How’s Drake’s new album coming along?
We were actually just up in New York working, Lil Wayne was in there, too. I gave him stuff for Tha Carter IV. Man, 2011 is going to be a good year for music. Drake’s in tip top shape and what’s amazed me is that lyrically he’s gotten better. He was already an outstanding lyricist but now I’m just in anticipation of what people are going to think when they hear his new music.
Do you think he’s out to prove himself more as a rapper and lyricist?
Yeah, I know a lot of people had criticized him for singing, but I think he’s just coming back to show people why they fell in love with him, like ‘did you forget about me?.’ And it’s really coming out in his raps. It’s something I can’t even really explain it.
You also produced Keri’s record with J. Cole, “Buyou.”
Honestly, I love that song. Keri killed it, my boy Bei Major co-wrote and co-produced it as well. I was in the studio with Keri while she recorded her part. I remember, Polow Da Don also came and put his stamp of approval on it. But Keri came up with the whole concept and really it just followed the theme of her album. Bei Major and I kind of tried to picture the process of a chick going out with a broke dude [laughs]—all things that would tick her off. It’s song that’s really about female frustration. I think a lot of women can relate to that, any of them who have dated a broke ass guy in her life.
Did you put any personal experiences into that song?
[Laughs] Nah, I’ve never relied on a woman for money at any time in my life. I really can’t relate.
We were all shocked to see Soulja Boy only sell 13k in his first week with his latest album. You produced his single “Speakers Going Hammer,” what do you think happened there?
I don’t think they pushed that project out properly. Personally, I couldn’t even find the album in stores. Rihanna and Justin Bieber was all in front of the store, and they had Soulja’s all the way in the back somewhere. The average fan is not going to go dig in the back of the store for it. It should have been in the front with the rest of the new releases. I don’t think his numbers have anything to do with him falling off or anything like that, but it just wasn’t placed properly. All the people that I know that were on the album too, said the same thing.
Whose albums are you looking forward to in 2011?
I’m looking forward to Tha Carter IV, Drake’s Take Care of course , Ross’ new album, Nicole Scherzinger… who else… everybody on Young Money and Cash Money.
Before you get back to shopping, give me you your top five beats of 2010.
I think it was 2009, but I still love “Fear” by DJ Khalil for Drake, so I have to include it. Definitely “Kush” by Dr. Dre, “B.M.F.” by Lex Luger, Ross’ “Aston Martin Music” and… T.I.’s “Pop Bottles.” Those are not in any order but I loved all those beats this year.