Uproxx’s How I Blew Up is back with veteran Atlanta trap producer Sonny Digital, narrated by Uproxx’s own Cherise Johnson. Breaking down how he went from selling beats for just $300 to helping redefine the sound of Southern hip-hop, Sonny fondly recalls learning to make beats on his older brother’s beat machine and later downloading FL Studio. He also recounts his influences, including proto-trap mainstays like Drumma Boy and Shawty Redd, who were responsible for hits for the likes of Gucci Mane and T.I.
Sonny’s first beat to blow up was the scintillating production for YC’s 2011 song “Racks,” which also featured a then-emerging Future. “None of us were really as big as we were gonna be,” he admits. “It wasn’t really a big song to me. It turned into a big song… I sold the beat to them for $300 because I just looked at it like how I was handling business at the time.”
That’s right, the song that began Future’s rise to being one of hip-hop’s biggest stars only cost $300 — and Sonny had no idea how the business worked back then. In time, though, he became one of the most in-demand producers in Atlanta, and now has a half-dozen platinum records to his name, including hits with 2 Chainz, 21 Savage, Future, and Travis Scott.
You can watch the full episode of How I Blew Up, with interview conducted by Cherise Johnson, above.