Childish Gambino penned the instrumentation with his frequent collaborator, the Swedish composer and producer Ludwig Göransson, who has handled most of the production of Gambino's projects since his 2010 Culdesac
mixtape. Göransson told Genius
that he arrived at the studio without any preconceived ideas what the pair were going to do that day.
"We were just chilling and then Donald started playing drums," he recalled. "He was like, 'I have this beat. Let's just play this drum beat.' We had all the instruments spread out in the whole room, in the whole studio, and just went from one to another to another, hearing ideas and basically just recording a bunch of tracks on top of each other. That was kind of the seed of the idea, that was sort of the first of 'Redbone' kind of started."