There’s Zaytoven, there’s Honorable C-Note, and then there’s Spiffy Global. Hailing from Atlanta where trap more or less originated (thank you T.I.), the rapper-turned-producer has been making music for over a decade. In 2016, he produced Jose Guapo’s breakout single “Run It Up” featuring Takeoff and YFN Lucci, which naturally pushed his name to the mainstream light. Read more…
Aside from staying on top of his own success, real name Courtland Johnson is here to put on for other artists, as evidenced in his most recent mixtape, Global Business. The compilation project features everyone from Lil Yachty to Madeintyo to his good friend Hoodrich Pablo Juan.
I caught up with Spiffy Global late Monday night in Los Angeles, right after Travis Scott’s Astroworld takeover at Six Flag Magic Mountain. Pulling up to the studio session in North Hollywood, we immediately sparked a Backwoods courtesy of Sour Matt.
For those that don’t know, who is Spiffy Global?
I’m from Atlanta, Georgia — Cleveland Avenue. I’m 24 and I’ve been producing since I was like 15.
Where do you fit within the realm of hip-hop and R&B?
I think I fit right in the middle. I feel like I connect… I wouldn’t call it mainstream, but I’m like the piece right before you just crossover. Kind of like underground to a bigger scale.
How does being from Atlanta play in your life?
I can’t really say because I’m me. I feel like wherever I’m at, I’ma get out and figure out what’s going on.
What about the rap scene?
It definitely played a big role on me and the music because literally, damn near every rapper from Atlanta, I grew up with. I ain’t gon’ say producers because I really don’t know a lot of producers. But rappers, it’s not too many rappers you can name that I don’t know on a personal level.
How important is it to come to LA as an up-and-coming artist?
It’s definitely important because LA definitely has a big influence on the culture. Growing up in the South — Atlanta especially — we always dreamed about coming to LA. We always talked about coming to LA. Either we going to move here or we wanna come here and just vibe. You see it on the movies and shit. You hear about it and listen to it in the music, so it’s definitely important to come out here to meet the Matt’s and people like you.
“Run It Up” is breaking 14 million views on YouTube. Did you foresee it blowing up like this?
Nah, we definitely didn’t see it coming.
Isn’t that crazy how it works?
It definitely is. That beat originally wasn’t for Guapo. I think it was either for Cinco or Lucci, but somehow Guap heard it. We were all in the Quality Control Studio, and Cinco was in one room and Guapo was in another one. While I was playing the beat for Cinco, Guap walked in and was like, “Shit, if ya’ll don’t like it, I’ll fuck with it! Load it up for me Spiff.”
While I was it that room with Cinco, I loaded up the beat for Guap. I was kind of in two rooms at one time. Somehow, Lucci made his way into the session with Guapo, and he hopped on the song. Then Skip hopped on it, but stuff happened and we had to put Takeoff on there. But it definitely worked out.
Do you work with Quality Control directly?
Yeah, I know them personally. Shoutout to Coach K and P.
Talk about your relationship with Hoodrich Pablo Juan.
That’s like blood. That’s my brother. I’m sorry, but it’s deeper than what I’m saying. It’s deeper than music, for sure.
What’s the dynamic like in the studio?
You know how you’re just breathing fresh air? It’s easy. We just go in there and load the beat up, he like it and we just do what we do.
Do you feel like producers are getting credit?
For sure. I really feel like it’s up to the producer though.
Like they gotta go out of their way?
Right. I say that because I feel like I did some decent work to get where I am, but I still feel like I don’t work as hard. I feel like I can always work harder.
What are you doing besides work?
We got some secret stuff going on. That’s why I’m out here in LA. Shout out to Sour Matt.
That’s so crazy, I just ran into Tay Keith at Six Flags. I was like Tay Keith! “Sicko Mode”! That shit is crazy.
Right. Him and Blocboy from Memphis.
You work with him?
Nah, but I got some songs with BlocBoy. We got a couple of bangers.
What is your take on the music industry?
I can’t really say because I don’t really mix myself with the “industry.” I can’t really say.
What did you do with your first check in music?
Matt: Tell her the truth Spiff.
Which one, the “Run It Up” one? Can I say what I did? I fucked it up. [laughs]
Shit, just living. Where I come from, you gotta live. As long as they print it, you can go get it.
Three things you need in the studio?
Vibes, Backwoods, for sure, and I don’t know if I need a good rapper or a better engineer. I don’t know if I want to deal with what we went through the other night. Damn, that was a horrible engineer.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
[pause] I’m trying not to go there.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I just want people to respect my craft. I don’t know. That’s a deep one, I’ma have to come back to that one.
What’s a normal in the life? Walk us through.
It’s hard to think of a normal day. I just wake up and literally just go. Nothing is planned. Some of it is planned, maybe like 20% of it.
Nah, just the day period. We just get up and go.
Damn, I like live on my schedule, that’s crazy. I don’t even know what that’s like.
It works out though. It definitely works out. Like this session, it was kind of planned but it wasn’t. But it’s working out. I feel like the song is coming out good and the overall project is coming out good.
He was just telling me y’all were in a 12 hour session. That’s hella long, is that normal?
It was really longer than 12 hours. We definitely went in.
Matt: It was 13 and a half.
What keeps you going?
Vibes. That’s why the first thing I said is you need vibes in the studio. Vibes keep you going.
Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Honestly, Hoodrich Pablo Juan.
Beat wise or song wise? I treat everything like a collab.
Metro on the beat and… I don’t really have a rapper. Because I met everyone I damn near wanted to meet. It wouldn’t be a dream.
Just curious, which LA artists do you like?
I like a lot of LA artists. I like Shoreline Mafia and G Perico. I like Nipsey. I like Kendrick. I like a lot of people.
Anything else you want to let us know?
Nah, anything else you wanna know?
Matt: The price is going up.
How much for a beat?
Matt: What’s your budget?
Appreciate that Sour Matt.