Who were some of the producers you looked up to when you were a child?
As a child, it was crazy because I wasn't set on doing music. Granted, my dad was a DJ. But it wasn't until I moved to Atlanta in 2008, 2009 was when I got introduced to doing music. I was in elementary school. That's when I started to really get to know producers. I looked up to Timbaland. This was at the time I also met my manager, Ez Elpee. I was getting introduced to beat-making and producing which was when 30 Roc first got started.
Where did the name 30 Roc come from?
It was two rappers and two producers in the basement. We were trying to come up with a producer name. My brother Corey actually taught me how to make beats. So we were just sitting on the stairs figuring out names. I got frustrated and left to get on the phone. He came upstairs and said "30 Roc" and I was like, "Ok, cool. Whatever." But we could never figure out who was 30 and who was Roc, so we just stuck with the full name. And we had it before the TV show. So that's how the name came about. It was just random?
At what age did you start to take production seriously?
I had to be 15, 16. I was working at a place called Sweet Tomatoes and I was getting tired [of it], so I started doing production more. Around 20 was really when stuff started moving.
How did you get your first big placement?
My first big placement was T-Wayne's "Nasty Freestyle." First, Bandit Gang Marco was on it, but then just turned into T-Wayne. I was at home making beats and I think I sent the beat to Marco. He told me, "Bro. We got a hit". He put it up on Vine back when it was big, and it was getting a lot of Vine videos. Then, it took off from there. Three months later, we did the T-Wayne version at the time he was in Texas, so he started getting a buzz, too. Then, 300 Entertainment hit us up, we did the paperwork, and the rest was history.
How did you link up with Eardrummers?
I had both songs (of the "Nasty Freestyle") on the charts, but wasn't signed. At the top of the year, I had said, "It would be so crazy if I signed to Eardrummers." I was at work one day taking a lunch break at Arby's. Mike WiLL followed me and really that's how it started. We started talking on the DM's. I pulled up on him one time, and we started roasting each other (Laughs). Ever since then, we've been working and everything has been cool with us.
What's a piece of advice Mike WiLL Made-It has given that has stuck with you?
He really told me to stay focused and get working. He told me to ride my own wave and never try and ride someone else's wave.
How did the "Bartier Cardi" record come about and did you know early on it was going to be a hit?
So the whole process started at the studio with us making a beat. We really just had to turn in the beat for Cardi. So we made the beat and we were like ,"Yo this is going to Cardi." It took a little while to get to her, about seven weeks, but it got to her and I knew this was going be a good one. Especially once she laid her part down, I knew it was going to be a hit.
There's been a debate on social media about the "Bartier Cardi" record sounding like Tommy Genesis' "Tommy" record. What's your opinion on that?
I never heard of Tommy, and I'm being 100 percent honest. So when the beat was made, that wasn't in mind and definitely organic. It was us sitting in the studio not thinking of anyone else. So for people to say that sounds alike on purpose, that's false. In terms of Cardi writing on the record, I'm sure she doesn't know the person either. I was there for the whole process and it was no way possible we sat down and said oh we need to go steal this song from Tommy.
Lately, there's been discussion around producers not being fairly compensated for work on records. What advice would you give to an up-and-coming producer who doesn't want to be taken advantage of but also doesn't want to miss out on an opportunity to advance?
As a producer, sometimes you have to take chances to get what you want. You have to take a hit sometimes. I remember when I first started, I was giving away beats for a whole year. And that was just to get on. Once I got my placement or I got artists to buzz about me, then I started charging. I feel like labels can't get over on you if you have the right team, the right lawyers. Business comes first. If a track gets out, I have to be compensated for something. Both of my managers, Ez Elpee and Tiffany J., check up on everything every single day. I only had an issue like that one time and it was my fault because I never sent the invoice in. So you have to stay on top of your business and get your team on stuff.
What are some of the projects you're excited about this year?
Rae Sremmurd's Sremm Life 3. My boy Lil Yachty, I can't wait for y'all to get hear that. We really took time and constructed that. Rich Homie Quan, he back on. YFN Lucci, Cardi of course. We're doing some work on that, I'm actually in the studio now working on that. Migos, and more. It's so much coming. I took time at the end of the year last year to plan out this year so we got a lot coming. Stay tuned.