Smokepurpp and Murda Beatz have been recording together for more than a year now, but work on their anticipated collaborative project Bless Yo Trap—or even the idea for it—didn’t start until “123” was created months later.
“The night we made ‘123,’ I was making the beats from scratch in the studio—we made ‘Do Not Disturb’ that night and seven other records from scratch,” Murda says during an early April stop by XXL‘s Manhattan headquarters. “We made almost the whole album in one night. That’s how this album came together. I was like, ‘Yo we need to drop a fucking album.'”
As we know now, that’s exactly what Purpp and Murda are about to do. Purpp first spoke about a joint project with Murda last fall, yet tracks like “123” and their Lil Yachty and Offset-assisted cut “Do Not Disturb” were the first true sign that a full-length project was actually coming to fruition.
The early returns have been more than a little promising. Thus far, “123” and “Do Not Disturb” have been played nearly 30 million times across music streaming platforms. With their joint album due out later this month and chemistry that grows everyday, Purpp and Murda are poised to make a huge splash for 2018.
XXL recently chopped it up with the two artists about recording Bless Yo Trap, hitting their stride with “123” and what to expect from their upcoming solo projects.
XXL: How long have you guys known each other?
Smokepurpp: We linked up like a little over a year ago here in New York. We were in the same studio and he had come over to the room I was in and dropped off some beats. First he listened to my shit, and he fucked with me, so he gave me some beats. The next day he came over and I used like three of the beats. We just kept on making shit from there on.
Why’d you call the album Bless Yo Trap?
Smokepurpp: ‘Cause that’s my thing—it’s what what I go by. I thought it would be a good idea to use it for this album, ‘specially ’cause it’s my first time dropping an album. It just makes sense—Murda bless yo trap. I had said it on one of his songs. So it was just like, “Yo, we should just make that the name of the thing.” And we did.
Murda Beatz: He says, “Murda bless yo trap” on a bunch of songs and it just like, fits his brand. And we’re gonna bless a bunch of traps with this album.
How many tracks did you guys record for the project?
Smokepurpp: We recorded about like—16, 17. Maybe more. Maybe like 20?
Murda Beatz: Yeah, I’d say like 20.
Smokepurpp: We cut it down.
When you first started recording sessions for Bless Yo Trap, were you planning on making an album?
Smokepurpp: Nah, we were just making music.
Murda Beatz: We were just like, having relationships as friends, chillin’, vibing. Sometimes we’d go to the studio and not even cook up, [we’d] just vibe. Chill with some bitches.
The life of a rockstar.
Murda Beatz: Ya know.
You recorded most of this project in person. That seems rare these days.
Smokepurpp: We did record it in person. We recorded everything together.
What’s an advantage of doing things in person?
Smokepurpp: It’s ’cause we’re actually just friends. It’s a better vibe and it just comes out better.
Murda Beatz: We made a couple beats at the crib. Purpp would come pull up at the crib and we’d just be chilling. And then we’d just start cooking up at the house and stuff.
Smokepurpp: Yeah, everything’s organic. We didn’t force nothing.
Murda Beatz: Every beat was made in sessions in front of him. I think that’s rare. I don’t know if a lot of albums are made from scratch like, starting with the beat to the lyrics to everything from scratch. No writers, just me and Purpp.
You’ve said that you recorded seven songs together in your first session. You must’ve knocked out the project pretty quickly.
Smokepurpp: No, because I started adding songs and swapping songs out. We made like seven, eight songs that night, though. A lot of those are on it; some of them are not. ‘Cause we started making more, just cutting and replacing and stuff like that. We finished the project probably like—two weeks ago.
When’d you start recording it?
Smokepurpp: Probably, January or February.
Murda Beatz: “Bumblebee.”
Smokepurpp: Yeah, but that’s when we started just recording. ‘Cause we’ve been recording for a long time. But we started like, “Alright, let’s make this a project,” probably like January, February. We’ve been recording for a while. There are songs that we decided to add from a year ago that we made that are not out. Because first we were just starting from that day. But then we started using the songs from before.
