With her breakout single “Bodak Yellow” now sitting pretty in the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, rapper Cardi B has a lot to be proud of. While Cardi’s flow is the primary driver of the song’s success, “Bodak Yellow” wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t for J. White, the producer behind the song’s powerful trap beat.
The rise of “Bodak” to the top of the charts now means that White (full name Jermaine White) is now in a spotlight that only a small percentage of his peers get to have. Here are 8 things you probably didn’t know about the producer behind the biggest song in the country.
“Bodak” isn’t the first song White produced for Cardi.
White also produced “Lick,” Cardi’s collaboration with Migos member (and current boyfriend) Offset from her second mixtape, Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 2. White also produced “Bronx Season” and “Leave That Bitch Alone” on GBMV2.
His full producer name is J. White Did It.
Similar to prolific hip hop producer Mike WiLL Made-It, White makes it known with his full ID that he’s responsible for the beat. Unlike Mike WiLL, however, he doesn’t have a producer tagline drop at the beginning of his songs.
Despite creating a textbook New York trap beat, White has never lived there.
White mainly resides in Dallas and often comes to New York for work and studio sessions; a session he had with Cardi in April led to the birth of “Bodak.”
It took him 15 minutes to create the “Bodak” beat.
In an interview with DJBooth, White admits that the beat for the song came together in about 15 minutes: “My manager came in and he was like, ‘Yo, I really like those snare hi-hats you do.’ So I added them and after that, we were like, ‘Oh my God, this is the record.’ Cardi loved the track and it was magic from there.”
He believes hip-hop magic in the studio occurs naturally and quickly.
“I don’t really believe in spending a lot of time [on hip-hop records],” he said to DJBooth, adding, “If the energy is there and it hits you, it will hit you automatically. It doesn’t take long to create great energy… When it comes to a rap record, we’re in the microwave age. You can craft a beat in 10 minutes and make a million dollars.”
He was “intimidated” by Cardi’s energy in the studio.
Speaking candidly with Complex, White reflected on his first time in the studio with Cardi, and how her demeanor behind the glass differs so much from her public persona: “It’s weird seeing her on TV and in the public, because she’s so turnt, but when she’s in the studio, bro, she’s focused. She’s like a lion. She’s in it to win it. Hell, sometimes I’ll be intimidated. Our chemistry at first was a love-hate one, because I was such a general at first, and then she became the general.”
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He produced an upcoming record with her and Juicy J.
Fresh off their latest collaboration “Kamasutra” from Juicy J’s new mixtape Highly Intoxicated, Cardi and Juicy are working on another song together, this time produced by White. The unnamed track is going to be on White’s upcoming unnamed EP.
He continues to be impressed by Cardi’s dedication, and believes she’s destined for greatness.
More than anything, White admires Cardi because “all she does is work on her craft.” “She has those headphones on and she be engaging beats,” he tells Complex. “She’s treating it like she’s in the dang NFL or NBA.” Her astronomical growth, then, should come as no surprise. “For her to be so young, it’s crazy to see somebody’s growth like that,” White reminisces in the same interview. “’Bodak’ made nonbelievers, believers.”