Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO TOUR Llif3” is one of the biggest songs of the year. Over production from JW Lucas and TM88, Uzi Vert rages about relationship troubles with his ex-girlfriend, Brittany Byrd, among other things. He premiered the track in London while opening for The Weeknd’s Starboy: Legend of the Fall 2017 world tour, and the song’s title pays homage to The Weeknd’s label XO.

“We was on FaceTime for like a hour and 40 minutes just talking about the industry and just regular shit,” producer TM88 tells Genius. “He was like, ‘Bro. We gotta make the most epic shit in the world. We gotta find this vibe. We gotta find this zone.’ I didn’t have none of my equipment. I just had the Beats Pill. People really don’t believe that I did it. I sat down, I was like, ‘Man, I’ma cook a 20 pack for Uzi and just send him all 20 beats.’ It’s kind of weird, because everybody saying Uzi Lucifer and this shit now. But the beat was number 6. That’s what’s so crazy. Number six.”

According to TM88, the original vibe of “XO” came from a beat he was sitting on for three years that he made with his producer JW Lucas. The main melody of the track wasn’t “XO” but served as its foundation. “The beat ended up not traveling nowhere,” he says. “It was one of them ones where I didn’t send it out, and I’m pretty sure he was sending it out, but it didn’t reach. But, I was sitting there and I was like ‘Man, let me sample myself.’ I heard the beat and I was like, ‘Damn. It’s slow as shit. It’s like R&B. Man, fuck!’ The slower beats don’t go to the clubs. I know Uzi wanna go to the clubs. So I was like, ‘Let me make a pack of uptempo 148 to 155.’”

TM88 came through Genius to give an inside look at how he crafted the song for the latest episode of Genius’ video series Deconstructed. He says it’s going to be a song that’s played for the next 15 to 20 years. “It gives me the feeling of partying, it makes you feel like a rockstar,” he tells Genius. “Everybody else says it makes them feel like their friends are dead, but I know the concept. At first I was like, ‘Bro. This nigga crazy. But whatever. It’s hard.’ Then they was like, ‘Nah. I think he talking about dead presidents.’ I just figured it was a regular beat. Uzi made it epic.”

Credit: Genius