Internet Money is the go-to group when you want a sure-fire Hip Hop hit. They’re responsible for some of the biggest songs like Juice WRLD’s “Lucid Dreams” and Lil Tecca’s “Ransom” and have played an integral role in developing these two as well as many more artists like Iann Dior and Trevor Daniel. They’ve gone multi-platinum and received several Grammy nominations for their work, and it’s crazy to say, but they’re just getting their feet wet.
When Taz Taylor first came up with the idea for the Internet Money collective, he was just a producer on the rise making “type beats” online. After gaining traction online Taylor found himself a catalog of hit records he crafted behind the boards. Believing he was more than someone who only creates beats, Taylor got together with fellow producer Nick Mira to form Internet Money Records. The duo began taking in anyone who loved music and wanted to work, and before long, the group became more than a collective, but an actual family.
“We actually all met playing Call of Duty. That’s kind of where it started, and what stood out to me is they never talked to me about music shit, and they didn’t care because it was always on some other shit,” Taylor told HipHopDX. “It became about music as it grew into something else. I just wanted to build something like a group of friends.”
The group of friends got deeper into the music space, and for a brief period, found a home at Alamo and Interscope Records. The deal fell through, but Taz was able to secure a deal with 10K Projects allowing the collective more freedom over their work. After supplying the backdrop to a large amount of Hip Hop records that came out over the years, the group flirted with the idea of making an actual album. Eventually, the thought became a reality in the form of B4 The Storm, Internet Money’s debut album as a primary artist.
According to Taylor, B4 The Storm is showing producers they can be more than just a force behind the scenes. They can film their own videos, be a star and get the credit they deserve for the records they’re putting out with these big-name artists. “This is just the start. Music’s just a stepping stone, and it depends on what you want to do with it. Anything that comes from it I’m going to be like, you know what, this is my path, this is what I’m going to do,” Taylor said.
The 17-track effort is a collection of bangers by a group of Hip Hop’s newest and freshest faces. Rap veterans like Future and Wiz Khalifa are featured on the album as well, and Taylor says the collective wanted to put on a showcase of new talent with a bit of help from the older guys.
“Only thing we’re trying to achieve is putting cool records together, and I look at it more so like a playlist, not really like an album,” said Taylor. “We’re just putting the artist’s that we really fuck with and showcasing new artists that we think are next as opposed to artists that really influence us.”
“Guys like Kevin Gates and Wiz Khalifa, these are people that growing up I was really a big fan, so I was like I got to have them on the album when the opportunity presents itself. Ultimately we’re just starting the playlist off, brother, just letting it run. We’re going to be making a lot of these, so get ready. Here come the bells.”
“Lemonade,” the second single off B4 The Storm, has been heating up the charts and catapulted the collective further into the spotlight. It went number one on several Spotify lists and continues to climb the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it currently holds the number nine spot. Overseas the record is just as big, going number one in the UK and Portugal, as well as cracking the top 10 in other countries.
Internet Money is seeing quite a buzz from B4 The Storm and “Lemonade,” and the members are humbly working as if they’re still new to the game. When asked if the group feels they deserve more recognition for all their accolades, Taylor downplayed the thought of anyone from the camp acting in such a manner.
“Nah, we don’t think like that, for real. It’s a little more humble around here. We’re just working with whoever wants to work with us and wants to vibe and make some records and add some plaques on our walls,” said Taylor. “We’re glad to do it, and whoever don’t, that’s on them, bro. We’re going to get this money, and we’re going to be successful regardless of who fuck with us and who don’t. We’re proving we’re meant to be here, so people better get used to it because, honestly, I got some shit in the folder, bro.”
HipHopDX spoke more with Taz Taylor about the bond between the members of Internet Money, offering a platform to younger creatives, what it takes to be apart of Internet Money, what type of boss he is and more.
HipHopDX: You first broke into the game selling “type beats.” What was that era like looking back on it?
