Sonny Digital Explains Origins of 2 Chainz and Kanye West’s “Birthday Song”
Producer Sonny Digital already has a number of hits on his resume with club favorites like Future’s “Same Damn Time” and YC’s “Racks.” He recently secured arguably his biggest placement to date, though, with “Birthday Song,” by 2 Chainz featuring Kanye West, off of Chainz’s Based on a T.R.U. Story.
“I know they recorded it when SXSW was going on, when 2 Chainz had brought out Kanye West,” Sonny told XXLMag.com regarding the conception of the track that took place during the popular Austin, TX music festival this past March. “I think it was right after that. Kanye West went to 2 Chainz’s tour bus and recorded his verse. That was the original, original version. Then after that, a couple months down the road, I had tracked out the beat and sent it to 2 Chainz, and he sent it to Kanye, and Kanye added his stuff to it. That’s how the song was born.”
Not surprisingly, Yeezy put some of his own tweaks on the beat. Unlike Young Chop—who was vocal about his disdain for what the celebrated rapper/producer did to his “I Don’t Like” beat for its remix—Sonny grew to enjoy the touches of the Grammy winner. “Kanye changed a lot to the beat,” the “Racks” producer said. “He didn’t really change it; he added more stuff to the beat. The Kanye West-type feel. [He] kind of gave it that movie feel.”
“You gotta get used to it,” he said of the finished product, for which they already shot a video in New York City. “At first I was like, ‘Ah, I dunno.’ But then when I started listening to it more, I was like, ‘This shit kind of hard right here.’ I knew it was gonna do that.”
The A-Town producer, who’s also worked with Rick Ross, among others, usually hears finished products with the rest of the world, but he got an early preview of “Birthday Song.” “I heard it probably a day before it came out,” he recalled. “I happened to bump into 2 Chainz—I think it was the day before—he was doing a video shoot, then I went onto the tour bus and he played it for me.”
2 Chainz’s Based on a T.R.U. Story is available now. —Adam Fleischer (@AdamXXL)