by Aden Fischer-Brown
“We didn’t know we were making a hit, we were just having fun in the studio.”
A background created in mere minutes and a production finished in just an afternoon aren’t typically characteristics of a hit song. However, DRAM and Lil Yachty’s 2016 single “Broccoli” stands as proof that any song can experience mainstream success, regardless of how long it takes to make. For the final Produce like the Pros article, we’ve selected a video from Genius where producer J. Gramm breaks down how “Broccoli” was made.
After his friend DRAM informed him that Lil Yachty would be arriving at the studio shortly, J. Gramm had 5 minutes to create a beat.
He asked the session player, pianist Rogét Chahayed, to play the happiest chord he could find on the piano. Then, Gramm combined that chord and another to create the piano progression that forms the backbone of the entire track. According to the producer, what “took the beat to the next level” was the addition of an 808 bass sound that contrasts the piano. To complete the beat, Chahayed added a flute melody hummed to him by DRAM. Once he arrived at the studio, Lil Yachty quickly wrote a verse, DRAM freestyled a chorus, and “Broccoli” was born.
Following its release, the song peaked at #5 on Billboard Hot 100. Since then, its been certified 5 times platinum, and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. He may not have predicted the incredible response to the song, but J. Gramm thinks that having the right attitude is one of the most important parts of successful production. He says simply, “if you’re not having fun, you won’t make anything good.”