Taylor: It was a crazy time, bro, it was like a dog eats dog world out there. A lot of people buying dislikes, a lot of people paying money to rank videos on YouTube, do all this different shit. Selling beats online is just a grind, bro. I’m glad, honestly, I haven’t sold beats online for three years. I’m glad I don’t have to do that shit anymore. It’s such a toxic way of living, you got to go out and do deals, the buy one get three or whatever, the videos, the tags, thumbnails, go finding customers, responding to emails, cutting yourself short.
And on top of that, you got to deal with the producer community, which is one of the most toxic communities at the end day anyway because a lot of people do not want to help each other out. It’s just a lot of self-hate because people get opportunities and there are so many opportunities that come around. So whenever people do get opportunities it’s like fuck them. They’re just haters automatically because they didn’t get anything.
HipHopDX: Luckily you were able to break into the industry in a major way and produce a shit ton of hit records. What’s the secret to making these hits?
Taylor: I think honestly, bro, it comes down to the formula. People think because I can get in the studio and go make a song with my homeboy that it’s going to go up and go be one of the biggest songs in the world. And yeah, sometimes it does happen like that. There are those happy-go-lucky people that are just happy to be here because they just recorded a song yesterday and now it’s the number 10 song in the world or something. But a lot of this shit is really formula based.
People go off chord progressions and keys and BPMs and tempos and all that type of shit, which actually do make a hit record. A lot of the biggest pop songs of the past 40 years have all had the same chord progression, or they’ll be in similar tempos or something like that. It’s just dependent on what type of song you want to make, what’s the vibe you’re going for, and you just got to find the formula for those records, but they all exist.
HipHopDX: What’s the most difficult thing about producing?
Taylor: Honestly, the hardest thing is just people not really knowing what they want. It’s just two people trying to explain these are the beats they’re trying to make and rap on. So you got to find a happy medium that’s good enough for you to where you feel like you’re pushing the boundaries for it as a producer. But also on top of that, you got to find the way you’re able to cater to their creative side if that makes sense.
HipHopDX: What were the early days of Internet Money like?
Taylor: It kind of started whenever I signed DT and Nick and just started working with them. They were young, so it started with that. I was like, “Yo, let’s build something bigger. Let’s get money on the internet together,” because a lot of people don’t work with each other and shit. So that’s kind of where it started and here we are now, five years later, and we have the number one record on Spotify right now. It’s kind of crazy. We met through video games
HipHopDX: Why call the collective Internet Money?
Taylor: It was like a thing. I was working with this artist at the time and his name was Moor Money. His creative director was my homeboy and now one of my photographers, Denzel, his name was Art Money, and so they just called me Internet Money because I’ve sold beats online. I tweeted it one day and then a lot of producers started using it as a hashtag to talk about selling beats online and I was like nah I’m just going to run with it so I just ran with it.
We’re just building something as a group of friends. That’s what it really was. It was never like let’s go get a platinum plaque or let’s get a gold record or even go into the industry. It was just like let’s just make some money together, let’s do this shit, let’s run it up, and let’s go crazy. Then it transitioned into switching over to the industry and running it up that way. I don’t like to go into stuff with goals. I don’t really believe in them too much. I just keep working and shit comes my way, then it’s like all right, cool, then I guess this is what I’m supposed to be doing right now.
— INTERNET MONEY (@InternetMoney) October 29, 2020
HipHopDX: What does someone have to do or what criteria is there to join Internet Money?
Taylor: The whole thing with Internet Money, bro, is honestly you just got to vibe with everybody. If you’re going to come in this shit and you understand it’s not about you and it’s just about the team, the bigger Internet Money gets and the more opportunities come to you. You understand that then you’re going to work fine. But if you come in this shit thinking it’s about you and you deserve some and you’re just better than everybody else, it ain’t going to happen. Like that’s for anybody. We’ve all made bad beats, so I don’t really care if you’re a bad producer or a good producer because if your beats are trash, we’re going to get them to sound good. So it just depends on how well you can work in unison with everybody. That’s really the criteria for Internet Money.
