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Xavier Lamar Dotson, professionally known as Zaytoven, is an American record producer, DJ, and pianist from Atlanta, Georgia.[1][2] He is known for his work with Southern rap artists Usher, Gucci Mane, Migos, and Future,[3] and has also collaborated with artists such as Waka Flocka Flame, Lecrae, Young Scooter, Bankroll Fresh, and Lil Uzi Vert.[4]

Birth name Xavier Lamar Dotson
Born (1980-01-12) January 12, 1980 (age 38)
Frankfurt, Germany
Origin Atlanta, Georgia
Years active 1997–present
Associated acts

Dotson won a Grammy Award in 2011 for his contribution to Usher's Raymond v. Raymond album,[5][6] as a co-producer and writer for the single "Papers" along with Sean Garrett.[7][8]


Early lifeEdit

Xavier Lamar Dotson was born on January 12, 1980 in Frankfurt, Germany, while his father was stationed there in the U.S. Army. Zaytoven spent a lot of time at church growing up as his father was a preacher when not working for the army and his mother a choir director.[9] During his time at church, Zaytoven learned to play instruments through the church bands along with his three younger siblings. While learning instruments through the church bands, Zaytoven gravitated toward playing the piano and the organ.[10] Zaytoven was introduced to rap in middle school by a friend and never looked back even though his father wasn't fond of the words used in rap music. Zaytoven learned to produce music while attending high school at Galileo Academy of Science and Technology in San Francisco.[9] In his spare time between school and basketball, Zaytoven played the keyboard during halftime at his high school football games. While performing one day at the game, a local rapper by the name of JT the Bigga Figga, liked what he heard from Zaytoven and invited him to his studio where Zaytoven had unlimited access to his keyboards.[10] Zaytoven truly began to utilize his skills as a producer while making beats in JT's studio before he started making a name for himself in Atlanta.


Career BeginningsEdit

After meeting JT the Bigga Figga, Zaytoven started going over to his studio everyday to make beats and learn how to use all the equipment in the studio effectively. Zaytoven then began to sell beats to JT and went on to collaborate with bay area artists such as Messy Marv and E-40 while still in high school.[9] During his senior year in high school, Zaytoven's family moved to Atlanta, Georgia due to his father's retirement but Zaytoven decided to stay in San Francisco and finish out his senior year and continue his producing for local rappers. During this time, Zaytoven realized that he needed a studio of his own where he could produce with his own equipment and be able to work at any time of the day.[11] Saving up money from his day job as a barber, Zaytoven began to buy equipment for producing and would ship to his parents house in Atlanta where he eventually moved to and set up his own studio.[11] Zaytoven enrolled in a local barber college once in Atlanta and got a job as a barber to help finance the rest of his studio. While attending barber school, a classmate of Zaytoven's introduced him to Gucci Mane, who would become Zaytoven's right-hand man in his career as a producer.[10] Zaytoven and Gucci Mane began to work together everyday after meeting each other and Zaytoven said in an interview with Fader that Gucci Mane would call him at 7 in the morning asking Zaytoven if he was ready to start making music for that day.[10] Zaytoven and Gucci Mane spent the majority of the early 2000s making music together and selling mixtapes out of the trunks of their cars in Atlanta. It wasn't until 2005 that Gucci Mane and Zaytoven gained mainstream recognition from their hit song "Icy", with features from Young Jeezy and Boo.[9] This recognition from the mainstream audience gave Zaytoven's career the boost it needed to take off, landing the hit song "Papers" with Usher in 2010 on Usher's certified platinum album Raymond v. Raymond.[12]

Rise to FameEdit

Zaytoven's work on Usher's album Raymond v. Raymond earned him a Grammy Award in 2011 and a serious reputation in the hip-hop world. Zaytoven started to work with more and more artists as his popularity grew in the Atlanta rap scene and helped shaped the careers of artists such as OJ Da Juiceman, Yung LA, Yung Ralph, The Shop Boyz, Lil Scrappy, Jagged Edge, and Gorilla Zoe.[12]

Zaytoven's keen eye for talent led him to collaborate with a young group by the name of Migos. Zaytoven went on to produce several tracks on the Migos 2013 mixtape, Y.R.N., including the hit track "Versace" which topped at 53 on the top Billboard chart.[9] Zaytoven's collaboration continued with Migos as he helped produce their follow up mixtape No Label II which was released on June 3, 2014.[13]

In 2015, Zaytoven provided exclusive production for an extraordinary ten mixtapes including Future's hit mixtape Beast Mode released on January 15 as well as working on Future's album DS2 which debuted on July 17.[14]

In July 2016, Zaytoven produced several songs on Gucci Mane's album Everybody Looking, which was the first album Gucci had released since being released from prison. Zaytoven helped produce or co-produce seven of the fourteen songs that were included in the album.[13] In the same month, Lil Uzi Vert's The Perfect Luv Tape was released containing the Zaytoven produced songs "Money Mitch" and "Sideline Watching(Hold Up)".[13]

Zaytoven had a busy year in 2017 as he contributed to projects such as Gucci Mane's Mr. Davis, 21 Savage's Issa Album, Migos' Culture, Moneybagg Yo's Heartless, and Yo Gotti's I Still Am. Zaytoven also released two independent projects named Wake Up & Cook Up and Where Would The Game Be Without Me.[13]

Zaytoven is set to release his debut album Trap Holizay on May 25, 2018,[15] and a collaborative album with Lecrae called Let the Trap Say Amen on June 22, 2018.[16]





  1. ^ "Zaytoven". Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  2. ^ "Sofia Pacheco (397908461) on Myspace". Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  3. ^ Bell, Max. "Symphony in Trap Major: The Uninterrupted Output of Atlanta's Zaytoven". Complex. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  4. ^ "Lil Uzi Vert Goes in Over A Zaytoven Banger On "Alot"". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  5. ^ "Grammy Awards 2011: Winners and nominees for 53rd Grammy Awards". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  6. ^ "Grammy awards 2011: list of winners". The Guardian. February 14, 2011. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  7. ^ "Usher Opens Up About Divorce With New Song "Papers"". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  8. ^ "Usher Says 'Papers' Was Recorded Before His Marriage Ended". MTV News. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d e Bell, Max. "Symphony in Trap Major: The Uninterrupted Output of Atlanta's Zaytoven". Complex. Complex Media, Inc. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d G, Nicky. "Zaytoven Breaks Down ATL History From His Lens + How it All Started For Him". Swaysuniverse. Sway's Universe. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Zeichner, Naomi. "Beat Construction: Zaytoven". The Fader. The Fader, Inc. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Digital Mix Agency. "Biography". zaytovenbeatz. Digital Mix Agency. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  13. ^ a b c d Martin, Liam. "Zaytoven". allmusic. Complex. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  14. ^ Schwartz, Danny. "Behind the Beat: Zaytoven". HotNewHipHop. Urbanlinx Media. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  15. ^ "Zaytoven Unveils Star-Studded Lineup for New Album 'Trap Holizay'". Billboard. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  16. ^ "Lecrae Announces Let the Trap Say Amen with Zaytoven". Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  17. ^ "Foolio and Zaytoven drop joint project 6toven". Retrieved July 21, 2018.

External linksEdit