T-Minus Explains How He Crafted the Beat for Drake's "The Motto"

"You can do a lot with just four sounds, five sounds."

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Drake and Toronto producer T-Minus go way back. After meeting each other through Boi-1da in 2010, the Ontario natives have collaborated on a number of records, including "Replacement Girl," "HYFR," "Make Me Proud," "Blem," and "Sacrifices." But perhaps their biggest, and most beloved, hit was 2011’s "The Motto"—a bonus track from Drake’s sophomore album, Take Care.

More than five years after its release, T-Minus has shared more details about the record and how he crafted the simple, yet catchy, beat. He told Genius that Drake approached him about the track toward the end of Take Care’s recording.  

"When Drake had contacted me he said he wanted something up-tempo and something simple. So it was a really last-minute process," he explained. "And I put together something really simple. It took me maybe like 30-45 minutes to make the beat. Sent it to him. He ended up writing the record, recording it. The day after, he said the song was already done."

T-Minus said the most important element of a simple song is bass, which is why he used an 808 pattern as the foundation. He then added a snare, bass slide, and a clap he copped from Lil Wayne’s "Bill Gates," which was produced by Boi-1da.

"You can do a lot with just four sounds, five sounds," he said. "It’s all about just putting everything together and everything kind of meshing and molding."

The interview is a part of Genius’ Deconstructed series. You can check out the full video above.  

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