Young Thug's Barter 6 was controversial even before it was released. The Atlanta star originally wanted to call the project Carter 6 to pay homage to his idol, Lil Wayne. But that didn't fly. In the midst of Wayne's ongoing legal battles with Birdman and Cash Money Records, Thug posted an Instagram video announcing that he was changing the title because some "fuck ass niggas tryin’ to sue just like some hoes." Still, even with the change of the title, the project was well received by Thug's rapidly growing fan-base and looked at as a major step in his career.
Since Thugga has worked extensively with producers Metro Boomin and London On Da Track, it was somewhat of a surprise that the majority of his major label debut was handled by a relatively unknown 22-year-old producer by the name of Wheezy. Wheezy, who hails from Vicksburg, Miss. but traveled to Atlanta every summer with his dad, has a pretty extensive catalog and has worked with Rich Homie Quan, Rich Gang, T.I., Rocko, Bankroll Fresh, and countless more from the budding Atlanta scene. Even with his buzzing track record, Wheezy is still a mystery to most fans, and while he isn't yet signed to a label, he has a clear idea of where he wants his career to go. We spoke with the 22-year-old producer about his experiences working with Thug, what it was like being on the road for the Rodeo tour, how he got his name, and more.
Zach Frydenlund is a news writer for Complex Music. Follow him @ThaRealPChopz.
When did you start producing?
I started producing when I was 15 and as I got older my sound started maturing. It really just started from being in the studio, and [watching] older cats making beats. My older brother was rapping and I learned the software, kept doing it, and progressed. Just going in and sharing thoughts. I came up with Metro Boomin, we was all on the Internet doing things. We all met each other through the underground scene. It's crazy cause everyone that's popping now came up together, and it's meant to be. Metro, London On Da Track, Beat Monster, 808 Mafia, it's just crazy how it's going, like it's falling in line.
Who were some of the artists and producers that helped you break onto the scene?
Right when I got out of high school, in 2009, we started to get it. I started working with Shad Da God from Hustle Gang; T.I.'s cousin. We dropped a lot of shit in the underground street scene. That's how it really clicked—with Grand Hustle and Hustle Gang.
Who were some producers that inspired you growing up?
As far as making beats go, I came up listening to Shawty Redd. I fucked with Kanye's production. I was fucking with Drumma Boy.
How did you come up with your producer name?
Well my Name is Wes, and from there I thought "Weezy" but I changed it to Wheezy once a lot of people started feeling like I was affiliated with other rappers.
How did you link up with Thug?
We had the same friends, my close friend Pee Wee Roscoe introduced us. From there we built up that artist and producer bond from going in day to day in the studio.
What are your thoughts on the drama between Thug and Wayne right now in general?
My take on the situation is that Thug and Wayne are in two different lanes: Thug is a rising star and Lil Wayne is an icon. Both should make more music [together], and I would like to work with Wayne in the near future. Nothing but up from here, you dig?
What were the Barter 6 sessions like?
They were crazy cause when half of the project was finished, we got straight on the road for the [Rodeo] tour. It just happened all of a sudden—we started doing the tracklist but we have tons and tons of music, it just sort of fell in place. His upcoming album is going to be crazy.
What's it like working with Thug compared to other artists?
Slime can go in the booth and do a song within five minutes off the top of the head and it will come out brilliant. Homie will go in the booth and make a song so fucking quick. Two verses and everything will make sense. He's a fast-paced worker. It really helps my craft because he works so fast I have to keep up. The Hy!£UN35 is Barter 6 times 10 and overdosing on drugs.
Who are some other artists you've been working with these days?
We got the Shad Da God mixtape coming out in late May. I got a lot of production on there. I got shit coming with TIP. Then me and TM, from 808 Mafia, we got some... I don't know if you've heard of Lil Uzi, but we got something crazy.
Do you like working with other producers on songs or going the solo route?
Oh, yeah. We get together to vibe in the studio and cook up on each other's laptops. Most of the producers we got on the scene, we all use the same FL Studio. During the tour, me and Metro cooked up a lot, being the only producers on the tour. We cooked up a lot with Travi$ Scott and Thug.
Where are the Travi$, Thug, and Metro collaborations going to end up?
I'm not even sure which one it's going on yet. I know we made one for Travis and we made one for Thug, so we'll just have to see.