For "Studios Sessions," we delve into the stories behind the long hours in the studio and all that goes into making an album by talking with artists, producers, engineers, photographers, and more who are intimately connected to the recording process with some of the biggest artists in the world. These are the stories that rarely leave the booth.
How many college students quit something and come back to it?
Twenty-two-year-old Tahj "Jetsonmade" Morgan started making beats as a teenager, but went through years of indecisiveness in regards to his career. Then, 21 Savage exploded partly because of the Jetsonmade-produced track "Slime" track from his 2015 mixtape Slaughter King, and the rest is history. Now, the Columbia, South Carolina native and Charleston Southern University dropout is blowing up with his production for new star DaBaby, producing nearly half of the rapper's breakthrough project Baby on Baby. For Jetson, a lack of entitlement has been key to his rise.
"Instagram, money, clothes, none of that means shit when you have to actually interact with people. I think people go into a situation and think, 'I'm with this nigga, so he has to fuck with me.' It's not like that," Jetsonmade told REVOLT TV.
In this installment of 'Studio Sessions,' Jetsonmade explains how quickly he and DaBaby make music, why he sees a big payday in his future and the possibility of a Drake collaboration.
I got put on to you when I saw you either produced or co-produced six of the 13 songs on DaBaby's Baby on Baby album this year. How did you and DaBaby link up?
Instagram, he hit me on the 'gram in 2015. I was already looking at him because he had hard videos. That's what people don't know about bruh, he been next level. I feel his music is just starting to catch up with his mind. He hit me up to send him a pack. I ended up sending him some beats and one ended up being that 'No Love' song [from DaBaby's Baby Talk Vol. 5]. That was early 2018, March or May. He just reached out to me on Instagram and, shit, I shot him some beats. This was before his buzz. I was just fucking with him, honestly.
When did you first link in the studio?
First time we linked up in the studio is when I came back from L.A. in August 2018. First song we ever did in person was "21." We linked up, I sat down and made the beat in 20 minutes, and he recorded the song.
So, how long was it from when you started making the "21" beat to when the final vocal was cut?
Put it like this, I made the "21" beat, he finished the song and he did another song. I think we had a three-hour session. So, it was about an hour and a half to do the whole "21" song.
What makes you work with DaBaby so well?
We match each other. He come in there and he know how he do his thing, and I know how I do my thing. That's why we work with each other because he come to me and know he want this sauce, and I want him on my beats. We both perfected our sounds. So, that's where the chemistry come from.
You did a bunch of records on DaBaby's Baby on Baby. You produced "Backend" and that was one of the only ones where the credits were just you as the producer and DaBaby as the artist. How was making that song different from the others where there's a number of other contributors credited?
It was just like every other thing. With the songs I got with co-production, I do the same thing as what I do on my own to be honest with you. It's just somebody might add something else. That's why even though I got co-producers on the songs, it's still the same sauce because I just do me. You know how some producers will get with another producer and the beat would sound totally different than what they do? That's not really what I'm on. That's not really how I make beats.
Do you shy away from co-productions for financial or creative reasons, so that you get more money or more control over how the final product sounds?
Nah, I don't really look into stuff that deep. If we're around each other or you send me some hard shit, and I fuck with it, I'mma use it. Of course, it's about the bread at the end of the day. But, it's also about the music for me.
What's the first beat placement that you felt that you made a lot of money?
I'm going to keep it all the way honest with you, I ain't made nothing that's made me any real money yet (laughs). I'm a hustler. I just know how to get money. I know how to use these little moves I'm doing to make money. In terms of making a big check off of this music, I ain't made no big check off of music.
Money and success are always relative to the person. What's your idea of a big check?
Put it like this. I ain't made no five-figure check off of this yet.
Do you see that coming in the near future?
Yeah, yeah. To be honest, I think I skipped it. Once I start getting them five-figure checks, I think I'm going to be getting the six-figure checks.
I love the bounce on 'Going Baby.' How did that come about?
