Photo Credit: Power 106
Mike Free is a multi-Platinum producer who is known for spearheading this new West Coast sound. The South Central, Los Angeles native fell in love with music at age six, but it wasn’t until he heard songs on the radio and tried to replay them on the keyboard that he began producing. Coming up alongside DJ Mustard (who often deejayed high school parties), the two figured out that distinct sound which people took a liking too. Having gone to college in the South (Hampton University in Virginia), he would combine those melodies alongside Mustard’s drums. In 2011, Tyga’s “Rack City” was birthed.
Power 106 entered Mike Free’s studio in North Hollywood for our latest episode of #SNIPPETS, where producers bring us back to the making of some of rap’s biggest hits.
He states, “When I was actually in college, I was in my dorm room making a lot of melodies and loops. The ‘dun dun dun,’ that sound, this was me experimenting. It was no real thought process coming up with that melody. It was literally just me playing with keys randomly. I had a keyboard smaller than this actually [points to keyboard], it was maybe half the size of this that I bought off Amazon for $12. I was in the dorm head down and randomly came up with the sound. It was a dream come true.”
He adds, “I was shocked when I heard it on the radio when I came back to LA. It was Power 106! Power 106 played it first.”
In addition to making the beat for Nipsey Hussle’s “U See Us,” Mike brings us back to the last session they had.
“It’s crazy ’cause when he passed, I was so shell-shocked by it. It hurt so much because the last song we did, it’s him saying ‘you know I love you, you know I love you,’ to all these people he loved. Rest in peace to the bro.”
Watch above as he breaks down Ty Dolla $ign’s “Paranoid,” “My N***a” by YG, and “Bae” by O.T. Genasis!