Michael Len Williams II (born March 23, 1989), professionally known as Mike WiLL Made It or Mike WiLL, is an American record producer from Atlanta, Georgia. He is perhaps best known for producing trap beats for several Southern hip hop artists and has also produced the hit singles "Mercy" by GOOD Music, "No Lie" by 2 Chainz, "Bandz a Make Her Dance" by Juicy J, "Pour It Up" by Rihanna, "Love Me" by Lil Wayne, "Body Party" by Ciara and "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus. He has released three mixtapes and plans to release his debut album Est. in 1989 Pt. 3 (The Album) in 2014 under his label EarDrummers and Interscope Records.
Mike WiLL Made It, birth name Michael Williams, was born on March 23, 1989 in Marietta, Georgia, the youngest of three children with two older sisters. Mike WiLL's mother was in a gospel group, singing for Dottie Peoples, when Mike was young and according to Mike WiLL, his uncle was an accomplished guitar player. Growing up, Mike WiLL was athletic, participating in a number of sports, including basketball, baseball, and football, with dreams of becoming a professional athlete. As a teenager, Mike WiLL first developed his talent for music by re-playing popular instrumentals that he heard on the radio while he and his friends would freestyle to them. In a number of interviews, Mike WiLL has mentioned, in particular, re-playing the instrumental for "Still Fly", a popular song by the southern rap group Big Tymers, on a makeshift Casio brand keyboard, and has also mentioned re-playing the song "Young'n (Holla Back)" by New York rapper Fabolous on production equipment at a local music store.
At age 14, Mike WiLL began to make his own beats on a Korg ES1 beat machine, which his father purchased for him as a Christmas present from local music store Mars Music. As Mike WiLL became more accomplished, he also began to use production equipment including the Korg Triton, the Akai MPC1000, the Yamaha Motif, and the Roland Fantom.
Upon graduating high school, Mike WiLL enrolled at Georgia State to pursue undergraduate studies, but dropped out after several semesters to focus on his career as a music producer.
2011-12: Production and mixtapes:
In an interview with XXL, Mike WiLL is credited with saying that "Gucci Mane was the first major artist to ever rap on my beat." Mike WiLL first met Gucci Mane at Atlanta recording studio, PatchWerk Recording Studios, and upon introducing himself to Gucci Mane and giving Gucci Mane a CD of beats, Gucci Mane proceeded to freestyle over each of the instrumentals. Following that he offered Mike Will $1,000 for one of his beats. The two artists began releasing songs together, such as "East Atlanta 6", and a number of songs from Gucci Mane's mixtape, No Pad, No Pencil. After making the close relationship with Gucci Mane, he began working with other big-name Atlanta rappers such as Future, Waka Flocka Flame, Rocko, and 2 Chainz.
In 2011, Mike WiLL placed his first single with the song "Tupac Back", performed by Meek Mill and Rick Ross, from the compilation album Self Made Vol. 1. The single was released on April 5, 2011 and peaked at #31 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Billboard chart. The placement came after Mike WiLL submitted some of his beats to an A&R for Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group label.
Also in 2011, Mike WiLL worked with Atlanta rapper Future, producing a number of popular and noteworthy songs together, including "Ain't No Way Around It", "Itchin'", and three songs from Future's 2012 major label debut album Pluto, including "Neva End", "Truth Gonna Hurt You", and "Turn On the Lights". "Turn On the Lights" was promoted as a single from Pluto, and to date has peaked at #2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Billboard chart.
On Tuesday, December 27, 2011 Mike WiLL Made It released his first mixtape, Est. in 1989 (Last of a Dying Breed). The mixtape was released in conjunction with popular mixtape website LiveMixtapes.com.Est. in 1989 included a mix of exclusive songs and songs from Mike WiLL's catalog, and features artists such as Gucci Mane & 1017 Brick Squad, Future, Waka Flocka Flame, Kanye West & GOOD Music, 2 Chainz, Lil Boosie, Ludacris, Lil Wayne, and more.
