‘I feel like I’m the next one.’ Those are the confident words of Atlanta producer BricksDaMane. The international producer who has travelled to over 40 countries. Having worked extensively with the biggest names in Hip Hop such as Young Thug, Drake, Lil Wayne, Meek Mill, Migos and 21 Savage, he is one of the most prolific producers in the game right now.
Everything about Bricks personifies cool. ‘Sometimes I fly out to Dubai for a break.’ This is the kind of lifestyle afforded to someone who works so hard and has quite literally made music his life. He tells us that when he’s not working on music he’s probably on his way to make more music, an attitude that has served him in good stead to work with our generation’s greatest artists.
His hectic lifestyle means that he’s always in demand. On the day of our interview, he had just got off a flight from Atlanta and was in a Los Angeles studio, most likely cooking up the beat to your next favourite song of the summer.
Showing a natural instinct for music in his early years, he recounts how his Grandma said he used to beat on everything in the house when he was a kid and she would have to take his drumsticks away. By the age of twelve, this instinct graduated to programming beats on his computer on FL studios and he hasn’t looked back since.
The Atlanta Hip Hop scene has blown up worldwide in recent years. Trap has become the vanguard of Hip Hop music right now with Atlanta rappers selling out arenas across the globe. ‘The music scene out here is crazy, the clubs, the parties, it really represents the culture and lifestyle of Atlanta, it’s taken the world by storm. It’s going crazy worldwide, I’ll be in Istanbul and Thailand and I’ll hear Trap on the radio playing – this stuff is global.’ Bricks is certainly correct, the sound waves are far reaching and the culture has spread, attracting fans in every continent; the internet of course has played a big part in its accessibility.
What is particularly unique about the Atlanta scene is the crop of talented super producers who are gaining major recognition for championing this sound. Bricks along with the likes of Metro Boomin, Sonny Digital and Zaytoven are largely responsible for putting their city on the map and opening the doors for Atlanta rappers such as 21 Savage and Lil Yatchy to blow up worldwide. The emphasis on production is notable: ‘You can’t even make a song in Atlanta without 808s but you can make a song in Atlanta with only 808s’ he points out.
We spoke briefly about the generational divide in Hip Hop between the new school and the older generation who criticise the style of modern rap which they term as mumble rap. Bricks defended the new school and was unapologetic in his response: ‘This is all I’ve gotta say about this. These mumble rappers are getting paid 100k-200k to perform for like an hour. The numbers say it all.’ It’s certainly a new era in rap and the sound in Hip Hop has evolved giving plenty of opportunities, particularly to those in the Southern regions of America.
Touring with Drake
One of BricksDaMane’s most exciting contributions to Hip Hop this year was his hand in the production of two tracks on the biggest artist in the world, Drake’s, critically acclaimed ‘More Life’ album. Bricks worked on the tracks ‘Ice Melts’ with Super Mario and ‘Sacrifices’ with T-Minus. Giving us an insight into just how much artists have to work while on the go, he explains how ‘Ice Melts’ was first recorded in Hollywood with Young Thug and then completed in Paris while on tour with Drake.
Explaining how the Toronto star got in touch Bricks said: ‘We sent a lot of songs to Drake, he would call…the first song we did with Drake was ‘Issa’ with 21 Savage, then we recorded a portion of ‘Ice Melts’ with Thug in LA and then when I was on the ‘Boy Meets World’ tour we recorded Drake’s vocals in Paris. ‘We did ‘Sacrifices’ in London…I had no idea 2Chainz was on the track. I didn’t know 2Chainz was on the track until Drake’s release party in London.’
In between touring the inspiration never stops, on Bricks’ Instagram there are numerous pictures of him in the studio with different artists in different countries around the world: ‘I make beats extremely fast and I want to capture all that inspiration and spark so I work super quickly.’
We spoke briefly about how Drake likes to work, on this he said: ‘We’re all perfectionists when you’re at this level – you’ve got to be the best.’ With the way ‘More Life’ was cautiously released and the way Drake likes to handpick the producers he works with it’s a clear sign Bricks is one of the best of the bunch.
We also spoke about Bricks meeting UK Underground legend Giggs on Drake’s tour. ‘I love the UK sound. I’m doing Giggs’ album, we met on the Drake tour and just clicked. The first time we were together was in Paris. I’m also working with Kojo Funds and Young Bxne.’ We joked about American appreciation of UK rap: ‘At first like all Americans, I didn’t understand it but after I listened to it and saw the people feeling it I can see why he’s the man now (Giggs).’
The International Producer
Despite working with a number of artists, the one Bricks is most familiar with is the enigmatic Young Thug. Having produced over 100 songs with the man who he describes as a ‘genius,’ Bricks is in the perfect position to describe what he offers to Hip Hop. ‘I was with Thug for maybe 200 days straight everyday recording music.' He explained Thug’s meticulous creative process, highlighting that the Atlanta rapper can record 6 songs in a day without even writing down any lyrics.
Bricks proudly states that everyone he’s worked with ends up blowing up. For example, he collaborated with Atlanta trio Migos long before their breakout song ‘Versace’ back in 2010 and now they’re one of the biggest groups inside and outside of Hip Hop. Another artist who he says he enjoys working with the most is British singer/songwriter Millie Go Lightly who lit up Young Thug’s latest album on the tracks ‘Family Don’t Matter’ and ‘She Wanna Party.’ Bricks is executively producing her upcoming album which he promises will be a ‘masterpiece.’
One of the most exciting revelations of our interview is that Bricks has produced a song on Lil Wayne’s controversial and long expected album 'Carter V.' The album which has been delayed for a whole range of legal issues involving Birdman, Lil Wayne and Universal is the most demanded album in modern rap. On working with Lil Wayne he described him as a ‘very interesting character.’ A cryptic description, however, based on Bricks previous work we expect nothing less than incredible artistry on the track which is rumoured to be a collaboration with Young Thug.
BricksDaMane is currently touring the world with Young Thug and engineered two recent tracks featuring Meek Mill ('We Ball') and Chance The Rapper ('Big B's'). Trying to paint a picture of the tour life for us he described it as ‘different cities every night, the craziest parties, craziest shows, craziest fans and stadiums full of people like when we did the 02 eight times.’
Connect with BricksDaMane on his socials @BricksDaMane on Twitter and Instagram.