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Samuels in 2019
Samuels in 2019
Background information
Birth nameMatthew Jehu Samuels[1]
Also known asBoi1da[2]
Born (1986-10-12) October 12, 1986 (age 36)
Kingston, Jamaica
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
Years active2005–present
LabelsOVO Sound

Matthew Jehu Samuels (born October 12, 1986),[3] known professionally as Boi-1da[2] (/ˌbɔɪˈwʌndə/ boy-WUN-də, a play on "boy wonder"), is a Jamaican-Canadian record producer and songwriter based in Toronto, Ontario.

The Toronto raised producer has worked with a variety of artists and groups, most notably Drake, Rihanna, Eminem, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Nas, Lana Del Rey, Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar among others. In 2015, Samuels served as the executive producer for Drake's mixtape If You're Reading This It's Too Late.

Early life[edit]

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Samuels moved to Canada when he was three and grew up in the North York and Scarborough districts of Toronto.[4][5] He was also raised in Ajax, Ontario, where he attended Pickering High School.[6][7] His father was a keen listener of dancehall music and so Samuels was brought up listening to Jamaican music.[8] At the age of eight, his mother bought him a Casio keyboard, and at the age of 15, a friend had introduced him to FL Studio (formerly Fruity Loops). Without any formal musical training, he started using the FL Studio beat-making program. A few years later, he won three consecutive Battle of the Beatmakers championships; because of this accomplishment, he was given a spot in the Battle of the Beatmakers judging panel.

His first production work was at the age of 18, when he worked on two tracks on a mixtape (Room for Improvement) for Drake.[4]


Dr. Dre appeared on the remix of "Set It Off" by Kardinal Offishall, produced by Boi-1da.[9] In an interview with FLOW 93.5, Boi-1da revealed that he was working on beats for Dr. Dre's highly anticipated album, Detox, which was to be released in 2011.[10] However, that album was indefinitely shelved,[11] and none of the released or leaked tracks by Dr. Dre featured Boi-1da's production. He has since stated that he was working with songwriter Sean Garrett and has submitted tracks for Usher.[12] He also worked on Busta Rhymes' Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God.

In 2010, Boi-1da produced the hit song "Not Afraid" by Eminem, and "hahahaha jk?" from Das Racist's second mixtape Sit Down, Man.[citation needed]

Boi-1da assisted with Drake's second album, Take Care, which was released November 15, 2011.

In March 2013, he produced "5AM in Toronto" by Drake, which was later released in Drake's 2019 compilation album, "Care Package".

Boi-1da worked with rapper Lecrae on his song "Gimme a Second" from his mixtape Church Clothes.[13] He also collaborated with rapper Bizzle on his 2013 album The Good Fight3.[14] He is also a member of Drake's October's Very Own with Noah "40" Shebib and T-Minus.[citation needed]

Boi-1da produced "Party Favors" for Tinashe for her album Nightride. The single features Young Thug.[citation needed]

In January 2016, Rihanna released the dancehall track "Work", featuring Drake.[15] The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the second Boi-1da produced track to top the charts. Between 2016 and 2017, Boi-1da continued to produce dancehall tracks, such as Drake's "Controlla", Tyga's "1 of 1", PartyNextDoor's "Only U" and Nicki Minaj's "Regret in Your Tears".[8]

He co-produced the 2016 Kanye West single "Real Friends".

In September 2017, he produced "No Limit" by G-Eazy featuring A$AP Rocky and Cardi B.

In January 2018, he produced "God's Plan" by Drake. In May 2018, he produced "TATI" by 6ix9ine featuring DJ Spinking. In August 2018, he produced "Lucky You" by Eminem featuring Joyner Lucas.

In March 2019, he produced "I'm Single" by Jake Paul, and "Maze" and "Make Believe" from Juice Wrld's album, "Death Race for Love". In May 2019, he produced "Isis" by Joyner Lucas featuring Logic. In June 2019, he produced "No Guidance" by Chris Brown featuring Drake. In July 2019, he produced "1000 Nights" by Ed Sheeran featuring Meek Mill and A Boogie wit da Hoodie.

In October 2020, he produced "Tyler Herro" by Jack Harlow.

