Berg is one of the producers on Nicki Minaj’s new album, putting him alongside heavy hitters like Hit-Boy, Dr. Luke and Polow da Don. The self-titled “Hitmaka” discussed working with Nicki in an interview with Complex and detailed how he spoke the collaboration into existence.
“I was working at Atlantic, and I got this crazy beat one day. And I was like, 'Man, I finna do something for Nicki Minaj,’” Berg recalled, explaining how he made a song for her called “Nicki.”
They ended up meeting by chance at a recording studio. “I came up to the studio, and then my publisher happened to be in the same studio with Nicki. He was saying, ‘Yeah, Yung Berg writes dope hooks and writes stuff. Maybe you guys should link up.” I’m sure she probably blew it off. ‘Yeah, whatever.’”
Regardless of how she may have felt about him, Berg wasn’t about to give up that easily. “I ended up sending my brother to her room to talk about working together,” continued Berg. “[He] went over there and told her. Later that evening, while I was just waiting around, they was like, ‘Yeah, Nicki said come over.’ So I went over there, and I played the exact joint that I named ‘Nicki’ at Atlantic Records, and she went crazy for it. And that was the start of our whole relationship.”
In the end, Berg earned three production credits on The Pinkprint, and co-wrote four hooks.
Later in the Complex interview, the rapper-turned-producer-turned-ex-reality-star talked about his pink slip from LHHH. Although he couldn’t speak much about the alleged attack on girlfriend Masika Tucker, which led to his firing, Berg promised to address the “rumors” at a later date.
“It’s really a whole deeper situation,” he said of being off the show. “At the end of the day, as far as that whole thing, I don’t have any hard feelings towards VH1 or Mona [Scott-Young] ... and the staff. I love Susan. I love Stephanie. I love all of them. If it’s meant for me to be back on the show and that’s what is in my cards, and that’s what is gonna happen. And if not, I am just gonna continue to keep doing what my real job is and that’s make hit records for the people, which I’ve done.”
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(Photos from Left: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for VH1, Anthony Harvey/Getty Images for MTV)