All it takes is one chance. RealRed, the engineer-producer extraordinaire behind both Pooh Shiesty’s “Back In Blood” featuring Lil Durk and Moneybagg Yo’s “Wockesha,” took his talent and ran. Producing since 2016, an offer to record a Kevo Muney session in December of 2019 opened the door for the 22-year-old Tennessee native to become an engineer. Now, he’s Moneybagg Yo’s go-to engineer. And with the ability to mix, master or record, RealRed is honing his craft.

XXL: When did you gain confidence in your abilities as an engineer?

RealRed: When I started engineering for NLE Choppa. Once he started taking me on the road, I started feeling [like] I’m built for this. He end up letting me mix and master two of his projects [Top Shotta and Cottonwood], along with another engineer named Aaron Mattes. Choppa, at the time, he was kinda young, so he’ll test your patience. I know if I could work with Choppa, I could work with anybody.

How did you end up working so heavily with Moneybagg Yo?

My brother YC was already locked in with him. So, it was a couple songs that I was doing that Bagg was in tune with. We in a studio in Memphis, and I was there with Choppa. Bagg walked up to me, asking me for a lighter. He was like, “You Red? I need somethin’ from you.” I went and played him some beats and from that point on, he was just telling me to come to Atlanta. The second or third time, he [said], “I need a second engineer.” So, I end up telling him I’ll do it. He gave me a test run, [it] turned into an eight-hour session of me recording him. We been locked in ever since. I started around June last year.

What was it like working on his album A Gangsta’s Pain?

Working with Bagg was kinda stressful. I was so used to artists recording every day. Bagg might go a week or two without recording, just to get his thoughts together. That’s how we end up with “Time Today” and “Wockesha.” He take his time with his music and try to perfect it, he don’t just record 30, 40 songs.

Did you know “Wockesha” was going to be so huge?

Bagg had told me, YC and my guy Javar he had a sample. We get to choppin’ up the sample, me and YC, while Bagg gettin’ a haircut. Midway through the beat, he started writing the song. Off the album, that was the first song that we had done. I was tellin’ everybody, “This gon’ be the biggest song.” From a female to drinkin’ lean, it’s so many ways to go with this song.

What are you working on now?

I’m excited about Moneybagg deluxe. I got a couple on Big30 album that’s dropping soon. They finna get ready to drop another deluxe on Shiesty. I love working with guys from my city and stuff like that. From Kevo, Moneybagg, Shiesty, Big30, Big Boogie, I’m excited for all those projects.

Check out more from XXL magazine's Fall 2021 issue, on stands now, including our cover story with Tyler, The CreatorLil Nas X's battle for respect in hip-hopWale talks about his new album, Folarin 2, find out more about Maxo Kream in Doin' LinesBia reflects on how far she's come in her career after "Whole Lotta Money" success, BMF actor Da'Vinchi talks rap music in Hip-Hop Junkie, Isaiah Rashad keeps it real about his faithSoFaygo discusses signing to Travis Scott's Cactus Jack labelCupcakKe's fresh outlook on life with new album on the way, OhGeesy's new solo career and goalsBlueface embraces the good and bad of going viralVory is hip-hop's rarely seen, always heard new voice, President of Asylum Records Dallas Austin explains how to develop trust with artists, Baby Tate wants Black women to get all the respect, Denzel Curry shares his train of thought when creating his song "The Game," producer Turbo tells the stories behind working with Lil Baby and his producer tag, hip-hop legends and rap newcomers claiming G.O.A.T. status and more. 

See Exclusive Photos From Tyler, The Creator's Fall 2021 XXL Magazine Cover Story Shoot

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