Mr. Porter discusses his upcoming debut LP and working on Eminem’s earliest album «Infinite.»
Earlier this month, Mr. Porter announced that his rap incarnation Kon Artis of D12 was officially dead and that he decided to move on with his solo career. Now, in a recent interview with Hip Hop-N-More, the Detroit producer/rapper discussed his upcoming debut album tHe mEmO. Although he didn’t give a time table for its release, he did explain that it will differ from his previous works and will reflect a more socially conscious side to his rhymes
Mr. Porter also discussed his lengthy career alongside Eminem. Having worked with Eminem since his 1996 debut Infinite, Porter said that he and Em never had the mainstream music industry in mind, they were only looking to make good music. He also revealed that he revealed that he produced the entirety of Infinite and late D12 member Proof programmed the drums.
HHNM: Do you have a time frame for its release?
Mr. Porter: Nah, I don’t have a specific date for it yet. I wouldn’t like to say until I know for sure. Because I’m still building the project and the sound for it. Like at Coachella, I was playing songs for Em, I was thinking to myself «you know what, maybe I should do this or maybe I should do that» because I want to understand exactly who I am. If I just throw out the album without proper planning, they might not understand the real me. I don’t want to make the album a guinea pig for me.
You know, actually a Twitter fan came up with the name of one of my projects. I will actually credit him in that project. It’s called ‘Denaun The man, Mr. Porter The Producer’.
HHNM: Damn, that’s a good one.
Mr. Porter: Yeah and I think that’s gonna be the first project before the album. And I’m already about 4 songs into that. It’s probably gonna be about 8 songs in total. Nothing too crazy. I’m not gonna over saturate fans. That’s one thing I won’t do. And then I’ll do another project after that. As far as dates are concerned, one of those projects will definitely be out this Summer and anther one will follow shortly after.
The other one, I may call it ‘Your Producer’s Favourite Producer’. Not sure if that’s gonna be that title but basically what I’m doing on that project is working with other producers that I know. DJ Khalil, Jake One, Hi-Tek, DJ Toomp, Alchemist and basically, I’ma co-produce the beats with them and do songs to all of the beats we make together.
HHNM: Wow, that sounds like a dope concept. So who are some of the guests we can expect to hear on the album? Will Eminem be there?
Mr. Porter: Yeah, I’m definitely gonna do something with him but I don’t want anything to sound forced. If there’s something that fits, we’re definitely gonna do it. I know that I’m going to have him finish a lot of songs. Because a lot of times I produce songs for myself, it’s harder to think further. And Em knows how to take an idea and turn it into something else. I just want that element. Even if it is as a producer or it’s working on verses or mixing. He’s definitely gonna be involved. He’s just a big part of my life, period. I play all the songs for him. He’s heard a good portion of the project already. To get his approval and for him to think it’s dope means everything to me. Yup, he’ll definitely be a big part of the project.
HHNM: Will you be producing the entire album yourself?
Mr. Porter: Yeah, I will definitely have other producers on my album. I believe ‘Denaun The Man, Mr. Porter The Producer’, that’s gonna be solely produced by me.
HHNM: Okay cool. So will these pre-releases be free or will they go to retail?
Mr. Porter: Yeah I believe the first one will be free. That is usually up to the management how they see it or how it works. I wanna do it for free, really because I think I owe that to fans.
HHNM: Yeah, you could also do something like have the first one for free and the second one as an EP on retail.
Mr. Porter: Yeah because I don’t expect them to just go and buy a project. I love people too much. I look at it from a fan’s perspective. I ain’t gonna just buy an album till I believe in it. Like for example, I was listening to some of Wale’s songs and I became a fan. That ‘Slight Work’ record is crazy. I just didn’t buy is music right away. I listened to a lot of prior mixtapes and then decided to buy.
HHNM: Yeah but I think that song is very production dominated. Diplo came up with a crazy beat right there.
Mr. Porter: Oh yeah, you know what, shout out to Diplo because that gave me so many ideas for my own projects. And I like listening to other artists. I was really influenced by Dilla, Dre, Nottz and Hi-Tek, I came up on those guys. I like J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League as well. I’m planning on working with them. I’m a fan of these people. It gives me inspiration, I love it.
HHNM: Is it true that you produced Eminem’s entire debut album ‘Infinite’?
Mr. Porter: Yeah!
Mr. Porter: Yeah, crazy I know.
HHNM: How has Em grown over the years? Did you ever think he will be as big he is in the present day?
Mr. Porter: (Laughs) You see, that’s a question we both wonder often. We often look at each other and say «what the hell happened?» It’s not necessarily like that. I don’t think there was a want to be that way. Most people start their careers like ‘I wanna be the biggest thing ever’. But we started with the love for music. He loves the music. I love being a producer. I love the fact that so many people are rapping over my beats. The thing is when I got into the industry, people didn’t get my ideas as much so I focused on one song that made sense and not forcing shit.
Like me and Em did that record from start to finish and Proof came in and actually did the drum programming. So when me, him and Proof worked on the album together, it was just crazy. Then it went from that to ‘Slim Shady LP’. Like you don’t think it’s gonna be anything big, you’re just kids making music, know what I mean? We were so big on trying to get on the radio at home but the radio did not mess with us. We did not have the support at all. I remember we were trying to make songs that may work but they still didn’t play them (laughs).
HHNM: Damn. And look at him now. He’s one of the biggest artists on the planet. Amazing how things work out sometimes.
Mr. Porter: Yeah you know what, you just gotta look at it as blessings really.