Derrick Milano is one of the hottest producers in the music business. He sits with AllHipHop to talk about his Grammy wins, his favorite song hes written, working with Pop Smoke, an epic studio session with Nas and Hit-Boy, and making his debut as an artist.
Howd it feel to win the Grammy for Savage, Best Rap Performance and Rap Song? Derrick Milano: Man, that felt great. It felt good for the simple fact that for me, Ive always been the underdog when it came to writing. I dont get invited to nothing, people dont really think to hit me for certain stuff. AllHipHop: How long ago was that? Coming up you mean? Derrick Milano: Mmhmm. Remember, I started writing 2.5 years ago. When I first started, it was the Kevin Gates stuff. People looked at it like thats all I could do. The fact I got my first Grammy with Beyonce, another Grammy with Nas, Megans first Grammy is amazing. Its history. AllHipHop: Howd you end up working on Spicy from Nas Kings Disease? Derrick Milano: Hit-Boy had did the beat and called me one morning, said can you pull up to the studio? Im at Chalice. I said yeah. It was 8, 9 in the morning. AllHipHop: Really? Derrick Milano: He be up early. I pull up, he said yo Nas is about to pull up. We been recording working on this project, but we need one. Alright bet, so he played me the beat. Nas came in, he said yeah man, I know you worked with Pop. I need something thats going to be hot man, something thats going to be dope for New York. I said cool. I did that Christopher Walking f or Pop Smoke, thats a big song in New York. If youre going to touch that pocket, you gotta say something thats relevant right now to get the new, young people on it. I came up with that hook, collaborated on a few other things on there, then the song came out. They tried to make it a bonus cause I guess they werent 100% confident it was gonna be AllHipHop: Its with Fivio Foreign and A$AP Ferg! Derrick Milano: On the respect of Nas, I think he looked at it like I dont want to be looked at like me trying to be a young n*gga. It was dope that record stuck out, that record was the one that everybody listened to on that particular album. That was super exciting, especially to help Fivio, he gets a Grammy on that. For me, its working with the underdogs, giving people opportunity and making history with people I work with. It goes a little bit further than working with something thats expected. AllHipHop: Nas is a legend, talk about working with a real spitter. Derrick Milano: Facts, for sure. It was amazing, it was dope because its Nas. Thats like rapping with Andre 3000 or somebody like that, it was for sure dope. AllHipHop: Highlights or memories from recording at Chalice? Derrick Milano: The reaction of the room when we had got the song done. The reaction of the room was dope, the energy was dope. Us trying to figure out who were going to put on it was dope. AllHipHop: What inspires you in the studio? What motivates you the most? Derrick Milano: I be thinking about making something that happens every time. Every time I leave the studio, I make sure I work on something thats going to touch the market. I go in and off how Im feeling that day. If it goes it goes, if it doesnt it doesnt. I dont really beat myself up or think about it too much, youll get yourself caught up. Derrick Milano Has the price gone up? Derrick Milano: Of course. Certain n*ggas cant even talk to me anymore, especially the ones that aint pay before. Its a little bit different now. Im still the same person. Im still going to be humble, but theres definitely people who treat it a certain way or try to dodge certain stuff. They handle business on certain things where okay, you cant try that no more. Next time you want to work, this is what it is. AllHipHop: Talk about your work on Justin Biebers Changes. Derrick Milano: I worked on the Available record with Poo Bear and Javale McGee. We did it at Record Plant , shout out to Kid Culture. He called me like yo Poo Bear wants to meet you. I pulled up on him, we worked on that song. I didnt hear anything for months, then Poo Bear called me one day. I was in Miami, he said happy birthday, congratulations. We found out were on that. Damn, Justin Bieber now? When I be looking at my catalog, its amazing to me to see where it started at and where it is now. AllHipHop: Are you spiritual at all? Good things happen to good people. Derrick Milano: Yeah, sometimes. With certain things for sure. AllHipHop: How was it working with Poo Bear? Derrick Milano: It was dope. Id love to work with him again, hes like a ghost though. You dont see him like that. When you see him, you know its about some money. Hes been working with Bieber forever, its a little different. AllHipHop: What is your favorite song youve written? Derrick Milano: Probably Christopher Walking, it was the first song I worked on with Pop. It made a whole statement for it saying outside, for whats going on with everything. One of those records that people are always going to remember, one of my favorite ones for sure. AllHipHop: Howd you link with Pop? Derrick Milano: Shout out to Steven Victor, he called me and said yo, I heard that youre dope. I think AE told him about me. He said yo Ive got this kid man, h