There were the times when Kanye West praised Eminem as a genius producer and did not feel ashamed to admit that he tried to sneakily copy Em’s drums sound for his personal use.
Ye told all this in his interview to Scratch magazine in 2004. Mr. Porter already supplied young Kanye with drum sounds but he wanted to get a hand on Em’s beats.
They were badder to me. Eminem has some of the best drums in hip-hop[…] I think Eminem is a dope-ass producer, so I wanted to ask him to trade drums but I was intimidated because he was such a superstar and everything.
So he decided that it would be better to take without asking and producing “D12 World” gave him that chance. He found himself alone in the studio with no one but his conscience to stop him. In other words, he saw no reason to refrain from pocketing Em’s work:
These discs were right there, the MP discs, but there were cameras. So I said, look, I know I’m on camera but fuck it. I’m going to try and get as many sounds copied before they come in. I started copying them and I thought I had something, but the next thing I know an engineer comes in and straight grabs the disk and leaves.
It seems like people around knew who they were dealing with, Kanye called himself a |madman going around stealing people’s records in this interview. So Kanye had to use normal people technique: watch and learn. He recalls how much he took away from just observing Em working:
I started seeing how he do, doing shit I wouldn’t do because I still had certain rules[…] I was seeing how he truncated sounds, like chopping the air completely. It gives it a certain sound, the sound he wanted. I learned a lot going through Eminem’s drum set. Hopefully he’ll take that as a compliment.
He finishes with giving praise to Eminem:
I really like Eminem’s beats though. He is one of my top-five producers, let alone one of my top-five rappers. Me and Em together? Damn. Not that I put myself on that level…
See the full interview scans below, kindly shared by Twitter user @Trebworld:
My basement flooded last month and ruined my collection of Scratch Magazines so please forgive the quality. pic.twitter.com/VPyhUsxQ1i
— Howard “Treble” Cox (@Trebworld) March 19, 2020