Words: Peter A. Berry
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.
LilJuMadeDaBeat is on the rise. Over the last few years, the Dallas producer has built a name for himself producing some of Megan Thee Stallion’s biggest hits, including “Big Ole Freak” and the DaBaby-featured “Cash Shit.” Most recently, Ju, who’s also crafted beats for the likes of 2 Chainz and Gucci Mane, produced tracks like “Do It on the Tip” featuring City Girls and “Body,” two standouts from Megan’s debut album, Good News. The latter track has just debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, giving them both their best debut to date. Phoning in to XXL, Ju speaks about working with Megan, “Body” and more.
How long have you and Megan Thee Stallion been working together?
I was the main producer at 1501 [Certified Entertainment], the label that she signed to with 300 [Entertainment]. They probably signed Megan, maybe November or December 2018, and shit, wasn’t nobody locking in with her. So I just locked in with her. That was December 2018. It’s been nowhere but up.
Why do you think you guys work so well together?
We just both are passionate about music. People be worrying about the money. I knew that was going to come. I eat, sleep and breathe beats and she eat, sleep and breathe rapping.
We was both taking it super serious. Not saying I wrote any raps or anything, but when we [are] making songs, she don’t have no problem. She’s open to what I say and asks [for] my advice.
Did you know that “Body” was going to be a big song?
I honestly did, ’cause I sent Megan a beat, she called me back super, super, super, super excited. She don’t be excited. I’m not gon’ say she don’t get excited about my beats, but this one particular beat, she called me like, “Oh my gosh, this is perfect!” She called me and was like, “I want a beat with sex sounds in there” or like, “Orgasm sounds in it.”
I made the beat probably in 15 to 20 minutes, sent it back to her. She was like, “Oh my God, this is perfect!” Then when she sent me the song back, I couldn’t wait because I’m like, I know girls are going to twerk to this as soon as it come on. It got my tag on there. It’s a twerk song. Soon as they hear it, it’s going to go crazy.
Where does “Body” rank for you in terms of songs you produced for Megan? Do you think that is the No. 1 track?
“Big Ole Freak” is No. 1 one because that’s our first song together that went crazy. [“Big Ole Freak” is] her first song on the radio, my first song on the radio, her first song on the Billboard [chart], my first song on the Billboard [chart]. That song helped me get my deal. “Body” [is] probably two or three. You probably put “Cash Shit” in there. I say “Body” is probably No. 3, but if “Body” goes No. 1, then I’m going to move that to No. 1.
Check out more from XXL’s Winter 2020 issue including our DaBaby cover story, an introduction to DaBaby's Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment label roster, an interview with South Coast Music Group founder Arnold Taylor, who discovered and signed DaBaby, one of King Von's last interviews, how the coronavirus changed hip-hop, we catch up with Flipp Dinero in What's Happenin', we talk to Rico Nasty about rediscovering who she is as an artist, Marshmello discusses the rappers he wants to work with in Hip-Hop Junkie, Show & Prove interviews with The Kid Laroi and Flo Milli, we take a closer look at how music gets leaked and more.
See Photos of XXL Magazine's Winter 2020 Cover Shoot With DaBaby