Kanye West's "Mercy" Explained By Phoenix Producer Lifted
"The stars aligned, dude," Lifted says of the track's unintended connection to West's Lamborghini-based ideas for the G.O.O.D. Music album and short film.
"'Lambo' is what the beat was called, and they liked it. The movie and the album was originally called Cruel Summer: Tale of the Lamborghini Dons, and they're lambrogini thieves in the movie...I had this joint about Lamborghinis and they heard that and were like 'Oh, shit!"
Once in the hands of G.O.O.D.'s staff, the beat morphed. The distinctive Super Beagle and Fuzzy Jones samples were added, giving the track a dancehall feel. "I actually didn't add that. We went to New York for a writing session, I sat in on the mixing on the record and that was added, [as was] the Kanye section, that Scarface-ish breakdown." Upon its digital-only release, the song went to number one on both the US Billboard Hot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. "It's crazy," Lifted says, shaking his head and taking long drag from a cigarette.
Cruel Summer will most likely feature more beats Lifted. He's been demoing more work for West, coming up with expressive beats that touch on indie rock crunch, Middle Eastern motifs (a favorite of West), post-rock grandeur, and driving synth pop.
"I've just kept writing music. Shit's going good. I'm happy to be there. I told everyone I'm just trying to prove myself, trying to prove my position, and everyone's telling me, 'You're here for a reason, dude.' You just remember that, 'You're here for a reason.'"