For the latest installment of Behind the Beat, we chatted with Dun Deal about his come-up with Young Thug and Migos, the effect of Gucci Mane's absence on the Atlanta music scene, and his young production group The Remedy.
Dun Deal is the guy behind the breakout hits of both Young Thug and Migos. It’s been three years ago since “Stoner” and “Hannah Montana” both appeared on the third edition of the compilation mixtape series put together by DJ Spinz' Hoodrich Production Group, with which Dun Deal is still affiliated. In the time since, both acts have not only stuck around, they’ve become among the most influential young acts in the industry, with record deals to prove it.
Last summer, Quavo and Takeoff performed "Hannah Montana” with a live orchestra. It was glorious. Many of Deal's productions could be reimagined by the same musicians; it's as if he makes his beats with a "trap symphony" in mind. The melodies are immediately memorable and evocative, arranged so no instrument impedes on another.
Deal scored two beats on Migos' latest project, the excellent YRN 2, including “WOA,” which has just been named the group's latest single. The song has a thumping bass, but there’s still room for the melody to breathe. It’s a slower, smoother take on the trap sound, with a G-funk-inspired groove about it. The “laid-back” feel that Deal is often able to mix in with his trappy drums is likely a result of his Compton origins. He moved to Atlanta in his early teens, and he’s now keeping the West Coast sound alive in New Atlanta.
Light synthesizers buzz gently with the aid of the theremin. It's an intoxicating mix that prompts a more relaxed (but still ever-sharp) energy from Migos, resulting in a hit that's not wholly indebted to the club, though it sounds great there, too.
Thug and Migos came into the game inspired by trap sounds and culture, but with success comes increasing confidence in one's artistry, and both acts have been steadily freeing themselves of musical boundaries. Dun Deal insists he's not a trap producer, though he certainly can play one any day. His credits range from Kevin Gates to Logic, from PeeWee Longway to Trey Songz.