Infamous Breaks Down Five Lil Wayne Tracks He Produced
With the five-year anniversary of Tha Carter III just a few days away (June 10), the XXL staff has been jamming to C3 and reminiscing on the importance of the album, Wayne's incredible hunger that comes through on each track and the hype that led up to the project's release.
One of our favorite tracks from the LP was the Jay-Z-featuring "Mr. Carter," a catchy anthem that solidified Wayne as a contender for the throne with some help from Hov. What's really surprising about that record, though, is that it came from the then-novice hands of DJ-turned-producer Infamous. After years of competing as a DJ and even being in a rock band, Infamous got his first major album placement with "Mr. Carter."
Since then, Inf has gone on to foster a close working relationship with Wayne and has had a hand in producing on just about every Weezy project since Carter III. So, we called him up yesterday and asked him to break down five of his most notable Wayne collabs.
"Prom Queen" from Rebirth
"'Prom Queen' was crazy, dude. That shit was mad weird. I know that Cool & Dre had been working with Wayne a lot at that point for Rebirth, and I was always talking to them, and they were like, 'He's going for real rock.' And I used to be in a rock band, so I was like, already skeptical, because it's Wayne doing rock, so I figured it was like 808s with guitars and shit on it. Then I went to the studio one day, and he played me some stuff he was doing, and I was like, 'Oh, all right cool. I'll be back tomorrow with some ideas.' I came back, and he didn't like any of them, but he was like, 'Let's work on some shit tomorrow.' So I came back, and we worked the next day, and it literally turned into a five-hour jam session where I was on bass and Wayne was on guitar, practicing guitar, which was tough to sit through. Really towards the end of the night, at like 5 in the morning, he was just like, 'Let's do something slow.' And I just started playing and noodling around on the guitar with that bullshit riff that 'Prom Queen' starts with, and he was like, 'Na, that's it!'"
"President Carter" from Tha Carter IV
"That one actually started with Angel Aponte. All I really did was some of the background choirs and replaced some of the guitar parts because it was a sample that got reinterpolated. I love that record. I think it's great. It was always the plan to make that the next chapter after 'Mr. Carter,' and even now I'm thinking, like, 'What's the next thing that we can do after 'President Carter'?' I'm just going to keep pitching ideas, hoping that one of them sticks. I mean, the progression is intentional, but it gets lost because it's not really like a 'Maybach Music 1' and 'Maybach Music 2' series thing."
"La La La" from Unreleased
"That was actually one of the first beats I ever made, and I actually gave it to Curren$y, who was signed to Young Money at the time. That's when I met Wayne, because my boy is Developed, who produced 'Fireman' for Wayne, and he had a room at the Hit Factory where we were working for a couple months. 'La La La' was the first beat that I handed to anybody at Cash Money, and it was Curren$y. He was playing it, and he was going to write to it, then Wayne came in the room and was like 'What is that?' and Curren$y was like 'Oh, this is one of Infamous' beats.' Then Wayne was like, 'Na, that's the single to Carter III.' Then Tez (Cortez Bryant, Lil Wayne's manager) called me that night and was like, 'Listen to this beat that's playing on the speakers, is this you?' I was like, 'Yeah.' Then he was like, 'Cool, can you bring the session down? Wayne is going to be writing to it.' I immediately came over, brought the session…from what I heard, it took him two weeks. He had that shit on loop and was writing to it. He would go in the studio everyday at 6 p.m. and leave at 6 a.m. and for two weeks he had that on loop. But I did so many versions of that shit to try to get it on Tha Carter III, and I was so pissed that it wasn't. I was begging this dude."
"Told Y'all" from Unreleased
"That was the first time Wayne did the super-fast vocal shit, and that leaked. I remember the first time when it leaked, I went to the studio, and I was like, 'Yo what the fuck is up with 'Told Ya'll'?' And he was like, 'That shit's crazy, isn't it?' I was like, 'Hell yeah, that shit's crazy! Are you going to put it on an album?' And he was like, 'Why you asking all these questions?' Then I told him I made the beat, and he was like, 'No way! You did that fucking beat? I never done anything like that before!' That's one of my favorite Wayne records. He's spazzing on that shit."
"I Am Not A Human Being" from I Am Not A Human Being
"I used to be a DJ in a crew with A-Trak and Craze called Allies. That whole beat was made when I was in my house going through all my old scratch records and shit, and I was like, 'Man, I need to make drum kits out of all of these fucking records.' So I sat there and just started chopping shit up, and I just decided to make a beat out of it. I really tried to make it as weird as possible, because you never know with Wayne. So we tried to do a beat that never really repeated, but we got bored after about 30 minutes, so we were like, 'We have three pieces here, let's just interchange them.' That record was supposed to be on Rebirth, and then when we started doing all the paperwork and shit for Rebirth, it got left off. I asked Wayne, 'What's up with 'I Am Not A Human Being'?' and he was like, 'Na, I'm going to do a whole album called I Am Not A Human Being.' I was like, 'All right, dude.' Because dude's always got an idea. So I was like, 'All right, cool. See you next week, or some shit.' And sure enough, I kept giving him beats, and he was like, 'I'm gonna use these for my new album.' I was like, 'Oh cool, what's it called?' He goes, 'I Am Not A Human Being.'"