Rap mogul Dr. Dre recently reflected on his early days working with Eminem and how much of a role race played by taking a chance with a White rapper in the late 1990’s.
According to the Doc, their in-studio chemistry instantly clicked when they hooked up prior to Em’s The Slim Shady LP dropping in 1999.
“The race factor was just a minuscule part of what I was doing with Eminem. It was really about the music and how well we worked together. When me and Marshall got in the studio, it instantly clicked. I put the track on, we had a little bit of idle chitchat, I put on the beat, and maybe five seconds in–I swear to God–he goes, “Hi, my name is.” That was it. And it’s still clicking. There’s something about our thing that’s just magical.” (Esquire)
A few weeks ago, Em compared working with mega producer Rick Rubin to being around Doc.
“I’ve always been a fan of Rick. My manager Paul [Rosenberg] had been talking to him and Rick had expressed that he had interest in working with me. When Paul brought it to my attention, I was like super excited, just honored at the fact that he was even thinking about it. I had my reservations just because I felt like, I’m a super fan of Rick, so I’d probably be a little nervous. I don’t know what the vibe would be just because I would be wanting to impress him, so it was very much kind of like the feeling I got early on with [Dr.] Dre. I hadn’t met him [before this]. I’d never had met him. I was nervous to meet him and even more nervous to work with him.” (BBC Radio 1)
Em also admitted how much pressure he still puts on himself to impress Dre.
“I’m still, always, in my head, I’m still always trying to impress Dre too, you know, to this day, at the same time but yeah I kept thinking, ‘If I get into the studio with Rick, what if we’re not able to come up with anything?’ All these things popped up in my head — then when I met him, the guy is so like, laid back that it made it easy and his vibe in the studio was just like [relaxed and experimental].” (BBC Radio 1)
A couple years ago, Eminem spoke on the White race factor when he worked on Shady Records artist Yelawolf’s music.
“We make jokes about it, but I don’t think we talk about it in depth. As I was listening to his music, I am not even thinking about any of that sh*t. It’s just the music. That’s one of the things that’s great about it. I’m not even thinking about it when I hear the music.” (VIBE)
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