Meek Mill f/ Rick Ross "Tupac Back" (2011)
Album: MMG Presents: Self Made, Vol. 1
Producer: Mike Will Made It, Marz
Label: Maybach Music Group, Warner Bros.
"That was a monstrous track to me. It had a lot of energy to it. With Rick Ross coming off of 'B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast),' that song was the perfect sound. I've known Lex Luger for a minute, so this is the sound I bang to. We needed to do something like that with Ross because I had the 'Tupac Back' track. I was playing that track and I also sent a track that I did for Ludacris, 'I'm On Fire,' along with 'King Of Diamonds' that Rick also did.
I'm all about the new next talent. That's who I really came in the game with. I was messing with Gucci [Mane] when folks weren't really messing with him. Waka [Flocka Flame] is my best friend.
"He said he heard the 'Tupac Back' beat and he ended up doing the hook right away. He sent it to Meek Mill. They're telling me Meek Mill got on that, but at the time, I didn't know who Meek Mill was and they were like, 'He's this kid out of Philly that Ross is fucking with.' I'm all about fucking with the new next talent. That's who I really came in the game with. I was messing with Gucci [Mane] when folks weren't really messing with him. Waka [Flocka Flame] is my best friend. I feel like that's more ill than just chasing whoever's on top at the time.
"I got the track through one of Maybach Music's A&Rs. Ross did the hook, he gave it to Meek Mill. Meek Mill laced it. Then I was like, 'Tupac Back?' It's already a controversial title, even though he's not disrespecting Tupac in any kind of way. People are going to want to click on that song. You've got the people that don't want to let Tupac rest in peace that say, 'He's going to come back.' Even though they don't know what he's talking about on the track at first, they'll want to click on that title.
That song just ended up taking off. That's when I fell in love with Meek Mill's style of music. He's got the most energy. Nobody slacked up on that track at all.
"That song just ended up taking off. That's when I fell in love with Meek Mill's style of his music. He's got the most energy. Nobody slacked up on that track at all. I feel like the beat hit the most energy, Rick Ross came with the most energy, Meek Mill came with the most energy, and I just feel like that was a jumpstart for me and Meek Mill. He had been doing his thing on the mixtape scene before that. I had already been doing my thing on the mixtape scene as well. It was a jumpstart for both of our careers.
"We had already had our local buddies. Meek Mill had his in Philly and up North. I had mine in Atlanta and down South, so I was used to cars riding around playing the songs I had with Gucci, Shawty Lo, 2 Chainz, and Future, but I wasn't used to a song being [that big]. That was the first time I had a video on TV. That was my first song on the Billboard charts. That was the first song I could get one of my aunts to realize [what I'm doing.]
That was an imprint in hip-hop, because it brought all the rappers out. Everyone had their own freestyle version.
"The semester before that, I was in college. I was going for business but really was going for my dad. Both of my sisters graduated college, so I wasn't going to be the oddball. I was talking to my pops like, 'Man, fuck this school shit. I've got to start focusing on this music.' He was like, 'You've got to take a break from music for a minute and focus on school. Music is not going nowhere.' I'm like, 'Well shit, school is not going nowhere either. I'm going to focus on this music.' The next semester, I ended up not registering for classes. That's when Dirty Sprite came out, that's when 'Tupac Back' came out, that's when Tity Boi's 'La La' came out with Busta Rhymes.
"Even with the artists I'm working with now, it really changed their view. They always rolled with me. They knew I was talented. It shows, 'Oh, this dude can really do me a single. He just did a single that shook the nation.' That shit was an imprint in hip-hop, because it brought all the rappers out. Everyone had their own freestyle version. They were bringing back all the old rappers that had died already, saying each person is back. I felt like that was a big trek in hip-hop, when all the artists I was working with were like, 'This my dude. We can do the singles right here.'"