Michael Len Williams II (born March 23, 1989), known professionally as Mike Will Made It (often stylized as Mike WiLL Made-It) or simply Mike Will, is an American record producer, rapper, songwriter and DJ. He is best known for producing trap beats for several Southern hip hop and pop artists on various commercially successful singles, including “Black Beatles” and “Powerglide” by Rae Sremmurd, “Mercy” by Kanye West, “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, “We Can’t Stop” by Miley Cyrus, “Formation” by Beyoncé, and “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar. He has released six mixtapes and one studio album, Ransom 2.
Early life of Mike Will Made It
Williams was born in Marietta, Georgia, the youngest of three children; he has two older sisters. His father, Michael Williams Sr., is a former IBM executive who worked as a club DJ in the 1970s. His mother, Shirley Williams, a former bank loan officer, was once in a gospel group, singing for Dottie Peoples. He grew up in a musical family as his uncle was an accomplished guitar player and one of his older sisters was a drum major in the Olympics. While growing up, Mike Will was athletic, participating in many sports, including basketball, baseball, and football, with dreams of becoming a professional athlete.
His life also centered around a love of hip-hop music. 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 several interviews, Will has mentioned, in particular, re-playing the instrumental for “Still Fly”, a popular song by the southern rap group Big Tymers, on a Casio brand keyboard, and has also mentioned re-playing “Young’n (Holla Back)” by New York rapper Fabolous on production equipment at a local music store.
At age 14, Mike Will began to develop his own beats on a Korg ES1 beat machine, which his father bought for him as a Christmas present from the 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. By the time Mike Will was 16, he was spending time at local recording studios in Atlanta, trying to shop his beats to established artists. He was initially ignored, but eventually one of his beat tapes made its way into the hands of Gucci Mane, who then invited Mike Will to Patchwerk studios, an Atlanta recording studio.
Upon graduating high school, Mike Will enrolled at Georgia State University to pursue undergraduate studies mainly due to pressure from his parents, but chose to take a hiatus and eventually dropped out after several semesters, with a 3.1 GPA, to focus on his music career. During this hiatus, he produced his first hit. Upon hearing one of his produced singles “Tupac Back” began to enjoy success on the Billboard rap and Hot 100 charts, Mike Will decided to quit school and focus on his music career full-time. He has since advised aspiring music producers not to drop out of college if they are not sure of their own future career outcome or lacking a defined plan before entering the industry.
Ear Drummer Records
In 2006, Mike Will started his own production company called EarDrummers Entertainment. In 2013, he founded Ear Drummer Records (initially known as Eardruma Records) and signed the label to Interscope Records on December 19, 2013. In 2014, Mike Will signed Rae Sremmurd and Two-9 to the label.
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