With production credits for the likes of popular hip-hop artists like Young Thug, 2 Chainz, and the late Pop Smoke, among others, PittThaKid is one of Toronto’s fastest-rising producers / beat-makers / songwriters. Given the high profile of those placements, you’d think that being a knob-turner for some of the genre’s most successful artists was a long-term goal that Pitt The Kid had cherished since childhood, but it didn’t actually start out that way.
“I used to rap and I needed beats to rap over, in my later years of high school,” says PittThaKid. “So, you know, I didn’t want to pay for beats, and I’m, like, ‘Okay, let me just try to figure out how to make beats myself.’ And my rap career might have lasted a month, because after I started making beats, I just fell in love with it.”
Starting out with FL Studio, PittThaKid continued to work on his craft by entering beat battles with organizations like The Beat Academy, while he studied business at Laurier University. Eventually, his first big break came in 2016 when he landed a placement with Lloyd Banks of G-Unit fame.
“I had known this engineer out in New York, and he was sending in stuff for Banks,” says PittThaKid. “He asked if I had any records. And then he just texted me one day and said, ‘Hey, we got one.’ And then, you know, the song literally came out the next day, it was on Halloween. And I remember sitting in my room, just playing the track back, like, at least 50 times, man, ‘cause I couldn’t believe that he was on my beat.”
Since then, PittThaKid’s musical style has changed from the straight-up boom-bap sound he favoured in those days. “I think what I mainly try to do is just, you know, blend the old school with the new school, you know, as far as it’s kind of blending, but across genres,” he says. “I usually like to take the vintage influences and mix it with the modern stuff. I guess that’s kind of what I’m known for.”
PittThaKid has a penchant for incorporating guitars into his sound, which often arises from a collaborative approach. “A lot of the times, if I can, I’m in the studio with other producers,” he says. “So it’s kind of, like, I start an idea, then someone might come in and add, some keys, or some different instruments, might lay the drums down. And then a lot of the times, too, I create samples, so I’ll create the musical idea. And then I’ll e-mail it off to the producer.”
Sometimes these musical ideas take on a life of their own. PittThaKid sent off a musical idea that featured a chopped-up kids choir sample to multi-platinum producer B-Rackz, who brought it to the attention of high-profile Atlanta producer Mike Will Made It.
“[B-Rackz] ended up using something that I sent him with Mike Will, and then they made the whole beat, and then you had 2 Chainz, Schoolboy Q, and Eearz ended up hopping on [“Kill ‘Em With Success”], and it just became like one big banger,” says PittThaKid. “And then I found out that [it] was going to be [in the] movie Creed 2 [soundtrack] with Michael B. Jordan. So you know, I ended up going to the theatre and seeing my name on the credits, which is pretty crazy. So definitely a blessing.”
But the song that’s had the biggest effect on Pitt The Kid’s career is “Boy Back,” from Atlanta MC Young Thug’s So Much Fun album, featuring Nav, another Toronto representative. For PittThaKid, the song represents more than a beat; it’s a reflection of his career arc to date.
“I think it’s a bit of a full-circle moment,” he says. “”Cause early in my career, I tried to do a lot of work in Toronto, and it just wasn’t really bringing me to where I needed to be,” he says. “And I realized that I needed to expand my horizons a little bit. So back at the end of 2018, I started, like, really focusing on the States, trying to work with as many American artists as I can. And then, I said to myself, ‘Once I gained a lot of traction in the States, then I’m going to come back to Toronto,’ and show love. So it kind of happened for me… It’s my biggest placement in the States, Nav’s on it, they’re shooting the video in Toronto.”
True to his vow to show love to Toronto, now that he’s found some success, PittThaKid is willing to work with emerging producers who e-mail him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. “A lot of the time when I was coming up, I didn’t really have an opportunity from people to get my music heard,” says PittThaKid. ”And anyone wants to work with me, or send me stuff, I’m listening all the time for new stuff. You know, I just want to give out opportunities.”