Interview: Lex Luger Talk "Taylor Gang," His Beats Sounding The Same, & Being Scared of Kanye West

The "B.M.F." producers talks about getting advice from Kanye West, teaming up with Juicy J, and his upcoming projects.

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Complex Original

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Sometimes, dreams really do come true. Just ask Lex Luger, the 19-year-old producer who went from making beats in his basement to producing “H.A.M.”—the lead single to Kanye West and Jay-Z’s upcoming collaborative album, Watch The Throne. Luger’s life changed last year when he produced two street anthems: Rick Ross’ “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast)” and Waka Flocka Flame’s “Hard In Da Paint.” Since then, he’s gone on to produce for Fabolous, Ace Hood, Juicy J, Jim Jones, and Snoop Dogg and he’s quickly become the go-to producer for any rapper in need of a street smash. We chopped it up with the in-demand producer to talk about his latest banger, Wiz Khalifa’s “Taylor Gang,” his Rubba Band Business mixtape with Juicy J, and why all his beats sound the same.

As told to Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)

On making Wiz Khalifa’s “Taylor Gang”

“That particular beat is an old beat. That’s probably from ‘07, ‘08. I had Wiz’s e-mail because Wiz has always been kind of like an Internet guy. He’s always been all over the Internet, so when he first was really popping I hollered at him. And then he reached out to me and wanted to do some work with me. I had heard the song about a year ago. It had leaked out, but no one knew it though. And I guess he remastered it and put it out now. Wiz just got back with me recently and let me know that everybody likes it, and that he want to put it out there. And I was like ‘Yeah, go for it.’ But as far as being in the studio together, we haven’t done anything like that yet. That song is going to be on his album, but it’s going to be the iTunes bonus. [I don’t have other songs on his album] because his album is so close. But I talked to him, and he said he’d give me at least three [beats] on the next album.”

On making Kanye West and Jay-Z’s “H.A.M.”

“Kanye reached out to me. He said he and Jay were working on an album, and he told me, ‘Don’t tell nobody.’ [Laughs.] He told me that he had four good records that he liked, that I had produced, and that he was going to drop one of them for the single. I said ‘Okay, cool.’ This all happened when we were in the studio, in New York, doing ‘See Me Now’ just a few months ago. And what took so long was that I had so many beats that I kept sending them the wrong beat. I couldn’t find it because the name of the beat was ‘Six’ and I had to go through [so many] folders. If I’m in Virginia or Atlanta, I’ll name the folder that, and then [name each beat] ‘One,’ ‘Two,’ ‘Three,’ and so forth. And I had like seven folders with ‘Six’ in it, so [I would send it], and he would be like, ‘Nah, nah. That’s not the right one.’ And we were doing that through e-mails, so that was complicated. It took me a good three weeks to find it. That [opera sound on the beat] was Kanye. I liked it because he had built it around the beat I had made. The beat had a choir, but it was a regular trap, hard choir, going up and down. And what he did was, he built it around that, and made it like 600 people were really in there singing that and playing that. He put his own Kanye on it.


On the criticism that all his beats sound the same

“It is [true], in a way. But every interview I do, I try to tell them that it’s a lot more than that [‘B.M.F.’ sound]. When I’m sending out 40 beats a day to one artist, out of those 40 he might pick two just because they sound like ‘B.M.F.’ or ‘Hard In The Paint,’ and he feels like that’s his hit. I think that’s a big problem in music right now. Everybody is like, ‘Oh, he’s hot right now. I’m going to try and get something that sounds like him.’ And that’s what I feel like a lot of artists did to me because Waka was really the biggest thing at one time. So they wanted that ‘Hard In The Paint’ sound. And I was just the man behind that, so they reached out to me. So when I sent them other types of music, they were like ‘What is this?’ I want ‘B.M.F.’ or ‘Hard In The Paint. Don’t send me this.’ So what I try to do now is, I try and hold the ‘B.M.F.’ and ‘Hard In The Paint’ sound to myself. I won’t send that out. I’ll send the pop music or the R&B out to the major artists so they have to do it.”

On Rubba Band Business, his mixtape with Juicy J

“I grew up on Juicy J and I always loved his beats and his sound. He was on WorldStar dropping stuff every other week, he had something going on on the Internet. So I hit him up like, ‘Yo, I love your sound, I grew up on you, and I want to work with you.’ And he told me he loved my sound. I didn’t even know he knew who I was! So he said, ‘Let’s do a whole mixtape together.’ So I sent him about 30 beats one day, the next day I sent about another 30, and the next day 20. He called me a week later like, ‘I’m done.’ I was like, ‘Let’s do it. Lex Luger x Juicy J mixtape.’ I figured that’ll keep my name and his name buzzing, it’ll give us both the credibility we both need right now. It’s crazy because everybody that’s influenced me, I’m starting to work with.

On his upcoming projects with Waka Flocka Flame, Curren$y, & Yelawolf

Of course me and Waka are working. Yelawolf’s manager hit me up. He said Yelawolf likes my sound. He sent me Yela’s ‘B.M.F.’ freestyle and I loved it, but I really wanted to hear what his sound really was. And his sound wasn’t like a regular sound. So I went in and I didn’t make the regular Lex Luger sound. When I used to make beats, I used to just make beats. But now I treat it like a job. When an artist calls me, I go in with that in my mind. Not their sound. Like if you gotta make some beats for Jeezy, they’ll go make some beats that sound like Jeezy. I’ll go make the opposite. [The stuff I gave Yela was] really uptempo, kinda pop-ish, but has that hard club feel. Curren$y hit me up on Twitter, and said he wanted some beats, because he had done a ‘Hard In The Paint’ freestyle. [Laughs.] The Internet was going crazy with ‘Hard In The Paint’ and ‘B.M.F.’ freestyles, so everyone wanted to join in. But I ain’t send them the ‘Hard In The Paint’ or the ‘B.M.F.’ sound. Curren$y and Yelawolf, they didn’t want that.

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