Interview: Obie Trice

August 09, 2006 11:04 AM
by Christina Fuoco
LiveDaily Contributor

Last New Year's Eve, Eminem protégé/Detroit rapper Obie Trice (music) was driving his Range Rover on the Lodge Expressway in his hometown when he was shot in the head by an unknown gunman. Needless to say, he's happy to be alive and well.

Out of fear of causing further injury, doctors left the bullet lodged in Trice's skull. Besides changing his outlook on life, the "incident," as he calls it, caused him to revamp his forthcoming record, "Second Round's On Me." The album, which hits stores Aug. 15, underwent additional revisions when his Shady Records' labelmate and friend Proof was shot and killed in an after-hours bar.

"The new album was done a long, long, long, long time ago," Trice said. "I went back in after the incident on New Year's Eve and after Proof passed. I did new tracks. I wanted to go in there and knock some s--- out."

"Second Round's On Me" includes the first single "Cry Now," an ode to Eminem's rumored retirement, "Snitch," which Trice previewed with rapper Akon on the CBS-TV drama "CSI," and "Wanna Know," a tune used in trailers and episodes of HBO's "Entourage."

Trice spoke to LiveDaily about his shooting, Proof's death, working with Eminem and "Second Round's On Me," the follow-up to his gold-certified 2003 debut "Cheers."

LiveDaily: How is everything in Detroit?

Obie Trice: I gotta work, I have to have some s--- done, like, yesterday. Now I have to do two hours of interviews. Somebody's not quite organized.

What are you working on in the studio?

My mix tape called "Bar Shots." It's crazy. It's a lot of songs that I didn't use [on "Second Round's On Me"]. There's a lot of songs that people haven't heard. It's a mix tape. It's hot. Original production. It's one of them things. I did a remix of "Cry Now" with Kuniva from D12, Bobby Creek, Stat Quo, Cashis--the whole Shady/Aftermath family. It's tight.

When is it set for release?

It comes out probably [the week of Aug. 6]. That's why I have to really be busy on it.

Did your shooting and Proof's death play a part in the new record? How is it addressed on "Second Round's On Me"?

I don't really get too specific. Well, I do about my incident. But I don't really about Proof's situation.

Was it difficult to write about your shooting and about Proof?

Actually, it was like an angry [reaction]. I was upset about Proof's incident. I was upset about my incident. It kind of came to me. It really don't take me that long to record. I think about it, listen to the music, and wherever it takes me, I go.

How are you doing since the shooting on New Year's Eve?

I'm good. My toes working. My fingers wiggling. My third leg's still working, you know what I'm saying. I don't have no headaches. The bullet's still lodged in there. Everything is functional. I'm just blessed to still be here, you know?

Back to "Second Round's On Me": Out of all the people you worked with--Eminem [real name Marshall Mathers], Akon [with whom he appeared on "CSI"], Alchemist--who do you think you learned the most from

I always get a lot of information from Marshall. Working with Marshall [pauses]--it's one of these moments I can't even explain. It's like Muslims going to see Elijah Muhammad, or Christians going to church on Sunday. He's, like, the best rap artist that ever done it, as far as lyrically, and the way he marketed himself. That dude, I get a lot of information from--it rubs off him.

You really must have learned your way around the studio working with him.

Yeah, we be in the studio, like, all the time. We in there, we in there. I've seen a lot, learned a lot. I just do my thing.

How did you line up your special guests for your album? Eminem was an obvious choice. But how about Trick Trick and 50 Cent?

It really wasn't a line-up, like, "This is who I want." The cats were in town, and we did it like that. They were around when I was recording. I was like, "Yo, make something on this." 50 was in the studio, so I said, "Do a hook. Hook it up." That's just how it happened. It wasn't like, "This is who I want to work with." I'm going to tell you the recording process: You do 1,000 songs, and the moment when people's in town, you bring them in the studio. We don't get that many people coming through Detroit. We ain't poppin'. So it's like, "Yo, let me work with you." That's how it is. If I was in Arizona and [Arizona resident] DMX, he might call and say, "You in town? Come on over." If I ain't doing s---, I'm on my way. I love being in the studio. It's music. That's what I do.

From what I understand, there are no suspects in your shooting, correct?

Nah. I was hoping by the end of the summer. People on the streets talk. I was hoping to find the motherf------. They're so scared, they're not talking. Nobody's saying nothing. I hope by the end of the summer I know who did it.

"Second Round's On Me" tracklisting:
1. "Intro"
2. "Wake Up" (Produced By Eminem)
3. "Violent" (Produced By Eminem)
4. "Wanna Know" (Produced by Emile)
5. "Lay Down" (Produced By Eminem)
6. "Snitch" with Akon (Produced By Akon)
7. "Cry Now" (Produced By Witt & Pep)
8. "Ballad of Obie Trice" (Produced By Eminem)
9. "Jamaican Girl" with Brick & Lace (Produced By Eminem)
10. "Kill Me A Mutha" (Produced By Eminem)
11. "Out of State" (Produced By Swinga)
12. "All of My Life" with Nate Dogg (Produced By Trell)
13. "Ghetto" with Trey Songz (Produced By Jonathan "J.R." Rotem)
14. "There They Go" with Eminem, Big Herc & Trick Trick (Produced By Eminem)
15. "Mama" (Produced by Jonathan "J.R." Rotem)
16. "Everywhere I Go" with 50 Cent (Produced by Eminem)
17. "Obie Story" (Produced by Jonathan "J.R." Rotem)

This album is much darker and grittier than the first one. The sound recording sounds intentionally analog-ish, deviating from that polished, big budget studio sound of the first album. If the idea was to capture the claustrophobic grainyness of the ghetto, then they've done it.

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