In a new interview with Elliott Wilson and Brian "B.Dot" Miller for the Rap Radar podcast on TIDAL, the song's producer, Murda Beatz, revealed the backstory behind the song's creation, which, as it turns out, was completely random.
"We were chillin' at Drake's house, playing [NBA] 2K, and we came up with the idea to [use] a female artist, to sample a female artist," said Murda Beatz, who is also the mastermind behind Migos' "MotorSport" and Travis Scott's "Butterfly Effect." "So I asked my manager, like, 'Yo, what do you think?' He's like, '[Lauryn Hill's] "Ex-Factor."' And Drake's like, 'Oh, what part?' And we picked the part, chopped it up, I made the beat while he was playing 2K. [...] He's like, 'This shit fire.' He sat there, wrote the shit in front of me, cut the shit in front of me. We got the shit done, beat and song, probably in like an hour and a half."
The 24-year-old Platinum-plus producer acknowledged that the pair knew almost immediately that they had a No. 1 hit on their hands—which, given Drake's recent track record, isn't all that surprising—but that it would have never come together had they not been in the same room.
"If me and Drake weren't together, that beat would have never been made," Murda Beatz added. "People bring the vibe and me and Drake being together sparked the energy to make a record like that."
Of course, before the world could hear their finished product, Drake's record label had to first get the "Ex-Factor" sample cleared by Lauryn Hill, who famously denied Kanye West the right to employ "Mystery of Iniquity" on West's College Dropout single "All Falls Down."
"Nice For What" was the second most-played hip-hop record on Spotify last week. To date, the song has generated 220M plays on Spotify and 124M views on YouTube.