"WAP" Engineer Explains How the Cardi B Hit Was Crafted During the Pandemic

Evan LaRay Brunson spoke to Grammy.com about how "WAP" was crafted during the COVID-19 lockdowns, and teased Cardi's forthcoming studio album.

Cardi B

Image via Getty/Prince Williams/Wireimage

Cardi B

If it weren't for the lockdowns, Cardi B's "WAP" may have never seen the light of day.

Less than two weeks after the record-breaking hit was released, Cardi's go-to music engineer revealed how the track was created amid the global health crisis. Evan LaRay Brunson told Grammy.com that the Bronx rapper had recorded the first verse to "WAP" back in 2019, but didn't revisit the track until we were all urged to self-isolate. Brunson said that during the first three months of the pandemic, he, Cardi, and members of her team rented a house in California and equipped it with recording essentials. It was during this time that the Grammy-winning rapper decided to finally complete "WAP."

"We had that song since last year. Since COVID-19 happened, we were going over songs, and she was like, 'I like this,'" Brunson recalled. "She caught the vibe again and laid the second verse down."

The engineer/producer didn't know about Megan Thee Stallion's involvement until April or May, after the two rappers connected through their stylists.

"As far as the recording process, it’s sort of the same," Brunson said. "The only thing different is the artists weren’t in the studio together. But, now, people send verses over. We’ll be on FaceTime coming up with ideas. We can do Zoom recording. That’s what we’ve been doing. We’ve been at the house recording."

Brunson said Cardi treats recording sessions almost like a work shift in which she clocks in and out. He said this routine allowed Cardi to spend time with her daughter, Kulture; however, fears over the virus resulted in longer studio sessions.

Per Grammy.com:

Brunson remembers Cardi’s daughter Kulture being in New York City with her grandparents during the beginning of the pandemic as "Cardi was afraid to even see her because she wasn't risking flying." Outside of going home to see her husband Offset, Brunson doesn’t remember Cardi being outside of the studio house much over the three-month recording period.

Brunson said Cardi completed about 15 songs during those months under lockdown, and confirmed she was going in a much more personal direction.

"We have two personal ones right now. One is a real R&B one and one is a little more uptempo," he said. "Both the songs are really her experience as far as motherhood, being on the shows, wanting to come back, marriage, media pressure on her family, she makes it really personal."

Brunson also teased a smash hit on Cardi's long-awaited sophomore album, but he indicated fans probably won't hear it until we get closer to the project's release: "[Cardi] was like, 'We’re going to save that until we feel we’re ready for the album to come out.'"

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