Mike Will Made It

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mike WiLL Made-It
Birth name Michael Len Williams II
Also known as Mike Will
Born (1989-03-23) March 23, 1989 (age 26)
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Years active 2005–present
Associated acts
Website http://mikewillmade.it/

Michael Len Williams II (born March 23, 1989), professionally known as Mike Will Made It (often stylized as Mike WiLL Made-It)[1] or simply Mike Will, is an American record producer and songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia.[2] He is best known for producing trap beats for several Southern hip hop artists as well as for producing several hit singles, such as "Mercy" by GOOD Music, "No Lie" by 2 Chainz, "Bandz a Make Her Dance" by Juicy J, "Pour It Up" by Rihanna, Faded by Mariah Carey, "Love Me" by Lil Wayne, "Body Party" by Ciara and "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus, among others. He has released four mixtapes while his debut album is long delayed.

Early life[edit]

Michael Williams was born in Marietta, Georgia, the youngest of three children with two older sisters.[3] Mike Will's mother was in a gospel group, singing for Dottie Peoples, when Mike was young and according to Mike Will, his uncle was an accomplished guitar player.[3] Growing up, Mike Will was athletic, participating in a number of sports, including basketball, baseball, and football, with dreams of becoming a professional athlete.[2] As a teenager, Mike Will first developed his talent for music by re-playing popular instrumentals that he heard on the radio while he and his friends would freestyle to them.[3] In a number of interviews, Mike WiLL has mentioned, in particular, re-playing the instrumental for "Still Fly", a popular song by the southern rap group Big Tymers, on a Casio brand keyboard, and has also mentioned re-playing the song "Young'n (Holla Back)" by New York rapper Fabolous on production equipment at a local music store.[4]

At age 14, Mike Will began to make his own beats on a Korg ES1 beat machine, which his father purchased for him as a Christmas present from local music store Mars Music. As Mike Will became more accomplished, he also began to use production equipment including the Korg Triton, the Akai MPC1000, the Yamaha Motif, and the Roland Fantom.[3]

Upon graduating high school, Mike Will enrolled at Georgia State to pursue undergraduate studies mainly due to parental pressure of his father, but dropped out with a 3.1 GPA after several semesters upon hearing one of his produced singles "Tupac Back" began to enjoy success on the Billboard rap and Hot 100 charts. He has since advised aspiring music producers not to drop out of college if they are not sure on their own future career outcome or lacking a defined plan before entering the industry.[3]

Music career[edit]

2011–12: Production and mixtapes[edit]

In an interview with XXL, Mike Will is quoted as saying that "Gucci Mane was the first [major artist] to ever rap on my beat."[5] Mike Will first met Gucci Mane at Atlanta recording studio, PatchWerk Recording Studios, and upon introducing himself to Gucci Mane and giving Gucci Mane a CD of beats, Gucci Mane proceeded to freestyle over each of the instrumentals.[6] Following that he offered Mike Will $1,000 for one of his beats.[7] The two artists began releasing songs together, such as "East Atlanta 6", and a number of songs from Gucci Mane's mixtape, No Pad, No Pencil.[6] After making the close relationship with Gucci Mane, he began working with other big-name Atlanta rappers such as Future, Waka Flocka Flame, Rocko, and 2 Chainz.[7]

In 2011, Mike Will placed his first single with the song "Tupac Back", performed by Meek Mill and Rick Ross, from the compilation album Self Made Vol. 1.[8] The single was released on April 5, 2011 and peaked at #31 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Billboard chart.[9] The placement came after Mike Will submitted some of his beats to an A&R for Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group label.[8]

Also in 2011, Mike Will worked with Atlanta rapper Future, producing a number of popular and noteworthy songs together, including "Ain't No Way Around It",[10] "Itchin'", and three songs from Future's 2012 major label debut album Pluto, including "Neva End", "Truth Gonna Hurt You", and "Turn On the Lights".[3] "Turn On the Lights" was promoted as a single from Pluto, and to date has peaked at #2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Billboard chart.[11]

On Tuesday, December 27, 2011 Mike Will released his first mixtape, Est. in 1989 (Last of a Dying Breed).[12] The mixtape was released in conjunction with popular mixtape website LiveMixtapes.com.[12] Est. in 1989 included a mix of exclusive songs and songs from Mike Will's catalog, and features artists such as Gucci Mane & 1017 Brick Squad, Future, Waka Flocka Flame, Kanye West & GOOD Music, 2 Chainz, Lil Boosie, Ludacris, Lil Wayne, and more.[13]

