Drake and 21 Savage Unveil the Quest for the ‘Perfect Beat’ in Crafting ‘Rich Flex’

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Michael “Finatik” Mule and Isaac “Zac” De Boni, collectively known as FnZ, stumbled upon an obscure snippet from the ’70s horror film “Invasion of the Bee Girls” while scouring YouTube for new sounds. They transformed this eerie segment from the soundtrack into a haunting sample, which eventually became a pivotal part of the viral hook on Drake and 21 Savage’s hit track “Rich Flex,” landing at No. 22 on Variety’s 2023 Hitmakers Top 25.

Initially, the duo crafted the sample as one of several ideas during a productive session. Mule recalls that it was just one of many concepts they generated that day and was initially just one idea among many. It was later revisited when they shared a folder of 15 samples with producer Vinylz, including the “Bee Girls” sample and another snippet from Sugar’s “I Want You, Girl,” intending them for different beats and artists.

Vinylz, renowned for his creativity, saw potential in these diverse samples. Drake had expressed interest in creating an anthem for the “Her Loss” album with 21 Savage. Upon receiving FnZ’s and BoogzDaBeast’s samples, Vinylz meticulously fused them together, crafting a unique blend that resonated with Drake’s vision. The superstar rapper provided feedback on the drum sounds and outro, even adding a switch-up beat at the end, which was produced by Tay Keith.

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Initially, “Rich Flex” wasn’t slated as a single release from the album. However, TikTok’s traction with the “21, can you do something for me?” snippet propelled its viral status, generating memes that humorously referenced Drake. Despite this unexpected twist, Drake appeared to embrace the fun side of the memes. The song’s popularity skyrocketed, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, captivating audiences with its distinctive structure that transitions from a mellow, soulful ’70s sample to a darker, more intense beat.

FnZ attributes the success of “Rich Flex” to this unconventional arrangement. Mule underscores how the song shifts from a sweet soul sample to a menacing beat, evoking a distinct mood transition. Vinylz echoes this sentiment, highlighting the infectious energy and catchy lyrics delivered by Drake and 21 Savage. The duo also recognizes their knack for discovering and manipulating unique samples, a skill they aim to continually refine and leverage in their music.

“It’s a craft we’ve really mastered,” Mule affirms. “We derive immense satisfaction from unearthing or creating these samples that are unlike anything else out there.”

 

SONGWRITERS: A. Graham, S. Bin Abraham-Joseph, A. Hernandez, T. B. Chambers, M. Mule, I. De Boni, J. Gwin, C. Bernstein, Megan Pete, B.D. Session Jr., A.G. White, G. Hayes, C. Harris, A. Davis

PRODUCERS: Vinylz, Tay Keith, FNZ, BoogzDaBeast

HITMAKERS:
Vinylz, producer
FnZ, producers
Tim Hrycyshyn, senior VP, digital strategy, Republic
Mike Horton, exec VP, promotion, Republic
Davey Dee, senior VP, rhythm cross promotion, Republic

LABEL: Republic

PUBLISHERS: Sandra Gale (GMR) adm. by Universal Music Works / Slaughter Gang Publishing, LLC / Administered by BMG Rights Management (ASCAP) / VIRGOAT / Admin by WC Music Corp. (ASCAP) / Lakeith Legacy Publishing/Warner Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI) / MJM 87 Publishing / These Are Pulse Songs (BMI). Administered worldwide by Concord Music Publishing / MJM 87 Publishing / These Are Pulse Songs (BMI). Administered worldwide by Concord Music Publishing / Jahmal Gwin / BoardMemberz Music, LLC / Sony-ATV (BMI) Turnstyle Music (ASCAP) / Songs of Universal (BMI) / Sony/ATV Songs, LLC (BMI) / Songs of Kobalt Music Publishing (BMI) / Underground Music (BMI) / Domani and Ya Majesty’s Music (ASCAP) / Sony/ATV Allegro (ASCAP) / Aldrin Davis Publishing Designee (BMI) / Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp (BMI)