Interview: The Game Interview With Tim Westwood.

Interview: Wale Interview On Kube 93

Interview: B.O.B Gets Interviewed By Angie Martinez

Interview: Mary J Blige On The Chelsea Lately Show.


Interview: Tim WestWood Interview With DJ Whoo Kid

Interview: Yelawolf On Hoppus Live.

Interview: Jay-Z On The Future Of The Recording Industry.

Interview: Raekwon “The Chef” Sits With GQ Magazine…

The Chef recently sat down with for a very honest and to the point interview about his storied career and evolution as an artist. Highlighted as a Survivor, along with Eminem and Keith

Richards, by the men’s mag, Raekwon spoke on career his  low points, working with Ghostface and more.

GQ: Even with the success that Wu-Tang has had, have you had any low points as an artist?
Raekwon: In the early 2000s I was going through a lot. I didn’t have my head screwed on right. Where I was at as a man, I was still growing up. We had success quick, we didn’t have an opportunity to look at a lot of things that really we had to look at. My world was caving in for a minute, and it took a lot of people to come at me, like, Yo, we gon’ get you right, but you gotta get you right. All I did was take my time, figure out where I made a lot of mistakes and try not to make them no more.

Raekwon speaks on his relationship with Ghostface after the jump…


GQ: You and Ghostface have one of the best collaborative relationships in hip-hop. What was it like working together in the early days?
Raekwon: A lot of times, we would be the first cats at the studio. Me and him were like the kids that sat in the front of the class. I might come in and he already hogging the mic, and I’m like, Yo, that’s where it need to be at! And I just touch it because I’m there to touch it. Me and Ghost sat around and wrote multiple songs together. We did [the song] “The Watch” together, the children’s one where he’s talking about Wilma and Woody Woodpecker ["The Forest"]. We sat around and wrote many joints together. When I first came into Wu-Tang, I was just a team player: Nah, say this word, or, He just said that word, so we gon’ say another word. We was always heavily in tune with the darts.

GQ: Do you think that you and Ghost have influenced each other’s styles over the years?
Raekwon: Definitely. Ghost tells me every few years, Yo, you showed me this style … I’m like, man, we the same style. At the end of the day, he’s one of my favorite rappers, I’m one of his favorite rappers, and we just do it. We identify with each other’s worlds when it comes to rhyming. This’s something that niggas peep. It’s like, Yo, it’s time to take the dog outside. You know what I mean? We got this all day. Ea

(read the full interview at )

Interview: Full DMX Interview With Dr. Drew

Interview: HipHop DX Caught Up With Homeboy Sandman About His New Deal, A3C and more.

BoySand looks at the recent Troy Davis execution and Smif-n-Wessun album release party incident as reasons to look closely at what’s going on around us, as he gears up for new projects and A3C event.

There was collective jubilation all around the raposphere when word spread that Homeboy Sandman officially inked to Stones Throw Records two months ago. One of New York City Hip Hop’s most relentless; most unrelenting Emcees navigated independent music’s terrible terra belle successfully, landing squarely in the uber progressive confines of perhaps rap’s last true label bastion of artistic integrity. Without ever pimping negativity for profit; without ever compromising his steadfast moral compass; without ever cowing to conformity — The Good Sun did it his way, shining a light on the virtues of the good fight, inspiring others to remain patient while remaining themselves.

Homeboy Sandman details his Stones Throw signing to Hip Hop DX in this interview. He talks at length about the plethora of new projects on the horizon as well as his upcoming performance at A3C this weekend in Atlanta. And, in a rare show of vulnerability, ‘Boy Sand unleashes why he feels helpless.

Photography by Robert Adam Mayer

HipHopDX: You’re rocking the HipHopDX stage at A3C.

Homeboy Sandman: Yeah. Yeah. That’s gonna be ill. That’s gonna be fresh. I’ve got some new joints for cats.

DX: Oh, you’re gonna rock some new joints?

Homeboy Sandman: I got 70 new joints. I understand you’ve got to give cats the joints they know and came to see, but [at my recent performance at the Loft], I literally started off with six new joints, then went into some other joints, then brought out some more new joints. I got new joints that cats don’t know. I don’t feel that when I’m doing my new joints, cats are gonna be like, “Okay…, okay…, just get to the shit we know.” I feel like this shit is crazy enough to where I can just do it. I’m gonna mix it up, though. But I definitely got new joints.

DX: How did you get tapped to rock A3C? How’d you end up getting booked, as you see it?

Homeboy Sandman: I feel like I was real lucky to get the [HipHopDX] show. DX has been, not only a supporter of me, but definitely a supporter of good Hip Hop music for some time – since the Internet boom has taken place. And I’m a big fan of A3C. This is going to be my third year. The head of it is Brian Nott. He and I have become friends and I’ve got a lot of respect for the mix that he brings out. He brings out cats that no one’s ever heard of and he respects them. Nobody gets treated like the new-jack at A3C. When I was there three years ago, my first time there, and most of the people there really didn’t know what I was all about, but I was treated with respect by the entire staff. I got put on to a bunch of artists that I didn’t really know about at all from all over — particularly from the South. So I always try to do A3C. It’s a good combination of looks between DX and A3C and I’m a supporter of both.

Homeboy Sandman Explains Signing To Stones Throw Records
DX: This has been all over every website and media outlet, but you’re now signed to Stones Throw Records. Take us through how that actually happened…

Homeboy Sandman: I’ve been talking to Peanut Butter Wolf for over a year. We originally began talking about a collaboration of some sort. Around the time CX Kidtronic – who is a Stones Throw [Records] artist as well, was working on his tape. Wolf said, “CX Kidtronic has all types of different production if you need beats, brother. He can handle all types of different kinds of production that other people might shy away from.” So that’s how we originally started talking. This was around the time when I first started working with R. Thentic. We started working on the Kool Herc: Fertile Crescent [album]. As we would talk, I told [Peanut Butter Wolf] I had a lot of new joints in the pipeline. I already knew the label and I wasn’t familiar with a lot of the artists as I am now, but even then I knew [Stones Throw] was a creative place. The artists were all different. The artists were all different from everybody else. It looked at creativity first. It would be unique first. [Stones Throw] fell in line with a lot of the things I stand for myself: not smoke and mirrors, actual substance. So I told him, “I’m gonna start sending these joints over to you. I would love for you to consider them. Just listen to them and consider them.” Wolf was like, “Yo, this is pretty crazy. We may wanna sign you and put some records out.” And that’s really how it all got started.

Homeboy Sandman Explains Kool Herc Album
DX: Is Kool Herc: Fertile Crescent going to be your first Stones Throw release?

Homeboy Sandman: We called a few audibles since signing. The initial plan was to release Kool Herc: Fertile Crescent, which is the album I did with R. Thentic. But actually what we’re going to do now is put out an EP in January or February called Subject: Matter. Then following that, we’re going to put out an album. Subject: Matter is gonna have one R. Thentic joint on it. It’s going to come out in January or February because we’re taking some time. I have 70 joints that are not out. Obviously, now I have an opportunity to work with Stones Throws stable of producers, which is really world class. We’re taking a little bit of time to supplement what I already have with some cats that I haven’t had a chance to work with. Everybody knows about Madlib, but I would love to rap over some Stepkids joints. They’ve got Rock joints that are crazy. Dam-Funk. I rap over all kinds of sounds, so it’s not just dipping into the Oh Nos and the Madlibs and the J Roccs — the Hip Hop. I wanna really dip into the whole stash. We’re just taking a little time and then look back at what we have and revise the first album. But until then, I’m going to be putting out EPs. Definitely look for an R. Thentic/Homeboy Sandman EP. Definitely look for a 2 Hungry Bros/Homeboy Sandman EP. Definitely look for a Paul White/Homeboy Sandman EP following the album. And definitely look for the Subject: Matter EP. The Subject: Matter EP is going to leave cats full like they just ate a double album.

DX: Yo, this sounds like Homeboy Sandman fan’s wet dream. As prolific as you seem, you’ve always been real strategic about releasing music and how you release music. You’re talking about a forthcoming series of projects coming soon.

Homeboy Sandman: I’m talking a series. I’m talking a way to release [these songs]. I’m always creating joints. I’m talking about a constant stream of tunes. I’m not talking about waiting a year and a half for every album that comes out. I’m talking about releasing music in different ways – albums, EPs. I’m talking about having an output of music that is as constant as my creation of music. Really, I haven’t put anything out since The Good Sun came out because I was in negotiations with [Stones Throw]. It wasn’t like we were beefing with each other. It just takes a long time to do that stuff. Particularly when I was very busy. I was six weeks out of the country and then I was six weeks all around the country. It’s hard to just get face-time together and nail down certain specific things. Now that that’s all taken care of, I really have this back catalog that is really a new catalog and I’m still creating everyday. It really is a dream come true. I’m really happy to be down with Stones Throw, man. They think outside the box. I could really go to them and be like, “Yo, it’s going to take a little while for [Kool Herc], so why don’t we supplement and put out this Subject: Matter joint like this,” and have them be like “Aight, that’s what’s up!” Not to say that every crazy thing I come up with they’re gonna go for, but I know they go for crazy things as long as it makes sense.

DX: It sounds like you still have a lot of control over your music. In some ways, you’re the ultimate independent artist. You’ve never cowed to any outside pressure on anything else. That seems to still be the case with Stones Throw.

Homeboy Sandman: I’ve got a bar that says, “I’m independent / No matter if I’m signed / No matter without mind.” My music is 100% under my control and will be for the rest of my life. Stones Throw, they don’t have to put out everything I make. I can make some shit they think is weird and they don’t have to put it out, which is fine with me. I wouldn’t be able to create if there were restrictions on what I could do. I wouldn’t be able to create if there were people telling me, besides myself, what it is that I had to do. I always knew that I wouldn’t be capable of that. It wouldn’t even come out. So anytime something happens in my life that’s on my mind, I can’t even really create unless I deal with it. I would be having to deal with all types issues first because they would creep into my bars. Creative integrity: Stones Throw stands for that. I stand for that. I’m working with a team now so the whole thing isn’t me anymore. It’s a great team to align with. But the music will always come from me.

DX: There was a collective celebration when word spread about your signing. I read a number of articles on various blogs and websites and publications the first few days after the announcement was made and everyone seemed extremely excited. You’ve risen above the frustration that independent artists feel. People feel like there is a lack of recognition or that their efforts go unheard. You’re the exact opposite of that at this point. How’s that feel?

Homeboy Sandman: You know what does feel really good? Talking to people and have them say, “You know what, I’m going to be myself and be patient because it seems like for you, being yourself and being patient has paid off.” A lot of times when you speak to people, one of the big things that human beings do is try to get an idea of what they can do based on what other people have done. I feel like that system can only be limiting, but it is something that many people do. My career is a baby. My music is nowhere near where it’s gonna be. Everything is just beginning.

One thing that has excited me about the conversations I’ve been having about this alliance with Stones Throw is that there are still bastions for creative integrity and if you stand firm on your music and on what it is that you’re willing to do, and take your time with it — these people are looking for us. I’ve always said, “Let’s play it cool. These people are out there looking for us. They’re out there just like us. Let’s just play it cool.” Then cats would be like, “I played it cool for six months. It didn’t work. Let me make a corny record; a corny ad; a corny something else.” Something corny. These are good people. Now, I feel the difference when I talk to people because they’re saying, “Yeah, he’s right because we can see it with him.” Even though I haven’t put out a project or anything yet, just a Stones Throw stamp and I understand that it means a lot to people.

DX: With all of the success you’ve had independently, and all of the excitement generated with the announcement, is there any pressure now?

Homeboy Sandman: There was a hoop’s star — maybe it was [Michael] Jordan — but he said, “There’s no such thing as pressure.” What I read that as is that there’s always pressure. I never could afford to not come off correct. Ever. I’ve always known that. I’ve always had the state of mind that the pressure’s always on. I’ve been like, “This record’s gotta be big. This rhyme’s gotta be correct.” On one hand, I don’t feel any pressure because I’ve been feeling pressure. Everything’s been high stakes from the beginning. I was never half-assing it or feeling like it didn’t matter or it didn’t count. You’ve got dudes that can hit their free throws but when the game is on the line, they can’t hit their free throws. Maybe if you realize that every free throw gets you one point. This free throw in the first quarter gets you one point just like this free throw in the fourth quarter. So when you get to the fourth quarter it’s like, “Hey, I just did this same thing a few quarters ago. This isn’t that difficult.” People are talking to me about pressure and I can’t wait for these cats to hear what I’m working on. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been! My production is crazier than it’s ever been! I’ve got cats sending me beats from the far reaches of the universe! Crazy sounds! I’ve got diversity crazy. I’ve got raw new sounds and I’m rapping stronger than ever. So, my free throws now are not even hitting the rim or none of that because I’ve been under pressure.

DX: I’m not sure which quote exactly that you’re referring to, but I know Jayson Williams used to say he doesn’t feel pressure. Rather, he feels opportunity. You consistently maximize every opportunity. The big ones and the small ones. Of course when it comes to releasing full length projects and putting on a quality live show, but also showing up to other people’s events; showing support for independent artists of all types. I said this years ago and the reasoning behind it still resonates in the same ways: you’re the mayor.

Homeboy Sandman: Good looking out for that. I like that nickname. Actually, on a limited seven-inch vinyl that’s been in the works for a while that’s going to go to all the Puma stores. Shouts to Puma, they hooked up this limited seven-inch that’s going to have “The Carpenter” on one side, and on the other side it’s going to have this joint called “Same Number Same Hood.” It samples the [Notorious B.I.G.] line “Same number / Same hood.”

I love [the movie] 300. I love how the generals are the first ones on the front [lines] and Leonidus is out there chilling. I feel like I’m a general, but I feel like there are many generals. I feel like the generals are with the soldiers all the time. This is what we really love. We really love being amongst our people. People tell me they think it’s bazar that I’m very accessible. I tell them, “This is where I want to be.” I don’t understand why other people don’t want to be here. Where are they that they don’t want to be here? They’re not where the real stuff is going down because that’s where I’m at.

Homeboy Sandman Reacts To Troy Davis, Recent Police Brutality
DX: You and I Am Many came on Brooklyn Bodega Radio during the press day for the 2011 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. We talked a little bit about Smif-N-Wessun and what happened during their Tammany Hall album release party. Last week, the Troy Davis verdict came down and unfortunately a man was sentenced to death despite questionable evidence. What did you think about the Troy Davis verdict if you had a chance to think about it all?

Homeboy Sandman: I definitely did. To be honest with you, we talked and I told you that I think that most things are very choreographed. I actually thought and was very hopeful that the Troy Davis case was going to be stayed. The reason that I expected it to be stayed is because [everybody was talking about it]. I actually didn’t hear about the Troy Davis case until a week and a half before the date of his execution. Around that time, it seemed like that’s when everybody heard about it. It seemed like that’s when it hit the mass population. You know, I’m not on Twitter so maybe I was out the loop. But, after that what I saw was people saying this was bad on Twitter and Facebook. I saw people saying things, and I know there were people working behind the scenes, but I actually thought the execution was actually going to be stayed to create the illusion that just talking a lot would actually do something. That’s what I actually thought.

That day on [Bodega Radio] we talked about the shame I feel and how I feel I’m a part of weak team that does nothing. That [Smif-n-Wessun and Pete Rock police beating at] Tammany Hall was a complete shame. People who have records about how tough and hard they are are on video watching an old woman get mashed up by police. I feel ashamed about being a part of crew that’s known all around the world as being the softest crew in the world. I’m not sure what to do [about the Troy Davis verdict]. I don’t even feel right talking about it because I know that’s doing nothing. I’m taking part in a rally right now that’s called New York Latinas Against Domestic Violence. My homegirl’s aunt was murdered by her boyfriend 10 years ago and now they do a march every year about domestic violence. There’s a bunch of people here. We’re walking through Harlem and no one even gives a shit! The girls are wearing white. The boys are wearing black. People are looking at us but it’s not soaking in. I’m not sure what to do. I’m not sure what to do, man. The Troy Davis situation, after I found out he was executed, I almost feel helpless. I’m looking for an opening or something. What do I do? I know talking ain’t it.

I don’t separate my career from my life. This is just me. I rap. I do what I can all the time. The one thing I can say is Pete Rock’s [wife] wouldn’t have gotten stomped out in front of me. If she would have then I would’ve got stomped out. That’s all I can say. I’m looking for an opportunity. I don’t know where it is or when it’s coming or what it is. But what do I do about Troy Davis? People talk about Troy Davis because he’s going to be executed for a crime where seven of nine people switched their story. They don’t talk about Rap records that say money is everything and not having honors in school. They don’t talk about that so I try to talk about that. There’s racism that’s going on so fighting racism is fighting for Troy Davis. I’m trying to do that. I wish there was something I could’ve done that was more direct; more exact for Troy Davis. I’m trying to do what I can. I’m trying to turn off the radio when there’s music about killing niggas on. I’m trying to talk to people and be nice to them. I’m trying to smile at strangers. I’m trying to do whatever I can, man. The shit is fucked up. And it isn’t just “fucked up, let’s move on.” I mean, I feel stupid saying, “Let’s do something,” when I don’t know what it is to do.

Before I was rhyming, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. But doing what I wanted to do with my life started with knowing what I didn’t want to do with my life. That’s how it started and then I started to cut the fat and realize what I wanted to do. What do we do about Troy Davis? I’m not sure. But I know that we should stop doing the shit that we know we’re not supposed to be doing. Maybe then it will become obvious how to help Troy Davis. There’s all type of people on death row that are alive. Troy Davis — it sounds real bad — but he might be better off dead than fucking with a crew of cats that don’t do shit but watch him die.

DX: With everything we’ve just discussed about Troy Davis, under this paradigm – like in the 1950s or 1960s or with old Negro spirituals – can music still change the world?

Homeboy Sandman: Yes. Music is changing the world. Negative music is making the world worst. I do believe that good music makes the world better just as bad music obviously makes the world worse. Like I’ve said many times, I’m not the dude that thought nobody sold drugs before Rap made selling drugs cool. But I definitely have a homegirl who’s brother’s gonna wind up locked up for a long time because he sells drugs because it’s cool. People talk about the education system and media as if media is not the education system. People are doing what the media tells them to do, straight up and down. Some people separate the news from music videos. It’s the same people deciding what gets to us on a mass level, for the most part; or 99% of the time. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to break through there. I’m not saying that no truth comes through. A little truth comes through in everything because you have big Hollywood blockbuster movie’s like The Matrix that have truth in them. They have lies in them, too. But this whole media thing is about a bunch of people who are insecure in this world and just want to be cool. They don’t know how to be cool, so they’re looking to the media to find out. The media knows that. 500 years ago, the dude that was cool wasn’t the rich dude. It wasn’t the famous dude. It was the dude that stood up for his family. It was the dude that was righteous, that was honorable. It was the opposite of what the media teaches us now. The worst thing you could say about a Samarai is that you have a price. Money is more important than doing what’s right, that’s the worst thing you could say! And it’s become money is all that’s important through the media telling people that and the people not knowing any better. All we need to do is let people know. Good music always over shines bad music whenever it gets a chance to be compared. Good music will always change people and people change the world. Source: hiphopdx.xom

Interviews: Mac Miller, Statik Selektah, and Bun B on Toca Tuesdays

Mannie Fresh Sits Down With HipHopDX In a Recent Interview. Talks Cash Money, LiL Wayne, Working With Young Jeezy and More.

HipHopDX: I just wanna start off by noting that 10 years later the track for “Still Fly” still amazes me – that breakdown towards the end when you flip the Schoolly D, “Lookin’ at my Gucci,” line still sends shivers down my spine. [Laughs]

Mannie Fresh: Fa Sho. [Laughs] Thank you, dude. That’s alright. Shit, I’m glad it got that effect 10 years later.

DX: So is that the one, is “Still Fly” #1 in the Mannie Fresh production discography?

Mannie Fresh: Nah, man! I haven’t done #1 yet, believe it or not. I’m waiting for Hip Hop to come back. It’s in a crazy state right now. So, to me, I haven’t done #1 yet.

Mannie Fresh Updates On Mystikal’s Comeback Album

DX: You didn’t ?

Mannie Fresh: I mean, when it’s something I feel like is equivalent to like an orgasm or some shit then I’ma know it’s #1. [Laughs]

DX: [Laughs] Well, it may not have been an orgasm, but please tell me Mystikal recorded to that one organ-driven track you played for him in your car – that one with the Al Green vocal sample on it.

Mannie Fresh: Truthfully, bruh, this is it. Like, to record with [Mystikal] is like pulling teeth. He’s a super talented dude, but you can’t get him to stand still for nothing. So it’s kind of been a hard process with me and Mystikal. But I know it’s gonna happen. And I know he gotta feed his family so he kind of all over the place doing shows. But, you know … it’s gonna happen, that’s all I can tell you.

DX: Can you tell me if y’all actually finished any songs?

Mannie Fresh: Yeah, we got some songs that’s finished. We got like a couple of songs that’s finished. But, to me, they not single-driven songs, they just good songs. I’m looking for that excellent song where I’m like, “I know that’s the one.”

DX: So can you let the HipHopDX readers know if you think you guys are gonna get it in again or if it’s sort of on – ?

Mannie Fresh: Oh yeah, we get it in. When time permits, whenever we in the same place, we definitely get it in. Like the thing that just happened, the little cipher with all of us together [that was videotaped]. So, we get it in, it’s more of … I’m a studio dude. I stay there 24 hours a day. But, it’s kind of like when you got somebody who like, “I got three hours,” and I’m like, “Dude, we actually need to build this song.” And the thing of it is, by Mystikal coming home [after being incarcerated since 2003], he kind of got on to the new age of how records are made. And I’m like, “I don’t work like that. I’m really not nobody who gonna send you a beat. I want my beat to complement what you saying.”

DX: Damn, this is just a little disappointing to hear ‘cause I thought like it’s about to be a Mannie Fresh-produced Mystikal album ….

Mannie Fresh: Well, like I’m saying, we have a gang of songs … but we need to sit down and stop [wasting time]. It’s one of them things where [we’re] gonna have to say like, “Hey dude, I’ma take off two weeks, you gonna take off two weeks, and let’s grind it out.”

And the only reason why I’m saying this to you is because I really want him to hear it [from the fans], where it’s like, okay, now you got me on your back and you got the fans on your back.

DX: Yeah, it’s already been too long, you can’t wait any longer.

Mannie Fresh: That’s exactly what I mean.

Mannie Fresh Reveals The History Between Cash Money And No Limit 

DX: Let’s take it back a bit real quick. Break down for the HipHopDX readers your history with Mystikal. ‘Cause a lot of folks mistakenly think because he ended up on No Limit [Records] and you was on Cash Money [Records] that meant y’all didn’t mess with each other.

Mannie Fresh: Nah! The crazy thing is everybody that was artists from Cash Money [Records] to No Limit [Records] knew each other. We grew up in the same circle of doing music. … The two heads of those labels was the people that was beefin’. The artists were never beefin’. But it was just that ‘cause that was your side you had to go with your side. Shit, I been knowing Mystikal before he even made his first record.

DX: Yeah, I didn’t know  that he’s the one who actually took Mystikal to Precise, who signed him to Big Boy [Records].

Mannie Fresh: Yeah. But he had a deal before that – Well, he ain’t have a deal, he had a local record out before that with the dude [KLC]. And KL seen it. Me and KL deejayed in the same club when we was young. And, Mystikal used to hang around the spot. And he just had this style – what he’s doing now – that was like, “Wow. Damn, that’s it! That’s something nobody never heard of.” So the first song that he got put on, it was more of KL hooked him up. Because, KL was the dude who was like, “Man, y’all listen to this dude, pay attention to him.”

DX: I didn’t know you and KL was in a – like, you deejayed together, that’s crazy.

Mannie Fresh: Yeah, we deejayed before either of us was making records. We was deejaying in the same club.

DX: N.O. Hip Hop was crazy interconnected originally. A lot of people don’t know you started your career with another No Limit soldier, Mia X, in a crew called New York Incorporated.

Mannie Fresh: Yeah! Dude, Mac, that was on No Limit, I pretty much raised Mac. He’s in jail right now, but Mac was signed to No Limit. But if you go back and you watch … a video called “I Need Wheels.” Mac was probably nine, 10-years-old in that video, on his first record.

DX: So you produced on his first album, you was down with Mia, so just out of curiosity, how come you didn’t end up on No Limit yourself?

Mannie Fresh: Well, Cash Money was formed before No Limit. No Limit was kinda like … This is the real story of it. [Master] P was out in California. His company was not even started in New Orleans. It was started in [Richmond], California. And, it was one of them [situations where] he came down to visit [New Orleans in 1995] and Cash Money had this song called “[Nigga I’m] Bout It” out. And “Bout It” was like the hottest song on the streets. So basically he took – this is where all the beef started at – he took the slogan, “Bout it,” and ran with it. It was already a local song that Cash Money had out from a group, U.N.L.V. And it was like the hottest song out at the time. So, he was on some ol’ like, “I’m just visiting from California,” [but then] ran with the idea and didn’t say thank you or nothing. And the whole “Bout It Bout It” [by ] thing started his whole legacy. So that was the beef, because everybody was like, “Well damn dude, that wasn’t yours to take. That belonged to Cash Money.”

DX: Wow, I didn’t know that. You produced “Bout It” [for U.N.L.V.]?

Mannie Fresh: Yeah.

DX: Was it similar to the same track [as TRU’s KLC-produced song]? I haven’t heard the original.

Mannie Fresh: No, it wasn’t similar to the same track, but it was just that that slogan was such – it was like “whoadie” at the time. It was like when we started saying whoadie, the world started saying whoadie. And you know when you got something. They knew they had something [with saying] “bout it.” And everybody was like, “Damn, that’s the slogan.” Like, all throughout Louisiana. And all of a sudden, now you got somebody who just [like], “Oh, shit. I can take this and run with it and make it worldwide. And I ain’t even gonna tell y’all, ‘Thank you.’”

DX: Wow, wow, you droppin’ some history here. So you know this is the part of the interview where we segue into the Cash Money stuff. I don’t wanna make you rehash like 15 years of history, but I do wanna kinda get some final clarification on just what really happened with the Big Tymers, if y’all fell out really over royalties or there was more to it?

Mannie Fresh: Yeah, all of that: royalties, loyalties, all of that. That could go on for forever [breaking that down]. But it’s the same situation that you hear [about business relationships ending] everyday: over money, over what’s right morally and all of that.

DX: I mean, maybe it’s not my business, maybe it’s nobody’s business, but did you ever just go to him like, “Why?” “Why the fuck are you messing this up?” Like, “Why?”

Mannie Fresh: Yeah. I’ve had that situation even recently like, “Dude, was that all really worth that?” And on top of that, if you had an opportunity to fix it, why won’t you fix it? Like, is it that crucial? I would say this, if I did do something dude, and I’m a human being, even if it took me five years I owe you an apology. And it was never an apology for it. Okay, you can’t give me possibly what you owe me, ‘cause that’s way too much, but you can start with an apology. Just by like [saying], “You know what, dude? That was my bad.”

DX: I thought – from an outsider’s perspective – that the apologetic gesture was gonna be the Hot Boys reunion.  he kinda got a little aggy actually when I went into my Hot Boys reunion questions.

Mannie Fresh: Well, I always did say that’s not happening. It was just a ploy; it was just something to make them look good at the time. It was like, okay, we saying this, but I’m like, “How are y’all saying this, and y’all not getting in touch with nobody about it?” It’s like asking somebody something in an interview and you don’t know how to dodge that question ‘cause the next question might be the same thing you asking me. Like, “Well, dude, okay, if it ain’t gonna be that, then how you gonna straighten out things with these people?” So the easiest way to get out of that is like, “Yeah, we working on it, we doing it.”

DX: So am I just reading too much into it, or was that on-stage reunion [in June] with Wayne at Bonnaroo a little awkward, a little uncomfortable?

Mannie Fresh: Nah, not really, because I still talk to [. I talked to dude like three days ago. I called him because he made a step that was so important to Hip Hop – I don’t know if you seen , where he’s telling the kids don’t do what he do, and the reason why he drunk syrup was because he thought [that since] we all grew up like that, we all grew up on , and he thought it was the cool thing to do, so that’s why he did it. And he understands now that there’s a lot of people that’s following dude and doing what he does. And he was being sincere. Like, he said some cool shit, and I was just like, “Wow.” So I called him myself and was like, “Hey dude, I’m proud of you. I’m super-proud of you for what you said and what you did.” Because, you know, if I said that during our little reign when we was there it was taken as like, “Dude, you soft. You being soft right now.” And I’m like, “Dude, this shit is real right now. It’s kids that do everything that we do.” I’m not saying like my credibility is shot, or even losing credibility, by telling you like, dude, this is only entertainment. Don’t get it twisted.

DX: Yeah, you would think that’d be obvious in 2011, but … [Laughs]

Mannie Fresh: Well, shit, look at how weird kids are dressing. That’s all it take is one kid to do something crazy and everybody got on stockings and a little bitty-ass shirt.

Mannie Fresh Breaks Down Approach To Working With Young Jeezy

DX: [Laughs] Oh, man. Well, I’m not gonna ask you any more Wayne shit. I know folks wanna know if you’re ever gonna produce anything for Wayne again, but shit, I wanna know if you’re ever gonna do anything for [Young] Jeezy or T.I. again too?

Mannie Fresh: I just sent some stuff to []. And … I love [. I think he’s a good artist, but it’s time for Jeezy to show growth. So, that’s kinda like where me and Jeezy bump heads at. And it’s supposed to be that, he’s supposed to have his opinion and I’m supposed to have my opinion, and we still can be friends and we still can hang out. But, basically what I see is – It’s like, if I present some songs to Jeezy, it’s not the songs that he’s looking for. He like, “Dude, I want that shit that’s like right now.” And I’m like, “Dude, but if you hired me to do something,” and I’m telling you, I’m like, “Hey bruh, I wanna give you what it sound like right now but it’s time for you to get on another train. You gotta show some growth.”

DX: That’s what I thought was so great about “And Then What.” Like, it was you and him. It was like a perfect blend.

Mannie Fresh: In all honesty, let me just tell you the situation, when “And Then What” was made Jeezy already had a street appeal, but “And Then What” put him on the national appeal. But then it was guys in the room going like, “Some of that shit that Mannie do is kinda corny, bruh. You a gangsta.” So when you hear that this is my six friends telling me, “You don’t need to do another one with him, because that ain’t really what you represent.” And I’m like, “Dude, that’s the song that everybody know. How you let somebody talk you out of [doing something else with me]?”

DX: Wow. Yeah, that’s shocking to hear. I’d think you’d want that over and over again.

Mannie Fresh: Dude, and on top of that, what I truly, truly love about Mannie Fresh [is] everybody accepts Mannie, ‘cause Mannie gonna keep it 100% Mannie. He ain’t gonna try to be nothing that’s not him. So, that’s why I think around the board Mannie Fresh works. Like, Mannie Fresh works with Asians, White folks, Black folks, whatever.

DX: I’m from Cincinnati, so I was raised on The Isley Brothers. [But] I was amazed though still that Mannie Fresh was the one that did [UGK’s]  .

Mannie Fresh: Yeah! And I’m so open to doing new stuff and trying out stuff, but in this era we have artists that’s like, “Man, I’m not gonna do nothing [different]. I’m gonna try to keep it safe.” And I’m like, “Dude, shit, how many songs can we have with fuckin’ hi-hats and snares?” This is gonna sound crazy, but it needs to be said: It’s a million songs that sound like Mannie did ‘em coming from the South. And that’s not me just patting myself on my back. It’s to the point of where I’m sick of hearing that shit. [Laughs] And I get kids that tell me all the time, young producers that’s like, “Man, I grew up on your style. Shit, I like everything you did: your snare rolls, your 808s that do notes and all that.” And I’m like, “Dude, I like that shit too, but I don’t wanna hear a whole album of that.” When people hired me to do that, it was for a single purpose. Like, okay, I’m making the single. But, if you had to have me make an album – and believe me, it’s work that I’ve turned down because now nobody don’t play they role. The artist wanna be the producer, the producer wanna be the artist, and it’s just like, dude, we can’t really get this done if you don’t let me do what I do, and vice versa.

DX: So, if you’re having these difficulties with I guess you can call ‘em the mainstream cats, what are you doing right now just to keep working?

Mannie Fresh: I deejay []. I deejay my ass off, dude. Like, I’m all over the place these days. That’s what I started from, and that’s where I’m at right now. And, the cool thing about the deejay game is it tells you everything that’s going on in music, what people liking. Before the Bonnaroo thing was sold as it was a reunion for me and Wayne, really I was hired to deejay at Bonnaroo. It just so happens he was there as well as me.

DX: Yeah, people don’t know Mannie Fresh been on them one’s and two’s since Jheri curls and John Stockton shorts. [Laughs]

Mannie Fresh: And I can tell you what’s super, super crazy to me right now: I’ve deejayed in New York maybe four or five times … and New York is the south now. [Laughs] It’s like, they don’t wanna hear nothing but southern songs. It is crazy, because I’m thinking like, I’m going to New York, I got all my gems, my Hip Hop classics, and you play some  and everybody looking at yo’ ass like, “What the fuck? Dude, play .” And that’s [like], Wow, what happened? … But you know what it is? It’s more so this generation ain’t concerned with nothing, they the now generation. They don’t wanna do no homework for nothing, they don’t wanna know nothing about the past, none of that shit.

DX: So, I mean, are you trying to groom like new cats? Are you even bothering with the youngn’s?

Mannie Fresh: There’s a young cat who I [been] doing some songs for – and he’s on the cipher [video] with Mystikal – the dude named The Show. He’s from New Orleans. He’s a very lyrical dude. He’s that dude of New Orleans. But, we sitting on the car, right? And  come on, and he was just like, “Man, what the fuck is that?” He was like, “That’s the noisiest, dumbest shit I’ve ever heard.” And I mean when I tell you he offended like four old school dudes [to the point where] they wanted to fight him – They was like, “What the fuck you mean, ‘What is that?’” [Laughs]

DX: [Laughs] Wow. You remember what song it was? Like, “Welcome To The Terrordome” or something?

Mannie Fresh: Yeah, it was like “Welcome To The Terrordome” or something and he was just like, “Man, what is all that noise and shit?” And I was like, “Dude, you never heard Public Enemy?” And he was just like, “Man, all the shit they made was just loud and crazy.” And I was just like, “Wow.”

DX: So final question: What’s the next step for Mannie Fresh; what’s on deck for your 25th year in the game?

Mannie Fresh: Well, my next step is – truthfully, I’m looking for that new generation in music. And I got a couple of little cats. And we gonna work from the bottom to the top. We gonna work hard at it. I think that’s the only way it’s gonna last. Not saying I wouldn’t take a deal, but I don’t need a deal. I’d rather work for it. And that’s my next step. I would love for it to be Mystikal, and , to start out with, but I’ve learned my lessons like … I’m passionate about this, and I don’t wanna wait for nobody. That’s where I’m at right now. I do not wanna wait for nobody, because time is passing me by. I’m older now, so I can’t sit around and say, Well, when you really ready, Mystikal, I’ma be ready. I’m like, “Dude, from all the response that people have given us from blogs and all that, that shit should make you ready.”

And what I’m saying is … there’s a lot of people that miss southern Hip Hop – the quality southern Hip Hop. They like, “What the fuck, dude, what are y’all doing? When are y’all putting these records out?” And believe me, I get bombarded with that question all the time. I could be in Burger King and it’ll be somebody that’s like, “Dude, what the fuck is wrong with you and Mystikal? What y’all doing?” And I’m like, “Dude, I’m ready to work.”

source: hiphopdx.com

In a Recent Interview With Urbanology Tyrese Talks About Acting and Music…

Juggling the filming of two major motion pictures Fast Five and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, while writing a book and recording a full-length album, is no easy feat. But for Tyrese Gibson it’s all part of a day’s work. As he shares, sometimes in acting, it’s a lot of playing the “hurry up and wait” game so when there were days that he’d be expected on set at 6 a.m. but wouldn’t start shooting for five or six hours later, he’d be holed up in his trailer, getting his author on.

“Ain’t no thing as downtime,” says the singer/actor who broke onto the R&B scene years ago with sultry singles like “Sweet Lady” and “Lately”. Since then he has gone on to release four LPs and act in a wide-range of movies including Waist Deep, Baby Boy and various editions of the Fast and the Furious and Transformers library. As Universal Studios gears up for tomorrow’s release of Fast Five on Blu Ray and DVD we catch up with Tyrese to hear his thoughts on the film, which stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson and of course, the crooner himself.

UM: How are you feeling about the Blu Ray release for Fast Five?
TYRESE: The fact that people went out and Fast Five was the biggest one of all of the franchise in box office around the world, wow, so many people are going to be at home watching this movie that they love on Blu Ray and DVD, it’s going to turn into a whole other labour of love. Transformers, same thing, you’re going to be able to watch this movie at home, it’s only going to elevate the success to a whole other level.

UM: What are some of the characteristics that you and your character shared?
TYRESE: You know I happen to be a wise ass, I’ve been known to crack a joke or two, most of the people around me laugh all day, every day, it’s always good energy, especially when I’m in a good mood, it’s on and popping. Having that type of energy on camera is what it is.

UM: The Blu Ray discs have bonus features including Tyrese TV. Tell us a little bit about that. TYRESE: Well they did that for all of the cast members, not all, but they got Paul Walker TV, Vin Diesel TV, it’s just a behind the scenes look at everybody’s process, their energy and whatever else went into making the movie. And Tyrese TV is off the chain, laughing, funny, hyper, all over the place, having a lot of fun with that shit.

UM: What’s one of your favourite scenes that you did from Fast Five?
TYRESE: One of my favourites is when I told Dom that I’m cool, I’m leaving, I’m not down with this mission and he said what we’re talking about is $100 million. And I said what? It was actually hard for everybody to keep a straight face on set.

UM: With a scene like that, has there ever been something like that in your real life, whether a record deal or a role for a movie, where you’re like nah, I’m not really feeling this?
TYRESE: Well I mean, you have those moments that pop up, but I don’t know about $100 million being connected to it, $100 million is a little significant, you say what?

UM: Between Fast Five and Death Race, how is it working with people’s dream cars?
TYRESE: It’s real incredible man. I’m walking inside of my dreams, it’s one thing to dream, having ideas of what you want to do and what you want to be it’s another to recognize when you’re walking inside of your dreams. To think it all started from a 30 second Coca Cola commercial and for me to still be in some type of show biz is unreal. It’s just unreal, I’ve seen a lot of people’s careers come and go, and mine is still trucking along. It’s pretty damn incredible. I’m pretty blessed and fortunate.

UM: What can we look forward to from Tyrese?
TYRESE: I just finished my new album, Open Invitation. And I can’t tell you how proud I am of my album, this is my best R&B album to date, I have so much confidence in this album, and I just look forward to sharing it with everyone on November 1. Follow me on Twitter @Tyrese and I keep everyone up to speed on everything I got coming up. I got two singles available on iTunes, one is called “Stay” and one is “To Be Easy” featuring Ludacris. We just shot videos for both. I have the utmost respect for this process, for doing music, this time I made it independent, I did it on my own. I’m very, very, very proud of everything with that.

UM: Prepping for this album coming out, where did you draw inspiration from to make sure it’s trendy and still satisfies your fans?
TYRESE: If you hear the music, you’ll see. I’ve been away from music for a quick, little minute. But I’ve been listening, I’ve been keeping my ear open to what’s hot, what’s working in today’s music, I feel like we’re definitely onto something special.
Interview by. Adrian McKenzie

Interview:Johnny J Interview (Tupac’s Producer)

interview that was conducted with johnny J just months before his death, Johnny died in Jail supposedly from suicide but nobody really knows if he really did commit suicide or not…Johnny talks about working with 2pac and gave his thoughts about how Amaru Entertainment butchered 2pacs music and how 2pacs music should be, also talks about unreleased material as well as tracks he personally produced for 2pac that have not yet been released in his personal vault.

Interview: Dave Chappelle First Interview In 5 Years

Interview: Prodigy Talks About His First Day In Prison

Mobb Deep’s Prodigy talks about his first time in prison

Interview: Kool G. Rap Talks About Nas

G. Rap breaks down his relationship with Nas

INTERVIEW: In a Interview With HipHop DX Mr. Porter Drops Some Knowledge On Artist Who Over Saturate The Game.

The Bad Meets Evil executive producer explains how he nearly brought about his own demises, and cautions fans to be thankful for what they wish for, as well as artists to stop over-saturating.

When the rumors about Bad Meets Evil actually came to fruition earlier this year, it was an epic moment in Hip Hop. Back into the spotlight came the formidable duo of Eminem and Royce Da 5’9 that had buried their beef and rekindled their mutual passion for music-making. But the glue that sealed this highly anticipated project was Denaun Porter, who had been kick-started back into action in 2009 after overcoming demons, which could have resulted in a premature demise, had Eminem not called on his D12 brother to join him on the road.

Working with Em and getting his life back on track brought about a change in management, a new outlook and a new style of production, all of which have been working to his advantage. The producer known as Mr. Porter may have stepped out for a sabbatical which only he will ever comprehend, but the result of that break from the industry will be benefited by all as we have already seen with the work he has put in since his return.

Speaking to HipHopDX’s Producer’s Corner about just how he is still earning his respect with the world’s number one rapper, his role as executive producer on Hell: The Sequel and just who he admires amongst his production brethren, it is his lack of ego and ability to admit to this faults which make him the producer he is today.

HipHopDX: What does the Bad Meets Evil Hell: The Sequel project mean for Detroit?

Mr. Porter: Hopefully it created a spark to have kids and artists take a different approach, as we want to get the best artists out of our home state and encourage them to get out there and do what we do best.

DX: Is that you saying people are ready to pass the torch, so to speak?

Mr. Porter: Not so much that, it’s just us trying to restart the engine, that’s all. I think with [Eminem's Recovery] album and the success we have had, that was enough to get some people motivated, but they’re used to Em being in that light. Him doing [Hell: The Sequel] put him in a light that people haven’t seen him in for a while. I’m hoping that just doing the album, reigniting the group and doing something that should have been done a while ago, sparked something, as we want to hear what the next generation sounds like. We are still coming up with great ideas.

DX: When you look at the foundation laid in Detroit, how do you feel about the next generation?

Mr. Porter: It is a bit frustrating because we catch it on our end, people always ask us, “Why didn’t you put anyone else on from Detroit?” We have, and it’s not like we were trying to ride the train alone; you want the success to have longevity. Detroit is a really weird place and we are inspired by a lot of different things. We have a lot of ways of getting things done. You’ve got guys like Guilty Simpson, who travels so much outside the U.S., Black Milk is another one. To me, I would love to have that on a bigger platform, as its not just Em, Royce [Da 5'9], D12, Obie [Trice], there’s also those guys. I had a big part in helping Guilty [work] with J Dilla [on Ode To The Ghetto]. Black Milk, I watched him grow and am really proud of him, but I want to see the next generation of that. Being a producer, I am always looking.

DX: You executive produced Hell: The Sequel, was that an inevitable move for you?

Mr. Porter: No, I really had to earn that. It was after this project I realized the expectations you have for yourself [of] the things you want people to see you’re capable of doing. I had so many challenges. I don’t run around saying, “I can do this – I can do that.” I want my work to speak for itself. Each project I do I am so grateful for. I helped build the album, I produced 60% of it, and I drove through it with them. I was confident to step up and do it. But it’s hard when you get into executive production, when you have produced five or six joints on an album, credibility – that comes with it.

DX: Also a lot of pressure I imagine?

Mr. Porter: See, that’s the thing: it’s easy for me to put together an album now. When you see the teachers I’ve had, you look at the people I’ve been around. I was inspired by J Dilla closely; I was able to kick it with him from time to time. I got to introduce J Dilla to Dr. Dre. I got him and Dre in the studio at the same time. I was a protégé of Dre, Eminem, and Proof. With all these people and being behind the scenes and learning so much, I should be able to executive produce an album. My capabilities are incredible, it’s just now I have to do it outside of my own camp for people to say, “Oh that was a great step,” and I hope I can continue to do more of that so people can see. But I had to earn that shit; it wasn’t given to me at all.

DX: How did the process come about?

Mr. Porter: We were on a plane, me, Em, Royce, Alchemist and Paul [Rosenberg]. We had been doing a show I think and Paul had said something about doing an album. People don’t really know but Royce and me had already been working around the time [he and] Eminem started talking, [and] Royce and me started talking.

It was a start for me, as my struggle with my own group [D12] was I could bring a beat to the tablem but when you have Em in a group as well it was always about that. They are always going to go with what they know works. The chemistry was unbelievable.

As that combination between me and them working together, as a producer and artist is really electrifying. I had [Eminem] change a little in the way he approached songs and look what happened. So when Paul mentioned working that album, we’d already been working. So when I got home I went right into the studio and I was excited to be a part of something like that.

DX: Did you feel it kick-start you again?

Mr. Porter: [It] totally kick-started me. I’ve been working with Snoop [Dogg], Ludacris and just stepping outside [of the Shady Records camp]. I want to work with Lil Wayne and the likes of Drake, who are outside of my camp and who I have never produced for.

DX: The music you gave the guys to record to for the Bad Meets Evil project, were these joints on the album or was this just what got the creative juices flowing?

Mr. Porter: The first bulk of the project, the songs I produced, that was the project. ["Loud Noises" ] was the last song I brought to the table. I felt that that issue with the songs leaking to the Internet, it was the first time I had given a concept to Em and him, “Let me attack this,” that was a great accomplishment for me. For one of the best rappers of our time taking an idea and actually turning it into something – that was actually the last song. But then we felt like we needed some diversity so we did the “Fast Lane” joint, the second joint on the album and then the “The Reunion” joint. I started the project and it took form with the music I was giving them.

DX: It has to be a nightmare when your music leaks, like the “Living Proof” joint. How does that feel for you guys, even though the response was for the most part positive?

Mr. Porter: As an artist you are thinking “I want to put out the real version,” as the sound would have been better. There were a couple of things added and we really worked hard on finishing [it], but that was how it ended up on the album as a bonus track. But everything else leaked anyway. You have to understand that this is our passion and when you take something from someone like that, even though there is a high demand, it doesn’t make it right from our standpoint, it’s just no-one ever speaks about it. You never hear Wayne or Beyonce talk, and they probably feel the same way. Your first impression is everything, and if you hear a Jay-Z or a Kanye [West] song and the first impression I get is that it isn’t mixed or the beat might not be put together how they want it – as my beats are basically a skeleton which are built after they put their verses on there, and then once they are mixed I still do more. So when I hear that track I am like “Wow.”

There were so many ideas for the “Living Proof” track before it leaked. I mean, I originally wanted Travis Barker to play the drums on it, replay the sample, as he is part of my family. But after it came out and had I changed that people may have shot it down more and it hurts us because it is our passion but then we also do this for a living, so not only do we lose a song, but we lose the opportunity to license that song for a movie, to let radio play it. People just don’t have any mystique anymore and if they were to grab mystique again and just wait you might be happier with the end result.

DX: Do you think it comes down to greed?

Mr. Porter: Well, people just want what they want when they want it and nobody has any patience anymore. Artists have to be really careful though too. If you have a bunch of people hanging around the studio, that’s how things happen. We’re careful with how we handle our music; we take every precaution we possibly can. But then you have to send it to the factory to be pressed up and that is when it is out of our hands, those people don’t give a damn about us. We know that when we turn it into the labels: no one is really going to care. They don’t have the responsibility like we would.

Then on the fan-side, it hurts when you pressure a person to be great. When you are telling people what you expect from them as an artist and as a producer even when you are not done, “I am going to pressure you to put out that project and when it comes out I’m going to comment, I’m going to shit on it and say this and say that even though someone stole it from your archives and put it out prematurely,” – it hurts. It hurts us and it hurts the fans that really want to wait and patience is a virtue. When you ask for so much from us, then you don’t have any patience, the people who do that, they don’t understand how this works.

Then you have artists who saturate the market. You put out a mixtape every two weeks, who’s going to buy your album? It’s still a business and now you are hurting the label, the fans – they are getting too much stuff. I don’t want to hear 30 songs a month. I want to hear one incredible song and then hear the rest of the work. No I.D. just put out a project, Cocaine 80s and I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. I didn’t know he was putting it out, for one, then I stumbled across it and it is the only thing I am playing right now besides [Hell: The Sequel] and a Drake joint I heard which I liked. Through this, I stumbled across a new artist too, James Fauntleroy which inspired me again and I went right back into the studio to make some different music. Nothing I am doing right now sounds like BME so if people were to get the mystique back, maybe people wouldn’t feel compelled to take, take, take. Also if people were to stop throwing music out all the time and realize it is quality over quantity, why throw out 30 songs if only two of them are good? Then you get upset when your album only sells 40,000 [units]. This is what happens when you put out five mixtapes before. Nobody is telling these kids – all they want to do is put out these songs and perform on the road, as that is where they make their money. But by doing that they are creating another monster where the label is saying, “Well if you are going to leak records and put out all these mixtapes and we aren’t going to be a part of it, we want part of your show money.” They have to be smart with it as they keep changing the dynamics of the way in which the industry is working. That is why you are hearing so many disgruntled artists; no one is really teaching them how to have game and strategy,

DX: There doesn’t appear to be the level of management today that there once was. Do you think that is the problem?

Mr. Porter: I think it starts with a competent decision to choose that management. When you have a 20 year old kid… when I was 20 years old I didn’t give a shit who my manager was, but I knew when it came to paperwork [that] I wasn’t a lawyer. I didn’t even read books, so I went a got a guy who was smarter than me. That was number one, the competent decision starts with that person. Most of these guys choose their homie. Make your homie your assistant or the guy who deals with your calls – I am not going to bestow a great responsibility on him. My management is [DTP Records head] Chaka Zulu, and my relationship with [him] is I don’t have to call [him] every day, when its time for them to handle business I let [him] do [his] job and don’t step on their toes because I trust [him].

It’s a new system too; they have to pick who they have around them. Everybody wants to be a rapper or a producer, so there is no one aspiring to be like Chaka Zulu, a true manager. There are managers who want to be stars. I find it incredibly crazy that a manager can pick beats for artists. I‘ve never heard that before in my life. I’ve head of managers saying that, “Swizz [Beatz] is coming by the studio to play some music,” that’s what I want to hear. I don’t want to hear managers say, “I got this Swizz Beats CD and I’m going to sift through it and see what there is;” that’s bullshit. You’re losing the connection at that point. So when a manager wants to be a star, controlling everything and not asking the artist what he thinks that’s when people have to be making better decisions.

DX: How long have you been with Chaka?

Mr. Porter: I was with Zach Katz at the time Proof past. At that time I was so confused as I was so not trying to do any music. All the music that was coming out during that time I had done before. I had enough music to take me through those years but I wasn’t making anything new. At that time, from 2006 to part-way through 2009, I was in a shambles. I was in a depressive state without realizing I was in a depressive state. I was not acknowledging what had gone on at all.

DX: But surely looking back now, you get it?

Mr. Porter: Yeah, you dom but you blame yourself when you say, “The last time I saw my brother we had a fight,” and then you hear a year later a song where he is saying he is proud of you, that crushes you even more. Then I gained a new friend, a guitar player called Andre Smith, we had a lot of connections through family, and he died in 2007. I went from one home to the next, I drank, smoke and slept as much as I could. I didn’t take care of myself, I was in a relationship that I shouldn’t have been in; we should have just remained friends. I made horrible decisions with money. I put myself in the greatest hole possible. In saying that, I also left my management because you know I was going to sell myself short, I was going to do me and was not letting Zach do his job. I was angry and confused and we separated ways, but we still talk today. Then in 2009 when Em asked me to do the hype-man job, I just did it because if I didn’t do something I would die anyway.

I started doing that and I started producing again and made the beat for “On Fire” , the first beat I had made. And I said to myself then, I didn’t want the stress and the strain of the business so I needed to have someone that has a great heart but that has the strength and respect and know what they are doing. I asked Chaka to do it; it’s not like Chaka was hurting for clients. He saw something in me and that relationship has worked to my advantage since I got with him. We’ve done so many great things so far. The first thing I tackled was my health and started working on that and just making better moves. When it came to producing, my producing style changed completely, Em told me that. I can produce Pop now and write Pop songs, [and] R&B, I had to really step outside and be the person God wants me to be.

DX: Just hearing Eminem on your beats, the cohesion and relationship you have is so obvious. It’s just like hearing him on a Dre beat. It has to be a win-win situation.

Mr. Porter: I’m always trying to impress him, always, but now he respects me as a producer. I had to grow into that again. When we were kids and I was making beats for him and D12 before he had a deal, we had a synergy that we still have now, we gelled the same way. When he got with Dre he took 30 steps forward and I had to catch up with those 30 steps. He didn’t introduce me to Dre. He didn’t say, “This is my [old] producer. Is there anyway you can teach him?” I had to earn that as well. Dre heard some of the beats I produced, they caught his ear and he said, “Come to L.A.,’” and I became a protégé of Dre. I learned how to [expand] sonically. I don’t care who you are, what you do, how many hits you’ve had, I’m going to stand there and blow everybody’s minds. I had never put myself out there like that. I’d made the platform with me and Em working together again. We have some joints that people haven’t heard, but getting into that mode, now it’s chemical warfare, nuclear missiles. [Laughs]

DX: It ignites passion all around though, for you as artists and producers and then for us as fans you know, which is a great thing.

Mr. Porter: I am glad that people are feeling that as you could never have told me all those years ago when they were putting out “Scary Movies” , no one could have told me I was going to executive produce [their future] album.

DX: When it charted at #1 how did you feel? It must have been a pretty serious high.

Mr. Porter: I honestly have to say if I was a really obnoxious, egotistical loud mouth I could talk a lot of shit. I came into my career with hits. I came in with singles and so then the desire came that I wanted to be like Dilla. I wanted people to be checking for my songs, and then all the shit happened and I fell back. But coming back and producing five songs and co-executive producing an album with Em which was #1; I think I might be pretty good at this producing shit. [Laughs]

DX: But again, how long have you been doing this for you to now feel comfortable in saying that?

Mr. Porter: Yeah, but you know what? I think that is another thing that’s missing. I could have come out and said this shit back then, but I knew I had shit to learn, I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t ready for a label deal, I would have fucked it up, I wasn’t ready to have artists. Now I am. Clara J is on two tracks from [Hell 2: The Sequel]. I got producers, a guy from Baltimore, J Oliver, he is about to be madness and I signed the next producer from Detroit, then Marv Won, the battler, I turned him into an artist. I’m saying I’m ready now. Because if I signed those artists when I was 26-27, I would have fucked up their lives. Most kids don’t care; they just think they’re ready. Sometimes you have to put the ego to the side, some people have to have attention and they are not really looking at the person who they are. I learned from Eminem to say, “My name is Denaun Porter or you can call me Mr. Porter,” but I am a human being first and I have an astronomical talent that I was given and I appreciate that just as I hope people appreciate that from me, as I will be here in five years time and in 10 years from now. I don’t know if I am going to be producing, but I will be still here as I aspire to be an executive of a label now.

Everything is in due time and you have to be able to accept that. I knew I had things to learn, but now I’m going to bust your ass. I am never going to let Eminem down, or Dr. Dre or Proof, Dilla of Paul Rosenberg. I will never let them down because I took that 7-10 years learning. I learned about myself and what people expect from me. But now they are going to get shit that they didn’t expect because I have got some artists that aren’t even rappers.

DX: You’ve nurtured your talent now I guess and are happy to go in a different direction?

Mr. Porter: It’s really scary because I am getting a lot of new fans that don’t know who I am, they think I am now. But I saw Dr. Dre recreate himself from N.W.A. to The Chronic and then again. I feel I am recreating myself the way I have learned form my teachers and I am blessed to be able to say that. I’m still out here doing my thing with the young guys and it’s great to be able to do that. No I.D., he just recreated himself again, and right now he is the God to me. People like him and myself, we don’t talk a lot we just do it.
see more at Hiphopdx.com

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