Cardiak Reveals Work on T.I.’s ‘Trouble Man’ Album, Praises DJ Khaled’s Career
Cardiak thought he’d be lacing tracks with lyrics when he started doing music as a teenager, but he didn’t have any tracks to rap over — that was when he taught himself how to create some. These days, he’s laying beats down for everyone from Meek Mill and Rick Ross to Fabolous and Kanye West.
“I’m a producer so I’ll come up with an idea for the hook but as far as me [rapping]…” he tells The BoomBox with a laugh. “Nah, I’m good on that. I know what my true calling is so I’m good with the rapping and all that.”
The New Jersey native has received some pretty big breaks over the years. He claims the first to be his Lloyd Banks placement with the 2010 banger “Start It Up.” The young producer had actually laid his own verse on the song and saved the instrumental to his hard drive, nearly forgetting about it completely.
“I wasn’t even really shopping the beat like that,” Cardiak admits. “It was just sitting in my computer. I didn’t really expect for Banks to pick it like that but when he picked it, I didn’t think the song was gonna come out the way that it was.”
Listen to Lloyd Banks’ “Start It Up” Feat. Swizz Beatz, Kanye West, Fabolous & Ryan Leslie, Produced by Cardiak
Every time Cardiak heard the track before its release, another big name was added, and by the time it really hit the radio airwaves, “Start It Up” had become an undeniable hit. Unbeknownst to him, the infectious song would set off a whirlwind of placements for Cardiak and kickstart a relationship with Rick Ross and the MMG camp. In fact, it was one particular studio session with Ross last year that was his most influential to date.
“It was a real good experience because I got to really sit down and chop it up with Ross,” he reveals. “He was just really dropping knowledge and we just had a good vibe. We were at Daddy’s House in New York; it was around the time the first Self Made [album] was coming out. And we just kicked it. He had a vision for Meek, Wale and the whole MMG and just that knowledge, I took that and just started coming up with my own things and working on my own projects and it just helped me out a lot.”
Just last year, Cardiak racked up countless production credits but in keeping with what he’d learned from Rozay, he took on some extensive projects of his own, including a mixtape with Philly rapper Young Chris. His hardcore presence on The Revival mixtape coupled with Chris’ uber-confident flow made the tape one of the best rap offerings of 2011.
“I’ve been working on a lot of projects on my own and reaching out to all different artists,” he says. “I’m on some [DJ] Khaled-type shit, tryna put joints together like he was doing. So you can expect that from me in the future. But who knows, only time can tell.”
Eight years after his start, Cardiak is just trying to create something that will shock everyone — including himself.
“I’ve just been trying to get that one,” he says excitedly. “[Wale's] ’600 Benz’ was cool, [Fabolous'] ‘Y’all Don’t Really Hear Me Tho’ and [50 Cent's] ‘Outlaw’ was cool, but I feel like I haven’t really gotten that one yet. [Meek Mill's] ‘Lean Wit It’ was cool but I’m still working, I’m still trying to get that one joint.”
Listen to Meek Mill’s “Lean Wit It,” Producd by Cardiak
It’s hard to imagine that he wouldn’t accomplish his goal with all of the upcoming work he has with the burgeoning MMG empire. Cardiak has tracks on Meek Mill’s Dreams and Nightmares debut album, MMG’s Self Made 2 and possibly Ross’ God Forgives I Don’t. Never one to limit himself and his portfolio, Cardiak has also been working with T.I. on a track for his Trouble Man LP, slated for a fall release.
“It’s a definite joint on the album,” he discloses. “I don’t know the name of it yet though. Everyone else that’s heard it says it’s crazy but I still haven’t heard it yet.”
When asked about whether or not he’s feeling any pressure as the requests are rolling in, Cardiak answers easily. “I don’t feel any pressure,” he states. “I just wanna keep being versatile and just keep bringing my shit on another level, you feel me. I’ma just keep doing my thing, remain humble and good things’ll happen.”