From Beats to Books: Drumma Boy Talks Journey as a Hit-Making Producer and Now Author

Drumma Boy is a true maestro in the world of hip-hop and beyond, making noise in the music industry for creating hits everyone loves today. With his innate talent for crafting infectious beats and his unparalleled creativity, he has left an indelible mark on the music industry. From his early beginnings in Memphis, Tennessee, Drumma Boy has worked with some of the biggest names in the business, including T.I., Jeezy, Drake, and Lil Wayne, to name just a few. With his signature sound, characterized by hard-hitting drums, and melodic hooks he produced several chart-topping hits, such as “No Hands” by Waka Flocka Flame, “Put On” by Jeezy, and “Shawty” by Plies. His contributions to these tracks have garnered critical acclaim and commercial success. Drumma Boy has also ventured into the realm of authorship, sharing his experiences and insights in his new book “Behind The Hits”.

Drumma Boy joins EBONY for a conversation about his new book, some of his well-known hits, and his process of making beats in the studio.

Your new book “Behind the Hits” is out now. What was the  inspiration for you to release the book about your journey?

Drumma Boy: Inspiration behind the book really is telling my story helping people put a face with a name. A lot of people are familiar with the music or the tags, “Aye Yea Boy” and “Listen To This Track”, [but] it’s always dope when I’m doing interviews, people be like “You did that?”. I’m like I need to write my book so I don’t have to keep telling the story over and over again. Obviously I’m gonna always do interviews, but I just wanted people to be able to put a face with the name and understand what was going on behind the scenes of some of their favorite songs.

A lot of people say “I’m the soundtrack to their life,” so once you see what we was doing behind the scenes for “Standing Ovation” or what it took to make “White Girl” for Jeezy or what I was going through when I made “Umma do me” for Rocko, Plies “Shawty” you know, saying convincing him that you know we got enough goon music, let’s make some for the ladies and I got him to get with T pain and we did “Shawty” it’s deeper than making beats. I think a lot of people don’t really understand the depth that us as producers have to go through and how we have to prepare for the artists that we work with, to be able to deliver some of the biggest hits in the game.

Behind the Hits book cover
Image: courtesy of Drumma Boy.

My producer process is really unorthodox. I’ve always cut my music like gumbo, because I make the best with what I have at the time.

Drumma Boy

What’s your process when it comes to making a record?

Drumma Boy: My producer process is really unorthodox. I’ve always cut my music like gumbo, because I make the best with what I have at the time. My grandmother, she would have one onion left, half a tomato, some carrots, potatoes, shrimp and fish or whatever she got left, and just put it all into one pot and turn nothing into something. It’s the same thing with music. We might have a little bit of weed, might have a little bit alcohol, might be some girls in the studio, or it’s just self motivation. I got to put these hits on the board for these particular artists and then there isn’t no weed, nothing around so there’s always different challenges that prep you. The biggest tool that I’ve had, where I can make any piece of music whenever I want to at the flip of my fingers, is music appreciation, music theory. Growing up with my dad he was in an orchestra  growing up under him, he was first chair clarinetist that prepared me to read, write, arrange, and compose. It’s really about capturing what you need from the artist and as a producer, we can do the rest.

Have you ever done a beat for an artist and they turned it down?

Drumma Boy: Yeah, it’s plenty of beats, you can make something for somebody but it might end up in completely different hands to somebody else like “it’s a photo shoot girl, it’s a photoshoot” that’s a LA beat. I tried to skip that beat and Gucci said “Go back, what’s that?” and that was the first song we ever did. We were playing pool and Gucci said “What you do?” I said “I make beats, what you do?” He like, “I rap” and he had just came back from Birmingham, Alabama and he was in the office about to sign a record deal. You never know what the artist is going to pick, what they’re gonna choose, what they’re gonna gravitate to, and where that home will become for that beat. Just make good music, put your spirit and your soul into it and it’s gonna find the right house.

Drumma Boy. Image: Robert Ector

“No Hands” is a classic and recently just went Diamond. How did that record come full circle?

Drumma Boy: Making “No Hands” was a celebration. I got a call from Gucci Mane. This is his first day out and anytime Gucci got out of jail he booked the studio. He booked the whole A Room and B Room, shut the whole studio down. There were literally 300 people there. I had just made the beats to “Abnormal” and “First day out” for Gucci while he was rapping and when he was doing “Abnormal” I knew I had about 30 minutes while he was doing the second verse. So I ran over to the B Room where Waka Flocka was at and all my equipment already set up Lloyd Banks, Wale and Roscoe Dash were in there already. I started making the beat, which took 5 minutes. One of the people I saw paying attention was Roscoe Dash. I told him to get in the booth and as soon as he opened his mouth “Girl drop it to the floor I love the way your booty go”. The whole studio turned into a club, at first Waka Flocka  was like ” We don’t need to do a song with everybody” he really didn’t get it at first. Once he heard the hook, Waka Flocka went straight in the booth, dropped his verse then Wale dropped his verse and then Roscoe put his verse on last. I didn’t get paid for the beat up front, that was normal for me to get paid up front. I leaked the song out and gave it to DJ Holiday. The rest was history, Shout out to the ladies, to the fellas man who turn up to this song everyday.

What’s the most amount of money you have seen from producing a hit? Which song?

Drumma Boy: “No Hands” — you’re not going to see as much money from a diamond record and I’m 50% saying no collaborations, no loops, no samples. That’s all me 100% that record went diamond, nothing will touch that. We have some more records “We Poppin” going crazy, I’m just understanding how big the video side of things are that video did over 100 million views, “We Poppin” NBA Youngboy was huge for me. Another one is “Money to Blow” by Drake and Lil Wayne. I get 50% of most of the music that I’ve done like “Look At My Dab” by Migos licensing and sync was really big on that from movie placements and TV placements, that right there can take your money through the roof. “Put on” by Jezzy, and Kanye was huge with Jay Z jumping on the remix classic. It’s so many records that it’s not about the money but more so about the inspiration, the feelings and the legacy.

The post From Beats to Books: Drumma Boy Talks Journey as a Hit-Making Producer and Now Author appeared first on EBONY.

Updated: October 18, 2023 — 3:02 pm