May 30, 2024

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Aries (YuGo), Pt. 2 – Mike WiLL Made-It, Big Sean, Pharrell, Quavo & Rae Sremmurd

Mixing hip-hop, R&B, and pop, producer and recording artist Mike WiLL Made-It is known for delivering hits spanning multiple genres, ranging from the chart-topping Rae Sremmurd hit “Black Beatles” to the Miley Cyrus staple “We Can’t Stop.” Born Michael Len Williams II in Marietta, Georgia, WiLL enrolled at Georgia State but dropped out to focus on music production. He started his own production company, Ear Drummers Records, in 2006. His earliest work involved rapper Gucci Mane — whom he would continue to collaborate with on over a dozen projects — and snowballed into relationships with other Atlanta figures like Shawty Lo, Future, 2 Chainz, and Waka Flocka Flame. He landed his first Hot 100 single with Meek Mill and Rick Ross’ 2011 track “Tupac Back.” The year 2012 saw his work on Kanye West’s “Mercy” and 2 Chainz’s “No Lie” helping both tracks get to the top of the U.S. rap charts, while Juicy J’s “Bandz a Make Her Dance” went platinum. In 2013 he produced multiple tracks on Miley Cyrus’ album Bangerz, including the album’s lead single, “We Can’t Stop” (Cyrus would go on to appear alongside Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa on WiLL’s debut single, “23”). That same year, WiLL produced platinum hits for Rihanna, Lil Wayne, and Ace Hood (as well as contributing to efforts by Kelly Rowland, Jay-Z, Ciara, and Juicy J), before focusing his efforts on the young duo Rae Sremmurd. Their 2015 debut, SremmLife, peaked at number five on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum. The year 2016 helped garner the producer even higher-profile collaborations with Beyoncé (“Formation”), Kid Cudi (Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’), Nicki Minaj (“Black Barbies”), and Rae Sremmurd and Gucci Mane, whose “Black Beatles” topped the Hot 100, R&B/hip-hop, and rap charts. The young creative also put out a number of his own releases, his sound and production techniques most notably encapsulated on his 2014 Ransom mixtape and its album sequel, 2017’s Ransom 2. ~ David Jeffries & Neil Z. Yeung

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