“He Doesn’t Sleep”: Producer Gordo Talks Drake’s Insane Three Album Run, ‘For All the Dogs, and Their 12-Year Friendship

You spoke about trying to find something different and that’s how “Rich Baby Daddy” with SZA and Sexyy Red came about. But can you speak more on the process of producing that record?
Rich Baby Daddy” was a record that I did with Johan and Richard, my homies who I work a lot with. They did “Massive,” “Calling Your Name,” and a bunch of stuff from Honestly, Nevermind. And when Drake had reached out and was like, let’s get some more shit done for this album, Those are the guys that I always hit up. I have over 12 years of doing this, so I’ve collected such an insane group of producers and guys that are next level. So, when I was doing Honestly, Nevermind, I hit up all my homies to see what everyone was working on. 

Back in the day when I was doing the Carnage stuff, EDM is a place where producers get the recognition they deserve. And it’s funny because producers in the hip-hop world, they’re respected, because it’s the rapper and the beat, there are two portions of the song. But in EDM, you have the producer who produced the music and the producer is also an artist. So it’s all lights on the DJ because that’s his song, so back in the day, I would try to finish everything myself. There was always a stigma of if you did this with this other guy, it’s like he’s a ghost producer. So for the longest time, I would produce stuff, mix and master everything myself, and obviously that would diminish how great a song is gonna be. Look at the greatest artists out there. Look at Kanye. Kanye is a producer. We all know he’s a genius producer, but if you look at his songs, there’s like seven or eight producers on every song because he’s finding the best of the best of the best… You have to put your ego to the side. It’s not all about just you doing everything. Obviously there are producers out there that do everything and we all wish we could be those guys. But Kanye, Dr. Dre and all these guys, they have no problem saying let me bring this guy over here. 

So when Drake reaches out to me do I just try to do it all myself or do I fucking try to make the best music possible? With “Rich Baby Daddy,” we were trying to find this new sound. I was making a bunch of stuff, and it wasn’t happening. I needed to find something. So when we were sitting there and he was like we need a new vibe, I remembered earlier that day, I had listened to [K.P. & Envyi’s “Swing My Way”], and I was like, no one’s done that in a long time. So then I hit him and I was like, maybe we should do something like that. I reached out to Richard and Johan and we, and they made 10, 18 beats. I made a couple beats and we compiled a bunch of these bounces and I sent it to him. He was like, “this is it! But let’s try different samples.” Then I went back to drawing board with Richard and Johan and we tried a couple of different things and boom, this is the fucking one.