H2O, Dr. Dre, Lean, Mike Will - Same Thing
Michael Lean Williams II (AKA Mike Will Made It, AKA Dr. Dre v2) is a hip-hop producer from the fine community of Atlanta, Georgia. But you can address him as Mr. Soon-to-be-one-of-the-richest-men-in-hip-hop.
Before I get started, I wanna talk about Dr. Dre a little bit. Well known to be one of the richest entertainers and entrepeneurs in the music industry, this guy has had everything figured out for years. Who else you know is still getting hype for an album announced over 14 years ago (ask your favorite rapper). Let’s get a list of all the right things Dre has done:
- Use the prominent west coast scene at the time to establish himself as a hip-hop genius. Check. (Death Row signee)
- Discover and collaborate with artists that he knew would thrive in the market with his co-sign. Check. (Marshall Mathers)
- Market yourself to as many demographics as you can. Check. (Beats being worn by every sorority girl and basketball player on campus)
I swear to god we’re gonna see Ellen in the next Beats commercial wearing a pair of $600 headphones hitting the gym with Terry Crews and Gordon Ramsey. Dre can make it happen, and it’s evident by him recently becoming a billionaire.
But back to Mike Will. Mike Will is using the aforementioned #business model to a T. Atlanta is booming right now and there isn’t a single rapper out of ATL with more than 50,000 Datpiff downloads that doesn’t have a Mike Will track. Everyone from Migos to the emerging weird-twitter-rap scene associated with I Love Makonnen has a Mike Will beat. This way whenever someone comes into the mainstream from ATL, Mike Will is going to always be associated with that act.
That’s just slight work though. The guy keeps his name attached to Billboard at all times. Here’s a few songs you might have heard on every radio station and at every club in the past 5 years:
Mercy. No Lie. Bandz a Make Her Dance. Pour It Up. Faded (we’ll get back to this one). Love Me. Body Party. We Can’t Stop. 23. Buy the World. The list goes on.
Every track mentioned has a superstar name attached with it. Everyone from Mariah Carey to Kendrick Lamar to Miley Cyrus fucks with the boy, and if you don’t think this is reason enough for existence of The Illuminati the close this page now. Let’s do an assessment:
- Using the emerging Atlanta scene to make sure his DJ drop will always be heard. Check.
- Discover and collaborate with Swae Lee & Slim Jimmy, then go on to make them name their group Rae Sremmurd which is EAR DRUMMERS SPELLED BACKWARDS. Dre couldn’t even think to get two 18 year old kids to name themselves Staeb Yb Erd. Check.
- Market himself to as many demographics as he can by breaking YouTube records with Miley Cyrus and collaborating with Mariah Carey, Kanye West and any trap rapper with $20k to spend on a beat.
It took Dre 20+ years to get to where he’s at, so check back here in about 16 to see if I was right about Mr. Made It.