J. Reid Breaks Down Producing Nicki Minaj’s Emotional “Ganja Burns”

Written by on September 17, 2018

Article written by: Mitch Findlay

J. Reid opens up about his process crafting Nicki Minaj’s melodic “Queen” intro.

Today, we’re pleased to drop the latest installment of “Behind The Beat,” and this time, we’re breaking down Nicki Minaj‘s “Ganja Burns” with producer J. Reid. Citing his musical background, which emerged after being surrounded by Gospel and Jazz, Reid explains his excitement over discovering FL Studios. “I didn’t ever have an MPC, I didn’t have analog gear, anything like that,” he says. “I’ve always used FL Studios. From that time, it continued to help me grow. The range on it is crazy.” As he proceeds to break down his history, he reveals his past as a percussionist, which explains the dynamic drums on “Ganja Burns.” “Sometimes I get a little melodic,” he says, “but nine times outta times I start with the drums.”

For the aspiring producers out there, the screenshot of a track-heavy FL Studio project should be enough to pique your interest. Arrangement-wise, J. Reid’s guitar-centric concoction is elaborate, with eleven tracks worth of patterns and self-recorded samples. As Reid explains, sampling is “not free,” and thus he prefers to create his own. At the five minute mark, Reid reflects on meeting Minaj, and winning her over with the “Rich Sex” instrumental. While she was initially vibing with her sound, Reid admits the process was something like an interview. “I had to play her some music, I had to play her some new songs,” he laughs, which ultimately led to Minaj extending him a deal.

“I have a guitar player on this song,” says Reid, explaining that he originally fell in love with the melodic line. Next comes the first of many drum patterns, which Reid describes as “ethnic.” “Ya’ll gotta start listening to other music, man!” he says. “Trap music is not the whole world.”

For the entire breakdown, be sure to check out “Behind The Beat” with J. Reid. 


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