When producer LilJuMadeDaBeat crafted the beat for Megan Thee Stallion’s track "Hiss" last year, he didn't consider it anything remarkable at the time. Having collaborated for years and produced viral hits such as 2018’s “Big Ole Freak” and 2020’s “Body,” Ju and Megan had established a strong working relationship and had settled into a comfortable routine of simply making music together. “I thought we were just making another song,” the Dallas producer tells Complex of his initial thoughts during the song’s creation.
"Hiss" wasn’t merely "another song” though; it became a No. 1 hit. On Feb. 5, Billboard confirmed it debuted atop the Hot 100 charts, marking Megan's first solo No. 1 and her third overall. She now joins Cardi B as the second female rapper in U.S. history to achieve multiple chart-topping records. Although LilJuMadeDaBeat didn't anticipate the track's ascent to No. 1, he attributes its success to "Megan rapping, rapping."
While the track garnered significant acclaim, particularly for Megan's raw and authentic lyrics, which included fired shots at her detractors and fellow artists in the music industry, it also faced considerable backlash within the first 72 hours of its release. Most notably, Nicki Minaj and her fan base, the Barbz, expressed their fury on social media with aggressive posts and rants. Nicki Minaj was never explicitly mentioned on Megan’s record, but took great offense to the line, “These hoes mad at Megan's Law,” which was perceived to be a reference to Nicki’s husband, who is a registered sex offender. Alongside hurling vicious insults on social media, Nicki also responded directly to Megan with a track titled “Big Foot.”
When questioned about his thoughts on the aftermath following the release of "Hiss," Ju remarked: “I'm really over that whole situation. I'm just glad it's over. We went No. 1, and it is what it is.”
Currently, Ju's primary focus is on celebrating their significant achievement and looking ahead to what's next, particularly Megan Thee Stallion’s upcoming project, which he describes as "amazing." For more insights into the creation of "Hiss," the surrounding controversy, and Megan’s forthcoming musical endeavors, check out what LilJuMadeDaBeat had to share below.
Congrats on getting No. 1 with “Hiss.” Did you expect the single to be as big of a hit as it has been?
No, actually, I didn’t, because this song doesn't even have a hook. I figured it was going to make some noise, but I didn’t think it was going to go No. 1.
As you kind of suggested, this isn’t your typical No. 1 song. What do you think made the track so good? Why does it work?
It's just Meg being in her bag doing the Megan thing, like, just rapping, rapping, good.
Out of all of the singles that you and Megan have previously worked on, was there one you thought would be bigger than it was?
Maybe “Body” would have went higher on the charts. Even though “Body” was a hit in itself, maybe it would have went higher on the charts if we didn't drop it during Christmastime. It was a viral hit at least, but I think it only peaked at No. 11.
Can you walk me through the process of creating “Hiss”?
We probably made “Hiss” in maybe May or June. She already had the first verse written to a different beat. I don't remember exactly. But we went to the studio, me, her; I brought Bankroll Got It with me randomly. I was at their studio and Megan called me to come to the studio, so I just brought him with me. When we got there, like I said, she had like half of the first verse, maybe the whole first verse, and we just sat there and built the beat. I made it on my computer. Bankroll Got It had their computer on the other side, and they sent me a few ideas to put into the beat. So I started the beat on my computer. Me and Megan were trying to figure out what she wanted to go around her vocals, and then we just started making a beat. And that was just another song. I didn't know it was going to be a No. 1 or any of that. I thought we were just making another song.
What did you think of the lyrics when you heard the verse she already had written?
Oh, I already knew that this was going to be a very controversial song, obviously because of what she said on there. But she was nervous, and I was like, “Just do it. Everybody been on your case—just do it.”
"I'm really over that whole situation. I'm just glad it's over. We went No. 1, and it is what it is."
So when it came to building the beat, what were the first stages of that creation process?
So that piano that plays the whole time, I want to say that's the first thing I started with. She had cut those vocals, the little verse that she had, and then sent me the a cappella, and then we started building the beat around a cappella. So I started with the piano first and then the drums, and then Bankroll Got It sent me the little sprinkles and the little choir sound, and it just came together.
When “Hiss” dropped, the Internet was on fire. Were you all looking at the feedback online, or did you kind of just drop it and shut off all your devices?
I was actually at her house when the song dropped in, and we was looking at social media. I ain’t going to lie to you—we were definitely looking at social media and seeing everybody’s reactions.
What did you all see from the feedback online? Was it equal love and hate, or did it lean to a particular side?
It was mostly love; like obviously, it's going to be hate, because that's just how rap is. It can be subjective. But it was mainly love for sure.
As we said, “Hiss” created a lot of controversy and noise online. Most notably, Nicki Minaj and her fan base made a lot of commotion. Since your name was brought up in those first 72 hours, is there anything you would like to say or clear up?
I'm really over that whole situation. I'm just glad it's over. We went No. 1, and it is what it is.
How did you and Megan Thee Stallion first link up? What was your initial reaction like?
I met Megan in 2017. So the label that she was signed in, 1501, I was the main producer there before she even got signed. T. Farris, her everyday manager, I've been know T. Farris since 2012, 2013, and he was just telling me I have time to stay down. It's going to be my turn soon. And when they started 1501, I was the first producer he called. I did the majority of the music for all the acts that they had over there, and then they ended up signing Megan. I feel like Megan came to the studio for the first time, like December 2017, and literally that time, I gave her the “Big Ole Freak” beat amongst others on the very first time that we met.
"That’s definitely what I've been working on for the past eight months to a year. We’re doing new stuff with the old stuff, but it sounds amazing."
What makes you all mesh so well?
She just feels as strongly about the music as I do, and that's the only way it's going to work for real. You gotta have somebody who's on your side that's thinking about getting to the destination with you and trying to find transportation to the destination.
How does your relationship work when it comes to making music?
I say after T. Farris, I'm probably the only other person that she has listened to, for real. Because we have built that strong rapport over time. Like she is going to take some of my ideas. Sometimes she doesn't, but she’s going to listen to my ideas.
What about your production style makes you stand out or be a go-to producer for artists?
I've been doing this for so long. I know the ins and outs of this. I can easily bring music in, and just in doing that, I have built my own sound. So people want it, and I'm just excited that people want it after all these years of doing this.
What are you currently working on that we should know about?
Obviously Megan’s album finna drop soon. But I’m just working. It's a new year, and starting off the year number one, so I'm just looking forward to everything in store for this year.
What can you tell us about Megan’s forthcoming album? What should fans expect as far as tone and sound?
That’s definitely what I've been working on for the past eight months to a year. We’re doing new stuff with the old stuff, but it sounds amazing.
So can we expect more aggressive bars and messages like “Hiss,” or are we returning to a sound like “Big Ole Freak”?
All of the above, everything. Everything that the people love Megan for, that’s what she’s going to give them.
What are your goals for the rest of the year?
I want to work with as many artists as possible that makes sense. Just a historical year. And we already starting it off right.
What’s the most important thing people should know about you right now?
I do this music stuff for real, and they will see real soon even. They already been seeing, but they will see [more] real soon.