Who is Beat Billionaire? Insert Shamann Cooke from Richmond, Virginia. How’d he get the name? In a dream. He told himself he wanted to be a billionaire and the only way was through beats.
He might just be on track. His most recent record “Purple Lamborghini” featuring Rick Ross and Skrillex was included on the Suicide Squad soundtrack. Not only did the film make box office history, but the soundtrack took the #1 spot on Billboard’s album chart too.
HipHopDX recently caught up with the MMG super producer to discuss what it’s like working with The Bawse (Rick Ross), starting his career at Grand Hustle, to now owning his own record label and being his own boss. With Rozay as your mentor, success is your only option.
Who Is Beat Billionaire?
DX: For those who don’t know, who is Beat Billionaire?
Beat Billionaire: I claim myself as MMG super producer: Billion Dollar Market CEO/boss.
DX: How’d you get into producing and making beats?
Beat Billionaire: It wasn’t something I wanted to do. It was kind of like a hobby at first. Because I actually sold drugs since I was 12 to 21. I got my first Tryon keyboard when I was 16 or 17. I was playing around with it and never thought nothing of it because I always wanted to be a rapper.
My friends always told me I was dope with production, I just never thought it. I thought everybody was lying. Eventually, I moved on, pursuing my rap career. At that time, too, I was producing. In my mind, I never thought I was as dope as I was. I always thought people was trippin, like “y’all like my beat?” I just did it cause I didn’t want to ask anyone else for their beats. The future was from there.
DX: How’d you get connected with MMG?
Beat Billionaire: EPMD, Parrish Smith. He linked me with T.I. at Grand Hustle. The first day I moved to Atlanta, he introduced me to him. And I was still rapping. My friend Mac Boney of P$C (Pimp Squad Click). He was the first person to hear my production around then. He was like, “You really need to focus on that,” because rapping wise, I was too lyrical at the time. Music was all snapping and stuff like that.
He actually used one of my beats. That’s when everyone paid more attention to me as a producer. “Take off” by Young Dro and Yung L.A., that was the first song I ever produced. It actually made Billboard. I was like, “You know what, fuck rap.”
I got my first check, and I was like “Oh I ain’t rapping no more.” Then Young Dro’s single right after that. I produced “Freeze Me,” which actually had T.I. and Gucci Mane. Rick Ross had the remix.
I had changed the sound of music at that point. It was a whole another sound the way I came with that “Freeze Me” beat. Ross kept asking who in the hell produced that beat. Him and T.I. had a video shoot one day, and I ain’t even know. One of my homeboys hit me and I was like “nah.” He said “just go down there.”
When I went, Ross asked the same question, “Who made the ‘Freeze Me’ beat?” My man was like, “My man made it.” Ross was like, “Take my number.” After I got his number, I sent him a couple beats. That’s when we made “John Doe.” Ross flew me in. He asked if I was signed to anyone, I was like, “No.”
He was like, “I would love for you to be MMG.” History from there.
DX: What’s it like working with the boss of MMG, Rick Ross?
Beat Billionaire: Very fun, like… Ross is a comedian to me. He’s funny as hell. He’s one of the funniest ever. When he’s in work mode, he’s in work mode. But he’s like the coolest dude you’ll ever meet. Every time he talks, it’s like you’re in a movie. He puts so much into everything he does and makes you want to be as big as him. Everything that he does just gives you so much energy.
The vibe is just so perfect around my big brother. I call him that. The vibe so perfect. Everybody call him Twin Towers. The connection in the music is so ridiculous and matches so well. Every song is a classic. Just dealing with him as an artist and boss and on top of that, he’s teaching you the whole time. He’s teaching you how to structure your life, your music, your business.
One session with him, you’ll learn a lot.
Billion Dollar Market, Inc.
DX: What did you do with your first advance?
Beat Billionaire: I had bought me a house, cars, took care of my family. I don’t do too much shopping or splurging. I shop, but I don’t splurge and throw money everywhere. Family before anything.
DX: Tell us about your new label, Billion Dollar Market Inc.
Beat Billionaire: It’s a new label I’m starting off. If you have learning experience from the boss himself… man. Turning myself into a boss is the best thing ever. I want to be more than a label. I also got a clothing company, one called Ubuntu Revolution, another called Famous Club. I got all the hot artists from my city, Richmond, Virginia. They try to shed light on the city.
DX: Now you’re your own boss. How does it feel to be CEO of your own company?
Beat Billionaire: It’s kinda scary, ain’t even gonna lie. When I jump out the Porsche and say “Hey, I got a record label, everybody calling.” About two weeks in, I’m like, “Did I jump out too soon? Oh shit.” That shows me I have a lot of respect in this industry. I never knew that. I’m always the humble guy. Some people get out they shell, claim they be something they think they are. Hollywood.
