KeY Wane Talks Producing Big Sean’s “Guap,” Detroit‘s Reception and Hall Of Fame
And the production credits continue to roll in for rising beatsmith Key Wane. Last night (October 25) G.O.O.D. Music rhymeslinger, Big Sean premiered the first single off his forthcoming Hall of Fame: Memoirs of a Detroit Player sophomore album, titled “Guap,” and it finds the young beatmaker handling production duties, alongside Young Chop. Coming off a run of successful contributions including Meek Mill’s Dreamchasers 2 hit (now also featured on Dreams and Nightmares) “Amen,” as well as Big Sean’s championed Detriot mixtape (“Higher,” “24k of Gold,” “I’m Gonna Be”), Wane is steadily making his mark as one of the game’s producers to watch.
Taking the time out of his busy schedule, which includes school (Tennessee State University) and work in the booth, Wane talks to XXL about the making of his big homey’s “Guap” single, the reception of Detroit and what fans can expect from Hall of Fame. —Ralph Bristout
On the Creation Process for "Guap"
This was like this past March or April and I remember, this was definitely after mid-terms, Sean had flew me out to LA. We went to the studio and was working on the mixtape and the album. He was like, “Man I recorded these records on my phone about this really good song that I have an idea for.” Then he texted me the reference, I listened to it and was like, “Man this could be a really good song.” So I went in the other room where I had my stuff set up and I started making the skeleton of the beat, which was like the steel drums [mimics sound] I was like, Man! Then Sean was like, “Make it sound like something big.” So I went to the next room and just kept working on it then we finally came with a solid idea. So that’s when he started recording the hook first— this was all in the same day. The song wasn’t finished in a day but we got the overall [direction] of where we was trying to go with the song on that day. Everybody was excited. No I.D. was like, “Man this is a really good song.” Everybody was just hype. He did the hook and then I layered the hook with some vocals and that’s how it was.
Young Chop was in the studio too; I think that was the first day I met [him]. When I played Sean the idea he was like, “This shit is so sweet.” My drums were just the claps and I threw some 808s on there and with Chop being there, Sean was like, “Let’s put Chop on the drums.” So [he] did the 808s and the trap hi-hats. Where I was going with my melodies and claps, everything was really good. It was one of those songs that was produced—we was all in the studio, all working together.
What makes it even crazier, I remember when I left to go back to school, I just worked on it for like every other day since then. Listened to it, tried to make sure what to do different to the song because I had a feeling that it was going to be really big. I just kept adding things to it. That’s when the strings came in and I remember Sean had hit me up telling me, “Let’s beef up the beat, this shit is about to take off.” The beat was originally just the steel drums, synths, kicks and some claps. Then I recently, a good month and a half ago, added some strings, synths on top of that, some keys—a whole bunch of shit to make it sound stadium like so that everybody could just love it.
When I went to LA, I was just in LA for some sessions and got a phone call from Sean. He was like, “Yo before you go back to school, come to the studio and let’s work on “Guap.” Right when I got off the phone with Sean, Mike Brinkley hit me up and was like “Man, “Guap” is the first single. “ I was like “Woah, word.” It was crazy ’cause Sean is the type, you know, he wants it to sound great. So he’s going to listen to it and if he doesn’t like something he’s going to be like, “Yo we need to make that shit sound good.” So I played the new version like and I had a feeling Sean was going to point something out. He was going to want to make it better but, I was prepared for that. So he heard it and was like, “This shit is good! Nigga roll this shit up!” After we edited [some of the pieces] everybody in the studio was like, “Damn, this shit sounds good! Everybody is about the go crazy, this is one of those good feelings man.” The bad feeling was leaving. I’m going back though but I’m about to graduate.
I honestly feel like Detroit was one of my favorite mix tapes I’ve ever produced on. I really fuck with that mixtape. What makes it even more dope is that I actually got to sit and watch the whole creative process. I got to sit and watch people bounce ideas. I got to do my thing and everybody. It was a collective effort, everybody coming it, man I can only imagine how ham they about to go when Hall of Fame come out.
On Sean’s New Album:
On some real shit, I feel like that they’re going to expect a really great musical experience. This is about to change lives in my opinion. I remember just sitting through the listening sessions where people from labels and his mom [and feeling] that emotional connection. This is really about to really grab people. Everything was crafted correctly for this album. I just can not wait for this shit to come out.