After producing songs featuring NBA YoungBoy, Rod Wave, Future, Lil Baby, and DaBaby, producer TnTXD has his sights set on finally winning a Grammy. Before he gets the gold gramophone, however, he is remembering the unseen moments that turned into music from some of the most eccentric personalities — like Antonio Brown.
“[Antonio will] play the beat, then he’ll sit down and write. I’ve seen him sit down, write a verse, go outside and work out, and come back and do another verse at six in the morning,” TnTXD told REVOLT.
In this installment of “Studio Sessions,” the multiplatinum-selling producer explains how he’s made hits with NBA YoungBoy without ever having a conversation with him, how Rod Wave connected him with Future, and what it’s like working with Brown.
You’ve been making beats for eight years. Who was the first major artist you locked in with at the studio?
Young Scooter, but that session went terribly (laughs). I used to take a Greyhound to Atlanta to do sessions, but that time, I came down there for something else. I just came down there to network. I was about to leave, and somebody called and said, “Hey, pull up to the studio. I got Scooter over there.” I didn’t have my laptop, but I couldn’t say no. This was in 2017. After him, I linked up with Quando Rondo. That started rocky because he really wasn’t feeling the beats at first. Those two back-to-back sessions didn’t go too well (laughs).
I know someone you’ve had great chemistry with in the studio is Antonio “AB” Brown. How did you two connect?
He used a beat of mine from YouTube and hit me up after. He wasn’t in the league at the time, so many people brushed him off. He had a song to my beat, and it was cool. I was a fan of his. We just started chopping it up, and then we eventually became cool. We’d just link up and really just do whatever. In the studio, he locks in. He’ll play the beat, then he’ll sit down and write. I’ve seen him sit down, write a verse, go outside and work out, and come back and do another verse at six in the morning.
What beats have you seen him gravitate toward?
I won’t lie; he really gets on anything. In 2017, he was starting in music, so he was trying to find his sound. I could play pretty much anything, and he’d experiment with [it] to find his sound. We probably have three or four unreleased songs.
You produced dozens of records for Rod Wave. Did you connect with him similarly to how you connected with AB?
Yeah. He got a beat off YouTube back in 2017. I heard his music and became a fan. So, I reached out to his manager at the time, and I sent him a pack. We got “Popular Loner” and “Hard Times” back-to-back from that pack. From then on, he would go to my YouTube page for beats. Then, finally, he just gave me his number, and I flooded him daily with beats.
You two made great music together before you ever linked in the studio. How did that chemistry translate when you finally connected in the lab?
When we got in the studio, we never actually worked because the way he works isn’t like other artists. When he records, it’s just him and his engineer. I’ve played beats for him when we’ve been in the studio, but he won’t sit and record in front of you. Personality-wise, he’s open. Everything about him is genuine. We’ve known each other for a couple of years. We came up together, so everything is natural when we’re in the studio.
How hands-on is Rod with the beats he chooses?
He’s definitely hands-on when it comes to us making music. He’ll text me and be really detailed. He’ll tell me, “I need this exact part. Make it sound like this, don’t do this.” He’ll literally put the beat together and tell me exactly where to go with it. He knows exactly what he wants. The idea for “Street Runner” was 100 percent his idea. That sample in the beginning, the sample at the end, the voicemail, and everything was his idea. Also, “Letter From Houston” and “Through The Wire” were influenced by him. The ones I got on his up-and-coming EP, [Jupiters Diary: 7-Day Theory], were influenced by him. We have so many songs.
What do you need in the studio to make your best music?
I don’t need much. I just need some good-sounding speakers. I don’t know if I can say that. You can say that. Yeah. Good-sounding speakers, backwoods, and something to drink (laughs).
One of the biggest songs you’ve made was “Nevada” from YoungBoy Never Broke Again. How did that song come about?
I made that beat back in like 2018. I just sent YoungBoy a pack. YB and I have been locked in for a long time. This was a song that he recorded and wasn’t going to drop. It was just another YoungBoy song that leaked. It went so crazy, it had to drop. We’ve actually never been in the studio together. He and I have never had a conversation before — ever.
Wow. I also saw you in the studio with Future recently.
Shout out to Rod. I pulled up on Rod in Florida and he, Future and Don Toliver pulled up. Rod was playing some beats and songs for Future and then said, “That’s my producer. TnT.” Future knew about me because I did the “Dark Days” song with him and GMK that just dropped. So, we chopped it up, and I got his manager’s email.
What is your best talent as a producer?
My ear for elevating to the next sound. I may do pain music, but I’m constantly pushing it. I’m able to have a run like I have because I reinvent my sound every year.
What’s coming up for you for the rest of the year? Is anything special coming in 2023?
I didn’t get the Grammy this year, so that’s my goal for next year. Rod Wave is dropping Friday, and I got five on there. But my main goal is to get that Grammy.