Mike Will Made It Explains Why Kendrick Lamar’s “DNA” Sounds So Crazy

Hip-Hop Fans, please subscribe to AFH TV, a streaming video service focused on real Hip-Hop culture. We already have exclusive interviews, documentaries, and rare freestyles featuring some of Rap’s most iconic artists and personalities, and much more is coming--movies, TV series, talk shows. We need your support. It is only $1.99/month or $12/year, and is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Google TV, for all subscribers. Start your 30-day free trial now. Thank you.

The second official single to Kendrick Lamar’s #1  new album is “DNA.” Besides some audio from Geraldo Rivera, the second song on the album is a complete collaboration between Lamar and veteran producer Mike Will Made It (who also produced the first single, “HUMBLE.”)

Mike, known for producing such hit singles as Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles,” Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop,” and the leading spot on G.O.O.D. Music possé cut “Mercy,” may seem to be a departure from Kendrick and TDE’s pocket sound. Speaking with Zane Lowe last week, the Compton, California MC said linking with Mike was a long time coming.

Mike also has begun detailing the sonic relationship he and Kendrick have shared. “Me and him been working on this for years, ever since good kid, m.A.A.d city,Mike confirms with NPR’s Rodney Carmichael, adding that ScHoolboy Q connected them years ago. “At this time, I hadn’t really heard of Kendrick. So I went to the studio with him [and] played him a bunch of beats. Every time he’d come to Atlanta, he’d hit my phone. Or when I’d come to L.A., I would always link up with him. I gave him a bunch of beats for good kid, m.A.A.d city and I gave him a bunch of beats for To Pimp a Butterfly, but they definitely weren’t the right vibe.”

He continues, “With ‘DNA.,’ he went the whole way [through] and then he just started rapping acappella. He said, ‘I just want to see if you can put some drums around this.’ I said, ‘Man, hell yeah.’ But he was going so hard; that man was rapping so crazy.” Of what he created in front of Kendrick on the spot, Mike details, “I didn’t want the beat to just sound like a regular boom-clap, boom-clap. I wanted that shit to sound just as crazy. I wanted it to sound like he’s battling the beat.”

Don Cheadle Talks Starring In Kendrick Lamar’s Video & Being The Original Kung Fu Kenny

As DAMN. reached #1, achieving a sales figure of over 600,000, and marking a new plateau for Kendrick, Mike Will’s agenda is in play. “[Former Interscope Records Chairman Jimmy Iovine] told me, ‘You’re the only producer that can make Hip-Hop Pop again.’ And I never knew what he was talking about at the time. But then he started talking to me about Tupac, Dr. Dre, Timbaland, Pharrell. All these people made Hip-Hop Pop. It’s that moment again.” Elsewhere in the NPR conversation, Mike details his own Eardrummers label, along with his upcoming release. He also confirms that “HUMBLE.” was originally created for frequent collaborator Gucci Mane.

Having helped bring Playaz Circle’s 2 Chainz and Three 6 Mafia’s Juicy J to the mainstream for a new generation, perhaps Mike Will’s impact on DAMN. played a role in helping Lamar break new barriers in reach and recognition.

Andre 3000 is in the Studio with Mike Will (Video)

In related news, Kendrick Lamar announced the DAMN. US Tour this week. Supported by D.R.A.M. and Travi$ Scott, the dates and venues are as follows:

July 12 — Phoenix, AZ @ Gila River Arena

July 14 — Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center

July 15 — Houston, TX @ Toyota Center

July 17 — Duluth, GA @ Infinite Energy Arena

July 19 — Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center

July 20 — Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center

July 21 — Washington, D.C. @ Verizon Center

July 22 — Boston, MA @ TD Garden

July 25– Toronto, ON @Air Canada Centre

July 26 — Detroit, MI @ The Palace at Auburn Hills

Jul. 27 — Chicago, IL @ United Center

July 29 — Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center

Aug. 1 — Seattle, WA @ Tacoma Dome

Aug. 2 — Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena

Aug. 4 — Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena

Aug. 5 — Las Vegas, NV @ T-Mobile Arena

Aug. 6 — Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center