In 2010, I was in 10th grade and listened to music all of the time. At that time, Rick Ross transitioned into one of the most prominent artists in the game. Listening to Ashes to Ashes was exciting, but, when I heard “John Doe” I knew something was different. At that time, I felt that no other producer had ever provided Ross with the type of beat that could put him in his most braggadocious pocket. Fast forward almost 10 years later, multi-platinum Grammy-nominated super producer Beat Billionaire produced the intro track on Rozay’s highly anticipated album #POM2 and many other bangers in between.
Shamann Cooke, also known as Beat Billionaire, is one of the most consistent producers in the music industry. He went from hustling in his home town of Richmond, Virginia to being signed to MMG, managed by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. During our conversation, he discussed his upbringing, his start with Grand Hustle Records, and his inner joy due to his impressive transition from his past lifestyle.
Many people hear producers work but do not necessarily get to know them and their personality. There’s currently a strong emergence of producers and their growing celebrity helps them collect even more bags than before.
Beat Billionaire produced the intro record “Act A Fool” for Rick Ross’ highly touted Port of Miami 2. They have been working for a while and I was curious to know what this new record meant to him.
“I am a young individual that puts God first before anything,” Beat tells me on our phone call. “I’m very humble, coming from Richmond, Virginia, you live by certain principles. I enjoy being able to put my friends and family in a position to win. It’s not many people to make it out. I understand the importance of having a good face card. My mother always told me to keep my face clean in these streets because your face card is worth more than money. This is why I have been able to maintain the amount of respect I have in the industry now,” he passionately exclaims.
Beat Billionaire continues to explain. “That record is big to me because it was on a number 1 album. Also, it means even more because I produced it with my team the Boomsquad. I have always been trying to get people to shine from my city. In less than 3 months got them placed on a number 1 album! That is huge. Honestly, working with Ross for the past 10 years is super humbling. God took me off the streets and gave me a gift I never knew I had. To be honest, when I am creating beats, I know God is controlling me.”
In the beginning, he affiliated himself with Grand Hustle. When Ross heard the “Freeze Me” record, however, he wanted Beat to sign over at MMG. Respectfully, Beat made sure to chop it up with T.I. and the rest of the team. They agreed that would be the best opportunity for him. He and Ross have been cooking up ever since.
Personally, as a fan, I wanted to know what his personal top 3 placements were. He listed “Bag of Money” because it was his first number 1 record, then “Purple Lamborghini” because it was on the soundtrack for DC Comics’ Suicide Squad soundtrack. The record ended up going platinum and helped him score a Grammy nomination. “Lastly, ‘Yellow Diamonds’,” he adds. “…because it was on Rich Forever, and that is a classic mixtape.” To this day, it is one of his favorite beats ever made.
Beat Billionaire is a part of the amazing list of producers from Virginia. When asked who some of his influences were he mentioned artists/producers like Teddy Riley, Missy Elliott, and Pharrell. In particular, seeing Timbaland working with his all-time favorite artist, Jay-Z, reaffirmed that being from Virginia can lead to something big. Fast forward to now and Beat is doing business with Hov himself!
Although he started as an artist, his production is what catapulted his career. During our conversation he explained how this came about and how it affects the way fans view his music.
“The type of beats I make is different than the ones I would rap on,” he shared. “My favorite artists are super lyrical so that is the way my music was at first. When I produced, I started doing trap more. Being known as a producer leaves room for your music to get hated on because we are already good at one thing. I just say, who are you to tell me that I cant do it? Like if I can produce a hit for others, I can definitely produce some for myself.” Beat stated bluntly over the phone.
He just got the blazing track “Jetlag” placed on A$AP Ferg’s new EP and he’s confident that it will go platinum. Also, he has a couple of placements in big blockbuster movies that are coming out soon. He has been working on a couple of records for Tinashe, Ne-Yo, and his distribution group Billion Dollar Market Inc. that has a lot of dope artists popping on streaming platforms right now. Lastly, his new management situation with Roc Nation created a lot of new opportunities for him, and he is extremely excited to see what the future holds.
Click below to listen to “Jet Lag”, the song he produced on A$AP Ferg’s newest project, Floor Seats, and watch Beat Billionaire’s rise to the top.