The Atlanta-bred producer breaks down producing seven tracks on Gunna’s ‘DS4,’ working with Kanye West and Travis Scott’s next move.
Future’s impromptu “Wheezy outta here” has become one of the most ubiquitous producer tags in all of hip-hop. Wheezy (real name: Wesley Tyler Glass) has played a role behind the boards with his dexterous production for just about every major commercial rap album that’s dominated the clubs, streets and Billboard charts over the past few years.
While he cut his signature braids, the Atlanta-bred super producer is keeping his winning streak alive heading into 2022, with credits on more than a third of Gunna’s DS4EVER project. In total, Wheezy notched seven placements on the final installment of Gunna’s decorated series, which served as the McLaren engine behind the decorous YSL rapper’s meteoric rise in the late 2010s.
“I feel like it started a whole new wave,” Wheezy tells Billboard of the acclaimed Drip Season series, which he’s been a part of since its infancy. “It turned into a genre. Sonically, [Gunna] just wanted to take it to a whole other level. With this being the fourth installment, you’ll see when the videos come out, it’s going to have a classic feel. He wanted to go classic.”
Gunna’s star-studded LP is only scratching the surface of what’s in store for Wheezy, who’s planning to lock in once again with rap dignitaries Future, Travis Scott, and Lil Baby for their respective projects at some point later this year. Billboard caught up with the 29-year-old to go behind the scenes of Gunna’s DS4, learn the definition of “Pushin P,” hear what it was like working with Kanye West on Donda, and get an update on the much-delayed Super Slimey 2.
When did you guys record the bulk of your portion of DS4?
We did it all through the pandemic. The first half of 2020 we did in L.A. at our own studio we have called Crosby Studios. It was all through the first pandemic and the second pandemic. No trips [to Jamaica] for this one.
As someone who has worked with Gunna for a long time, what’s the biggest improvement you’ve seen in him as an artist?
I would say, overall as an artist, just clearing up his words and saying the words way more clearer, so his fans can actually understand what he’s saying.
Let’s get into some of the tracks you produced, like the opener “Private Island.” That had a cinematic feel to it.
It was a feeling that he wanted. He was into choirs and it was kind of inspired by Kanye West as far as the sound of the record. The whole gospel sound that [Kanye’s] feeling right now.
What exactly is “Pushin P?”
“Pushin P” is a lifestyle. P is more than taking care of your people, P is player, P is a gentleman and being a boss. P is bossing up your b–ch. 2022 and 2023, you’re going to be hearing “P” a lot. Instead of partner, player or pimp, we’re saying “P.” We’re gonna Push P to New York. Yeah, it was crazy, and we did that [record] down in Miami at Art Basel.
We gotta get the Super Slimey 2 soon — when’s that coming?
Yeah, hopefully we’ll get that out by Halloween. The streets need that.
How about “25K Jacket” with Lil Baby?
That one is going to be special. Me and Lil Baby did that together in the studio, and we just had an ear for Gunna. We were Pushin P and Gunna was the only one that actually fit the record.
Set the scene for me working on Donda with Kanye West in Atlanta.
[Kanye] sent me the private jet. I was actually working with Travis [Scott] and I got a call from Ye, and he sent me the jet back to the hometown. I went down there to Mercedes Benz [Stadium] and we locked in for two weeks. Amazing, we had [the studio] in all the locker rooms and cafeteria. I came through when it was crunch time [because] a lot of rappers were already out of the way and I was there at the end wrapping up the album. It was fun.
— Donda’s Place (@dondasplace) August 12, 2021
You produced on “Lord I Need You” and “Jonah” featuring Vory and Lil Durk.
Those were fire. Everyone did it separately so it wasn’t really a vibe created but me and Ye definitely sat there and changed up drums and snares a million times and got it right.
Was there anything you picked up from Kanye production-wise you want to incorporate into your own style?
Just a lot of samples — listening to old school samples and taking it back to the original days. Just keeping it really original. He’s on the KSR [keyboard]. I use Fruity Loops — but there’s something about analog, with the velocity.
I know you were with Travis Scott in Cabo working on music, but is he back to finishing up UTOPIA?
Yeah, still working on it and putting the finishing touches on that. He’s back in Cabo working on it and I’m going out there soon. I’m going out there probably in the next two or three weeks to link up with him.
Travis Scott and Wheezy working on new music 🌊 pic.twitter.com/nLAqzbUSvT
— I NEED A LOGO ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖ rodeothealbum (@_rodeothealbum) April 2, 2021
Is a solo album from you still coming soon?
Yeah, solo album coming soon. I’m just getting all my brothers out of the way. Of course, we got Gunna coming out and we working on Future’s next album, then we got Lil Baby. You’ll probably hear a single out of me around the spring.
Is the whole song with Future where your “Wheezy outta here” tag is from ever dropping?
I feel like I’m going to incorporate it into my album, so people can get the origin of the whole “Wheezy outta here” tag.
You were Spotify’s RapCaviar producer of the year for 2020 and kept it rolling with A-list credits in 2021 — do you feel like you get the proper respect you deserve in the game right now?
I just want to put out good music. I just want everyone to respect the art. I don’t really care about numbers and all that, but just respect the music.