Invincible Beats, producer: It was a complete surprise when Edgar emailed me. I didn’t know he was going to be involved in the process. Everything I did was remote in L.A. and they were working on the album in Atlanta. It was two or three weeks before Cardi was closing the album, one of the last songs. He sent me over the session and it was pretty much already structured out. From there I started to tighten up some things sonically, basically improving the mix from what was already there. I got that into a good space, I added some extra elements: drums, piano and bass in the verses, transition effects. The Pete Rodriguez sample was there, it was pretty much drums and sample. They just needed me to kind of glue it together, play some real life instruments -- piano, an acoustic bass, to make it cohesive and blend the sample, to tie it all together. I was responsible for polishing everything.
Machuca: He sent it right back and his first pass was amazing, it was like, “Okay, cool. This sounds great. Now I gotta play it for Craig…” And Craig thought it was amazing, that it was the one. I was like, “Thank God!” At that point, we had been working on the song for a month, every single day.
Invincible: Every case is different, but this particular one I knew exactly what was missing -- especially when I saw there was no music added, I felt like it needed some keys, a guitar lick, a horn blast, things like that to amplify that was already there. It becomes challenging when you have a vibe that’s set you don’t want to comprise it by picking the wrong sounds. It’s a delicate process of adding to the vibe and making the vibe even bigger.
Kallman: I knew when it was done when every eight bars I was engaged and interested and surprised by musical details, whether it was a Cardi ad lib or instrumental detail, coupled with performances which were completely compelling and believable. You’ll also hear [Pete Rodriguez’s] “Oh That’s Nice” in the background.
Gaba: We had to bring in Nick Seeley to remake the small “Oh That’s Nice” sample that’s in there. The people who owned the sample didn’t have the stems.
"THANK GOD IT'S DONE"?
Kallman: We must have gone through so many different version of the mix. We mixed this over and over and over again. We wanted to make sure the low end was right and the clarity was right and the mid range was right, and it had real dynamic range and great stereo separation with the vocals just sitting right in the pocket. After the truly thousandth listen, I’m like, “This really works. There’s nothing more we can do to this to make it better.”
J White: I always knew we’d deliver but I didn't know it’d be this record. I knew once it was done it’d do something, but I really didn’t know. I was so frustrated with the process of making the record, I was like, “Thank God it’s done.”