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2 April 2012

Exclusive Interview: Obie Trice

A rapper whose name is featured on the intro of one of Eminem’s biggest hits is hard to forget – especially when he follows that up with a great debut album and a string of strong singles and features with the likes of 50 Cent, Akon and The Game.

Having spent 6 years without dropping a new record, people had assumed he had left the rap game, and despite being dropped from Shady Records in 2008 Obie Trice is back, with a full length album ‘Bottoms Up’ and his own label Black Market Entertainment.

Here he speaks on the phone from his native Detroit exclusively to Blatantly Blunt about leaving the street life for the studio, the favourite tracks he's made, the new label and more!

There is a rumour I heard that Eminem discovered you while you were at work washing his car, is there any truth to this?!
Nah I was never washing his car! I don’t wash nobody’s car except my own; it’s only a rumour!

When did you start out rapping, and at what point did you decide it was what you wanted as a full time career?
I was eleven when I started rapping and it was when I was 20 or 21 when I had my daughter that I decided I wanted to do this as a profession.  I was in the streets real heavy at the time and I decided to take my hustle money into the studio – my daughter was the inspiration behind that. I wanted to do something else and take sacrifice for the moment, and this is how it turned out.

Which is the favourite tune you have made or featured on with other artists?
I would have to say it probably the ‘Dudey’ track I featured on with Eminem, which was a dedication track to (Eminem’s best friend/hype man) Proof. That as well as the ‘Hennessey’ track featured on 2pac’s (posthumous album) ‘Loyal to the game’.

Which rappers were the biggest sources of influence when you were growing up?
I grew up with the likes of Redman, Jay-Z, 2pac, Nas, Biggie, and Snoop etc. That was the music I was definitely listening to.

What are your thoughts on current Detroit scene?
I'm not mad at it, you have a lot of artists coming out at the moment such as Danny Brown, Big Sean, Elzhi, Black Milk, Royce da 5’9, Guilty Simpson and (D12 member) Denaun Porter. It is really strong but I think there could be more artists doing things on an international level, it’s all about progression.

Tell me about your new label BME (Black Market Entertainment)…
I wanted to do something to bring artists through that are from Detroit and the surrounding region in the mid-west like Chicago, Ohio and Milwaukee. There is a lot of talent over here and I wanted to see who’s next to on the menu for the label. Also the label is there to release my album ‘Bottoms Up’.

Many people have said that (Bad Boy records artist) Red Café has a strong similarity in sound to you. Have you heard that before?
Yeah I have heard it many times, though I don’t think we sound alike – though if we do I think I would see it first. Either way, as I started in 2003 I am the originator if that were the case!

What perspective are you bringing on the new album?
With the new album, I am talking about the struggles and the things that I have seen and been through.  On a song called with Daniel Bedingfield, ‘I Pretend’ I am also talking about the women. It’s just about my love for women.  I am also talking about the situations I have been through in my career.  I am the type of person that gets into the realness of things, not the things that everyone else is doing.

The title of the album is the name of the initial record I was going to have for my third LP on Shady Records; and with the new label BME it’s like I’m coming from the bottom up right now.

After listening to the album, I noticed a difference in sound between the first and second halves of the record. Was this something you intended?
I wanted to take the listener into different places. I have been accused of having a dark sound on my albums, which I don’t mind, but I wanted to take the album in many areas.

Which are the lead singles from the album?
The lead single from the album was ‘Battle Cry’, which came out in August last year, and the second is ‘Spend The Day’ which came out in March and features the vocals of a talented singer from Detroit called Drey Skonie. 

How has the game changed since you entered in 2003?
The Internet has become more popular for getting hold of music and getting the music out there. Back then, it was a negative thing; something the labels didn’t want to be associated with, but now it has been embraced.

Obie Trice's new album 'Bottom's Up' is set to be released on 3 April 2012 available on iTunes here.

Keep up to date with Obie Trice online:
Interview by Nick Russell exclusively for

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