Obie Trice
Take a Ride

obie-1.jpgTrying to appeal to his core fans and earn mainstream love has proved a daunting task for Obie Trice. Although his 2003 debut, Cheers, is certified platinum, it didn’t exactly make the Shady Records signee a breakout star. Obie’s shine was almost dimmed permanently when he was shot in the head on New Year’s Eve 2005 while driving on a highway in his hometown of Detroit. That near death experience coupled with the loss of his close friend and label mate, Proof, a few months later resulted in the dark tone of Trice’s sophomore LP, Second Round’s on Me. Released in August of ’06 to critical acclaim, the album unfortunately put up disappointing SoundScan numbers due to circumstances Obie says were outside of his control. His Akon-assisted lead single “Snitch” was banned by MTV because of it’s “stop snitching” message, and BET nixed the song due to Trice’s affiliation with Eminem, who had personal issues with the station at the time. With a few industry lessons learned and the dark days of the past year beginning to clear up, Mr. Real Name, No Gimmicks is in better spirits and looks to display that on his next album, Bottom’s Up. XXLMag.com recently caught up with Obie Trice to discuss his upcoming project, industry politics and living with a bullet inside of his head.

We haven’t heard from you in a minute. What’ve you been working on?
Oh, man, I got an album damn near done already… I’m gonna name this one Bottom’s Up. I got some hot shit. [I’m] workin’ with producers like my man Propane the Great from South Carolina, he did [my new single] “Detroit Summer.” I got a dude name Square Biz—a local cat from Detroit—my man Six… it’s a lot of unknown producers, but the shit is fire.

When do you plan on dropping the album?
I don’t have an idea. We got 50 Cent’s album coming first, then D12 is supposed to come out and Stat Quo. I’m hoping the first quarter of next year or by the summertime. It might take a minute, [though].

A lot of people feel Second Round’s on Me was your best work, but it seemed to get overshadowed. Are you going to make sure Bottom’s Up gets maximum exposure this time?
Yeah, I would like to have a summertime album because both of my [previous] albums were in the winter [or] fall. I think these tracks I’m picking are more fun, summer type of joints. I [don’t] want to wait so long to put out an album. It took three years to put out Second Round’s on Me [after] Cheers. I think that’s too long. Especially the way I work. I’m in the studio everyday from dusk ’til dawn. My work ethic is crazy. I just feel like with the politics of the game… it’s like you gotta get the budget opened up and certain people at the label might be in a direction of another artist at the time. So I just want to have everybody on the same page. I just want you to work with me on this album and push it like it was 50 Cent’s album. Like, really push this album and get behind it like it’s Curtis.

After putting so much hard work into Second Round’s on Me, was it frustrating to see it not sell as well as you expected?
Yeah, I would say that. Things happen, though. I didn’t get the video look from this last album. Everything was like a domino effect. I got shot [and] I almost died from that. Then my man Proof got killed…. So it was just a bad run. I did regret some things for a minute [and] gritted my teeth like, “Damn!” But you get past it and continue to do what you do. [You] gotta keep movin’.

There was also some controversy over the video for “Snitch” around that time, too.
A lot of things didn’t really have to do with me. The “Snitch” song with Akon could’ve been a big hit, a No. 1 song in the country, but MTV wouldn’t back it because of the whole snitch campaign they had going on. [And] BET wasn’t backing it because of their personal issues with Eminem. The video was something different at the time. It could’ve taken off if it just got that look, but it didn’t. I figured it didn’t have nothin’ to do with me. I make the songs but I didn’t know these things were going on, politic wise. I just do what I do. I don’t think I’m changing up or doing anything different.

Do you feel being based in Detroit hinders you as an artist at all?
Dr. Dre told me, “Move from the city and move somewhere else.” I really don’t have a relationship with a lot of artists, that’s another thing, too. As far as [guest] features go, I don’t know none of these rappers. I just know the people in my camp. That’s the kind of thing that maybe [hinders] me being from Detroit. Nobody likes to come to Detroit. Artists call me like, “Aww, man, I gotta come to your fuckin’ city?” I probably would have a good look if was somewhere down South or on the East/West Coast. But this is where I was born and raised, so I gotta hold it down out here. Somebody gotta do it.

But Detroit is known for being a violent city at times. Proof was killed and you got shot in the head a year ago. Did they ever take the bullet out?
It’s still in. I ain’t really been back to take it out. It’s still in the same place, it ain’t move. It ain’t fuckin’ with me or nothin’ like that. I’m straight, for now. I’m gonna [eventually] remove it. I still feel the lead particles. It’s one big piece of the bullet in the middle [and] back of my head. There’s fragments of it going to the right of my head, in the side of my skull. When I lay the wrong way it feels like a brain freeze. You know when you [drink] a cold Slurpee—That’s what it feels like. It’s painful.

What do you think led to the shooting in the first place?
Man, I just think it’s a lot of haterism, a lot of ecstasy going on, it’s a lot of do-or-die type individuals. They want to get that plug and there’s really more to the game then they think it is. They look at artists like 50, who’s been shot nine times, and they feel like they’ve been hit nine times. So it’s competition on a real vicious level. You can lose your life real quick. You just gotta prepare yourself. As far as like the kids go, I just think some of these young niggas is out of hand. But I was at that age when I was out of hand and it took shit to happen in my life to really get a grip and stay focused.

Is it fair to say that Bottom’s Up is the most important album of your career?
Yeah, I think this album is turning out to be great. This one is really gonna do good. My name is out there now. I haven’t done anything that would tamper with my look. I stay true to my music. I’m ready to do the BET Awards, the MTV Awards and sell records like that, while, at the same time, not compromise my integrity and who I am. [I] just [need to] find that right timing [and] the right song. It’s a wrap from there. I got it in me. Now, I’m just waiting to see.

