Late last week, fans got their first taste of the upcoming G.O.O.D. Music compilation with “Mercy,” featuring Kanye West, Big Sean, 2 Chainz and Pusha T. The record also put the spotlight on another individual: Lifted. The team’s newest in-house producer—who crafted the beat for the single—has been creating quite a buzz for himself over the last nine months. The first taste many got of him was on Game’s mixtape, HoodMorning (No Typo) [Candy Coronas], where the upstart provided the beat for “Can You Believe It,” which featured Lil Wayne and Baby. Lift grabbed even more attention producing a couple of joints for Bad Boy’s Los, including two songs on The Crown Aint Safe tape, hosted by DJ Ill Will and DJ Drama. The Arizona native made serious noise late last week, when “Mercy,” the lead single to the G.O.O.D. Music compilation album, hit airwaves. XXLMag.com chopped it up with the 32-year-old producing hotshot to discuss his journey, linking up with Kanye West, the making of “Mercy,” prospective collaborations and more. —Christopher Minaya (@CM_3)
XXLMag.com: How did “Mercy” come about?
Lifted: I had the beat prior to that, talking about some like fly Lamborghini shit. And my manager played it for—I forget who he played it for over at G.O.O.D.—but, you know, eventually, ’Ye heard it, and it was just kind of fitting in his vision for the record and for the G.O.O.D. Music project.
How long did it take for the song to come to life?
I made the beat probably in November. Sean and Push had their shit done in London in like January. Shit, we finished it—like the actual mix and everything [on Thursday].
How many joints have you already worked on that could end up on the G.O.O.D. Music compilation?
Four joints including the “Mercy” record.
What led to you becoming a part of G.O.O.D.?
Really, just building. I went out to ’Ye’s crib in L.A., during the Watch the Throne shows in L.A., and was just building. Played some beats. He was feeling my shit. That led to going to London in January. Kept building. Playing more shit. Making cool shit. There was actually another G.O.O.D. Music writing session in L.A. Now we’re here. I’m actually in the process [of signing] right now. It’s just on some like legal shit right now.
What was your first meeting with Kanye like?
It was crazy. It was over at his house, and Kanye has been cool from the jump. I don’t exactly remember who was there, but I think it was [Kid] Cudi. John Legend was there. I played some beats. That night was the first Watch the Throne show in L.A., so he invited me to that. That was crazy. Got to go backstage. He played the “Mercy” joint backstage that night. It was an overall cool ass experience, dude.
Were you ever in the studio with anybody during the recording process?
Yeah, for sure. In London, Sean and Push recorded their verses. And then, in L.A., 2 Chainz, I was in the studio with, when he recorded that. And then, ’Ye recorded his verse when I was out in New York. It was crazy. Just the energy’s ridiculous. Coming from Phoenix and just being thrown into the situation, it’s a just a cool ass experience. When they’re recording and shit, I’m just sitting there soaking up game. Soaking up game from all the other producers. The engineers. So much knowledge over there.
What other G.O.O.D. Music artists have you been working with?
Maybe a month or two ago, I went out to L.A. and got in a session with Big Sean. We got a joint coming out. I think they shot a video to the shit, so it’s looking pretty positive as far as it coming out. And, it’s like straight up like Detroit anthem type shit.
Who’s been reaching out to you lately?
Bootleg Kev is plugging me in with 2 Chainz’s people. Luda’s people hit me up last night on Twitter.
How did you get into producing?
I started off DJing and that just kind of naturally progressed into producing. Rapping with the homies and shit, no one really made beats, so I just started but I think it was just kind of a natural progression from DJing to producing. I’ve been producing since like 2000—taking it serious, though. For the past probably like six, seven years.
And you’re in a band, too?
We’re called The New F-o’s. When people ask us like, “Yo, what kind of music do you make?” I say, “Real life feel good music.” So, it’s a trip to be—it’s Real Life Feel Good Music and G.O.O.D. Music. It’s definitely crazy that it came around like that. We been getting like a gang of placements through like MTV. They’ve been placing a lot of our shit on Jersey Shore, The Real World, anything like MTV-affiliated. And then, I’ve got an artist with Real Life Good Music; his name is Hannibal Lec, and we’re working on his mixtape right now.
Back to “Mercy” real quick. What was your reaction once you heard it was going to be the lead single?
I was happy as hell. It’s crazy because I depend on anything until it’s legit. Like once I heard it on the radio—[I was like], Yeah, shit is kind of legit now.