Drake is special, just period. He’s one of my favorite people to work with,
my favorite person to work with actually. You just know what you’re getting with him. You just know that it’s gonna be a hit song. You know that it’s gonna be a moment. You know anytime Drake drops something, everybody
stops to hear it. You just know that it’s gonna be something
great. Me and Drake linked up from a friend, D10. He told me, “Drake, he’s the guy on TV, the
guy on ‘Degrassi.'” “He really got bars. He could rap.” I was just like, “Yeah alright. Let’s hear it.” He had sent me two records. One of them was a song called “Money.” I just got it immediately, because during
a time of when all gangster music was prevalent it was the age of 50 Cent, and T.I. was big,
and he was talking about stuff that wasn’t gangster. He was talking about saving receipts and different
things. It was really dope. The way he was putting it, he had his own
spin to it and he kept it interesting. He just had a vibe to him, and he was a good
dude. We just ended up connecting, and we’ve been
working ever since. We were 17 at that time. When I started “Diplomatic Immunity,” it all
came from a sample a producer named Nick Brongers had sent me. Nick Brongers is a guy who makes a lot of
orchestral samples. He’ll just compose something. He has a very cinematic old-school ’60s kind
of vibe to his sound. He had sent me some new music. I was in the studio with Future the Prince,
just checking it out. He had told me when we were listening to it,
he was like, “Yo, that one is hard.” I was like, “Yeah, it is good.” I ended up finding a part that I really liked
on the sample. Once I heard that part right there, I was
like, “Yeah, that sounds like magic to me.” It sounds like you’re on a yacht or something,
sailing, over a luxurious dinner. When I found that sample, and I had the loop
down, it sounded a little bright to me, so I wanted to pitch it down. I pitched it down maybe one semitone. And then it sounded like this. Right after I found the sample was just the
drums. Everybody’s gonna be mad, but the drums are
just so simple. But I find that it’s important to always have the right sounds. The best part about it is just it works, and
sometimes keeping it simple is key. A lot of the times if you just make stuff
really linear when it comes to hip-hop, especially for a song that somebody wants to get real
bars off on, you just keep it simple. You let them shine. I had the sample and the drums going at the
same time, and I thought only thing it needed was a bassline. I used a plugin called OP-X
PRO-II. It’s something new I just downloaded. I didn’t even use a MIDI keyboard or anything. I literally just played it on my keyboard. It was just three notes. Probably one wrong note in there somewhere,
but for me if it sounds good, it sounds good. I just knew the beat was finished after that. I didn’t want to add anything more to it. Putting less in it makes the artist able to
speak more. As a producer, you have to make a canvas for
the artist to paint on. I thought this was enough of a canvas for
Drake to paint his picture on. I basically arranged the beat for the sample
to drop first. Then the drums come in, and then near the
end of the beat, the bassline comes in after. Just to always be climactic, and something
always has to happen. I learned that from being in a lot of beat
battles. You just have to give people climactic moments
of beats. Every four bars I try to add something new
or take something out. As simple as it is, it works and it was very
effective. “Diplomatic Immunity” is definitely a
song for the hip-hop heads. I just wanted people to hear somebody go off
on this beat when they heard it. I didn’t want to hear any singing or anything. It just had to be for a hardcore rapper. Right when I was finished making this beat,
I had sent it to Drake, because why not? I just felt like it was something that he
could really get off on. He gave me the thumbs up on it, and he said
he’s gonna do something crazy to it, and he definitely delivered on that.