Tay Keith had a monster 2018, emerging from Memphis to produce some of the year’s defining hits, including Drake’s “Nonstop,” Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode,” and BlocBoy JB’s “Look Alive.” With a Grammy nomination and college degree in hand, he has now earned the distinction as Complex’s Best Hip-Hop Producer Alive in 2018.

Naturally, the 22-year-old isn’t content with all the accolades. Sitting down with Complex to discuss his breakout year, Keith says his focus is squarely on his plans for a follow-up. He’s currently plotting the release of his first solo material, which will arrive this summer. “My first single got Sheck Wes and Yachty,” he reveals.

Mentioning JAY-Z and Dr. Dre as artists he’d like to work with next, Keith looks even further into his own future and suggests a self-imposed expiration date on his career. “I plan to retire at 50,” he discloses. “When I’m done, I ain’t touching no more keyboards.” And what will the recent graduate do when he’s finished with music? “When I hit 50, I want to go be a professor.”

Fortunately, that means we have 28 more years of Tay Keith beats. He hints that, in the future, we’ll be hearing plenty more collaborations with Drake. “Man, we never stopped cooking up,” he says of his ongoing work with the Toronto rapper. “It’s just timing. You don’t want to just drop all your shit in one day.”

Complex’s Speedy Morman caught up with Tay Keith for a conversation about the producer’s whirlwind 2018 and what he has planned next. The video interview is below, followed by a lightly edited transcript of the full discussion.

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