Mike WiLL Made It: 10 Beats That Changed My Life

Rihanna "Pour It Up" (2012)

Album: Unapologetic
Producer: Mike Will Made It
Label: Def Jam

"I listen to all types of music. My iTunes will be on shuffle, so I might listen to Foster The People, then that might go straight to a Gucci Mane song, then that might go off to a Rihanna song. It's just all over the place. I've been watching Rihanna for so long and I'm a big fan of her music. With Rihanna, she's not scared to be different.

 

'Pour It Up' is a very different sound for her. It wasn't really just like an unorthodox sound for music because it had the same type of feel of Juicy J's 'Bandz A Make Her Dance,' but it was definitely a totally different record because it's a pop artist singing on it versus a dope rap artist rapping on it.

 

"I had a No. 1 record with 2 Chainz's 'No Lie,' I had a good relationship over there at Def Jam, and I was dealing with Karen Kwak. She's always involved with a lot of Rihanna projects, and Karen texted me like, 'Rihanna wants some shit that she'd be hearing in the club. She wants to go to the club. I was telling her she needs to fuck with you.' I'm like, You damn right.' The next thing you know I'm out there in the studio and we're just vibing out.

"We were doing some records, like the big Rihanna stadium-sounding records, and still mixing it with a little bit of the hood shit. We were just trying to do the medium instead of taking it all the way hood. But they were like, 'You need to take this all the way hood.' I was like, 'I want to make this go hood.' So, I pulled that beat out.

 

I felt like that song in particular was just a game-changing record because it's a trendsetting track. It's like when urban hip-hop records were on the top of pop charts in the '90s like Diddy, Dr. Dre, and Timbaland.

 

"It was different because you have never heard anybody do nothing like this in music. I felt if she had cut all three of those records, it would he have been big. 'Pour It Up' is a very different sound for her. It wasn't really just like an unorthodox sound for music because it had the same type of feel of Juicy J's 'Bandz A Make Her Dance,' but it was definitely a totally different record because it's a pop artist singing on it versus a dope rap artist rapping on it. I really feel like that's a game-changing record. It was definitely a change of sound for her.

"I felt like that song in particular was just a game-changing record because it's a trendsetting track. It's like when urban hip-hop records were on the top of pop charts in the '90s like Diddy, Dr. Dre, and Timbaland. Now you have David Guetta, and I salute David Guetta to the upmost, he came through and changed the whole sound of pop. But pop music doesn't have just one sound. Pop music is whatever's popular."

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