The song was produced by Marco "Infamous" Rodriguez-Diazs and Angel "Onhel" Aponte. The original version of the beat was created in 2014 towards the end of when Carter V
was originally supposed to drop. Infamous recalled to Rolling Stone
that Lil Wayne called him, and asked him to come up with a beat for some rhymes he was working on. So he and Onhel, who was working for Weezy at the time, went up to Infamous' studio and came up with an instrumentation. They played it for Wayne, who turned into the concept of "Mona Lisa."
Meanwhile, the release of Tha Carter V
was delayed due to contractual disputes between Wayne and Cash Money Records. As he waited for the album to be dropped, Infamous chipped away at the song. "The beat was different, more of a four-bar rap loop," he explained.
Once Infamous heard Kendrick's part, he knew hr had to match the two rappers, "They went so in on it," the producer said, "I couldn't just leave a four-bar loop for them."
Infamous' adjustments started off with changing some chords and adding some strings. He then "cut everything to tape and record everything like it's the 1960s so I can treat it like a sample and re-sample it.'"