Through top-tier clientele and output as one-half of a duo with Payroll Giovanni, producer Cardo (aka Cardo on the Beat and Cardo Got Wings) has been in the ascendance since the dawn of the 2010s. Born Ronald LaTour in St. Paul, Minnesota, Cardo established his career with mixtapes following a 2006 move to Fort Worth, Texas. The first major connection he made was with Wiz Khalifa, whose 2010 mixtape Kush & Orange Juice contained two of his productions. Shortly thereafter, Cardo no longer needed a nine-to-five. During a prolific run over the next several years, his biggest commercial work included charting singles headlined by Meek Mill ("Levels"), Jeezy ("Seen It All"), the Game ("100"), Kendrick Lamar ("untitled 07 | levitate"), and ScHoolboy Q ("That Part"), as well as Travis Scott ("Goosebumps"), his first certified-platinum collaboration. Another milestone for Cardo during this period was the co-production of Stalley's "Spaceships & Woodgrain" with DJ Quik, one of his primary inspirations.
Cardo forged a partnership with Detroit rapper Payroll Giovanni that enabled him to fully explore and advance his love of the G-funk sound pioneered by Quik. The two released their first mixtape, Big Bossin, Vol. 1, in 2016. Continued work with Kendrick Lamar ("GOD."), Migos ("Deadz"), and Dizzee Rascal (several tracks for the number ten U.K. album Raskit) followed in 2017, as did Big Bossin, Vol. 1.5, a modified edition of the 2016 mixtape, which doubled as the duo's debut for major-label Def Jam. The first two months of 2018 alone saw the release of Drake's "God's Plan," which topped the Billboard Hot 100, and Migos' Culture II and Black Panther: The Album, both of which included Cardo beats and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Cardo and Payroll also followed up with Big Bossin, Vol. 2. ~ Andy Kellman