Hard work is key when it comes to bringing one’s dreams into full fruition, but in the case of 22 year old producer Lil Lody, it’s more like a hustler’s ambition. Within less than six months, Lody’s skills on the production tip became the backbone for Young Jeezy’s long-delayed, TM:103 ‘Hustlerz Ambition.’ Crafting beats since the age of 14, the young beatsmith is on one hell of a come up. Already equipped with an impressive list of production credits for artists like Diddy and Rick Ross (“Bugatti Boyz”), Waka Flocka Flame (“Still Standing), MMG (“By Any Means”), Pastor Troy (“The Belt”) and more, the Memphis-native has accomplished a lot within such a short timeframe.
Fresh off his scoring his biggest break on Jizzle’s fourth studio album—in which he served up backdrops for eight of the project’s eighteen tracks— XXLMag.com got a chance to chop it up with the beat wizard about his beginnings as a rapper, working with Jeezy, dealing with TM 103’s constant push backs, and what he has in store for 2012.—Ralph Bristout (@RalphieBlackmon)
XXL: So tell me a little about how you got your start at producing.
Lil Lody: I started back when I was 14 years old. Honestly, I was a rapper before I even became a producer. I [took] the rapping real serious at like 14. Things were going good but to me, the game started to fade out. The fame I wanted in the game wasn’t there so, I was like, “Let me go and produce.” Between me and you, producing is a hobby to me. Like it’s something that I could do because I’m good at it. I don’t do it for the money, [that] just so happens to come with it. I do it because of pure passion.
Where did that passion come from?
[One time] I was in the studio recording, you know I used to pay for my own studio time and the engineer-he actually made beats-played a beat and one of the [instrumentals] was hard so, keep in mind I’m 14 years old, I was getting my money and stuff, but I asked him “how much [you] want for the beat?” He was like he want $3,500-$4,000. I’m like, “Damn I’m 14, I don’t know why you gonna charge me this much for it.” He was like, “Well that’s what its gonna be homie.” I wasn’t gonna pay that for no beat because, what if I do it and the beat don’t become no big hit across the world? I [would've just] wasted $3,500-$4,000 for no reason. That made me just start producing myself. Like “Okay I’m a take this shit and do it myself and become the best at it,” that was my mindframe.
So from there, you just started taking it serious then.
Taking it serious and going harder than a muthafucka with it.
How did you link up with Jeezy?
It all started during All-Star weekend in February of this year. We linked up in December though. My nigga [Carbon 15], was on the Twitter-and they [Carbon and Jeezy] don’t really do Twitter really-and was just on Twitter fucking around, trying to see what it was about because so many people were talking about it. The “Rollin’” song popped with Gunplay and they were trying to find out who [produced it]. You know, I was always on Twitter broadcasting, doing my thing, talking a lil’ shit like I do and he found me and reached out to me from Jeezy’s page. He followed me and I was like “Hell nah, this aint no Young Jeezy page,” but the followers were up there so, it kind of threw me off. So, I just followed him back and hit him on the DM like, “Yo homie, I got beats for real.” That’s when he hit me back like, “Yeah I already know. I was trying to reach out to you for Snow anyway.”
So all this stemmed from the “Rollin” record? There was a lot of criticism that came along with that record. Some people were trying to compare the sound to Lex Luger’s style of production. How’d you feel about that?
Yeah, I heard about it. When people get to the comparing game, I don’t really indulge in that because you know, its nothing but music. Music gets recycled, it gets born, dies, and reborn again. When people get to comparing and competing, I [just] keep my mind focused and avoid getting to that. Now if they want to compete against something real, compete against the money. Holla at me in the streets and we gon’ see who’s money’s the longest.
But, then you turnt things up when you did the “Ballin’” record. Was that the first record you and Jeezy worked on?
I had to go in, [especially] for that record, I had to do what I had to do. [But] real talk, the very first record me and Snow worked on was the intro to the album, which is “Waiting.”
Explain how that session went about.
When I first met him, I played a beat and he was like, “Aight, put that to the side.” I wanted to do something dramatic and he was telling me how he wanted to create this big, powerful theme that’s dramatic and real melodic. He was like “Add this” and “Make it sound like this.” So after, shit came out to be the intro to TM:103.
And that was the first record you guys did.
Yup, that was the first record. We knocked the album [out] before The Real Is Back 1 & 2 mixtapes dropped. When we first linked up, we knocked the album out in like a month. We knocked the album out so fast, [there] were songs that was suppose to be on the album that we didn’t even bypass. Like one of them is “Real Is How You Feel,” its done [and] was supposed to be on the album, I don’t know how the choices were made but, we knocked it all out in a month. We don’t play.