When people listen to XO Tour Llif3 by Lil Uzi Vert -whether they love or hate the lyrics- they can agree on one thing.
The beat kicks some serious ass.
So with that in mind, it’s pretty disturbing to learn that TM88 created the beat, and received jack shit for compensation.
The song grossed 4.5 million dollars, which Lil Uzi took home 900k of. What happened to the rest you might ask? Take a wild guess. It’s not news.
The greedy label pocketed the rest of the money.
TM88 clearly wants out with Atlantic Records, calling them the “worst label in the history of fuck shit”.
Honestly, at this point, TM88 can and should strike out his own. After his wild success with Future’s Coedine Crazy, people know the man’s name. The whole point of a label is to pay for marketing and studio time. With social media, artists who already have notoriety now have the option to engage their fans on free platforms, and not give away 85% of their earnings to their label.
Plus the cost of music production has fallen dramatically in the modern era. With the help of audio workstations like Pro Tools and Logic, a laptop, and a decent audio interface- producers can now get everything they need for a grand or two.
Forget paying tens of thousands of dollars to produce 1 album.
In fact, to see proof of this- you don’t need to look any further than the story of how “xo tour llif3” came to be.
According to an interview with Hot New Hip-Hop, TM88 was at the Ft. Lauderdale airport on January 6th, 2017 when Esteban Santiago-Ruiz opened fire, killing 5 people. TM88 was in the terminal and left immediately with his personal belongings- leaving all of his music equipment at the baggage claim.
After 3 days, he was still waiting for his belongings to be returned- and began to feel restless.
” I needed to create something,” he says.
Coincidentally, Lil Uzi FaceTimed him that day from Hawaii and told him that he wanted to collab with him and to send him some beats.
All TM88 had was his laptop, and a beats pill to playback audio. None of the rest of his equipment, much less a million dollar studio to work in.
So he got to beatmakin’, and crafted XO Tour Llif3.
Just like that.
The man made a $4.5 million dollar beat with his laptop.
We don’t think he needs a label, do you?
TM88, get out of your contract with Atlantic Records as soon as humanly possible.