Studio Sessions | Tim Maxey's solo music got him on Kendrick Lamar's 'Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers'
For this installment of “Studio Sessions,” the producer discusses his time in the lab with Baby Rose and Kendrick Lamar, what he has in store for fans next, and more.
When you listen to Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers album, the first voice you hear is producer Tim Maxey. He’s produced for Summer Walker and Baby Rose and has also witnessed how methodical Lamar is when making music.
“Kendrick is such a low-key person, so he only keeps two or three people around him at a time while he’s writing and creating. It’s the same guys who have been doing it since Section.80. They’re some of the best,” Maxey told REVOLT.
In this installment of “Studio Sessions,” Maxey explains how he and Baby Rose ended up working with Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar. He also discusses his instant creative chemistry with Baby Rose and how his upcoming album helped get him on three songs from K-Dot’s album.
Which sessions have been your favorite so far?
It might’ve been with Kendrick [Lamar] and Baby Rose. It was a collaborative process. It was quick, and I got to see where his head was at. He’s my favorite artist. I got to put that as my favorite. Also working with Q, who’s signed to Columbia Records. Dreamville sessions were tight. But, I do sessions every day.
Let’s hop in that Rose x Kendrick session. How did it come about? How did they collaborate together?
Baby Keem hit Baby Rose about coming to the studio. So we came through, and the four of us chopped it up a little bit. He showed us the concept of the record. It was incredible, of course. We recorded and stayed until 3 a.m. I wasn’t producing the song; I was just writing with her. It was fire. I wish people could hear it.
Your solo music got you onto Kendrick’s Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers album. How so?
We had been texting back and forth for a minute. I would send him stems. I was going through a bad breakup from a really bad situation and I started to be like, ‘Wherever she ends up, she’s going to hear me.’ That was my satisfaction. I just went ham (laughs). Kendrick and I worked remotely. I would send him ideas, and he’d give me direction on where he’d want to go sonically. He’d reference some songs and say, ‘I like the drums on this.’ It would be like that. Kendrick is such a low-key person, so he only keeps two or three people around him at a time while he’s writing and creating. It’s the same guys who have been doing it since Section.80. They’re some of the best.
What was your personality like with Kendrick in the studio?
I was excited on the inside but at the same time, I was there for a reason. Everything is perspective. I had to understand and accept that I’m him. And I had to be focused on the task at hand.
View this post on Instagram
You’re on ‘Mirror,” “United In Grief,” and “Count Me Out.” Out of those songs, what were some insights he gave you?
Actually, those had no suggestions. The suggestions came on other records you haven’t heard.
How much of the three songs you’re on sound like what you sent Kendrick?
The arrangement and finishing touches. The intros, how it all sequences together and its position in the story. Ironically, we’re both coming from a place of guilt over what transpired in our relationships and the things we had done. I didn’t know that’s what he was on, but that was what I was on.
When did you know you made the album?
The day before my birthday (May 6) he told me I had made it. I know he told me he’d put it on the album, but you never know. It felt too good to be true. I found out it wasn’t just one song, it was three songs. That was fire.
View this post on Instagram
Who was the first major artist you were in the studio with?
Summer [Walker]. The first time we were in the studio together was in 2017, the day after she got signed to LVRN/Interscope. She was quiet because she didn’t know what to expect from the session. When you work with new people, it mostly doesn’t work out. So, she was chillin’ and asking me to play whatever. I was just playing keys and she said, ‘I like those chords.’ That’s how that went. We hit it off and her manager at the time, Summer, was like, ‘I want you to help with this album. I like it, but it could be cooler.’ That was how we met.
What did you do to achieve that sound?
The album was super eclectic and showed range. They pulled me in because of my first artist project Baeland, which I released on SoundCloud. It was just vibes. I was just myself.
How has your solo sound developed over the years after working with artists like Summer Walker?
I’m always looking for some new shit to get on. That’s just how Chicago culture is. It’s all about being fresh, new and ahead of everything. I’m always trying to do things differently than I’ve done them before. I’ve recently minimized the sounds I use to make stronger parts with fewer sounds. All I need is my Strymon Deco pedal, computer and Korg Minilogue.
View this post on Instagram
How did you and Baby Rose connect for the first time?
There were songs I was going to give to Summer, but Summer wasn’t feeling them as much, so I ended up showing Rose. The first song we made was called ‘Borderline’ off her To Myself album. She was the first artist I worked with that would start and finish a whole song in a session.
I’ve been in the studio with you and Rose. What is a typical session like?
It usually happens really quickly. I’ll start making something, and she’ll start writing. I’ll arrange it a bit and she’ll be like, ‘I feel it should sound like this.’ When you came, we were doing a lot of collaborations, so she had a bunch of writers she was collaborating with. So, while she was doing that, I’ll go on my headphones and start another sound. The first time we linked, we had great chemistry. She killed it.
What projects do you have coming up?
I’m working on one under the name NOT THE TWOS. The project is called A Girl That Sold Drugs. It features the first thing you hear on Kendrick’s album, but it’ll be a little different. I’ve been working on it for six months. I worked from the crib on it, primarily. My favorite session I have from this album is for a song called ‘Ha Ha.’ There is a beta version of the song on my website AGirlThatSoldDrugs.com. Making that song was fun; it’s uptempo.
What should people expect from you for the second half of the year?
A Girl That Sold Drugs. It should be out early fall.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.
“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.
In this new episode of ‘Bet on Black,’ food and beverage take center stage as aspiring Black entrepreneurs from It’s Seasoned, Black Farmer Box, and Moors Brewing Co. present their business ideas to judges with mentorship from Melissa Butler. Watch here!
REVOLT is continuing its impactful partnership with Walmart by teaming up to showcase Black creatives at HBCUs all-across America. The panel consisted of three experienced, accomplished Black HBCU alumni: Actor and media personality Terrence J, entertainment attorney John T. Rose, and actress and “REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy-Rue McCullough.
Take a look inside the Makers Studio presented by Walmart at REVOLT WORLD, a space where Black creators could hone in on their brand and see it come to life.
The health of a community can often be traced to the health of the environment that surrounds it. In Atlanta, a woman named Dr. Jaqueline Echols has dedicated her life to helping ensure that people in economically underserved communities have clean rivers – for better health and for the joy of outdoor recreational space.
Fly Guy DC taps in with REVOLT WORLD attendees to learn what the Opportunity Center, presented by Walmart, means to them and their futures.
In the season finale of “Bet on Black,” special guest judge Ray J joins as the finalists take the main stage to show they have what it takes to win the $200,000 grand prize; Melissa Butler and Eunique Jones Gibson mentor. Presented by Target.
Walmart supports HBCU students and encourages them to be Black & Unlimited. Fly Guy DC talked to a few at REVOLT WORLD about how being an HBCU student has changed their lives.
In this exclusive interview, DDG opens up about his fashion inspiration, what drew him to girlfriend Halle Bailey, dealing with negative opinions about his relationship, and more. Read up!
Here’s a list of rappers who are named after food. Enjoy — or shall we say, “Bon appetit”?
The artist has remained remarkably consistent in her song lyrics about making money, telling off haters and feeling liberated since her debut.
The next time you’re looking for a caption for your perfectly curated Instagram, there’s a 95 percent chance that Drizzy’s got you!