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"Let Me In" Obie Trice Interview from Shade45 Issue of XXL

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  • "Let Me In" Obie Trice Interview from Shade45 Issue of XXL

    Took a while to type this all out, hope uguys enjoy this. I'll probably post the Stat Quo interview later on.


    Outshined by his boss and labelmate at the time of his first platinum release, Obie Trice is about to drop a second album. We’ll see if this time around he can carve out a place for himself in the game.

    In an industry that’s based almost solely on relationships, a close bond with the rap game’s top-selling MC means a whole hell of a lot. For Obie Trice, being the first solo artist to be signed to Eminem’s Shady Records has afforded him the kind of benefits most new artists can only dream of.

    It was no surprise, then, that Obie’s first solo project, Cheers (2003), went platinum. As with the rest of the shady home team, notoriety came quickly for him. But while Obie’s sales have given him well-deserved bragging rights, he still hasn’t managed to grab the spotlight. Maybe it’s because his first single, “Got Some Teeth,” depicted him as a fun-loving, liquor-guzzling joker at a time when rap U.S.A. was just starting to drink up the thug mentality.

    Two years have passed since Obie released Cheers, and this time around, he’s got much better perspective on both his own character and the artist he wants to present to the world. Now there really will be no gimmicks – just quality beats and rhymes from an artist who is ready for his superstar spot more than ever.

    Although he’s teetering on the edge of rap stardom, the road to Shady Records notoriety was anything but smooth for Obie Trice III, born in Detroit 27 years ago. Raised on the West Side by his mother, Elnora Trice, a worker at the Chrysler plant, he was the self-described quiet kid among three older brothers. “I was kinda like an introvert,” he says. “As a real young dude, I used to write my short stories and just listen to music and chill.” But once Obie hit middle school, he got bored penning fiction and started writing rap lyrics instead. At age 14, he began to frequent Maurice Malone’s Hip-Hop Shop in Detroit. There the young MC would recite his early rhymes to a crowd of Motor city rap die-hards.

    In 10th grade, Obie dropped out of high school and began hustling drugs to make a living. “Seeing dudes getting money, I wanted that,” he explains. “In my mid-teens, I would be high as hell off weed. [My mom] would find rocks all in the crib, guns in the crib. It just became a problem, and she had to let me get up out of the house.”

    At 16, Obie was out in the streets, spending his days chasing money to feed and clothe himself, and his nights searching for a place to lay his head. When he couldn’t come up with enough cash to crash in a motel, he literally had to burn it. “I used to sleep on the corner of my man’s street,” Obie remembers. “I had the real thick blue U-Haul blankets – right on the corner.”

    Over the next three years, Obie took various minimum-wage jobs, none of which amounted to anything substantial. With no consistent income, nowhere to live and nothing legitimate to show for himself, Obie’s life was looking pretty dim. Then in 1998, his daughter Kobie was born. “That’s when I started taking my hustle money and putting it into my music and getting shit pressed up,” the aspiring MC says.

    In 1999, Obie released his first track, “Well Known Asshole,” and promoted it locally. A year later, he released “Dope, Jobs, Homeless.” Like most fledging artists, Obie did everything in his limited power to promote his early records. “I rocked the local night clubs and hip-hop shows,” he says of his early efforts. “I sold records out the trunk. We traveled to New York and got doors slammed in our face. That’s what I had to go through,” he says. “I didn’t come straight from high school into the pros. I had to go to college and put it down for a minute.”

    It wasn’t long before Obie’s raw talent popped up on the radar of his city’s official rap ambassador, Eminem. After being repeatedly plugged by D12 member Bizarre, who had caught wind of the Obie’s tremendous local buzz, Obie finally met Em in the parking lot of a Detroit studio in 2000.

    Em remembers being impressed, “Bizarre was like, ‘Why don’t you spit for him right quick,’” he says of his and Obie’s first meeting. “I think he spit a verse and then half of another verse and I was like, I heard enough. It was a rap from there. It was pretty much filling out the paperwork.”

    Obie signed his recording contract with Shady and Interscope Records in June 2001, believing that his big break was just around the corner. “When you coming in the business from the block, you’re thinking, Just gimme the mic and gimme the stage,” tells Obie. “But I was signed for almost two years before my album came out.”

    Frustrated by not being able to jump straight into the booth, Obie learned all about the record industry’s hurry-up-and-wait game. “I really didn’t feel safe, ‘cause I didn’t know Eminem and I didn’t know the business part of it.”

    But all that waiting proved to be beneficial for Obie. In 2002, he shared the stage with Eminem on the Anger Management Tour 2, where he rocked millions of people live in more than 35 cities around the globe. He made appearances on huge-selling projects, including The Eminem Show (“Drips”), D12’s Devil’s Night (“Obie Trice Skit”) and the 8 Mile soundtrack (“Love Me”), on which he delivers a pensive verse. However, his biggest plug came in 2002, when he kicked off the first single from The Eminem Show, “Without Me.” “Obie Trice, real name no gimmicks” is all he said before a needle scratched across the record and signaled the start of Eminem’s silly smash hit. And just like that, all 9 million people who bought Eminem’s third major-label album were left wondering who this Obie Trice guy was.

    When Obie dropped his debut LP, Cheers, a year later, he was ready to tell the world exactly what he was all about. But instead of showing off his ability for self-explorative rhymes, his first single played more like a joke. “Everything that was out at that time was real gangsta,” recalls Obie. “So I wanted to release something that was different.”

