In a little over a decade Michigan-born producer Needlz has managed to work with some of Hip Hop’s biggest names including Ludacris, Game, 50 Cent, and Talib Kweli. Just recently Needlz produced a track featured on Lupe Fiasco’s LASERS album as well as Bruno Mars’ hit song “Just The Way You Are.”
“With the Lupe – Atlantic situation, I’ve known Lupe for a while, since we both started, and we’re both fans of each other, so I knew that there was some drama going on,” Needlz explained. “I don’t know the specifics, so it’s kind of like if I were to comment on something that you don’t really know too much about…With Atlantic I have a pretty good relationship with Aaron Bay-Schuck and Mike Caren up there and a few other A&Rs. I think at the end of the day it seemed like a win-win situation. I don’t know if it was the album that he wanted to necessarily put out, but it’s been extremely successful.”
Ironically, Needlz revealed that the beat for Mars’ “Just The Way You Are” was initially created for Lupe Fiasco.
“Actually it came from a hip-hop origin. I was doing a track for Lupe and we had Bruno sing the hook. Originally I thought it was going to be for Lupe, but it was taking a while for them to confirm and they wanted me to make some edits to the drums and do some things here and there,” said Needlz. “It got quiet for about a month and then I got a phone call that said it’s Bruno’s single. I didn’t set out to do a pop track, but it just came out like that and I can’t complain.”
As far as working with Drake, Needlz explained that he didn’t have much contact with the artist when he was producing “I’m Goin In” which was featured on the So Far Gone mixtape.
“My dealings with Drake have been pretty much when he was working on the So Far Gone mixtape,” the producer explained. “I was in the studio working with another artist, I went by the room, I heard a few songs and I was asking ‘who produced this joint?’ And it was 40, and I thought it was cool that they had their own sound. The way ‘I’m Goin In’ came about, Lil’ Wayne had leaked the record and I don’t know if it was meant to do as well as it did, but it caught on in the streets and kind of took off. I met Drake I think once or twice personally. We weren’t in the studio like crafting that song or anything like that.”