Jay Z once joked that he’d “inspired a generation of bad writers” when he gave up on penning lyrics in favor of spitting full songs off the top, but we’d like to think that he inspired a generation of quick thinkers instead. Earl Sweatshirt’s introspective single “Chum,” for example, was a result of one of those golden moments, or what producers Christian Rich described to MTV News as lyrical “blackout.”
Earl enlisted twin brothers, Kehinde “Rich” Hassan and Taiwo “Christian” Hassan, to handle the a bulk of production on his debut album Doris, including “Chum,” which was birthed during a memorable studio session.
“Most of the sessions were about five hours of talking crap — what artists you like and you don’t like, having fun — and then he’ll just black out and be like, ‘OK I got a verse,'” Kehinde explained. “That’s how ‘Chum’ worked.”
“We were just playing around and I didn’t even think the beat was done yet, and he’s like, ‘Yo I got a whole song.’ He goes in the booth and just spits it in one take. One take. What happened to that dude was chillin’ and talking crap? He said ‘I’m gonna do this in one take, and he really did.”
During his time working with Christian Rich and The Neptunes, who assisted on “Burgundy,” Earl continued to improve his production skills. In that particular session he watched Pharrell take a 20-minute break from recording what would eventually become Robin Thicke’s hit “Blurred Lines” to knock out the “slowest beat he’s ever done” for “Burgundy.”
Now the Odd Future rapper continues to experiment with his own beats (he worked on “Hive” with co-producer Matt Martians) and he credits Christian Rich for showing him the ropes. “When he came back from Samoa he was messing around on Logic, so [we] gave him some sounds and just showed him how to quantize it,” Taiwo explained. “The bass on ‘Chum’…he played the bass, fell in love with that bass and used it for everything.”
“I didn’t realize that we were teaching him how to make beats. I didn’t even know he was trying to be a producer, and then before we even got in the studio he already did ‘Hive.’ ”
“Him and Mac Miller have been working on some stuff that I heard that was pretty good,” Kehinde added, noting that Earl is a quick learner. “We just showed him the basics, and he just ran with it.”
Earl’s Doris is due on August 20 and he tells MTV News that he hopes it will help take the focus off of his personal life.