J. Cole's idea for "Middle Child" came to him, in the nick of time.
T-Minus touched down with J. Cole for the very first time in the buildup to KOD. It all started with T-Minus submission of a sample board to Tim Glover, an A&R for Dreamville Records, with no immediate effect. Then sometime later, T-Minus found himself in Los Angeles where he bumped into one of J. Cole's close friends Matty P, who proceeded to link the pair via e-mail. From there, T-Minus ended up supplying Cole with the beat that became "Kevin's Heart," and so on and so forth.
What makes T-Minus' appointment all the more impressive is that J. Cole seldom lets anyone produce on his albums, other than himself. So with the door ajar, T-Minus found a way to creep back into view with the creation of the "Middle Child" beat. T-Minus spoke with Complex about the spontaneous circumstances of its creation, all within the span of a single day.
"It all happened in one day. We filled this beat out, he started writing to it, he recorded it—it was pretty much done within that day. The whole record. It was just a moment and it was actually one of the last days of sessions that we did. We did like a five day run of just working, and it was the last day, so it came right in the nick of time," T-Minus answered when Complex writer Frazier Tharpe tried for the inside scoop.
T-Minus provided a vague timeline for the spontaneous recording session, taking place in Atlanta, but on a different date than Cole's inglorious Revenge of the Dreamers III seminar, attended by the who's who of Hip-Hop. The producer's account of the session provides further evidence that sometimes the greatest pieces of art come out of haphazard "brainstorm session," like the one culminating in "Middle Child."
T-Minus confirms that as soon as he was done chopping the sample, he got a sense of urgency emanating from Cole, akin to a higher calling. "It just felt right for the moment," he told Complex. The T-Minus x J. Cole connection henceforth, one to watch for years to come.