Ronald La Tour very clearly remembers the first time he met Wiz Khalifa. It was a few years back at this point, when Khalifa was just starting to make a name for himself, releasing mixtapes at an impressive clip and earning endless praise for each.
After some fruitful back-and-forth communications with a handful of people in Khalifa's inner circle, La Tour, who produces hip-hop tracks under the name of Cardo, was finally given a chance to meet the man himself. Khalifa, in town for a gig at Cirque nightclub in downtown Dallas, had his people ring La Tour up; the fast-rising Pittsburgh rapper, a fan of the Fort Wort-dwelling producer's work, wanted to meet the man in person, to see if they clicked and, more important, if they could work together.
But, at first, La Tour debated even showing up.
"I had a little stomach trouble," the 27-year-old Minneapolis native recalled earlier this week. "I was debating if I should go or not. Eventually, I gave in, decided to head out there and got some Pepto Bismol on the way. And Wiz, from the moment I met him, embraced me."
They haven't looked back since. A few years into their relationship, Cardo, now an official member of Khalifa's Taylor Gang, continuously provides Khalifa with new tracks to rap over (the most celebrated of Khalifa's Cardo-produced bunch include "Mezmorized" and "In The Cut").
"I just give Wiz a lot of beats, man," Cardo says with a laugh.
But as Khalifa's celebrity has increased, so too has Cardo's profile. There's hardly an up-and-coming rapper out there these days who hasn't collaborated with Cardo at this point. Among the names of rappers he's worked with? Dom Kennedy, Big Sean, Curren$y, Mac Miller, Nipsey Hustle and Smoke DZA.
Late last week, his latest beat for Khalifa dropped. Just a few days since its leak, the song "Proceed," also featuring Curren$y and Big Sean, has already been namechecked by essentially every hip-hop blog that matters in the current climate. (Download the track for free after the jump.)
Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y and Big Sean -- "Proceed (Produced by Cardo)"
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.