    “’Got Some Teeth’ was almost a last-ditch effort,” recalls Eminem. “Like, how do we get a crossover single that’s gonna hit urban radio, pop radio and rock radio and reach the masses without compromising his artistic integrity? But I think it just got at people the wrong way and gave them the wrong perception of Obie.”

    Compounding the problem was the album’s release date. “When Cheers came out, it was 50’s year,” says Obie of his labelmate’s monstrous release of Get Rich or Die Tryin’. “That’s what people were looking for in 2003.”

    50 Cent’s rough-and-tumbled debut dropped six months before Cheers and changed the face of popular music. At the same time, 50’s persona alone managed to shift the entire dynamic at Shady Records. The camp that was home to the prankster MCs Eminem and D12 was suddenly the world’s most dangerous label headed by a bullet-riddled East Coast MC. “50’s buzz was so massive at the time,” says Eminem. “For Obie or anybody to follow up with an album was next to impossible.”

    Cheers still managed to sell platinum. And rather than resent his labelmate, Obie sees 50 and his crew’s subsequent accomplishments as just another win for the team. “I’m not mad at nobody,” explains O. Trice today. “It’s just this time around, I have to show my true skills and what I’m about.”

    For his follow-up LP, Second Round’s On Me, Obie is taking a much more personal approach to recording. “The first album was more like Marshall coaching me,” admits Obie. “There ain’t no by-myself time [with Em] no more. I ain’t trying to wait on Eminem to get in the studio. I got to establish myself out here as one of the greatest, and that will happen in the end.”

    Obie too it upon himself to shop for beats and record the majority of his new material before presenting it to his boss, Eminem. He picked a slew of outside producers with whom to collaborate, including beat-monster 9th Wonder and newcomer Trelle Blaze, who banged out the album’s lewd late-night cut, “After Party,” featuring Nate Dogg.

    Obie’s growth is evident. “Not to take anything away from Cheers, ‘cause I love that album,” he says, “but on that album, I showed the more humorous side of Obie Trice. I wanted to show them the more serious side of on this album.”

    As Second Round’s executive producer, Eminem couldn’t be more pleased with Obie’s work. “I was surprised with him trying new things not only lyrically and song-wise, but to bring you this character and where he’s really from,” he says. “You want to stay true to yourself and your roots. I think this time around, people will get a better idea of who Obie is and what he’s about.”

    Get ready to meet the real Obie Trice.
    "We gotta have fun now, there's only minutes left..."

    R.I.P.

    BIG PROOF

  • #2
    good read

    Comment


    • #3
      Tight....nice read thx man.......

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for posting, can't wait for that album.
        AIM: watch dees81

        http://www.myspace.com/famousandflame

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanx
          Knew It Was Too Good To Be True!

          Comment


          • #6
            thanks man!
            R.I.P. PROOF

            .. ..
            .. ..
            .. ..
            .. ..
            ..

            Comment


            • #7
              i remember hearing d12world being more "independent" and farther away from eminem...

              i have a feeling obie's 2nd album is gonna be as much of a letdown as d12's second also...we'll see...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Dr. Greenthumb
                i remember hearing d12world being more "independent" and farther away from eminem...

                i have a feeling obie's 2nd album is gonna be as much of a letdown as d12's second also...we'll see...
                I hope not
                Knew It Was Too Good To Be True!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dr. Greenthumb
                  i remember hearing d12world being more "independent" and farther away from eminem...

                  i have a feeling obie's 2nd album is gonna be as much of a letdown as d12's second also...we'll see...

                  I think the EXACT OPPOSITE. Second Round's On Me is gonna be different than Cheers cuz Em isnt producing most of da tracks. I dont think its gonna be worse than Cheers
                  Some take the crack and chop it, but those that haven't got it, take away the added profit, it's catastrophic
                  I take the gat and cock it, and I'll sit back and watch it

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DramaKing221
                    I think the EXACT OPPOSITE. Second Round's On Me is gonna be different than Cheers cuz Em isnt producing most of da tracks. I dont think its gonna be worse than Cheers
                    eminem produced most of the tracks on devils night...same with cheers.

                    d12 had more say on wat went on the 2nd album, d12 world, and there was a larger variety of producers. same as obies upcoming album...


                    lets just wait till it comes out b/c i have more faith in obie then i ever did on d12 but who knows

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      his new album will be better, they wont waste good songs dissin ja rule and obie has improved so much as a rapper

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dr. Greenthumb
                        i remember hearing d12world being more "independent" and farther away from eminem...

                        i have a feeling obie's 2nd album is gonna be as much of a letdown as d12's second also...we'll see...
                        That's because they're a group of six guys and not one of them has the ability to lead that many people in a significant direction even though some of them are impressive MCs. Obie Trice is one man, he doesn't have that problem.
                        "The world is changing and there are new opportunities for those who are ready to join forces with those who are stronger and more experienced" -Lucky Luciano (1897-1962)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          word

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dr. Greenthumb
                            eminem produced most of the tracks on devils night...same with cheers.

                            d12 had more say on wat went on the 2nd album, d12 world, and there was a larger variety of producers. same as obies upcoming album...


                            lets just wait till it comes out b/c i have more faith in obie then i ever did on d12 but who knows
                            True, D12 World ain't have shit on Devil's Night. But I hope Obie does good on this upcomming album. For some reason, I got high expectations. I hope it's as good as or better than Cheers.
                            "We gotta have fun now, there's only minutes left..."

                            R.I.P.

                            BIG PROOF

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lucky Luciano
                              That's because they're a group of six guys and not one of them has the ability to lead that many people in a significant direction even though some of them are impressive MCs. Obie Trice is one man, he doesn't have that problem.
                              hmmm...good point...

                              Comment

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