When you hear Zaytoven’s “producer tag,” you automatically know that song’s going to be a hit.

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Currently based in Atlanta, Zaytoven will forever go down in history as one of the best producers in the rap game. Best known for fostering a new sound alongside Gucci Mane, Zaytoven is deemed the Godfather of Trap music, pioneering a new movement and giving new life to the definition of trap music.

And while Zaytoven has endless plaques, endless accolades, and endless hits to his name, he still remains as humble and inspired as when he first entered the game. Fast forward to today, Zaytoven unveils his newest single titled “Winning,” alongside his blood son Zayskii.


The Source spoke with Zaytoven virtually to discuss the moment he fell in love with Hip-Hop, working with Gucci Mane early on, his favorite song with Guwop, and more!

What was the moment you fell in love with Hip-Hop?

This is when I was in Columbus, Georgia. I was visiting, and my older cousin had a Walkman. He had the single “Dre Day” with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. I grew up in a church. I’m a church kid and I’m in church all the time. I’m not allowed to listen to secular music. We don’t listen to that. Especially no music with profanity the way that had in it. But he let me hear on his Walkman, and I swear I listened to that all day. Over and over and over again. 

I fell in love with the music. You gotta think: after that, I got a hold of The Chronic. I listened to The Chronic album, then Snoop Dogg came with Doggystyle. I turned into a rap fiend, I wanted to hear that all day long. The music, the way the stuff was put together, I fell in love with it.

You made the “So Icy” beat in 5 minutes?!

Yes. If anybody’s been in the studio with me or if you watch online, you can tell that’s how I work. I make beats in 5, 10 minutes. That’s not bragging, that’s not saying my way is better than anybody else’s. That’s how music comes to me. That’s how I create.

How long are you usually in the studio?

Most of the time, I’m having long sessions. But that’s because I’m trying to get 5, 6 songs done in one session. I like to go home and listen in the car. Okay, here go 5 songs we did today. Rather than one song, maybe two songs. That comes from how me and Gucci used to work. Gucci used to come over to my house at 7am, then won’t leave till 2am or 3am the next morning. But we done recorded so many songs that day, we felt like we put in the good work.

I know you have 3 songs on Gucci Mane’s last album. How does it feel to be working with him still now to this day? I love the loyalty.

That’s my ace right there. When it comes to music, we made history. We created a sound that when people hear the music, even when you hear my music without him on it, that’s still the sound that me and Gucci Mane created. I always tell Gucci all the time how much I appreciate him. No matter how far, how big he gets or how far he goes, he always includes me in every everything he does. I always have to tell him: bro, I appreciate you. That’s real love right there.

Do you have a favorite song you did with Gucci?

“First Day Out,” when he first got out of jail. The first time we wasn’t working with each other for about 6 months, the first song we did was “First Day Out” when he got out. I remember getting chills listening to him record to the song, so that’s my favorite.

Gucci had one of the biggest glow ups in Hip-Hop… 

He got the biggest! He got the biggest story in Hip-Hop to me.

How was it seeing him bounce back? I’m sure that was inspiring.

I’ve been knowing Gucci from the beginning. So every time he went to jail, every time something happened, I know him and I know how he’s coming back. I know he’ll be bigger and better every time he comes back. Because I talked to him the whole time he gone, and he be so excited. Every time he goes away and get locked up, he calls me and rap songs to me. When I make beats to the song, he rapping to me over the phone. I know how inspired he is to get out and go hard. 

One of the reasons that I took all my time — anytime Gucci asked me to do something, whether it’s coming to my mama’s house at 3 in the morning and I got to sneak him in to record. Always did whatever he wanted to do because I knew he had the drive to make it. He was gon’ make it in the music game. I said if I stick with him and follow what he’s doing, then I’ma make it right with them.