Supah Mario doesn’t reside in one of the country’s major music hubs, but that hasn’t stopped him from making his mark on the current hip-hop scene.
The South Carolina resident received his first big break several years ago, when he landed a producer credit on Young Thug’s 2014 record “2 Cups Stuffed.” Since then, Supah has worked with a number of big-name artists, including Ty Dolla Sign, 2 Chainz, Waka Flocka, and Wyclef Jean; however, one of his most notable achievements was when he secured a beat on Drake’s 2017 project More Life.
“My first real connection with Drake—when we first interacted—was when I did “Ice Melts,” Supah told Complex. “That was supposed to be one of Thug’s songs, but Drake ended up taking it. After More Life came out, he followed me on Instagram, and we’ve been working together ever since then.”
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
I know you’ve worked with Drake in the past, but how did you get involved with Scorpion?
Drake usually hits me up, and asks for beats at this point. He’ll be like, “Yo, if you have any new shit, send it through.” Sometimes he’ll hit me up, other times I’ll hit him up. At this point, it’s mutual.
I’ve actually never met him in person. I make a bunch of beats and send them to him. Nine times out of 10, it’s a shot in the dark, but I send him beats on a regular basis; the beat [on “Blue Tint”] was just the one he happened to pick. That’s the mood that he was in at the time.
Can you tell me how you created the beat? What was it like co-producing (with !llmind, Taz Taylor, and JRHitmaker)?
There is a lot of speculation about that, because there are four producers listed on the record. I produced the record and I arranged it. I have samples that I used from !llmind and from Taz Taylor and from JRHitmaker.
I’m always looking online to find samples that I can flip and manipulate. And I found two samples that happened to work well together. They were both in the same key. I layered them, did a couple rearrangements to them, reversed them, laid some drums—stuff like that. All of this was created at my house. I was literally sitting on my couch in my living room, chilling with my kids. I just made it right there with some headphones on.
Did you know Future would be featured on the track?
I actually didn’t. I found out when I first heard the song. I think they were trying to keep me in the dark. [Laughs.] But I didn’t know Future was on it until the song came out.
What were your first impressions of the track?
I was impressed. For the past six days, I was sitting around, crossing my fingers, hoping that the record would be a standout on the album, because I’m used to my tracks being later on the project list.
There’s this feeling that you get when you hear the first one, two, or three tracks on an album, because that’s the hypest part of the album. So I was hoping my record was at the beginning of Scorpion, so it could hit right away. But it’s still great for everyone who listened to it all the way through.
Once I heard [“Blue Tint”], I was like, “Wow.” Everything that I was hoping for came true. He did the record justice. And his melody on top of the beat? Perfect.
I saw you posted a message on Instagram thanking Drake for his support. What is it like working with him compared to other artists?
This is my favorite question to answer. I like to brag about him because I’m a producer who’s not used to how the industry works. People get a slight bit of success, and it feels like after they get their fame, they move on to the next producer. After the little bit of success I had working with Thug and doing “Ice Melts” with Drake, I was just in limbo at that point. I didn’t know who was going to work with me, because nobody was calling me. There are new producers emerging every day, so I was a little bit worried. I was like, “Man, I’m not having any luck.”
At some point I was on Instagram talking to Drake and was telling him, “Yo, bro. I really hope I land something on your project, because I don’t really have much going on right now. I’m a little worried about it.” And then he told me—well, the way I took it—he was, like, “I got your back. Don’t worry about that. We’re gonna make sure you get on this album.”
He’s not pretentious like a lot of these other guys, get it? Even at his level of success, it’s just crazy that he has time to check through all these millions of messages and talk to me. He won my respect in that regard.
Was “Blue Tint” the only beat you created for Scorpion? Or were there others that didn’t make the cut?
We had actually created about three or four songs. I hit up on Instagram one day, and was like, “Yo, bro. Which song made the album? I need to know which beat it is. The suspense is killing me.” He told me it was going to be a beat called 'Dreams and Nightmares'; I originally had Big K.R.I.T. in mind when I first made it. Big K.R.I.T. and I are really close, but he didn’t end up using it, so he was cool with me getting rid of it. I started sending it out again, and Drake was the first person to actually bite on it.
What’s next for you? Do you have plans to work with Drake in the future?
Absolutely. I’m helping to executive produce a few projects. I’m producing on Chaz French’s upcoming project, still working closely with Big K.R.I.T., just did some records with Bun B—you know, some of the greats. I like working with the older heads, too.
There’s a lot on the table, but I don’t wanna speak on too much because things might change. But I definitely plan on working with Drake in the future. At this point, we’re at least starting to build a chemistry, starting to learn each other’s sounds. So hopefully, the opportunity comes again.