February, and I think he knocked it out around March. One thing that I like about 2 Chainz is that, when he fucks with my beats, he won’t just throw anything on there. He tells me that he walks around with the beat in his iPod, listening to it over and over in his Dre’s while he’s traveling. He takes his time and makes sure he makes the right record.
“I’m not really sure, but I would say it had to be around March that Drake got on it. I had been holding it down for 2 Chainz—not letting anyone else get the beat—when he called me one morning, at like 6:00 am. He was excited, and he kept telling me, ‘Bro, we got one. We’ve finally got a single.’ He forwarded me the texts that he and Drake had sent, and Drake was talking about how he had killed it. He was like, ‘Man, that’s Drake. I can’t wait for you to hear this shit.’
“I ended up going on the road with him, to a couple of his shows, and he let me hear the record for the first time, when we were on the tour bus. It was crazy. I heard it one time and I told him, ‘Bro, you don’t even have to play it back. I already know what that is, because I can sit here and tell you the hook right now. If I can recite the hook after only one listen, then it’s a wrap. That’s what you call a hit record.’ At that point, we were just waiting on the May 1st release date.
“I knew it was something that would get stuck in people’s heads. The song dropped May 1st, and I can promise you that on May 2nd, motherfuckers were walking around singing ‘No lie, no lie, no lie,’ even when they weren’t actually listening to the song.”
Plans For The Future
“I’m just expanding my sound and making it bigger. B.o.B’s album dropped yesterday, and I did a record on it called ‘Just A Sign,’ which is like a hood pop song. I’ve also been working with Drake, Jeremih, Rocko, Ludacris, I’ve got a joint with Brandy, called ‘Do You Know,’ three joints on Future’s album, and I produced Gucci Mane’s next single, ‘Plain Jane,’ featuring Rocko and T.I.
I’ve been working with Kanye West, Big Sean, and Pusha T. Kanye’s like family. He’s like a big brother. We haven’t officially locked anything in yet, but he’s taught me a lot.
“Other than that, I’ve been working with Kanye West, Big Sean, and Pusha T. Kanye’s like family. He’s like a big brother. We haven’t officially locked anything in yet, but he’s taught me a lot of shit, and hopefully we’ll have some stuff coming out in the future.
“Also look out for the production company that I’m building, called Eardrummers Entertainment, which is the other tag you hear on my beats. I’ve got a couple of dope young guys on my squad, who I’m trying to build up and turn into producers. When it’s time for them to come out, I want them to be better than their competition. It’s a production movement. Whoever has a next-level ear needs to be an Eardrummer.”