Virginia Producer and Internet Money Creator Talks About Being Music Curator for 2021 XXL First year class.
Told to Georgette Cline
Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in the summer 2021 issue of XXL magazine, on the stands now.
“When I first heard about it [myself and Internet Money being selected as the musical curators for XXL Freshman this year] I was really excited. It’s really cool for me because I’m a kid in school and watch the videos at home and then a few years later I can have this opportunity to play my own beats that I created… I am very grateful for XXL choose us.
So basically, since I didn’t know who was on the list, I just started making a bunch of new beats because I just wanted to create some new vibes. So Sunday night [two days before the shoot], I was like, well, Tuesday I had 25 beats ready. So I just sat in front of my computer, locked up, and then I did like a bunch that night, and the next day on the plane, I did five more and I was better prepared.
I was asking around other producers in Internet money just for some great curls they had and all the melodies that could give me ideas and I could just cook too. And I also wanted to give the opportunity to another producer to share this platform so that he can launch his production with me and we can do a collaboration. It’s just a victory for everyone.
So pretty much I was just trying to figure out on social media who people would think were on the list and look at random and possible lists. And then I was like, well, whatever, I’m not going to guess right away, so, I’m just going to try and make beats that are universally like, anyone can use them. While I was doing them, I was just trying to sink over them in different ways.
I was just trying to see if there were good pockets on the beat and if there was energy. I didn’t want to make boring rhythms for the number. So that’s just what I had in mind when I was cooking them.
I think [the beats] fit because I kind of made them with the current sound and style in my head. When I was doing them, I just didn’t want to do something that was too old or too much to a different sound. I just wanted to stay modern with it. And it’s a bit like with every year, the different artists that come in, the production styles can change a little bit, but there can be something minimal here and there, whether it is the BPMs accelerating. , the claps change for different sounds and the 808s strike differently. It’s just always different factors every year.
As for the artists in the class, I feel like the ones who got a good buzz, they are accurately represented on the roster. As Winnie the Pooh had a great year, he’s on fire. Coi [Leray] rose, it arose left and right with different songs and different energies. And Toosii, I’ve been a fan of him since last year because I found him thanks to DaBaby I think on YouTube and I just thought his flow was so crazy. Since last year I have seen these guys rise up. Morray I saw it appear everywhere. He really sticks to the job and sees him in the studio working on songs and different messages. 42 Dugg went crazy with the sample song Scorpion on [‘4 Da Gang’ with Roddy Ricch]… And “We Paid” was one of my favorite songs from last year.
I feel like right now in hip-hop the female movement is getting strong and going crazy. Flo milli, Pink Ruby, Coi [and] Lakeyah, they put themselves for that and present themselves. I think it’s really good for the culture in general. It’s a different kind of energy this year.
I think this year is feeling good [for myself and Internet Money to be part of the cyphers]. After last year, “Lemonade” was skyrocketing and this year … we [dropped] ‘His & Hers’… I feel like Internet Money for a few years now, we have a good understanding of working with young artists and working with people who don’t always have the first chance to get the chance to work or the people who are coming. It’s fair for us to work with XXL because now it’s the artists who have worked the hardest during the year, who have proven that they deserve to be in the spotlight. And we just collaborate with them. We can all just take it to the next level together.
For me, it’s really cool to be a part of something that’s a staple in hip-hop culture. XXL magazine has been working on it for years and has different classes and the best producers in the game, artists, rappers, DJs and they represent that… I am extremely grateful and I hope that here we can only go up. “
Discover more XXLthe summer 2021 issue, including the XXL 2021 first year class artist interviews with 42 Dugg, Iann Dior, Coi Leray, Winnie the Pooh, Flo milli, Morray, Pink Ruby, Blxst, Toosii, Lakeyah and DDG, an in-depth conversation with Ski Mask the Slump God on coming back this year and more.