Me personally, I made it this far. I stuck to my ground. I’m the type of person who I don’t know who I am. I go somewhere, someone’s like “Oh shit Beat.” I forget I’m Beat Billionaire. The transition was crazy.
A lot of people hit me about the whole brand. I’m like “Y’all didn’t hear no music yet.” They like, “We know what you can produce, what you can do. We wanna get behind it.”
DX: What can you tell us about Meek Mill’s Dreamchasers 4?
Beat Billionaire: Oh man, DC4 is crazy. I produce the first song, “Problem.” I just know people better get ready. This boy is coming with that heat. I can’t wait. That’s my brother, Meek is my bro. We came from Grand Hustle together. That’s my homie, I know when he drop this, it’s gon’ shake the world up.
DX: You always say take advantage of the Internet. How has that helped you?
Beat Billionaire: Really it’s a tool. It’s easy to get where you wanna go, with a click of a button. How you talk to me on here is how you need to talk to the next person. It’s too easy. You can bug someone on there forever. That’s the perfect way to get to where you wanna go in this industry.
DX: Are you a huge social media user? What’s your favorite?
Beat Billionaire: Yes, I love social media. I’m stuck on Instagram. Twitter was my main thing. I need to go back. I hear it’s a great marketing tool. Pictures speak for itself, so everyone rushing to IG. You don’t gotta do all that typing. With a picture, you see movement. Twitter, you gotta say what’s on your mind.
DX: Who are your favorite artists to listen to?
Beat Billionaire: Jay Z is my favorite rapper in the world. Jadakiss. Rick Ross is my brother. Pac, Biggie is one. They one to me. T.I.
DX: What was your favorite collab?
Beat Billionaire: “Bag Of Money” by Rick Ross, Meek Mill, and T-Pain.
DX: Who would you like to work with that you haven’t been able to yet?
Beat Billionaire: Jay Z. I met him before, several times. I went to his office. Now I really wanna work with him. Shout out to Uncle Emory. That’s Jay’s best friend, Emory Jones. I can call him anytime he’ll pick up my phone.
DX: You recently worked with Blac Youngsta and called him “one of the realist and humble homies” you know. What makes you say that?
Beat Billionaire: He’s one of the guys. You can tell that he has been through something where he’s happy to be where he’s at right now. I come from a struggle, too. I’m happy to be where I’m at. At this position, if I can do it, I’ma do it. If Ross say that beat don’t sound right, I’ma be like cool.
Blac Youngsta always says, “I don’t care, bro, I’m just happy to be here.” When someone says that, that means they’re literally happy to be where they are from, happy to be in the situation he is in. Humble as hell, one of most humble people I ever met. That dude is cool as hell. He’s one of coolest individuals I ever met.
DX: Do you feel like there’s not a lot of real and humble artists in the industry?
Beat Billionaire: To a certain degree, there is. You gotta get it out of them. People think Wale is a dick head, but he’s one of the coolest people. I can be like, “Wale my damn toenail hurts.” That’s my brother. One of the most humble people I know too.
DX: Besides producing, what do you like to do?
Beat Billionaire: Family. Kids.
DX: What are your hobbies?
Beat Billionaire: I like to draw.
DX: How’d you come up with your name Beat Billionaire?
Beat Billionaire: Here we go. [Laughs]. Basically, everybody called me Raz. I was like, “I can’t go by Raz.” What do I wanna do? I wanna be a billionaire. This is so crazy… I went to sleep on this. I was in my dream talking to myself, asking myself. “What do you wanna be?” I was replying to myself, “I wanna be a billionaire.” How am I gonna do it? I was like hell, I’m in the industry making beats. Beat Billionaire. I ran to my homeboys and producer friends, they were like, “Dawg, that’s it.”
DX: How do you dress? Do you like to show out like Rozay?
Beat Billionaire: Na, I’m like an average guy. I get some nice little skinny jeans, shirt, regular ole shirt. But jewelry, I try to show out like my big bro. I put on ten chains. I’m an ignorant nigga. That I go far with. I keep up with him on that.
DX: Tell us about “Purple Lamborghini.”
Beat Billionaire: That’s the main song going right now. One of my biggest accomplishments. I thank God and Rozay for giving me the opportunity for being a part of that situation. It’s one of the Top 10 records right now, Top 50 on the Billboard Hot 100. Number one album and movie in the world. The biggest accomplishment on Earth. I thank God to be a part of that. And Skrillex, shout out. We made history.
I thank God for even putting me around big bro like that. People don’t have opportunities like this. I never thought I’d be doing this. I wouldn’t be Beat Billionaire without that man upstairs. Thank God every day.
DX: What’s next?
Beat Billionaire: Self Made 4. Rozay got another project. I’m working with Plies. Dej Loaf. That’s my partner. She’s so cool, one of the most humble people too. Be on the lookup for BDM album. Mixtape coming out first. I really thank y’all for having me, little old me over here.