Hip-Hop

How Producers Internet Money Took Over the Hot 100 By Making Beats That Sound Like Other Artists

Taylor (left) and Mira.
Photo by @kaseyschutz

Taylor (left) and Mira.

Three years ago, producer Taz Taylor started collaborating with friends he had met online. “I was like, ‘Let’s build something to take over the internet.’ That was the first goal,” says the 25-year-old. He didn't take over the web, but he did form his own label, Internet Money, and the group of beatmakers is dominating music-streaming services, producing hits in 2018 for artists like Juice WRLD, Rich the Kid and the late XXXTentacion.

Fronted by Jacksonville, Fla., native Taylor and Virginia-bred Nick Mira, 17, the collective’s 15 full-time members followed a familiar path to ubiquity, selling “type” beats -- instrumentals in the styles of mainstream hip-hop artists -- online to aspiring rappers. But they’ve surged past a sea of competitors, securing credits with Drake (Scorpion’s “Blue Tint,” a No. 30 hit on the Billboard Hot 100), Rich the Kid (“Plug Walk,” No. 13) and XXXTentacion (the Trippie Redd-assisted “Fuck Love,” No. 28). Mira notched a Hot 100 hit on his own, producing on Juice WRLD’s No. 3 hit, “Lucid Dreams.”

Photo by @kaseyschutz
The crew’s home in the Hollywood Hills.

“We didn't have anything else going for us,” says Taylor of the team’s grass-roots start. “We were making [$30,000], $35,000 a month from selling beats and drum kits. It just worked.” In April, Internet Money secured a joint venture with Alamo Records and Interscope Records, and in May, it purchased a new Hollywood Hills mansion. Six hitmakers live there at any given time, and Taylor invested over $50,000 for an in-house studio. He wants the world to see the family atmosphere he has crafted and hopes to land a reality show on a cable network. “I’m not in this to be a Metro Boomin,” he says. “I’m in this more to be a Jimmy Iovine.”

This article originally appeared in the Aug. 4 issue of Billboard.