On March 23, 2012, Mike Will partnered with popular music site The FADER to announce the second installment of his mixtape series, Est. in 1989 Pt. 2, and to release the mixtape's first single, "Back 2 the Basics", which features his manager/rapper Gucci Mane, founder/CEO/president of Brick Squad and Waka Flocka Flame.[14] The project Est. in 1989 Pt. 2 features songs with Diddy, 2 Chainz, Juicy J, Future, Lil Wayne, T.I., Mac Miller, French Montana, Jeremih, and others.[15] Est. in 1989 Pt. 2 was released again on July 24, 2012 in partnership with LiveMixtapes.com.[15]

Will has also worked extensively with Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz, producing "La La", which features Busta Rhymes, from 2 Chainz, then known as Tity Boi, Codeine Cowboy mixtape and "Got One" from 2 Chainz's T.R.U. REALigion mixtape.[16][17] According to an interview with Complex magazine, Mike Will has been working together with 2 Chainz "since 2008, when he was Tity Boi...We're kind of like family."[18] In 2012, Mike Will produced the lead single, "No Lie", from 2 Chainz' debut album, Based on a T.R.U. Story, released via Def Jam.[18] The single, which features popular recording artist Drake, was released May 8, 2012, and debuted in the top 50 of the Billboard Hot 100, ultimately going on to peak at #1 on Billboard‍ '​s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[19] The single has been certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, selling over 500,000 copies digitally.[20]

In 2012, Mike WiLL Made-It produced "Bandz a Make Her Dance", a single for Taylor Gang rapper Juicy J that also features Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz.[21] The song was listed as one of the 25 Best Songs of Summer 2012 by Complex magazine, and as of September 2012, the single has peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[22][23]

Mike Will, alongside producers, Kanye West, Mike Dean, Lifted, and Anthony Kilhoffer co-produced the G.O.O.D. Music single, "Mercy", which features vocals from Kanye West, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, and Pusha T.[24] "Mercy", released April 3, 2012, served as the lead single from the G.O.O.D. Music compilation album Cruel Summer, and peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, while reaching #13 on the Billboard Hot 100.[25][26] Other notable production efforts for Mike Will include the single "Way Too Gone" featuring Future from Young Jeezy's 2011 studio album Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition, "Just a Sign" from B.o.B's second studio album Strange Clouds and "Pour It Up" from Rihanna's 2012 studio album, Unapologetic.[27][28]

In interviews given during 2012, Mike Will also mentions upcoming work with Kanye West, Brandy, Big Sean, Pusha T, and more.[18]

The third installment of the series entitled Est. in 1989 2.5 was released on December 24, 2012.[29] The mixtape featured guest appearances from Gucci Mane, Future, Rihanna, Big Sean, Trnidad Jame$, Lil Wayne, and other artists.[30]

2013–present: Debut studio album and Miley Cyrus collaborations[edit]

Mike Will executive produced Miley Cyrus's fourth studio album Bangerz (2013), including its lead single "We Can't Stop". He produced 8 tracks on Bangerz and 6 tracks on Dead Pets.

On September 9, 2013, Mike Will premiered the lead single from his debut album, "23" featuring Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J and Miley Cyrus. He revealed he signed with Interscope Records to release his debut album.[31] His debut album will also feature Beyoncé, Future, Kendrick Lamar, and 2 Chainz.[32] He was named producer of the year by HipHopDX on December 18, 2013.[33] On June 17, 2014, Mike WIll Made It released the first single from his upcoming mixtape, "Buy the World" featuring Future, Lil Wayne and Kendrick Lamar.[34] On December 15, 2014, he released his fifth mixtape titled Ransom. Featured artists include Big Sean, Juicy J, 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne and Kendrick Lamar.


