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Michael Williams (born March 23, 1989), better known by his professional name Mike WiLL Made It or, in shorthand, as Mike WiLL, is an American music producer based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mike WiLL Made It, birth name Michael Williams, was born on March 23, 1989 in Marietta, Georgia, the youngest of three children with two older sisters. 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. Growing up, Mike WiLL was athletic, participating in a number of sports, including basketball, baseball, and football, with dreams of becoming a professional athlete. 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. 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 makeshift 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.
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.
Upon graduating high school, Mike WiLL enrolled at Georgia State to pursue undergraduate studies, but dropped out after several semesters to focus on his career as a music producer.
In an interview with XXL Magazine, Mike WiLL is credited with saying that "Gucci Mane was the first [major artist] to ever rap on my beat." 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 rap over each of the instrumentals. The two artists began releasing songs together, like "East Atlanta 6," and a number of songs from Gucci Mane's popular mixtape, No Pad, No Pencil.
In 2011, Mike WiLL placed his first single with the song "Tupac Back," performed by Meek Mill and Rick Ross, from the album Self Made Vol. 1. The single was released on April 5, 2011 and peaked at #31 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Billboard chart. The placement came after Mike WiLL submitted some of his beats to an A&R for Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group label.
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," "Itchin," and three songs from Future's 2012 major label debut album, Pluto, "Neva End," "Truth Gonna Hurt You," and "Turn On The Lights." "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.
Mike WiLL Made It 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' T.R.U. REALigion mixtape. 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."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. The single, which features popular rap 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. The single has been certified "Gold" by the Recording Industry Association of America, selling over 500,000 copies digitally.
In 2012, Mike WiLL Made It produced "Bandz A Make Her Dance," a single for Three Six Mafia rapper Juicy J that also features Lil' Wayne and 2 Chainz. 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 Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[
Kanye West called up Gucci Mane and asked for a 808 Mafia Beat,Mike WiLL, alongside producers, Southside, Zaytoven, Kanye West, and Mike Dean, co-produced the G.O.O.D. Music single, "Mercy," which features vocals from Kanye West, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, and Pusha T. "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 Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, while reaching #13 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. 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 sophomore studio album, Strange Clouds and "Pour It Up" from Rihanna's 2012 studio album, Unapologetic.
In interviews given during 2012, Mike WiLL also mentions upcoming work with Kanye West, Brandy, Big Sean, Pusha T, and more.
Est. In 1989 Mixtape Series
On Tuesday, December 27, 2011 Mike WiLL Made It released his first mixtape, Est. In 1989 (Last Of A Dying Breed). The mixtape was released in conjunction with popular mixtape website LiveMixtapes.com. Est. In 1989 included a mix of exclusive songs and songs from Mike WiLL's catalog, and featured artists such as Gucci Mane & 1017 Brick Squad Artist such as Future, Waka Flocka Flame & Kanye West & GOOD Music 2 Chainz, Lil Boosie, Ludacris, Lil Wayne, and more.
On March 23, 2012, Mike WiLL Made It 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 featured Which featured his manger/Rapper Gucci Mane Founder/Ceo/President of Brick Squad and Waka Flocka Flame. Mike WiLL released Est. In 1989 Pt. 2 on July 24, again in partnership with LiveMixtapes.com. Est. In 1989 Pt. 2 featured songs with Diddy, 2 Chainz, Juicy J, Future, Lil Wayne, T.I., Mac Miller, French Montana, Jeremih, and others.
The third instalment of the series entitled Est. in 1989 2.5 will be released on December 24, 2012. The mixtape will feature guest appearances from Gucci Mane, Future, Rihanna, Big Sean, Trinidad Jame$, Lil Wayne among more.
In various interviews, Mike WiLL Made It 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." 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." He also refers to DJ Toomp as "my big brother or my mentor," saying, "I love what he does." In a different interview, with AOL's The Boombox, Mike WiLL also cites Pharrell as a producer that he respects.
In 2010, Mike WiLL Made It started his own production company called EarDrummers Entertainment. Mike WiLL first came up with the idea for his production company at the age of 18. According to an interview Mike WiLL gave to The Boombox, there are currently three producers signed to EarDrummers Entertainment, Marz, P-Nasty and J-Bo.