Hit-Boy’s catalog is filled with a number of major records that have made an impact from a commercial and critical acclaim standpoint, and he pulled up to ComplexCon 2022 to discuss some of them. During the ComplexCon(versations) panel Mixed & Mastered With Hit-Boy, the multi-platinum and Grammy-winning producer spoke with host and Complex’s very own Speedy Morman about songs he’s made with the likes of Jay-Z and Kanye West (“N***as in Paris”), Nipsey Hussle (“Racks in the Middle”), and ASAP Rocky (“Goldie”), sharing some behind the scenes moments along the way.
He recounted being persistent and sending Kanye “hella” beats years ago, which led to him getting invited to the Watch the Throne sessions that took place at the Mercer Hotel in NYC. Arguably the best record off the project, “N***as in Paris” co-produced by Hit-Boy, is also its most successful, going 9x platinum since its release. Hit-Boy remembered Kanye telling him how big the record would be when it dropped. “He was emailing me like, ‘Yo, you gotta understand bro, when this song come out your life is changed forever. And that was really true.”
Hit-Boy added, “For one of my most simple pieces of work to being one of my most successful, that also taught me a lot, like man, don’t over think it. Simplicity is key.”
With Nipsey’s “Racks in the Middle,” Hit-Boy explained he initially made the song with Roddy Ricch, and planned to release it on his own project. Once he played it for Nipsey, the late rapper told Hit-Boy he needed it for his album; the record would go on to win the Grammy for Best Rap Performance.
ASAP Rocky’s “Goldie” was also a record Hit-Boy initially made that he had other plans for. “I had another version where I had the flutes, but I had this epic piano sound. So I played that beat for Kanye for Watch the Throne way back in 2011,” he shared. “And Kanye was like, ‘Yo, you should take the piano out and give it a more dark vibe.’ That’s why I came with the 808s and switch-up, and just made it hard. I was trying to get Hov and Ye to rap on it, but they had so many amazing beats it didn’t make the cut.”
Some time later, Hit-Boy connected with Rocky at a studio in Van Nuys for a few studio sessions, which led to “Goldie” and the memorable posse cut “1 Train.” To Hit, the “Goldie” beat “is up there on ‘N***as in Paris’ level. I feel like that could have been on Watch the Throne, but it was meant for Rocky.”
Other records discussed included “Clique” (Big Sean, Kanye West, and Jay-Z), “Til My Last Breath” (off Nas’ King’s Disease III), “Corsa” (his collab with Dom Kennedy), as well as Hit-Boy’s time working with Beyoncé on a number of occasions.
The panel—sponsored Patrón El Alto—also included Allie Bostwick, Patrón’s senior director global communications, culture & brand partnerships, as well as Jon Colclough, vice president of creative strategy at Mass Appeal, who talked about Hit-Boy’s collaboration with Patrón which includes a new song to be released in January 2023.