It took producer TM88 three years to craft the beat that eventually became Lil Uzi Vert's now 2x Platinum-certified single "XO Tour Llif3," but all of the countless sessions and minor tweaks—which included running the beat through a program called Gross Beat that simultaneously slows down and speeds up the beat, effectively allowing a producer to sample his own original work—ultimately led to Uzi selecting it from a batch of 20 beats.
In a new interview with Rap-Up, TM88 elaborated further on his methodology behind beat submissions, indicating that when he sends a batch of beats to an artist to review for potential selection, 20 is actually on the lighter side.
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"Since the 20 beats, I probably gave [Uzi] 40 more or 60 more," he explained to freelance writer Andres Tardio, later adding, "I kind of do that with every artist that I have a relationship with, whether it’s Young Thug, Future, Wiz Khalifa, Gucci Mane, Travis Scott, and a few others. You gotta load them up. Those kind of rappers will do 100 songs and they’ll be like, 'Alright. I need more beats.' I’m like, 'I just sent you 200 beats.'"
When TM88 references "those kind of rappers," he's talking specifically about artists who churn and burn, recording hundreds or even thousands of songs in a very short period of time. In an effort to pursue a quantitative approach to making music, many artists end up sacrificing quality in the process, but from the perspective of a producer, continuously sending new beats is the only way to stay relevant.
"Half of the songs people make, they don’t put out," said TM88. "They wanna make new songs and that’s how you keep the relationships. That’s how you stay on the projects."
In addition to continuing to work with Lil Uzi Vert, TM88 also revealed that he has sent a swath of beats to Future, who is—of course—currently in the studio recording new material.