HipHopDX: Are you a stern boss or are you more of like a friend with everyone? And with that, do you have any worries about being a strong leader?
Taylor: I mean, I definitely call the shots, but I live with them, man. So I’m here every day and it’s not something like I see them whenever. I’m here every day and I live life with them. So it’s a little different because we all live together and we all interact. But yeah, I call the shots. I decide what we’re doing every day and I just keep everybody working. When Internet Money started to now, there were obviously people who came in that wanted to go to the industry or didn’t want to sign or didn’t want to do all this.
You had to deal with egos and friends and people you thought were your friends just fucking you over after they get one little placement, or whatever. But the people who are all here, are here for a reason. They all stuck around, we’re all doing our thing, and it’s a constant willingness to change. If people don’t want to be in this then I don’t want to hold them. If they want to go, go do their thing because I’m going to get it with or without whoever. It’s just whoever wants to join me on this is more than welcome to.
HipHopDX: With a big group like this there are bound to lanes other than music that members want to tap into. What were the other things, if there were any, you guys wanted to get into if music wasn’t it?
Taylor: Honestly, bro, I don’t even know for that. Maybe music is the common factor, we all have a special love for music. All of us grew up doing it and this is the only thing that we’ve all really had that we’ve been good at our whole lives. So it’s the same reason why LeBron and Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh and all them, Carmelo, they’re all homeboys. They all have a love for something. You find people within your lifestyle, it just works and meshes and you all do the same shit.
HipHopDX: As a boss and leader I’m sure there are things about the group you come across that ticks you off.
Taylor: Oh, bro, every day. Every day, bro. Whether it’s like little shit like people don’t pick up the trash or shit like that around the house to people not making the right beats or people not even just delivering. It’s like, bro if you’ve been in Internet Money for a year plus and you’re still not really doing shit, it’s on you at this point because in the last six months we made one of the biggest songs in the world. Not as just producers, but only ours. Like, how are you around and not being motivated? So it’s just a lot of motivational issues that you’ll have. But like I said, bro, the ones that want it, get it. We give them the opportunity to go get it, it’s just all for them to go perform.
Running out of wall space. Look at this stupid ass shit pic.twitter.com/v3bhNTDp7B
— TEARS AND PISTOLS (@taztaylor) November 3, 2020
HipHopDX: Keeping a team motivated does partially fall on the leader. Is it hard trying to keep your team motivated? It’s a big collective and not everyone is going to see success at the same time.
Taylor: It’s a lot of good cop, bad cop shit. You got to deal with people’s personal issues because whenever you’ve got your eye on the prize and you’re working hard to get stuff done, you can stomp on a lot of people’s feet. People just be taking shit the wrong way or taking shit too personally. The reality is this is business, there ain’t nothing personal anyways. Just dealing with people’s attitudes and dealing with people’s personalities and making sure they’re all cool at the end of the day. I think that’s just the hardest thing is trying to get so many people working together and believing in something that doesn’t directly involve them. You know what I mean?
HipHopDX: What happened with your deal with Interscope and Alamo? Were they not giving you guys full control over your work?
Taylor: It’s just the way I run shit, bro, I’m not going to come in and have people tell me what to do and that’s just what it is at the end of the day. The reason why I’m having success under Elliot and 10K is because Elliot is a really selfless person. He understands that I don’t like people telling me what to do. He literally calls it the Taz show, he lets me do whatever I want to do. If I want to do a fucking Bricksquad reunion I can go do that shit. There’s just nothing that they won’t let me do.
As opposed to like, I remember trying to sign Tecca and they told me no. You know how hard it was to sit and watch “Ransom” go up and think like this should be on my label? We developed that record but it’s all good because I’m happy where I’m at. I’m glad everything happened how it happened because it was rough while I was going through it and it felt like I was literally in a fucking hole for the longest time. But now I get to go crazy and I got all this shit going on and it’s like, you can make it out of any situation, no matter what the fuck people put you in.
