Who Is ATL Jacob?
The number of beat tags that emerged in the past decade is endless. Some of them are quite iconic in their own right, while others largely raise awareness of the producer’s profile. One tag that became a mainstay in the culture, especially in Future’s recent catalog, is “ATL Jacob, ATL Jacob.”
From a very young age, it was clear that ATL Jacob was destined for musical greatness. He decided to join a band class in middle school, and from there, he became a multi-instrumentalist who dabbled in both percussion and brass instruments. From saxophone to trombone to trumpet, and even the timpani, his passion for music was evident. By 2017, Jacob was fully embedded in the world of hip-hop production. He was just a hungry kid from Atlanta looking to make it big. He was even selling his beats for $90.
With a bit of luck and connections, Jacob was able to meet up with Future in 2019, leading to numerous placements on The WIZRD. Perhaps the biggest song on the project, “F&N,” was produced by Jacob and led to records with artists like Young Thug, Lil Baby, Lil Yachty, Kodak Black, Gucci Mane, and more. Of course, Future and Jacob’s chemistry only strengthened with time. The latter is responsible for a large chunk of Future’s platinum-selling album, I Never Liked You, including the chart-topping song of the summer, “WAIT FOR U” ft. Drake and Tems. Needless to say, Jacob’s production is everywhere, and it’s impossible to listen to a contemporary rap record without hearing his tag.
Luckily, we got to speak to Jacob for our latest episode of On The Come Up. He spoke to us about his childhood, his rise to fame, and his biggest influences in the industry. All of his insight is below, so be sure to check that out.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
HNHH: Jacob, how did you get into music?
ATL Jacob: Umm, well I was always in music, growing up I’d beat on the table. I joined band in the 4th grade so it’s just a natural thing for me.
Who are some of your musical inspirations?
Future, Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka, and then production wise we got South Side, Metro, the whole 808 Mafia… you know TM, Zaytoven, Mike Will. That was mostly when I was growing up.
What was the turning point for you that helped you realize you were on your way to becoming successful?
My turning point to realize I was becoming successful was when I was making beats but then I felt like they wasn’t that great but everybody wanted to rap on them, and I felt like they wasn’t good enough so I was like “ok, I’m doing something right.”
So tell me more about that story, how everyone was trying to hop on your beat. Give me a story where it’s like, man, this artist/that artist was like “D*mn!”
Well really, just around the time I met Future… well a little after, I was locked in with Lil Durk on 2.5 so I felt like my beats wasn’t good enough, but now, as I got older, I see that they was just different so it’s like, I just knew then… you know, just like I felt like I wasn’t good enough back then. But everybody wanted them so I started dropping songs.
If a music fan were to discover your music today for the first time, what song would you tell them to listen to?
Probably “Wait For You.” That’s probably my favorite song I got out right now. Oh, and I did a new one “Rain” with Shenseea. Probably that one too.
Tell us about a lesson that you’ve learned during your come-up.
Um, you know, that its okay to separate yourself and that goes as far as just musically, friends, people, or just the way you move. Just separate yourself, nothing wrong with it. It’s a normal thing.
Summarize a debut track, like a first track you can remember somebody hopping on to yours and what inspired you to even make that song.
Like famous or not?
Famous or not.
Ok, it was uhh… [laughs]
The first track…
The first one was… my first track was uh, it was this song I did with Future… it never came out though but it was just… I remember I made the beat. Casino took me to the studio and I was sleepin’ and then Future was like “who is that bitch” and he dapped me up when I was sleepin’, so I was like, “Oh I’m up.” Played the beat and we did our first song. It was like, a memorable moment.
Tell us about your hometown and how it influences your music.
I’m from Atlanta but, as Shawty say in her song, I’m not from Atlanta cause it’s the College Park so [laughs]. It’s uh, you know, just a humbling situation. You know, every other hood, you know you got, everything else that’s in the hood you know. Nothing really much to say but just as the experience, you know, I’m glad I experienced everything I experienced growing up cause maybe if I didn’t grow up down there I wouldn’t even be here.
So you got respect?
Where do you hope your music career takes you?
Definitely, just I want my music career gives me leverage to my business ideas and my business plans, and my inventions that I have for later on. So this is more of just a leverage point of just like… you know you got a rocket ship, this is just the fuel to get up to outer space. This is just the fuel so to the next step. Just more business plans and ideas and inventions for the world.
If you could create your dream song, what would it sound like and who would you feature on it. Unlimited budget, artist, etc
A dream song with an unlimited budget?
The artist could be alive… dead…
It would definitely be Michael Jackson on the hook, then we got Kanye on like 8 bars of the verse. Then we got Drake on 8 bars of the verse. Then singing on the second part of the hook we got Michael Jackson and Future in harmony with each other. Next, we got Nicki Minaj on the next verse for 8 bars. Then I’ll be on the last 4 bars, I mean 8 bars of the verse. Last one we got Michael Jackson on part of the hook, then Drake singing part of the hook, Future singing part of the hook, Kanye… we all gonna sing part of the hook. It’ll be a crazy video.
The fact that you just came up with that on top, that’s why you lit bro. Give one piece of advice to aspiring musicians on the come-up.
The best advice for any aspiring musician or rapper artist, just keep going no matter what nobody say even if they tell you to stop. You know some things might hurt your feelings but don’t let it hurt your feelings. Let it give you another look at what you’re doing, to do better or whatever you think is better, and just keep going.
Check out the latest episode of On The Come Up with ATL Jacob, below.