The world is essentially on pause right now. COVID-19 has resulted in lockdown on a global scale, businesses aren’t open, and whatever the summer of 2020 might have looked like is now far from its normal form. As a result, there’s nowhere to go and not a whole lot to do, leaving many people with a decision – what to do with all this new free time, and how to fill up the days until some sort of normalcy is regained.
South Carolina producer Neeko Baby decided to get rich.
Two years ago, Neeko helped produce DaBaby’s “VIBEZ” – a Billboard-charting release, and the song that would break Neeko into the music industry, where he’s now become one of the most exciting names around in conjunction with his long-time friend and partner, jetsonmade.
Since quarantine began back in March, Neeko has found himself locked in the studio, emerging every few months only to add new placements to his fast-growing resume of production credits. He’s been working countless hours with Jack Harlow, who continues to soar off of the jetsonmade-produced “What’s Poppin,” he landed a production credit on Playboi Carti’s “@ MEH” just a few months back, and perhaps most importantly, Neeko has been working with jetsonmade, Deskhop, 1st Class, and several others to build out BoyMeetSpace – their label, and the home of South Carolina rapper 18Veno, who has emerged over the past few months as one of the hottest new names in rap.
Needless to say, Neeko Baby has been busy. In his own words, the difference between pre-quarantine and post-quarantine life has simply been the fact that he’s rich now, and deservedly so. BoyMeetSpace is helping shape the sound of popular rap right now, and Neeko Baby is among the names making it happen.
We spoke with the South Carolina producer about life in quarantine, jetsonmade, 18Veno, and so much more. Read our full conversation below:
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LL: It seems like you’ve had a wild quarantine – the world is on pause and yet, so much has been going on for you with the Playboi Carti placement, BoyMeetSpace, etc. How has life been these past few months?
Bruh to be honest, it just keeps going. With all the BoyMeetSpace stuff, it’s all gas, no brakes. Keeping our foot on the pedal.
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LL: Has there been a lot of change between your lifestyle before quarantine and now after quarantine?
I mean, hell yeah. We all rich now, so it’s a whole different vibe. The only difference is that you can’t go nowhere right now, so all we do is go to the studio – it puts that motor in you. We got a studio in the crib and we also got a studio down the street, so it’s just music all the time.
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LL: Are you from South Carolina originally?
Nah, I was actually born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, but as soon as I was born, I went straight to Louisiana until I was about 12 or 13. That’s when I came to South Carolina – Columbia, actually.
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LL: Where did making beats come into the picture?
I’ve always been into music. I had the ear from an early age because I was playing drums at the church. After a while, me and my brother started rapping. We came from rapping, and later down the line – like two years ago – I started making beats.
LL: Are you officially done rapping? Or do you think that will come back at some point?
[Laughs] That’s one of those questions that I can’t answer – if I’m gonna do it, I’ll just pop out with it. I’m just gonna do whatever I want to do and whatever I’m feeling. If I wake up one morning and want to rap, I’ll rap.
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LL: How did you connect with jetsonmade?
I’ve known Jetson since high school. That’s really my brother – I’ve known him since I was in tenth grade and he was in ninth grade, so it’s been like ten years in this shit.
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LL: Was Jetson making beats when you met?
Jetson was always into making beats, he just never let nobody know. Jetson was the producer for the rap group I had back then. My brother told me there was someone in his class who played the piano so I’m like “hell yeah, let me meet him.” At the time, he was a cocky little kid, always laughing and stuff, so I brushed him off before we started making music together. He invited me to his crib one day, and once he started playing me some of his stuff, I was just thinking like damn, he really has it. We already had a name as rappers, so we just put the two together and started going crazy.
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LL: What was the turning point that put you guys on?
In high school, as rappers, we had all the people in our age group fucking with us. But just about two years ago was when we really got into the industry. We always had our area lit, but two years ago was when everything really started to click. When I did “VIBEZ” with [Jetson], that’s when everyone started getting in tune with me – it was crazy.
LL: I think there’s a lot of value in how you’ve built up a huge resume of placements, gotten this far as a producer, and then decided to turn inwards to start building your own label with BoyMeetSpace. That way you can develop your own artists, like 18Veno.
Definitely. And Veno is my brother – he’s got something man, he’s gonna go.
I had to. I seen so much of myself in bruh, to be honest. I’ve been doing music for all these years, and growing up, I didn’t have a lot. I didn’t get my own room until I was older – I came from a background where we had to do what we had to do just to get anything. I seen the same thing with Veno. I would just tell him like “bro, it gets sunny after the rain.” I mean, I didn’t have anything and now all the sudden, boom. I do what I want, I eat what I want, my kids are good, everyone is good. So I saw that in Veno, and once I heard the music, that’s what took it to the next level. I chopped it up with him and once I heard his stuff, it was like oh yeah, he’s fye.
LL: When did you guys meet?
I met Veno like two years ago. His manager had reached out saying that Veno wanted to buy a beat. I really brushed Veno off at first because I had so much going on, so I just thought it was another person buying a beat. But when I heard what he did with it, I was just shocked, to be honest.
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LL: How did you guys come up with the name BoyMeetSpace?
To be honest, it just came naturally. We were stuck on that for like two weeks, trying to come up with something. Once we came up with SpaceBoy, it just made sense. SpaceBoy is the whole gang but BoyMeetSpace is the label. We want the whole nine yards – artists, producers, everything.
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LL: Do you have any advice for producers coming up right now?
This is really for anyone trying to do something, not even just producers, but keep going. Just keep going. I remember the days when I was stuck. The point I’m at now, we made it, we’re here. But before that, I never had anyone to help me out. I spent a lot of time thinking to myself when is it gonna happen? So my advice to everyone would be to keep going, don’t stop. It always gets sunny after the rain.
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