HipHopDX: With all the accolades the collective has seen so far you’re obviously doing a good job leading the front. What grade would you give yourself?
Taylor: I have no idea, bro. Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you. I don’t even look at myself as a grade. I’m just me, bro. I’m not one of these people that change who I am to make other people feel better about themselves or anything. I am who I am and people going to accept it or not and that’s on them. I know every time I go into a room, or every time I go into a new building or an office or a studio, I go in that mother fucker as myself and I don’t care how anybody else feels about it. I have my beliefs, I have my ways of thinking, my rules of working, and I don’t disrespect anybody else’s shit so I don’t expect anybody to disrespect mine.
HipHopDX: What was the hardest collaboration for you to get on B4 The Storm?
Taylor: Hardest collaboration is probably “Thrusting,” bro, to be honest. Just because we were in a rush to get the project done and Swae Lee, this is when coronavirus was just going on so no one’s working really at the time. And of course, all the tragic stuff going on with the cops and all that shit going on so everybody’s really not wanting to work. But I told Swae I wanted him on my album and we found a way to make it happen. And then from there, trying to figure out who I want to get on the record, like, I wanted to get Ozuna on it or go that route and go international. But it just didn’t end up working out that way.
So the only other artist here I could think of that I thought would sound crazy was Future and that’s just because Hndrxx is one of my favorite Future albums of all time. So I just remember telling my boy Dizzy, like yo we need Future on this. So my man went and caught coronavirus running, chasing after Future, getting Future to cut the shit. Crazy shit going on, but we got it done and we’re here.
I’m sitting on real hits.
— TEARS AND PISTOLS (@taztaylor) November 3, 2020
HipHopDX: You guys are like a new-age version of DJ Khaled where you’re getting different types of artists and putting them on a track. How difficult is it to have multiple artists coming into the fold and making the song work the way you guys do?
Taylor: Oh, it’s always difficult, bro, because there’s a lot of politics behind the scenes that people don’t know about. So and so don’t want to be on a song with this person, or they don’t like their verse on this, or why they have a certain placement or why was the beat changed. They get all these personalities and even people you would think would be homeboys and shit, there wouldn’t even be no problems would have a problem. Like, nope, there’s always going to be an issue because people got egos and no one wants to feel like, one, they’re getting washed on a record, or, two, they don’t want to give a cosign to somebody. It’s just all this shit, bro.
HipHopDX: What’s the dumbest complaint you’ve heard from an artist?
Taylor: Just like records being out, being hit records, doing all that shit, and they’ll just be causing unnecessary bullshit about the same records that are already going platinum and gold and going up. Doing all this shit for a record that keeps going up. It’s like, bro, you just got a big record just calm the fuck down, bro. All this little shit, unnecessary bro, unnecessary.
HipHopDX: It seems like you really want Internet Money to be a place for producers to really grown and shine on their own. What makes you want to change the landscape for producers?
Taylor: I think it’s just showing producers that it’s possible, bro. You can have the biggest song in the world as an artist, you could go be a DJ, you could be the artist, you could be the star, they could be the music video director, you could do whatever you want to do. Whenever you sit there and tell yourself I’m just a beatmaker or a producer, you’re putting yourself in a box. What they don’t understand is that’s how a lot of our favorite producers of all time are. They just box themselves out of the game because they continuously think they’re just a producer.
Like, what if Kanye never was an artist? We wouldn’t have a lot of records and he’s one of the greatest influencers of the past decade. So it’s like, we wouldn’t have a lot of this shit, from the fashion to the streetwear shit going crazy, everything that he has been doing. The music influences, making shit cool, pushing the boundaries for it. Like the rollout for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, remember when he did, what was it, “New Slaves,” or whatever he did on the screens in New York and LA. All these great ideas, that’s just if one person only just made beats forever. See what I’m saying?
You just never know where your path is, and at the end of the day, you just continue to stay on your path and stay focused, and don’t be afraid to try new things. People are going to tell you no, but that’s how a lot of the greatest stuff in the world was made was from doubt and people getting told no.