How long does it generally take you guys to record a track?
Murda Beatz: By the time I’m done with the beat, he goes in and just cuts the record.
Smokepurpp: He’ll be cooking up the beat, and I’ll be writing, and I’ll be like, “Yo, look, I said this here, so structure it like this.” And by the time he’s done like, putting everything perfect, I’ll be done writing and I’ll just go in and record.
Murda Beatz: I make beats in like 20 minutes.
Smokepurpp: He’s really fast, but for me, sometimes it just comes to me. Sometimes I’ll have to wait. I’ll have to catch a vibe.
Murda Beatz: Might have to sleep a couple hours.
Smokepurpp: Yeah, or sometimes he’ll give me ideas like, “Maybe you should flow like this.” Boom, then after that, I’ll just go in. It just depends on the vibe. Like right now, I feel like recording like five songs.
So you guys are gonna hit the studio tonight?
Murda Beatz: We’re probably gonna make a whole new album. Bless Yo Trap 2.
Any features besides Offset, Lil Yachty, A$AP Ferg and Pump?
Murda Beatz: We have a huge “123 (Remix).” Just wait on it.
Was there any feature that stood out?
Smokepurpp: I mean all of them, because I liked all of them. Shout out to everybody on the project.
Murda Beatz: Honestly, I think the Ferg one. He snapped.
What’s the progress on your debut album?
Smokepurpp: I don’t have the name of it but… I don’t know. I’m kind of in this weird feeling about it. ‘Cause I don’t know if I wanna make my debut album like how I’ve been making music now, or if I wanna make it more serious and get more in-depth with myself. ‘Cause I don’t wanna do that—I lose my friends by doing that. But that’s what I wanna do. It’s just I gotta do it at the right time.
Why isn’t now the right time?
Smokepurpp: Because right now, the hype is really high. So it’s like, if I were to change my style right now [shakes head]. “123”—that’s like the fastest song I’ve ever had go up. And “Audi” was pretty big. This shit has like 14 million plays right now on Spotify, 14 million plays on SoundCloud—it’s only been 25 days. Passed “Fingers Blue,” it passed all of that. By making [“123”] now I kinda understand what my fans wanna hear from me. So now like, we could go to the studio and be like, “Yo, let’s make another ‘123’ type song,” and I know it’s gonna explode just like that.
So now you know the formula.
Smokepurpp: I got the science down.
Murda Beatz: We’re scientists.
Right. Getting back to Murda: When can we expect you to drop Keep God First 2?
Murda Beatz: Keep God First 2 is coming this year. 1,000 percent. Everyone’s on that shit. I got some legends on that.
Sounds dope. What else did you and Purpp learn about each other during sessions for your new album?
Smokepurpp: By working with Murda, I learned a lot of shit about myself, too, just trying new shit. I be doing wild shit on songs now, like on the ad libs and stuff. I didn’t know I could do that—I just found that out by working with him.
Murda Beatz: I realized everybody I worked with, I pushed. I just feel like working with people like the Migos and PartyNextDoor—they pushed me to my limits and gotten me better, and now I feel like everybody I worked with I can bring out the best out of everybody. And I’ve definitely heard some crazy shit from Purpp. Even when were in Texas recording for SXSW, he did some crazy shit in the booth. I was like, “Holy fuck.”
Smokepurpp: Yeah like, just learning some new shit that I could do that I didn’t even know. Honestly, he’s helped me find like a certain sound. He gave me some crazy-ass presets to record with. Once he gave me that, I really found like a specific sound. Low key, making this project, he helped shape how I’m making music now.
So basically, y’all are Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry?
Murda Beatz: [Laughs] Deadly combo.
Smokepurpp: I’m Stephen Curry, he’s KD.
Murda Beatz: Deadlier than Pippen and MJ.
Smokepurpp: I already know this is gon’ be the best project of 2018, I swear to God. I already know nothing anybody else drops is gonna be better.
Murda Beatz: Best collab project.
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