Michael “Mike Will Made It” Len Williams II was born in Marietta, Georgia, on March 23, 1980. Although his earliest aspiration was sports instead of music, he found out early in life that he was highly talented, even dropping out of college to pursue his dream of becoming a hip hop artist. Throughout his career, he continues to collaborate with some of the top names in the industry. These are 10 things you didn’t know about Mike Will Made It.
1. Sister Influence
His early musical tastes stemmed from what his sisters listened to in high school. One of Mike Will Made It’s sisters was a drum major in the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. However, most of the music she listened to was rap like Goodie Mob and Mystikal. His other sister preferred artists like Alanis Morissette, Toni Braxton, or Whitney Houston. Mike Will Make It’s earliest inspirations were Tupac and Biggie, followed by Ice Cube. Growing up in Atlanta, later influences veered toward groups and artists from the south like Three 6 Mafia, Cash Money, and UGK.
2. Growing up musical
His mother sang in a choir with Dottie People, a gospel singer. Mike Will Made It even went on tour with his mother several times. His dad also contributed to his early musical education since he was a DJ who did different events. His father’s favorite singers and bands included Earth Wind and Fire, Michael Jackson, and the O’Jays. According to Red Bull Music Academy, when Mike Will Made It was younger, he constantly broke the needles on the record player since he didn’t understand how difficult it was to put records on correctly.
3. Not his first choice
Even though he grew up in a musical family, Mike Will Made It wanted to be an athlete. One of his sisters played softball, t-ball, basketball, and football. So, he started playing those sports as well. Any the time he was in fifth grade, he was a linebacker, mostly because he was more significant than the other kids in his class. However, after an injury, he switched focus to baseball. After playing those two sports, followed by basketball, he realized he was injury-prone and gravitated towards music.
Mike Will Made It’s friend Fortune  first inspired him. While the two were in school, Fortune participated in numerous rap battles, and Mike Will Made It started making beats for him. Later, Mike Will Made It used his sister’s keyboard to mimic things he heard on the radio and create different beats. Fortune inspired him to continue his craft, encouraging his talent for recording beats. Even though, at the time, Mike Will Made It still had his eyes on the NBA.
Mike Will Made It went to Georgia State and majored in music history. While there, his professors helped him learn to differentiate between a large cross-section of genres. In the beginning, he was frustrated when asked to identify classical musicians like Bach and Mozart. Still, as he builds his empire, he’s helping others do the same and not pigeonhole themselves in one genre. According to Complex, in the beginning, his professor had him write down several of his favorite artists, proving that he could tell the difference between each. Then she pointed out it was not different from any other type of music. This early challenge has helped Mike Will Made It stay well-rounded.
6. Early Sales
When he first started recording beats, it was on less than stellar equipment. However, those around him noticed his talent. Mike Will Made It worked an after-school job as a bagger at a Kroger. However, he also sold some of his early beats to up-and-coming rap artists and used the money to buy better equipment. As he did, he was able to help artists much the way he does today with his record label. Additionally, this started his early work ethic. After all, he’d stay up all night working in his parent’s basements after getting off from school and his job.
Mike Will Made It’s name came from early recordings with Gucci Mane. In 2006 the pair met in at Bob Whitfield’s Atlanta studio. After receiving a sample from the artist, Gucci Mane gave the seventeen-year-old a thousand dollars for the beats. During 2007 the pair recorded twenty songs together. According to the New Yorker, this is when Mane said, “Mike Will made it, Gucci Mane slayed it!” This collaboration also helped bring Mike Will Made It to the forefront of the Atlanta music scene.
8. Behind the scenes
Although many famous artists he’s worked with, like Gucci Mane and Future, have encouraged him to record albums, Mike Will Made It is happiest behind the scenes. Throughout his career and especially after starting his label, Mike Will Made It has helped many artists with lines and beats and helped Miley Cyrus break away from her Disney bubble gum image. He could easily transition into a recording artist but prefers to collaborate with other artists and build his empire.
9. Always ready to help
In January 2021, Mike Will Made It was in a horrible car crash with Swae Lee. Luckily, both made it out with only minor injuries. After the collision, Mike Will Made It posted on his Instagram photos and a message to his fans, “anything defeated should be celebrated. Thank you God, I’m paying attention to the signs.” Always one to help others, he added some helpful hints for Ferrari 812 owners, suggesting they heat the tires, “otherwise the 812 is like a stick of dynamite inside of a coke can on ice skates while driving in the cold.”
10. Collaboration is key
One of the things that have made the producer such a success is his knack for bringing out an artist’s true self. When he worked with Miley Cyrus, she readily took his suggestions because Mike Will Made It saw things in the artist others missed. Whether working with a single artist or daily operations at his record label, it’s always a joint effort. The producer understands that listening to others will ensure success and create a foundation for other artists.