By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
By Karli Evans
By Jose D. Duran
By Pablo Chacon Alvarez
Behind every good chart-topping song is a good producer. But behind all of that is a good engineer such as Young Money's Mike Banger.
Born Mike Cadahia, Kendall-raised and Miami to the bone, the 27-year-old since 2009 has quickly shot up the Miami studio hierarchy to become Lil Wayne's official personal engineer. New Times recently caught up with Banger to discuss Lil Wayne's final recording flurry before he went to prison and the next projects on Weezy's slate.
New Times: What was the last thing you worked with Lil Wayne on before he went away?
Well, it was supposed to just be Tha Carter IV because I'm Not a Human Being wasn't even supposed to happen. But they wanted to release something and took those songs to make it. A lot of that mixtape was songs that could have been on Tha Carter IV, I would say. But instead of doing that, he's probably going to make even better songs for Tha Carter IV.
You got your own production credit on I'm Not a Human Being, with the song "YM Banger." How did you manage to slip your own beat in there?
At the last moment, they were picking songs, and some songs were incomplete. Mine was actually incomplete. It didn't have a hook. But I squeezed everyone together and put a little dope effect. And the beat's pretty crazy, so it worked out. We actually recorded it on a tour bus. I go with him pretty much everywhere he goes.
How often did you talk to [Lil Wayne] about Tha Carter IV [while he was locked up]?
He would call and tell me just to play him songs because he couldn't hear the music on his hard drive any other way. I'm not sure what his reasons were, but all our conversations he would say, "Hey, what's up? Can you play me these songs?" I guess he was trying to be productive in there, and I have all his material, so why not call me to hear all his stuff.
He's famous for not writing stuff in advance, though.
Yeah, so I don't know what's going to happen now. I guess we'll lay it all down some way or another, and then he'll keep on the way he used to. But I'm pretty sure he had to write it down this time.
Do you think Tha Carter IV is now going to be your priority in the studio?
Yeah, but, um, I'm thinking he's going to do a mixtape. But that's just me. I think he's going to come out, talk about Tha Carter IV, then get whatever he wrote in there out, and let it all out on a mixtape, and then continue with Tha Carter IV. That's just me, but I may bring it to life by speaking about it in that manner. That's what I think he's going to want to do: go ham on a couple beats and then continue with Tha Carter IV.