Mike WiLL Made It: 10 Beats That Changed My Life

Future "Turn On The Lights" (2012)

Album: Pluto
Producer: Mike Will Made It
Label: Epic, Free Bandz

"With 'Turn On The Lights,' Future was like, 'You know it's go-time. Pull some of those beats out the chamber.' We had already done the other record that's on Pluto, 'Truth Gonna Hurt You.' We did that like a couple weeks before because he was working on his project that he had called Future Hendrix, so we did 'Truth Gonna Hurt You' and that joint came out ill. It was just different and he sounded like he was from the islands. I love 'Truth Gonna Hurt You,' that's one of my favorite songs that we did.

"Future was like, 'Pull some of the other beats out.' So I put on 'Turn On The Lights' and he was recording it. And really we were just vibing with each other in the studio and he came up with that line, 'Is that her in the V.I.P. line/With the Vuitton and Yves Laurent.' I was like, 'Record that shit. That shit is ill. You sound like a poet or some shit. He was like, 'What are we going to do for the hook?' I was like, 'I don't know, but that hook got to just be something big.'

 

Future was like, 'Man, basically you're telling me to sing it. What are you trying to turn me into, an R&B singer?' I was like, 'Bob Marley wasn't no R&B singer. You know you're not an R&B singer. You just got an ill tone.'

 

"We were just throwing different ideas and then he said, 'Turn on the lights,' and I was like, 'That's ill.' He just kept saying turn on the lights at first, and then he was like, 'I'm looking for you.' I was like, 'Just go in the booth dog, we're going to do this line by line. Fuck it.' He just went in the booth and laid down that verse, and when that part came on, 'If you wanna live better, we can buy a crib, whatever,' and at first he was just rapping it. I was like, 'You've got to run those words together,' but I didn't want to say sing it. He was like, 'Man, basically you're telling me to sing it. What are you trying to turn me into, an R&B singer?' I was like, 'Bob Marley wasn't no R&B singer. You know you're not an R&B singer. You just got an ill tone.' He laid it down and it sounded hard and he just broke out with the 'Turn on the lights' and he came with the whole hook.

 

'Turn On The Lights' ended up being the setup for 'Neva End.' It ended up busting down and opening up a lot of doors for 'Neva End.' Hella people already respected him in that light."

 

"Even when Future wanted to go with 'Turn On The Lights' for the next single, I was in Los Angeles and I met L.A. Reid and I was telling him, 'We need to push this shit all the way to the moon, this is a number one record.' L.A. Reid knew Future was ill. He knew 'Same Damn Time,' he knew 'Tony Montana,' 'Magic,' he knew the urban side of Future. When he heard 'Turn On The Lights,' L.A. Reid said he wasn't even thinking of it like a single, he was looking for the next urban record. When I was telling him, 'This is the one' and the vision that me and Future had, I was like, 'This is the one. This could be like how B.o.B. had 'Nothing On You.' It could be a big record that crosses him over.'

"When L.A. Reid heard me tell him that, he was like, 'Okay, I never really listened to this record like that. I know Future wanted to push this next, but I never really listened to it like that.' The next thing you know the record did what it did, and when I came back to Los Angeles I was like, 'Neva End' might be the follow-up.' I felt like 'Neva End' should have came first over 'Turn On The Lights,' it was a big record, so I felt like it could have been the next up. 'Turn On The Lights' ended up being the set-up for 'Neva End.' It ended up busting down and opening up a lot of doors for 'Neva End.' Hella people already respected him in that light."

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