Sometimes musical greatness can begin in the unlikeliest places.

Take, for example, the beat that is used in “Rockstar,” the meteoric new single from Post Malone and 21 Savage, which debuted all the way up at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week. The only song that did better than it was Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow.” However, the beat that Posty and 21 Savage rhyme over wasn’t created in some high falutin setting with million-dollar studio gear. Instead, it was a biology student in the middle of a finals week who cobbled the instrumental together, surely unprepared for the fame that the resulting song would see right out of the gate. 

Tank God, the man behind the “Rockstar” beat, spoke with Pigeons & Planes about how the song came about. It began in December of 2016, with some rough work done on several pieces of music to help himself de-stress during finals at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. Not long after those skeletons were laid down, he traveled to New York to work with a friend of his on some other material when he had a chance encounter with Post Malone.

“Post Malone was in another studio room close by,” Tank said. “We ended up crossing paths and I asked him if I could play some beats. He said, ‘Let’s get weird,’ so I played him that beat and the rest is history.” The rapper was supposedly impressed by the production immediately and began singing the line “I feel just like a rock star” over the beat, again and again. Over the course of the day, he fleshed out the rest of the lyrics and, by the time night had fallen, he had a rough assemblage of the song that has now taken over hip-hop crossover radio.

The 21 Savage-assisted track has had itself a record-breaking week, smashing the previous Apple Music streaming record that was ste by DJ Khaled earlier this year. Front and center placement on three key Apple Music playlists, The A-ListIt’s Lit, and #OnRepeat, helped the song’s profile grow significantly over the past week. Do you have the song in heavy rotation in your phone or in the car right now? Let us know!


Post Malone

Post Malone's "Rockstar" Beat Was Made By A Biology Student During Finals