A new XXL feature finds some of the producers behind Rick Ross’ recent Mastermind release detailing the making of the album. Producers featured in the story include Mike WiLL Made-It, Bink!, Scott Storch, and more.
Ross’ Mastermind, which is his sixth studio album, is currently streaming on iTunes with an official release date scheduled for March 4.
Mike WiLL Made-It Talks “War Ready” Production
Mike WiLL Made-It, who provided the backdrop for Ross’ Jeezy collaboration on “War Ready,” told XXL that his name was on a list of producers the rapper was interested in working with for his latest release. “DJ Khaled, man, he reached out to me that Ross was working on his new project,” Mike said. “He knew me and Ross had previous hits before with ‘Tupac Back,’ ‘King Of Diamonds’ and ‘Marble Floors.’ He actually did all three of those records at the same time. Khaled reached out to me and told me he had a list of who Ross wanted to work with. I [got] to work with Rick Ross, he’s a legend and his albums are always crazy. We make great music together.”
The “Bandz A Make Her Dance” beatmaker also said that Rick Ross specifically requested “crazy 808s.” “He reached out to me and said that he needed something crazy, with the crazy 808s, the meanest beat you can possibly do,” the producer said. “‘I’m about to do a song with a game changer, someone who you might not even think I would do a song with.’ I had a idea that it was Jeezy. So I went through some beats and sent it to him. He told me he heard one right away and was excited about the song. At the end it came out good. I was proud of the song. I started working on the 808s, then Jeezy sent his vocals in. We just kept mixing the record. Everybody had their opinions until down to the wire with the way they wanted to sound. Everybody just worked hard when it came to this record. We knew that it was going to be a moment in hip-hop. It’s always good to see rappers come back together when people don’t think that they work with each other anymore.”
Scott Storch Describes Making Of “Supreme”
Scott Storch broke down his production on “Supreme,” a song he says he was present for during a part of recording but only heard in full recently. “Essentially, when I am making the beginnings or nucleus of the tracks, I’m doing most of that stuff on my own in my room,” Storch said. “I have certain people that I hear the tracks for. Whether I am making it for them in the beginning or somewhere halfway through, this could go to this person or this would be hot for this person. I think a lot of beatmakers and producers, after making something and realizing, ‘Oh, this would sound awesome for this person.’ Something that we all do. Just trying in your brain [to] visualize them on the track and their patterns and their tones. Who’s going to sound good on what.
"I remember when we did this record, we ran it right to him and he immediately felt it. He was like, ‘That’s mine right there.’ He got on the mic immediately and that was when the real joy comes in. You actually get a chance to hear them. And it was sort of tease. We brought it to his house and he jumped on the mic and we listened to him record on it. I mean, he’s real fast. He writes in like, seconds. I watched him in the studio one day writing for other people. He had like three or four different artists for Cash Money that he was writing hooks and did a verse for. Man, it was awesome. He’s a beast with that.”
Storch, who said he thinks “Supreme” “will reach not just the dudes,” also added that he "had to wait a long time to listen to the final product." “My partner and I watched him record to the track and it was obviously getting late and time to go,” he said. “He was one verse deep. This, that and the other...I finally got a chance to hear just recently. Man, it’s dope.”
Bink! Says “Mafia Music III” Was Meant For "Detox"
Bink!, who also references DJ Khaled in his breakdown, described to XXL how his “Mafia Music III” beat went from a tentative Detox placement to its final form on Mastermind. “Well it's crazy,” Bink!, said, “it started over a year ago; I did the record for Dr. Dre, for Detox. Dr. Dre hired Ross to write his verse for him. So Ross wrote a verse for him and a verse for himself, and then he was supposed to put Rihanna on the hook. But, you know, Dre never revisited the record, and then Ross came back about a month and a half ago and wanted the record for himself. So I had to ask the Good Doctor for clearance. I actually made it WITH Dre; I was in Vegas with Dre working on it at the time. They brought Ross in later.
“Actually, Khaled called me. He was just ranting and raving about Ross' verse—his exact words were, 'Ross caught the Holy Spirit.' He kept saying that Ross had caught the Holy Ghost, 'We gotta have that, we gotta have that.' So I was like, you know, I gotta call up Big Homie and see if he'll let it go, 'cause I knew he was back in Detox mode again. I didn't know if he was gonna hold onto it or not this time around.”
Bink! also reported that he hasn’t heard the latest version of the song. “Dre was basically like, 'Ask him to send you a copy of the record, and if you like it, I'm with you. I'ma let you make the call.' Which is flattering to me, but at the same time that's what Big Homie told me. So I called them, they sent me the record, which they was very nervous about, because of course these days for some reason, when you send a rapper the music, they feel like their lyrics is worth more than the beat, and they don't send the song back.
“I still have yet to hear it," Bink! said. "'Cause when I heard it, it was just Ross and Mavado, but now they added Sizzla to it, so I still haven't heard Sizzla's verse. There's a serious disconnect, to be honest with you, with the music. It's not like it used to be.”