Musical style[edit]

Boi-1da is known for his distinctive dancehall sound,[16] having been brought up listening to dancehall before hip-hop.[8] He often incorporates live instrumentation and an air horn sound effect into his beats, as used in dancehall and reggae, and frequently incorporates samples in his productions.[8] Boi-1da has spoken out against songs which imitate dancehall, criticising fellow Toronto musician Tory Lanez for doing so in his 2016 single "Luv".[17]

He currently uses FL Studio 12 to make beats, previously, he used Fruity Loops 3.56, 7 XL and 9.[3][5]

Boi-1da has spoken about being influenced by producers such as Dr. Dre, Swizz Beatz, Timbaland, and The Neptunes.[8]

Production discography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

ASCAP Pop Music Awards[edit]

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) hosts a series of awards shows, honouring people in different music categories; pop music is one of its seven categories. In 2011, Drake presented the award to him and 40. They both won the ASCAP Pop Music Award for the Songwriters of the Year for "Over".[18]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2011 "Over" Songwriters of the Year (with Noah "40" Shebib) Won

Grammy Awards[edit]

The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Boi-1da has one win out of nineteen nominations.[19][20][21]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2010 "Best I Ever Had" (Drake) Best Rap Song Nominated
2011 "Not Afraid" (Eminem) Nominated
Recovery (Eminem) Album of the Year Nominated
2015 "0 to 100 / The Catch Up" (Drake) Best Rap Song Nominated
2016 "Energy" (Drake) Nominated
To Pimp a Butterfly (Kendrick Lamar) Album of the Year Nominated
2017 Views (Drake) Nominated
"Work" (Rihanna featuring Drake) Record of the Year Nominated
2019 "God's Plan" (Drake) Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
Best Rap Song Won
"Lucky You" (Eminem) Nominated
"Win" (Jay Rock) Nominated
Himself Producer of the Year, Non-Classical Nominated
2022 Donda (Kanye West) Album of the Year Nominated
2023 Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers (Kendrick Lamar) Pending
Renaissance (Beyoncé) Pending
"Churchill Downs" (Jack Harlow featuring Drake) Best Rap Song Pending
Himself Producer of the Year, Non-Classical Pending


  1. ^ "ACE Repertory". ASCAP. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  2. ^ a b ATV, Sony. "Boi-1da". SonyATV. Sony ATV. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Boi-1da [Interview]". June 12, 2017. Archived from the original on June 12, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Jackson, Kevin (2014) "Ja's Wonder Boy", Jamaica Observer, March 28, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2014
  5. ^ a b Featured Producer: Boi-1da Archived June 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine HipHopCanada. Accessed on July 28, 2008.
  6. ^ Boi-1da Exclaim!. Accessed on November 18, 2010.
  7. ^ "Seven famous people who attended Pickering High School". May 18, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Producer Boi-1da Distills Dancehall Vibes for the Hip-Hop Masses". Medium. March 28, 2017. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  9. ^ Dr. Dre Raps On Leaked Remix Of Kardinal Offishall's 'Set It Off' MTV. Accessed on January 22, 2009.
  10. ^ Specials : Wrap Up Pt.5[permanent dead link] MuchMusic. Accessed on January 22, 2009.
  11. ^ "Rap Albums That Got Shelved Into OblivionDr. Dre and Ice Cube, Helter Skelter". Complex.
  12. ^ FEATURE: Boi-1da, A Star Is Born Archived February 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine XXL. Accessed on October 2, 2009.
  13. ^ "Lecrae - Gimme A Second (Prod. By Boi-1da)". HotNewHipHop. May 10, 2012. Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  14. ^ "Bizzle Working With Platinum Producer Boi-1da". Rapzilla. August 31, 2010. Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  15. ^ "Do You Know the Riddim Rihanna Samples in "Work?"". Genius. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  16. ^ "Meet the Producers Who Brought Dancehall Back to the Charts In 2016". Billboard. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  17. ^ "Boi-1da Calls Out Tory Lanez' "Luv" For Being A "Terrible" Dancehall Imitation". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  18. ^ "Drake Honors Boi-1da and Noah 40 Shebib at ASCAP Awards [Video]". Rap-Up.
  19. ^ "Grammy Nominations 2016: See the Full List of Nominees". Billboard. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  20. ^ "Eminem, Drake Producer Boi-1da Humbled by Grammy Nominations". The Boombox.
  21. ^ Minsker, Evan (December 7, 2018). "Grammy Nominations 2019: See The Full List Here". Pitchfork. Condé Nast. Retrieved December 7, 2018.

External links[edit]