In various interviews, Mike Will has named a number of musical influences on his own production work. In a "Behind the Beats" interview with Complex magazine, he says that he "always admired Dr. Dre's drums", and calls Timbaland "the first crazy pop producer...He brought so many artists to the game."[35] As a southern producer, he says, he "was also looking up to Shawty Redd. He was the first producer to really bring that dark trap energy and sound."[35] He also refers to DJ Toomp as "my big brother or my mentor", saying, "I love what he does."[35] In a different interview, with AOL's The Boombox, Mike WiLL also cites Pharrell as a producer that he respects.[6]

Production equipment[edit]

Mike Will uses a variety of production equipment to create beats. Various pieces of gear he uses include the Korg Triton, Akai MPC 1000, Logic Pro, FL Studio, Yamaha Motif, and the Roland Fantom-X.[3][36][37]

Ear Drummer Records[edit]

In 2006, Mike Will started his own production company called Ear Drummer Records. According to an interview Mike Will gave to The Boombox. There are currently seven producers signed to Ear Drummer Records: Ileni K, Marz, P-Nasty, A-Plu$, Skooly, J-Bo, and Dj FU.[6] In 2014, Mike Will signed Rae Sremmurd and Two-9 to the label.[38][39]

In-House Producers
  • Marz
  • A+
  • P-Nasty
  • J-Bo
  • Dj FU
  • Skooly
  • Illeni K


Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions and sales figures
Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
US Rap
Est. in 1989 Pt. 3 (The Album) To be released


List of mixtapes, with selected details
Title Album details
Est. in 1989 (Last of a Dying Breed)
  • Released: December 28, 2011[41]
  • Label: Self-released
  • Formats: Digital download
Est. in 1989 Pt. 2
Est. in 1989 Pt. 2.5
  • Released: December 24, 2012[43]
  • Label: Self-released
  • Formats: Digital download
  • Hosted by DJ Drama
  • Released: December 23, 2013[44]
  • Label: Self-released
  • Formats: Digital download
  • Hosted by Future
  • Released: December 15, 2014[45]
  • Label: Ear Drummer Records
  • Formats: Digital download


List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
(featuring Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J)
2013 11 4 2 39 78 26 30 85 Est. in 1989 Pt. 3 (The Album)
"Buy the World"[46]
(featuring Future, Lil Wayne and Kendrick Lamar)
2014 42 Ransom
"Drinks On Us"[47]
(featuring Swae Lee, The Weeknd and Future)
"Choppin' Blades"[48]
(featuring Jody HiGHROLLER and Slim Jxmmi)
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Awards and nominations[edit]

BET Hip Hop Awards[edit]

The BET Hip Hop Awards were established in 2006 by the Black Entertainment Television network to celebrate hip-hop performers, producers and music video directors.

Year Nominated work Award Result
2013[49] Mike Will Made It Producer of the Year Won
2014 Nominated
"Move That Dope" Track of the Year Nominated
Best Club Banger Won

iHeartRadio Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2014 "Pour It Up" (Rihanna) Hip Hop/R&B Song of the Year Won

VEVO Certified Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2013 "23" 100.000.000 Views Won


