Damian Lillard, or Dame D.O.L.L.A depending on how you're enjoying his talents, stopped by our office the week prior to his expected release for his new single with Lil Wayne, the much-hyped "Run It Up," which not only features an OG rapper but an OG producer, in the form of Scott Storch. The single arrived as scheduled at Midnight, and has been going over extremely well with the fans so far.
Dame spoke with us about his studio workflow, and specifically, how the song with Wayne came together in the studio.
"Usually when the season ends, I'll take some time where I'm doing whatever I wanna do and having fun. And usually what I do is, I call the people that I work with, the engineer in Portland, and I tell em like, I wanna come in, mess around, just play some beats and start writing. I guess when it got closer to July, almost August, that's when I probably recorded the album. I had a limited amount of time, I was in there from 1 PM to like, 3 AM, for like ten days straight, listened to beats, recorded all this stuff, made sure everything was how I wanted it, and got out," the NBA player and rapper revealed of his work ethic.
When discussing the latest single, he harkened back to their first collaboration, "Loyal To The Soil," which wasn't as well planned (or planned at all) as this record.
"The first one, I wrote that song, planning on probably being on it by myself, and then it was like Wayne will sound good on this, it was like the best track I could give to him to be on from that album," Damian tells us, "For this, that's what the plan was all along. So it's more up-tempo, and I think it's just a better song, it's probably my best song that I've put out or that I've done to this point." Do you agree? Is it his strongest track yet?
He recorded the track in-person with Wayne, who was apparently engulfed in ESPN (perhaps unsurprisingly) when Dame first walked in the studio. "It was cool, I walked in, he was watching ESPN, so he was really like staring at the screen for a minute," Damian says of their studio session. He continued, "I was like lemme hear something, so he started going through beats, and a beat would come on, and one time he just stood next to me, and a beat started playing, it was probably on for thirty seconds, and he just turned, and he just started like saying the whole hook in my ear." Wayne basically did everything off the top, and then proceeded to perfect and build up on his initial raps once in the booth.
Damian also speaks about being able to clear the song with Birdman, and the current state of hip-hop.