FEATURE: Boi-1da, A Star Is Born

Drake isn’t the only star emerging from Toronto. T. Dot producer Boi-1da is steadily making a name for himself behind the boards—crafting noteworthy singles over the past 12 months, including Kardinal Offishal’s “Set It Off,” Drake’s “Best I Ever Had” and the monster collabo “Forever” featuring Drizzy, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Eminem.

With a growing clientele that includes G-Unit, the Diplomats and Andre 3000, it looks like Boi (born Matthew Samuels) is just getting started. XXLMag.com recently caught up with the beatsmith to speak on his role on Dr. Dre’s mythical Detox project, his interest in the Jonas Brothers and his work on Drake’s highly anticipated debut, Thank Me Later.

XXLMag.com: I read that Drake is trying to come up with his own sound instead of using big name producers. You have definitely cemented your place as one as Drake’s signature producers. How many tracks have you done for the new album?

Boi-1da: Right now I have three that I know of. There are a lot of other beats that he likes. There is one that he wants to use and there are like a couple other beats. The thing is, [the way] Drake works is differently. He won’t write a song exactly when he gets the beat. He’ll want ‘til it comes to him and than after that he will write.

XXL: How many of those songs has he recorded already?

Boi-1da: One of them [he] recorded that’s finished and one of them he just said, “Yo, this has to go on my album.”

XXL: I could already kind of pick out when I hear your tracks. I’m interested to hear how would you describe your sound?

Boi-1da: I will describe my sound as loud. Dr. Dre is my favorite producer and when I hear Dr. Dre beats it’s like they’re loud, they hit you hard. So I try to make myself, like model myself after Dre albums and just make my sound like the hard-hitting music like it smacks you, and you can’t go nowhere because it’s gonna like smack you back into place. I try to make my music ‘smacky.’

XXL: On your wiki page it says that you’re working on Detox, is that true?

Boi-1da: Yeah I was actually submitting tracks for Detox through my boy Brandon, who’s [the] A&R for Dr. Dre. After he heard the “Set it off” track that I did for Kardinal, he actually wanted that beat. I had already gave it to Kardinal and it was already on his album but he liked the beat so much that he didn’t even rap in three years and he came out, he came out and started rapping and did a remix over it. Everybody was like, “What the hell, Dr. Dre ain’t rap in like three years.” So they were hollering at me to get a beat that was like similar to that.

XXL: You got some track record, man. You got Dre rapping, you putting out Eminem, Kanye and Wayne on the same track. What other projects are you working on?

Boi-1da: Right now I’m working on an artist from Toronto I’m developing named August. He’s an R&B singer, amazing R&B singer. Like he’s really, really good. We’re working on his stuff. I’m working on a lot of stuff with Sean Garrett. He’s writing to a lot of my beats. I submitted some stuff for Usher. Usher is cutting, I think he cut a record of mines yesterday.

XXL: Word

Boi-1da: Who else? I’m trying to work with the Jonas Brothers. Like I’m just trying to get in with it where I fit in. You know?

XXL: Wow

Boi-1da: I don’t even care. I just, I’m just trying work with whatever, whoever, why ever, however. You know what I am saying?

XXL: You’re actually submitting to them or that’s just like a dream of yours?

Boi-1da: Yeah, they’re actually coming down to Toronto soon and we’re supposed to get in the studio.

XXL: So how much has your price gone up after “Forever” came out?

Boi-1da: A billion dollars. [Laugh] I’m joking. [laugh] I don’t even know yet. It went up obliviously, but like you know, I’m not that kind of, I’m not even worrying about like how much I’m getting paid off of a beat. I’m just trying work with everybody and make hits with everybody. You know?

XXL: Right, so Sean Garrett, Usher, Jonas Brothers. Any rappers that been hollering at you?

Boi-1da: Any rappers? Actually I’m working on Busta Rhymes’s new album, his new project coming out right now. He got a lot of heat coming off that album. I was in L.A. the other day with The Game and I gave him a few beats. He actually recorded a song to a few of my beats. Also Nipsey Hussle. I’m working with Nip.—Jesse Gissen

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  • BigPaul

    Boi-1da, do your thing cat. Your sound is dynamic, I will say that. I was hooked after the drake cut “city is mine”. Thats a banger, all day. Whatever you do, dont fall into the traps of this business called music. Always remember industry rule #4080, & I expect to see you around for a very long time. Stay up, & keep it epic.

  • Da

    make his music “Smacky”?

    he really said that.

  • http://j-mace.deviantart.com Shawty J

    Nice to see an interview with a producer, we don’t see enough of those on the site or in the magazine.



    BAY 2 AZ

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  • http://www.myspace.com/mixremusic Mixre Music

    haha this is so dope man…been in contact with boi-1-da a few years now, even though we didnt do any work…I knew he had mad talent and would eventually go places..now he is doing HUGE things, be up to him and thanks for puttin us canadains on the map with kardi, drake & class!

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  • http://www.myspace.com/mobuckproductionz MoBuck$

    Good work bruh ..Nice sound ..”Smacky” yessir i know exactly what you mean ..but on the real can i just get one of those contacts you got in your phone i promise i wont dissapoint..lol.

  • Mutada/Mullah Atari

    Good shit, I like the Drake stuff and that Em. Kanye, Drake, man kisser joint is dope too. Make sure you paperwork is right man. Thats all I can say.


    “Mutada/Mullah Atari”
    It’s spelled Kizzare
    Me and the Boi-1Da go way back to YouTube Days
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  • nickdddd

    fuck xxl.Boi-1da has been out for years just like drake and now they do a feature.They only care about mainstream, fuck xxl

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    Man I love when CANADIAN ARTITS get on the map, this cat is just killing it everywhere. And he seems super down to earth, hes making stuff for dre, drake kanye, sean garret, jonas bros, busta rhymes, my BOY THE GAME, nipssey hussle, all these big name of up and coming artists and hes like “yeah its no big deadl”. This guy is like the new timbaland, but actually good.

    I wish I could hear THE GAME tracks it would be dopeee!

  • beave

    Sorry I’m too hood to listen to drake and “feel” his rhymes. He’s too marketed to the bitches. Cam’ron and real nigga music all day. RIP Big L. There are no real rappers anymore. Happy jay-z dropped a gem though. Real talk. I’m In hackensack nigga! Hitting I-80 in the morning!

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