“You see!?” Young Chop points to an associate as he walks into the WatchLOUD office and hears me singing “Valley,” the standout single from Chop’s debut solo album, Still, which dropped in late October. The song finds Young Chop decorating his production with new sounds while Keef continues to push boundaries with a charming, melodic hook. Together, they’re unstoppable, as proven by 2012 hits like “Love Sosa” and “Don’t Like,” but with Still, the focus is on Chop, who’s been developing his sound beyond “Drill music,” a term he doesn’t even understand.
We sat down with the entertaining and always hilarious Young Chop to discuss the state of Chicago rap in 2014, his decision to start rapping again, and why he doesn’t like collaborating with other producers. Warning: don’t ask him for too much publishing if all you did was make one sound.
WatchLOUD: How do you and Chief Keef work in the studio together?
Young Chop: What’s so crazy is we take our time. I be somewhat lazy in the studio, but I’ll get that sh*t done. I’ll sit back for like 30 minutes, just get the vibe right because I know how he workin’, he like to work, work, work. I need to think about what I’m doing on these keys. I need to think about, “OK, how the f*ck I’ma put this right here and do this or do that. It’s very easy, though. Nothing special.
His ass crazy. He producing and sh*t. He shocked the sh*t out of me. I like that Lil’ Wayne song though, and that “Faneto” sh*t. I’ve never been around him when he’s making a beat, but he co-produced “Valley” with me, though. I let him add that little “Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!” Let him add his lil’ favorite sound. But that’s the only thing that shocked me, he was on key and everything. I was like, what the f*ck? You on key?
Why are you such a natural entertainer?
It’s in my blood, bruh. It’s just how I was raised. My uncles and them was cracking jokes, so sh*t, why not crack a joke? Can’t be mad out here. I’ve never been that type of guy.
How has your approach to production changed since you started out?
I go in there thinking and then come up with a concept. Because when I used to do it, I never came up with a concept. I just did it. But really just going back and listening to old music and coming with a concept, taking what they were doing and merging it with I’m doing and having a thought process about how the lyrics gonna be and everything. Like this breakdown right there, this do this, this do that.
Are there any beats on Still you approached as a concept?
Yeah, “Valley.” If you really listen to it, it’s approached different. I got keys here, I got the god damn pad goin’ different – it’s just all produced how I wanted it and motherf*ckers loved it.
What was some of the older music you were listening to while making Still?
I go back and listen to my old music too, don’t get me wrong, but I’d listen to Gucci Mane and…..Al Green or some sh*t.
What was it like recording with Ty Dolla $ign?
He had a show in Chicago so I called him like, “Damn, let’s get in the studio.” He said cool, “Meet me in my hotel room and we’ll go the studio.” So I brought him to the ‘hood and then we go to the studio. I played him one beat and it was that beat [“Ain’t F*ckin’ With Her”] and he recorded to it. Then I sent it to Cap 1 and the rest was history. I had a deadline. That was the last song I did.