We called the 25-year-old up to figure out how you get the world's biggest rapper to do a remix of your track.
Last night, Drake performed at the Chicago stop on the Drake vs. Lil Wayne tour. He, apparently, had it goin’ up on a Tuesday—because after the show, he dropped a remix of ILOVEMAKONNEN’s “Club Goin’ Up on a Tuesday,” and doing so shifted Makonnen’s life.
If you’re not familiar with the 25-year-old artist from Atlanta, here’s quick take: last month, he released his EP ILOVEMAKONNEN (which features production from Sonny Digital, Metro Boomin’, and DJ Spinz) and its single “Club Goin Up on a Tuesday” had every single person goin’ up every day of the week—including Miley Cyrus. When Makonnen stopped by our office a couple weeks ago, his presence was calm and unassuming. With him, he carried a mannequin's head, half of its face painted like Tommy Lee Jones’ Two-Face in Batman Forever. His charm radiates a weird blend of Lil B and David Bowie.
This afternoon I called Makonnen up to see how it happened, what it's like to have the biggest rapper in the world jump on your track, and how close we are to hearing Lil Wayne spit about making the club go up on a Tuesday. (Spoiler: really close.)
Noisey: How are you doing?
Makonnen: Um, it’s the best Tuesday ever.
How did the remix happen?
OVO reached out to me about ten days ago and were like, “Yo, we like your music, we like that “Wrist” song.” This was OVO Brian. I don’t remember if he mentioned Drake, but he said something like, “We’re fucking with your shit. We’re going to holler at you soon.” So I was like, “Cool.” So two nights ago, everybody is blowing my phone up, people from Warner and shit, and they’re like, “Yo, send me that ‘Club Goin’ Up’ so we can get a remix—we’re trying to do a big play and do something for you.”
Who was this?
Just A&R’s at Warner Music. Trying to get them my song, and I’m like, “Nah. I got something in the works,” I said jokingly. They were like, “What do you have in the works? You don’t have anything bigger than what we’re going to get.” And I was like, “Please. I got Drake and Lil Wayne on the remix,” and they were like, “Oh! That’s what we’re trying to do.” And I was like, “Yeah, whatever.” And I was really jumping, because I was just talking shit. But then Sonny Digital called me and he was like, “Yo, Drake wants to get on the ‘Club Goin Up’ remix.” And I was like, “Whoa, fuck yeah. Send him the song. Let’s do it.” So Sonny was like, “Yeah, okay, I’ll send him the song now because he’s on the bus and wants to record it real quick.” So I was like, cool, and sent it.
Then we didn’t hear anything and I was just going about my day, just working in the studio and shit. And then I saw on Instagram he captioned something “Goin’ Up on a Tuesday” and people started tagging me. And I was like, “Oh shit, Drake, he likes the song.” And then a few hours later, somebody was like, “Oh man, this new Drake and ILOVEMAKONNEN track is so dope.” And I was like, “What? What do they mean? That would be dope if we made a track together.” And then somebody linked me to the OctobersVeryOwn SoundCloud and I was like, “No way. There’s no way this is real. No way. Who the fuck did this? They probably just put an old Drake verse on the song.” And then it was official, and I heard him start rapping and I was like, “What the fuck!”
So you didn’t hear it till it was out?
I didn’t hear it till it was out. It was crazy. I didn’t hear it till it was on the net. Me and my friends were all together and we listened to it, and I was just like, “This isn’t real. This isn’t real.” And I heard my chorus and shit and I was like, “Yeah, Drake’s not on this.” And then he jumps on and is like, “Squad goin’ up,” and I was like, “Oh fuck, it’s Drake!”
When you were told that Drake wanted to jump on this track, did you think it would actually happen?
I mean, I always hoped it would happen but I was like, whatever, I don’t believe that. Plenty of people are chasing after Drake looking for that feature so I was like, if it will happen, it will happen. And it fucking happened, and everything has changed. Nothing was the same.
What went through your head when you finally heard it?
Yeah. We were playing it back to back to back and I was just like, fuck, there’s no way this is real. We were just playing the song and my other friends were calling and were like, “Did you hear it?” And we met up and were celebrating. I still haven’t stopped smiling. It definitely made my night. I was having a rough day yesterday, going home again, feeling out there in the studio all day, recording another three songs. But that made it better.
It’s wild how many people are talking about it. What have the past five or six hours been like?
I’ve gained a lot of followers. Damn near every rapper in the industry has gotten in touch with me through their manager somehow. Every agency wants to book me for shows. All of the fucking record labels are shitting their pants and telling me, “It’s whatever you want! It’s whatever you want! We can do whatever! We’ll fly you out now!” Everyone wants to remix “I Don’t Sell Molly No More.”
Do you have any remixes planned?
I do have a “Don’t Sell Molly Anymore” remix coming soon. It may be Wiz Khalifa. You know? That may be Wiz Khalifa. Maybe RiFF RAFF. And I’m trying really hard to push for Miley Cyrus. We’re going to try to work it out. It should be coming soon. We’re going to try to work it out. I have a lot more features dropping soon, too.
What’s your favorite Drake song?
My favorite Drake song... Hmm. That’s hard. It’s probably the one with Lil Wayne, “Miss Me.”
Best Drake album?
I really liked Nothing Was the Same. I think he gets better every time. That’s an artist—I don’t even try to rub shoulders with those types of artists. I let them live out there, but it’s great he saw me and threw down. Hopefully I’ll be opening up for Lil Wayne vs. Drake on the tour once they get down to the south, definitely in Atlanta.
Do you think you’ll get Lil Wayne on this remix?
Ahh, it’s like 75 percent happening. [Laughs.] Especially with all this going on right now, it’s a whirlwind.
If you had to pick Drake or Lil Wayne, who would you pick?
Eric Sundermann will never stop getting the club up on a Tuesday. He's on Twitter — @ericsundy