DJ Toomp Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records

Kanye West f/ T-Pain "Good Life" (2007)


Album: Graduation
Label: Roc-A-Fella Records

DJ Toomp: “Kanye was staying in a hotel down in Atlanta while working on Graduation. When it came time for us to work on 'Good Life,' it was a lot of people in the studio—a lot of the G.O.O.D Music crew. Ye don’t smoke, but he’d just have a drink here and there, and it felt like a party up in there while working on that record. John Legend came through and Big Sean was there a lot as well. At the time folks really didn’t know who [Big Sean] was, but I knew about him because I heard about his buzz up in Detroit.

“When me and Kanye started working together we started off in my studio but Ye was like, 'Yo man, if we had some company, some girls come through, where they gon’ sit?' And I was like, 'Ain’t enough room for that man,' and he was like, 'We need to rent a bigger studio.' So we went and rented Doppler over in Buckhead. Ye would have like six or seven women come in just to listen to records and play them music, then he’ll be like, 'Aye, nice meeting ya’ll. Thank you!'

“The making of 'Good Life' started off with Ye playing with a Michael Jackson sample, 'PYT.' All of a sudden he was like, 'Yo, I always wanted to do something with this…I want to hear it in a different key.' So we just started playing with the sample and he sent it over to me. Because we were in the same room, he just transferred the sounds over to my keyboard and I started playing with it, then he started singing the melody and started putting the bassline with it. It was crazy. We just started playing with the sample and once we got it in the right key we wanted, that’s when he started singing the melody and I started adding more to the beat. We then had a few players to come in with the synthesizers and the shit was crazy.”

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