Behind The Boards: Sean Paine
Gucci Mane's go-to engineer tells how Guwop keeps the streets flooded from behind bars.
Words Dan Rys
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of XXL Magazine. Don't miss our cover stories on Meek Mill and Rick Ross right here.

Gucci Mane has been locked up for 18 months, but he’s put out more music in that time than any other rapper in the game. Sean Paine, the 30-year-old producer and head engineer of Gucci’s Brick Factory Studios, is the man behind those releases. A Texas native, Paine graduated from Full Sail University in 2011 and learned his craft as an intern at Atlanta’s famed PatchWerk Studios, where he worked with Waka Flocka Flame, Young Thug and, eventually, Gucci Mane himself.

When Gucci opened Brick Factory in early 2013, he brought Paine with him to run his operation, and Paine has been in charge of mixing, sequencing and distributing Gucci’s myriad projects from inside and outside of prison since. XXL spoke with the engineer about what keeps Gucci ticking.

XXL: How did you link up with Gucci Mane?
Sean Paine: I met him the day he got out of jail [in 2011]; he pulled up to the studio with a bag full of money. I used to be an assistant engineer for [PatchWerk’s] Kori [Anders] and used to sit in on a lot of Gucci’s sessions when I was an intern. So that’s how he got familiar with me and knew who I was. And Gucci came in one time and requested Kori, but everybody was out of town for BET Weekend. He let me do it, and ever since that day Gucci didn’t ever request another engineer.

Who puts together all the music that has come out in the past year and a half?
Me and Gucci talk on the phone at least five times a week, literally almost every day. Basically, he tells me what songs. Gucci’s got a whole bunch of songs he’s recorded, so sometimes we might swap out a beat to keep it up to date. Or you know, he might’ve recorded it older but I put a couple effects in there to make it sound more modern.

Why do you think you guys work so well together?
'Cause I’m very quick when I’m engineering and recording people. And also I produce people, I rap, I’m in tune with what’s hot. I’m young, and I’m willing to try stuff. And I keep it real. He appreciates my opinion more than anything.