  1. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/5747924/mike-will-made-it
  2. ^ a b Pereira, Julian (March 5, 2012). "Beyond the Beats: Mike WiLL". Complex Magazine. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Noz, Andrew (April 30, 2012). "Beat Construction: Mike WiLL Made It". The Fader. 
  4. ^ Tobias, Jonathan (December 16, 2011). "Mike Will Made It Explains Convincing Young Jeezy Of A "TM103" Track, Working With Gucci Mane As A Teenager". Hip Hop DX. 
  5. ^ Bristout, Ralph (January 26, 2012). "Production Credit: Mike Will Speaks on Working With Rick Ross, Young Jeezy & 50 Cent". XXL Magazine. 
  6. ^ a b c d Graham, -made-it-producer/ (February 22, 2012).  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  7. ^ a b "Mike Will Made It: The Billboard Cover Story". Billboard. 2013-08-09. Retrieved 2013-10-16. 
  8. ^ a b Pereira, Julian (March 5, 2012). "Beyond the Beats: Mike WiLL". 
  9. ^ "R&B/Hip Hop Songs". Billboard Magazine. July 9, 2011. 
  10. ^ Pereira, Julian (March 5, 2012). "Beyond the Beats: Mike WiLL". Complex Magazine. 
  11. ^ "R&B/Hip Hop Songs". Billboard Magazine. September 24, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Mike Will - Est. In 1989 (Last Of A Dying Breed)". Live Mixtapes. December 27, 2011. 
  13. ^ Moore, Jacob (December 27, 2011). "Mixtape: Mike WiLL Made-It "Est. In 1989"". Complex Magazine. 
  14. ^ Cooper, Duncan (March 23, 2012). "Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame, "Back 2 The Basics" (Prod. by Mike WiLL Made-It) MP3". Fader Magazine. 
  15. ^ a b Zeichner, Naomi (July 24, 2012). "Download Mike Will Made It’s Est. In 1989 (Part 2) Mixtape". The Fader. 
  16. ^ "Audio: Tity Boi Ft. Busta Rhymes – Lala [Prod. By Mike WiLL Made-It] (NO DJ)". Dirty Glove Bastard. February 23, 2012. 
  17. ^ Pereira, Julian (March 5, 2012). "Beyond the Beat: Mike Will". Complex Magazine. 
  18. ^ a b c Pereira, Julian (May 4, 2012). "Interview: Mike Will On Producing 2 Chainz & Drake's "No Lie"". Complex Magazine. 
  19. ^ "R&B/Hip Hop Songs". Billboard Magazine. September 15, 2012. 
  20. ^ Horowitz, Steven J. (July 26, 2012). "2 Chainz's "No Lie" Certified Gold". Hip Hop DX. 
  21. ^ "Juicy J – Bands A Make Her Dance (rmx) f. Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz". 2 Dope Boyz. June 18, 2012. 
  22. ^ "The 25 Best Songs of Summer 2012". Complex Magazine. August 16, 2012. 
  23. ^ "R&B/Hip Hop Songs". Billboard Magazine. September 29, 2012. 
  24. ^ "The 25 Best Songs of Summer 2012". Complex Magazine. August 16, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Hot 100". Billboard Magazine. 
  26. ^ "Hot 100". Billboard Magazine. 
  27. ^ Pereira, Julian (March 5, 2012). "Beyond the Beats: Mike WiLL". 
  28. ^ "B.o.B. Speaks on Mike WiLL Made-It's Est. in 1989 Pt.2 p(Video)". 2 Dope Boyz. July 6, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Mike WiLL Made It – Est In 1989 2.5 (Mixtape)". 2 Dope Boyz. December 24, 2012.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  30. ^ "Mike WiLL Made It "Est. In 1989 2.5" Mixtape Cover Art & Release Date". HipHop DX. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  31. ^ "Mike WiLL Made It, Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J "23"". Complex. 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2013-10-16. 
  32. ^ "Mike WiLL Made It f/ Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa & Juicy J "23" Video". Complex. 2013-09-24. Retrieved 2013-10-16. 
  33. ^ http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/editorials/id.2241/title.the-2013-hiphopdx-year-end-awards
  34. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/buy-world-feat.-future-lil/id888908768
  35. ^ a b c Pereira, Julian (March 5, 2012). "Beyond the Beats: Mike WiLL". Complex Magazine. 
  36. ^ Matthew Schnipper, Naomi Zeichner, JORDAN SARGENT, Olivia Graham (12 December 2012). "Drum Majors: Four Producers to Watch". The Fader. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  37. ^ "“Producers Week” Day 2: Mike Will Made It And M-Sixteen!". V-103. January 31, 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  38. ^ http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/mike-will-made-it-signs-two-9-to-eardruma-interscope-records-news.11472.html
  39. ^ http://www.complex.com/music/2014/03/rae-sremmurd-no-flex-zone-prod-mike-will-made-it
  40. ^ http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2014/08/rae-sremmurd-mike-will-sremmlife-listening-preview/
  41. ^ "Mike Will - Est. in 1989 (Last of a Dying Breed) // Free Mixtape". DatPiff. Idle Media Inc. 2011-12-28. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  42. ^ "Mike Will - Est. in 1989 Pt. 2 // Free Mixtape". DatPiff. Idle Media Inc. 2012-07-24. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  43. ^ "Mike Will – Est. in 1989 Pt. 2.5 // Free Mixtape". DatPiff. Idle Media Inc. 2012-12-24. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  44. ^ "Mike Will – #MikeWillBeenTrill // Free Mixtape". DatPiff. Idle Media Inc. 2013-06-25. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  45. ^ "Tweet". Twitter. 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-11-25. 
  46. ^ "Top 40 Rhythmic Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 2014-07-04. 
  47. ^ "Drinks On Us (feat. The Weeknd, Swae Lee & Future) - Single". iTunes. 
  48. ^ "Choppin' Blades (feat. Jody HiGHROLLER & Slim Jxmmi) - Single by Mike Will Made-It". iTunes. 
  49. ^ http://www.bet.com/shows/hip-hop-awards/2013/nominees/producer-of-the-year.html

External links[edit]