Production duo Da Internz, a.k.a. Ernest “Tuo” Clark and Marcos “Kosine” Palacios, have stamped their names on a handful of ass-centric hits. (Rihanna’s lasicivious “Birthday Cake” remix and Big Sean’s lubricious “Dance (A$$)” come to mind, for starters.) This year though, Nicki Minaj’s ubiquitous “Anaconda,” co-produced by Polow Da Don, exploded virally like nothing else Da Internz have ever worked on, both as a conversation piece and as Minaj’s highest-charting hit ever.
With their fingerprints allegedly all over Lil Wayne’s upcoming Tha Carter V and, of course, Minaj’s hotly anticipated The Pinkprint, their biggest year ever isn’t even over. SPIN spoke to the producers on the phone about the secret to making the perfect ass-shaking song.
So you guys had a big year, huh?
Tuo: Yeah, man, solid year. It was another year of the ass. The “Anaconda” Nicki Minaj ass shocked the world. That was definitely a moment in time right there, bro.
How come you guys keep getting to do all these ass songs?
Kosine: Well, the thing you’ve got to understand is that there is a very healthy way to be an ass connoisseur and respect the power of the ass. You don’t abuse the power. We just know how to make that ass shake when we need to. That’s it.
What’s the secret to making the ass shake?
Kosine: Okay, so the thing about making that ass shake is you can’t overwhelm the ass. That’s disrespectful. You have to first analyze the ass and make sure that ass has a good heart. [Laughs.] Once that ass got a good heart and you know that you can love that ass, that ass will do whatever you want it to because you’re coming to that ass with your hands up saying, “Look, I don’t want anything from you, ass. I just only want to make you shake.” And if you come honest, you know, “Hey look, ass, I’m coming to you with a white flag…” Then it’ll do what you need.
Would you say the key to the ass is using a sample from early ’90s rap song?
Kosine: Whoa, no. That’s wrong. Because “Birthday Cake” from Rihanna doesn’t have any sample in it, bro. That’s pure ass. That’s ass with heart.
That’s the purest ass song you’ve done to date?
Kosine: [Laughs.] I don’t know what’s the purest.
Tuo: “Anaconda.” You’ve got to understand something, Dan. It’s always a pleasure to out beat yourself without you even knowing it. You can say hey, [Big Sean’s] “Dance (A$$)” was a moment, right? Yeah, some people thought shit was retarded, stupid, doesn’t make sense, but it was ingenious in itself. Then you turn around and you have “Anaconda.” You have a great record with an amazing visual that killed and that made you forget about [the Big Sean track]. It was a movie. The “Anaconda” movement was just incredible. Just to watch and virally look at people make their own versions, make their own video and GIFs and everything like that, man. It was incredible.
What do you think of the competitors’ ass songs this year? Meghan Trainor and Jason Derulo’s “Wiggle?”
Kosine: Yo, I love both of those records, man. That’s a different kind of ass, you know? There are different kinds of asses. You got square asses, flat asses, you have strong asses, the females doing squats and the glutes and everything. That’s what “Anaconda” was. You know it was a glute ass. That’s what we’re going to call it. Then we’re going to call Trainor “the fluffy ass.” That’s more pushing for the cushion. That’s more icing on the cake.
Tuo: That’s classic, bro. And let me tell you something though, because it’s all about gourmet ratchet, bro. All about music that’s gourmet ratchet: upper-echelon music, but it still hits you like chicken soup like your mama made.
Did you guys work on Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V?
Kosine: Yes. It’s just coming soon, man. We don’t know when The Carter V is coming out, exactly what it’s going to be, but we do know Wayne definitely blessed us. He definitely blessed Da Internz’s music, man. That’s unbelievable because I’ve been looking up to Lil Wayne and his movement and really just Cash Money in general. I just have a lot of respect for what they’ve done for music as a whole. So the fact that now we’re to the point where Wayne and Nicki are calling us to work on their albums… I know that the final shit is some real, real production that makes us grateful to God and to the people that are open to work with us.
What do you know about The Pinkprint thus far?
Tuo: Definitely heard a dope record, man. She’s got some shit, bro. You know what it’s like with Nicki: We just appreciate the artistry, the fact that she’s bringing back not only herself as an artist, but from a creative standpoint too, because she’s very much focused.
Do you think she gets enough respect as a rapper?
Tuo: WHAT? I got her in my phone. She’s the queen. What are you talking about, man? Does she get enough respect? I just feel like at some point you get to that level where if you don’t like — or at least respect — somebody’s movement… How the hell do you think she got all these people?
Of course, I just feel like a lot of people don’t give Nicki the full crown as a rapper.
Kosine: Let me tell you why you gotta give her the full crown. Nicki was in the studio while we were making “Anaconda.” Tuo told Nicki that we needed another verse. She rolls up from a nap and did a verse and went back to sleep. I said, “OH MY GOD.” She just woke up and did it and went back to bed, man. When you work in this business this long, there are certain acts that are like watching basketball. Like she just scored a 63. She just got 63 points for that. You don’t do that. That’s not normal.
What can you tell me about the tracks you worked on besides “Anaconda?”
Kosine: Well, I don’t know what’s going to make the final album. All I can do is say making “Anaconda” was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had making music. Best I’ve ever had, man. It definitely was an awesome experience. I respect that she respects our creativity process. A lot of artists don’t even get in on that, they don’t sit in on that. They go to the show and come back. They go and fuck around with the big boys, then they come back. Her just appreciating the creativity and actually being in it every second of every minute with us. That was incredible.
What about the basics, like how many songs did you work on with her?
Kosine: Hey bro, that’s not really important because I don’t know what’s going to make the final. If I tell you a thousand songs man, you don’t know. That’s too much.
They could still end up somewhere.
Kosine: Yeah, and when they end up somewhere that’s when we’ll talk about it. I do not want to say things about her album, that shit is personal.
Who haven’t you worked with yet that you want to get a call from?
Tuo: Hmm…I’d love to work with Pink, Maroon 5. Definitely would love to work with Beyoncé. What about you Kos?
Kosine: I need to work with Beyoncé. I mean when Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé came out on stage I looked at that moment and said, “Why am I not on stage with y’all?”