On March 23, 2012, Mike WiLL Made It partnered with popular music site The FADER to announce the second installment of his mixtape series, Est. in 1989 Pt. 2, and to release the mixtape's first single, "Back 2 the Basics", which features his manager/rapper Gucci Mane, founder/CEO/president of Brick Squad and Waka Flocka Flame. The project Est. in 1989 Pt. 2 features songs with Diddy, 2 Chainz, Juicy J, Future, Lil Wayne, T.I., Mac Miller, French Montana, Jeremih, and others.Est. in 1989 Pt. 2 was released again on July 24, 2012 in partnership with LiveMixtapes.com.
Mike WiLL Made It has also worked extensively with Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz, producing "La La", which features Busta Rhymes, from 2 Chainz, then known as Tity Boi, Codeine Cowboy mixtape and "Got One" from 2 Chainz's T.R.U. REALigion mixtape. According to an interview with Complex magazine, Mike WiLL has been working together with 2 Chainz "since 2008, when he was Tity Boi...We're kind of like family." In 2012, Mike WiLL produced the lead single, "No Lie", from 2 Chainz' debut album, Based on a T.R.U. Story, released via Def Jam. The single, which features popular recording artist Drake, was released May 8, 2012, and debuted in the top 50 of the Billboard Hot 100, ultimately going on to peak at #1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The single has been certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, selling over 500,000 copies digitally.
In 2012, Mike WiLL Made It produced "Bandz a Make Her Dance", a single for Taylor Gang rapper Juicy J that also features Lil' Wayne and 2 Chainz. The song was listed as one of the 25 Best Songs of Summer 2012 by Complex magazine, and as of September 2012, the single has peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
Mike WiLL, alongside producers, Kanye West, Mike Dean, Lifted, and Anthony Kilhoffer co-produced the G.O.O.D. Music single, "Mercy", which features vocals from Kanye West, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, and Pusha T. "Mercy", released April 3, 2012, served as the lead single from the G.O.O.D. Music compilation album Cruel Summer, and peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, while reaching #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. Other notable production efforts for Mike WiLL include the single "Way Too Gone" featuring Future from Young Jeezy's 2011 studio album Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition, "Just a Sign" from B.o.B's second studio album Strange Clouds and "Pour It Up" from Rihanna's 2012 studio album, Unapologetic.
In interviews given during 2012, Mike WiLL also mentions upcoming work with Kanye West, Brandy, Big Sean, Pusha T, and more.
The third installment of the series entitled Est. in 1989 2.5 was released on December 24, 2012. The mixtape featured guest appearances from Gucci Mane, Future, Rihanna, Big Sean, Trinidad Jame$, Lil Wayne, and other artists.
2013-present: Debut studio album:
Mike WiLL executive produced Miley Cyrus' fourth studio album Bangerz (2013), including its lead single "We Can't Stop".
On September 9, 2013, Mike Will Made It premiered the lead single from his debut album, "23" featuring Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J and Cyrus. He revealed he signed with Interscope Records to release his debut album. His debut album will also feature Future, Kendrick Lamar, and 2 Chainz. On December 18, 2013, he was named producer of the year by HipHopDX.
In various interviews, Mike WiLL Made It has named a number of musical influences on his own production work. In a "Behind the Beats" interview with Complex magazine, he says that he "always admired Dr. Dre's drums", and calls Timbaland "the first crazy pop producer...He brought so many artists to the game." As a southern producer, he says, he "was also looking up to Shawty Redd. He was the first producer to really bring that dark trap energy and sound." He also refers to DJ Toomp as "my big brother or my mentor", saying, "I love what he does." In a different interview, with AOL's The Boombox, Mike WiLL also cites Pharrell as a producer that he respects.
In 2010, Mike WiLL Made It started his own production company called EarDrummers Entertainment. Mike WiLL first came up with the idea for his production company at the age of 18. According to an interview Mike WiLL gave to The Boombox, there are currently five producers signed to EarDrummers Entertainment: Marz, P-Nasty, A-Plu$, Skooly, and J-Bo.