Following last week's trap-focussed self-titled album, today Atlanta rapper Future dropped HNDRXX, a 17-track offering heavy on woozy, heart-on-sleeve ballads. While the project features production from the Freeband Gang leader's usual batting lineup—including Metro Boomin, Southside, and DJ Spinz—one of the highlights was "Comin Out Strong," a slow-burning collaboration with Canadian R&B star the Weeknd.
Partially responsible for the song's moody, minimalist beat was Kevin Vincent, aka High Klassified, a recently turned 24-year-old producer from Laval, Quebec. While it's the Fool's Gold Records signee's biggest placement to date, anybody who's heard his 2015 808s and RPGs-influenced EP Kronostasis or his recent house-friendly remix of Moby's "Natural Blues" can attest, it was only a matter of time before he landed a credit on a marquee artist's record.
We called up High Klassified on the big release day to find out how "Comin Out Strong" came together, and what we can expect from him in 2017.
THUMP: How are you feeling now that "Comin Out Strong" is out?
High Klassified: I'm feeling good. I've been waiting for this for awhile because I've been working with the Weeknd for a minute now. So finally having it out, and with Future, is exciting.
Did you know Future would be on it?
I send a lot of beats to the Weeknd, but I wasn't expecting Future on it. I only found out on Tuesday. I was doing my groceries when I found out. I was fighting a big hangover because it was my birthday weekend, then I got a call saying it was going to be on Future's album, and my hangover was gone.
When did you make the beat?
I made it November. It's the last beat I made before I lost my hard drive when it got stolen at one of my shows. I only have the WAV file, not the stems. But the thing is I liked the beat so much at the time, I sent it to my email so I could listen to it later. I was listening to it one day and thought, "I should send it to Abel." I sent it to him with three parts, but what you hear on the album is only part one with some drum parts they added.
How long have you been in contact with Abel?
I met him through his producer Daheala, who reached out to me around two years ago. I also go to Toronto a lot, so I have a good relationship with the XO guys.
What do you think about the finished result?
I'm happy. When I made the song my thought was "Abel should be on this." The intro has that Weeknd vibe. Hearing Future on it? Wow. I've been bumping "Mask Off" since it came out. My phone is kind of blowing up.
What are your 2017 plans?
I've been working on my next project, but because my hard drive was stolen, I had to start all over again. I have a third EP that I'm releasing on Fool's Gold.
I guess it was fate that the last beat you sent to yourself ended up on HNDRXX?
I'm not going to complain with how things worked out.
Erik Leijon is on Twitter.