It was me and bruh first time linking up in L.A. I just pulled up on him. I think that night really put the push on Baby on Baby. If you listen, on the song he says, 'I'm going baby on baby.' We were like, 'Shit, nigga. That's the name of the tape.' All the songs we did together on that tape in three days in January in L.A. There's no songs that he recorded that he didn't use.
Another song that you co-produced that's blowing up is 'Drop The Top' with Lil Gotit and Lil Keed. How did you link up with Gotit?
I don't personally know Lil Gotit. I know Lil Keed. [Lil Keed] is definitely somebody that I've been making crazy music with that hasn't dropped yet. But, when it drops, it's going to be lit. I just be texting Keed beats.
When did you start producing?
I started making my own beats on my own computer in the second semester of ninth grade in 2011. I started off on Garageband on the 2010 Macbook Mini.
If you could produce for one rapper, who would it be?
Drake for sure. Drake gon' get on one of my beats. Either this year or top of next year. Drake coming up for sure.
I also saw you were in the Dreamville sessions. Who had the best music in them?
Out of everybody there, the person who stood out the most, and I liked the most, was this dude JiD. His shit was hard. He was on some young nigga, Kendrick Lamar type shit. It was still swaggy. I was fucking with his shit the most. We didn't get to link up. But, that shit coming ASAP because his shit fire.
Your career is really taking off and I heard you almost quit producing.
It was 2017. I graduated from high school in 2014. I was like, 'This year I'm about to take off. So, by 2015, I'm turned up.' Then, I did a whole year out of school and nothing happened. So, I was like, 'Fuck it, maybe I need to go the school and the job route.' My momma on my ass like, 'Go to school. Go get a job.' I'm like, 'You know what? Fuck it. Maybe I need to do that.' I'm like, 'Fuck it, I can't write it off. I can't be dumb, listening to everybody else and not try it.' So, I went to college for two semesters, but I only really went to class for one semester. I'mma be real with you. At the end of my first semester, 21 Savage dropped The Slaughter King and I was on it. So, that shit turned me back up mentally. I was like, 'Oh shit, this shit can happen.'
So, by 2015, I was linking up with my bro Savani. He shot Da Baby's '21' video. That's when I turned back up with the music. That was 2016. That whole year, I was bullshitting around. I'm still working. Then, by 2017, I was like, 'Something gotta give. I'm almost 21. I'm getting older.' I told my mom and Savani, 'I'm going to give it one more push. If this shit don't do shit by 2018, I'm done with it.' I went full-fledged.
Now that you're making a name for yourself, are there people who you may have rubbed shoulders with before that now give you props?
Hell yeah. I'm talking about legends -- to me at least. On some production shit, Young Chop and Will A Fool. Young Chop, that's Chief Keef['s producer]. He did damn near Chief Keef whole first album. That shit was monumental in my process of making beats. Will A Fool did a lot of producer shit. It's crazy they hit me up to work with me.
In Atlanta, you could be in the studio with platinum-selling artists even if you're not making music. What would you say is the star-studded studio session you were in?
Recently, around when 21 dropped his album, I was in a room with Young Nudy, 21, Metro Boomin', Southside and Big Meech's son. There was a lot going on.
What about producing isn't glamorous that up-and-coming producers should know about?
Having a real relationship with these artists is not what people make it out to seem like. That's one thing about these A&R's, labels, and managers, nobody can create a genuine bond. Instagram, money, clothes, none of that means shit when you have to actually interact with people. I think people go into a situation and think, 'I'm with this nigga, so he has to fuck with me.' It's not like that.
Is there anything you have coming up in the future that people should look out for?
In the near future, be on the lookout for... I don't even want to say that (laughs). Look out for everything. Carolina music, period.
What's the status on this Young Nudy x 21 Savage 4L joint project that's supposed to come out?
Look, I talk to [Young Nudy's manager] TP about that shit every damn chance I get. That type of shit, you can't really rush. It's two parties involved. I'm not really familiar with 21's side of things. So, I'm not really sure. I want this to come out as much as y'all want [it] to. But, when it does come out, I'm going to be on that motherfucker.
More from Keith Nelson, Jr.: