Tag Archives: Dr. Dre

Eminem talks new music, Dre, 50 Cent, more

Eminem, in a rare new interview, had a lot to say to the New York Times and most interestingly to me talked about his mindset when it comes to a solo album. I hope he explores new sounds if he goes that route. Here’s a wide amount of tidbits below and the full read here.

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Has being a father to teenagers changed how you think about your music?
“Not really. I think as you get older, you start — I don’t know how to answer that. I don’t really change. I guess I get more mature, but I don’t feel like I’ve changed much. I’m still a dad. You just go with the flow. But work is still work, and when I’m working, I’m focused on that.”

Do you show your kids your music?
“I’ve been trying to not focus as much on them, because I’ve done that and I don’t want to hinder their lives. I feel like the more that I talk about that, the harder their lives are.”

What’s your relationship like with 50 Cent these days? He’s on the soundtrack and in the movie.
“Same as it’s always been, pretty much. I love Fif’, man.”

Does Dre come to you about business, like with Beats?
“We always still do that. But I never thought the headphone thing — it came out of nowhere. I remember we were in Hawaii, and we were recording songs for “Detox” and for “Recovery.” Jimmy [Iovine] wanted us to do a photo shoot with the headphones on. Of course I’m gonna do it — it’s Jimmy and it’s Dre. But I’m thinking: “All right, can we get to the music? I just want to get back and record.” I remember thinking like: “How big is this thing going to be? It’s headphones.” But man, I should’ve known just based on Dre’s name alone. And Jimmy’s like the Great Gazoo, from “The Flintstones.” Somehow he has the foresight to always know what’s up. Sometimes I just don’t know what’s up. It blew my mind.”

Are you plugged in with current rap music?
“I try to stay up on everything that’s out. I love [Lil] Wayne, Drake, Big Sean, Schoolboy Q. I love Kendrick [Lamar]. I just try to pay attention to what’s out. Wayne puts out a new song, and my ears perk up. There are certain artists that make me do that just because of the caliber that they rhyme at — it’s like candy to me. Kendrick, the way he puts albums together — front to back, they’re like pieces of art. But hip-hop needs Drake, too. Hip-hop needs Big Sean. I feel like hip-hop is in a good place right now. There’s this balance of things going on, and it feels like some of the best rappers are the most successful. Sometimes that’s not the case.”

Do you feel competitive with the Kanyes and Drakes and Kendricks of the world? You seem a little removed from that.
“Kanye, as well — I forgot to mention Kanye. I’ll always be lyrically competitive.”

Where do you hear new stuff?
“Other people tell me about it and pull it up for me. I wait for other people to show it to me. I don’t particularly go on the Internet, because the experiences that I’ve had are not good. It’s not productive for me.”

You don’t want to Google your own name?
“Once I’m on the computer, it’s over, because I’m tempted to look at everything. I went on the computer recently and got on one site, read five comments and was like, “Man.” I have friends that do it — rapper friends. I’m like, “I don’t know how you do that.” Because you end up wanting to fight someone, kill them, or kill yourself — usually all three at once.”

Do you think Twitter and Instagram have affected rap?
“I know there are a lot of Twitter beefs. People used to just make songs. But it is what it is. The world’s forever changing, and you’ve just gotta adapt and evolve.”

What is your day-to-day life like in between albums?
“A lot of work. I’m usually in the studio five to six days a week, trying to think of my next move. Every now and then, I’ll reassess where I’m at in my career. I’m usually trying to think of what I’m going to do next.”

Are you working on a solo album?
“Not as of yet. But I’m just trying to figure out what to do next musically. There’ll be a certain page that I get on, and I’m like, “O.K., I’ve done it this way.” Sometimes I think that if I get comfortable or set in my ways of doing something, maybe I should step back for a minute and figure out how to mix it up a little bit.”

Do you feel like you’re still topping yourself?
“I feel like I’m still trying to. And sometimes I don’t know if that’s always a good thing. I don’t want to make it so that by the time I’m done with a song, you didn’t even understand what just happened. That’s what I try not to do. I’m my own worst nightmare in that sense.”

Because you’re so technically proficient that you can take it to a place where faster and more complicated isn’t always better?
“Yeah, that’s what I mean. Sometimes that’s cool, if the song calls for it. But if I end up starting to record for another album, I want to make sure I approach it the right way.”

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Dr. Dre & DJ Premier in the studio

Oh yeah, it’s happening. Hope to hear some of Dre’s signature thumpin’ melodies with some of Premier’s signature scratches in between sometime soon. Or really, anything that’ll come out of this.

Most likely rapper to jump on this? Gotta be Eminem, right?

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Eminem, Kendrick, & Dre on Straight Outta Compton Soundtrack

The Straight Outta Compton Soundtrack is set to be a heater, but you should have already assumed that. But now we know a little bit more for sure as the biopic’s director, F. Gary Gray told MTV News:

“Dr. Dre, it took him 15 years to step out and say, ’I want to do music again’ in the way that he’s doing it. The soundtrack is insane. Seriously, it’s incredible.”

He goes on to say that Kendrick Lamar and Eminem are among the many great guest stars. I hope we’ll be blessed with a majority of all-new original songs and perhaps, fingers crossed, even an Em x Kendrick collab!?

Eminem “Phenomenal”

On the heels of his collab with Gwen Stefani earlier tonight, and the launch of Apple Music a couple days ago, Eminem drops his new visual for “Phenomenal” — a cinematic, 7 minute action thriller exclusive to the new streaming service.

No embed here, but update that iOS to watch it and it’s well worth it. If you don’t take the superhero moves too seriously, you’ll appreciate the fun action scenes that are crisply shot and enhanced by some special effects that are cool, but you should also not take too seriously.

Eminem is a badass though through an unknown Asian cityscape (also a badass setting). There’s a comedic break in the middle as Eminem miraculously lands in the car of actor Randall Park, whom he perhaps got to know in his cameo in The Interview. To top things off, we get a Dr. Dre cameo as the fantasy action thriller comes to a fitting close. I enjoyed it, and like I have written all month, “Phenomenal” has really grown on me as my go-to motivational jam right now. Watch and gain a new appreciation for it too.

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Eminem annotates classic lyrics

Here’s the most fascinating story this week in hip hop.

Eminem went on Genius and annotated 42 lyrics from his extensive, classic catalogue.

Oooh, this was awesome. Among the tidbits revealed were how Eminem did “My Name Is” in one take, the origin of his Slim Shady persona, inspirations and creative processes for the likes of “Lose Yourself”, “Stan”, and “Sing for the Moment” and even the shoulder-shrug way he, 50, and Dre decided “In Da Club” would be the first single off Get Rich or Die Tryin’.

Here’s the link for all of the annotations and some of the excerpts below.

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Eminem recalled his first studio session with Dr. Dre and the creation of “My Name Is,” a song that was recorded in one take and launched him into superstardom:

Dre put on the Labi Siffre record, and I was just like “Hi! My name is!” That beat was talking to me. I was like, “Yo, this is it, this is my shot. If I don’t impress this guy, I’m going back home and I’m fucked.” I knew Dre wasn’t an easy person to please. I made sure that everything he had a beat for, I had a rhyme ready to go, or I came up with a rhyme on the spot

“My Name Is” was the first thing that came out of my mouth that first day I was at Dre’s house. I don’t know if we released what I did the first day or if I re-did it, but it was basically the same. I didn’t understand punching, or believe in it. So I would just go from the top of the song all the way down. I was never flying in hooks. Everything was live, one take. If I got all the way to the fucking end, and messed up the last word, I’d be like “Run it back, let’s do it again.” I remember Dre was like “Yo, are you fucking crazy? Let’s just punch.” I didn’t like that concept because I wasn’t used to it. When we were recording here in Detroit, in the beginning, I was saving up my money to go in. We only had an hour, you know? I’m like “One take down, alright, let’s go to the next song. Fuck it.” That’s what I was used to.

Marshall explained where the name “Slim Shady” came from in an annotation on the song “Just Don’t Give A Fuck”:

Coming out with an alias was part of Proof’s whole idea. He said, “Let’s be in a group called D12, and there will be six of us, and we’ll each have an alias. We’ll each be two different people.” When I started rapping as Shady, as that character, it was a way for me to vent all my frustrations and just blame it on him. If anybody got mad about it, it was him that said it, you know what I’m saying? It was a way for me to be myself and say what I felt. I never wanted to go back to just rapping regular again.

On how the lyrics of Dido’s “Thank You” helped inspire “Stan”:

When I heard “your picture on my wall,” I was like “Yo, this could be about somebody who takes me too seriously.” So I knew what I was going to write about before I wrote it. A lot of times when I’m writing songs, I see visions for everything I’m writing. This was one of those.

On the decision to make “In Da Club” the first single off 50 Cent‘s Interscope debut:

We couldn’t decide on the first single from Get Rich. It was going to be either “If I Can’t” or “In Da Club.” We were torn, so me, 50, Paul, Chris Lighty, and Jimmy Iovine decided to flip a coin.

Eminem also annotated a vintage Biggie/2Pac Freestyle from 1999, commenting on past and present MCs:

There’s people who rap to make songs, just because they enjoy doing it and want to express themselves. And then there are people who rap competitively. I believe that anybody who competitively raps — like Drake and Kendrick and Jay Z — raps to be the best rapper. People diss each other, but it’s more in the vein of “How can I kill you with record sales? Or with a flow? How can I be better than you at making records, at punchlines, metaphors, wordplay, syllables?”

But when you have two rappers like Biggie and 2Pac getting into it, you get the hip hop community torn. No one wants to see something real happen. If for a second you entertain the idea of that being entertaining, if something ever happened out of that? No. That’s not healthy.