Beginnings with HPG & Young Thug's "Stoner"
Dun Deal got started in music as a rapping member of a group called the O Boys, who managed to sign some sort of deal with Ruff Ryders (yes, the former home to DMX). Upon finding out that his groupmembers had spent their signing bonuses -- thus leaving them with lackluster options when it came to purchasing beats, he broke off on his own, used what little money he had on equipment, and taught himself how to produce.
A quick learner, he made a name for himself over the next couple of years, eventually starting a production group he called Planet 9. A years-old Planet 9 production ended up making it onto the now-celebrated Rich Gang tape, but more on Tha Tour: Part 1 soon -- indeed, Deal's partnership with Thug developed years before.
Thug got his first look in 2010, on a Ca$h Out track, produced by Deal, who is seen throughout the triumphant camcorder-shot music video. “I Got It” earned Ca$h a record deal, and he soon delivered a smash hit with “Cashin Out.” Ca$h Out was the first artist in Deal's circle to break, and in many ways, his wonderfully weird, explicit brand of trap would be the blueprint for the stars that followed his lead.
Deal soon aligned himself with DJ Spinz (producer of “Cashin Out”) and his Hoodrich Production Group, which would soon establish a reach that encompassed most of Atlanta’s rising stars. Soon after “Cashin Out” came “She Twerkin,” produced by both Deal and Spinz, that would first appear on 2013’s HPG3. Elsewhere on the tracklist is Future’s “Honest,” “Hannah Montana,” and “Stoner.”
After “Stoner,” Young Thug would embark on a hit streak -- with ensuing drops like “Danny Glover,” “Hookah,” and “About the Money” -- that would push him directly into the spotlight, only to never return.
The production on “Stoner” is just as memorable as Thug's theatrics, though it’s difficult to imagine the track featuring anyone else. There are sudden builds, drops, and unlikely transitions, all of which, somehow, don’t give Thug much trouble. Amid all the vertigo-inducing electronics, there are the familiar sounds of electric guitar and soft piano. It’s a song that’s as catchy as it is disorienting.
Deal claims that Thug spent 15 minutes on “Stoner,” and he says the beat didn’t take him much longer than that. Impressive, but not too surprising. The song’s energy is one of total spontaneity. Deal begins his beatmaking process from scratch, and if he channels an inspiring feeling or idea, he chases it. Sometimes it fades into an average product, but other times, he’ll arrive on a surefire hit record.
He defies the classic mantra: "Sometimes for me, it's quantity over quality. Just knock out as many beats as I can, and when one stands out to me, I know I got something."