  • CT Killah

    FIRST FAGGOTS
    Obie trice is dat nigga fuck the haters

  • CT Killah

    FIRST FAGGOTS
    Obie trice is dat nigga fuck the haters

  • CT Killah

    FIRST FAGGOTS
    Obie trice is dat nigga fuck the haters

  • Ziggy

    i coped both that niggas albums to see what they were like…i was impressed with the nigga…he original an do his thing…aint no toher nigga sound like this cat…he in the right lane right camp he just need more promotion an he would explode…

  • llllll

    1st

  • Detroit P

    rep Detroit but if you gotta leave to make connections to improve your career, do that. cus you gotta get big first then hold it down for Detroit

  • JOJO

    I rally hope that he pops
    But I disagree I think second rounds on me suckes
    That’s my opinion

  • May

    I’m cosignin’ with ziggy…i wish people would really pay attention to him…obie is nice on the mic, niggas can’t see that

  • jacquez

    obie shit be hot

    http://www.myspace.com/southcrak

    go listen

  • http://myspace.com/scandolthagreat James

    all i listin to out here in the bay is that hyphy slap shit, i ended up coping obie’s cd……that shit was koo, mutha fuckas couldnt even tell the difference out there in the yay-

  • http://xxlmag brebre

    I agree with you, Detroit P. everybody knows that he’s no sell-out at this point. change is a good thing. represent 7 mild rd & telegraph, boy! detroit all day!

  • Brian McG

    Its good to see an MC really trying to just rep their city, but if he wants to sell albums without Eminem he’ll need to start reaching out to other artists around the country. Tight interview though!

  • HollyHood

    Obie’s last album was dope! He put out the wrong songs 4 singles, and he didn’t get enough promotion! Keep doin ur thang!
    Hit me up:myspace.com/welcometohollyhood

  • http://yahoo.com KING J

    DAMN U NIGGAS LOOK SILLY WITH ALL THAT 1ST BULLSHIT…I KNOW YOULL FEEL DUMB, BUT ANYWAYS OBIE IS THE SHIT DONT JUDGE THE NIGGA UNTIL U HEAR HIS ALBUMS THE 1ST ONES CLASSIC

  • HollyHood

    Obie last album was dope! He picked the wrong singles and got lil promotion, hopefully he’ll eat better this time around

  • HollyHood

    Obie last album was dope! He picked the wrong singles and got lil promotion, hopefully he’ll eat better this time around!
    Hit me up:myspace.com/welcometohollyhood

  • Detroit City

    DETROIT ALL DAY! OBIE THA TRUTH REAL NAME NO GIMMICKS. But I do agree wit dude above, not enough outlets here in the D. Marketing ain’t good cause people scared to come down here. Obie make that move outta state for a min, built that rep and spread it when you get back. We got yo back.

  • PRODIGAL SON

    obie is a very underrated rapper, he just needs more promotion, producers should be excited to work with a rapper that would do justice to their beats in a lyrical sense.

  • HollyHood

    Obie last album was dope! He chose the wrong singles and he needs more promotion. Hopefully he’ll get what he needs 2 become a star!
    Hit me up:myspace.com/welcometohollyhood

  • Jacob

    Obie>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Half of the rap game

  • Freddy(Vega$)

    Obie is the SHIT!!! Keep doin your thing and yo Ass is hot!!!

  • bigbeef

    damn i cant wait for this ta drop

    i copped his first 2 albums the days they came out im definitley gettin this the first day

    damn he should put out some mixtapes keep us occupied

  • http://www.eribody.com Belly

    OBIE IS THAT DEAL AND THE WORLD WILL SOON FIND OUT!!!!!!

  • ak47

    why are all of you acting like he just came out? he’s been with shady since the first D12 album, he had 8 bars to show us what he’s all about, and he’s been spittin fire ever since. and as far as i know he’s already blown, i’d think you have to be somewhat known before shady or dre vouches for you and puts you out on their shit, think before you speak, because you sound real dumb. “talk what you know, and only that”.

  • SD619killafornia

    why are people acting like obie just came out? He’s been with shady since the first D12 album, where he dropped some heatrocks and has been spittin fire ever since. This dude is creative and on top of his game. you guys must have been at home sleeping, while he was hittin us with club bangers in early 2000. this means one thing and one thing only, speak what you know and only that. holla at ya boy, sd619klickklackkillafornia

  • KLETEWOOD

    OBIE HAS the recipe to BLOW UP. HIS lycrics are STORYTELLN>>>which is tight.

    DRE produced a few tracks and rapped on hIS first album. Timbo did a track. 50, Banks, Kon artist, Nate DOGG, Busta, YaYO and EM were all featured. Dre & Em did the “Shit hits the Fan” BEEF song that kills JA Rule. Whenever you have DRE, EM, & Obie on a track its GOLDEN.>

    His second album didn’t have all the featured artists. Thats why it didn’t sell as much as the first.

    On the RE-UP…Obie killed it!

  • big jim c

    how does mtv not play a song about snitching, yet they glorify everything else that’s wrong in the world?

    obie should move out to NYC, hook up with premo, just blaze, and it would be a wrap

  • DADE COUNTY 305

    CT KILLAH U’RE LIL BITCH WIT THAT 1ST SHIT U FAKE ASS KILLA. I KNEW U WERE SUM YOUNG NIGGA TALKIN SUM G SHIT NIGGA. AINT NO REAL STREET NIGGA WUD COME ON HERE WITH THAT HIGH SCHOOL 1ST SHIT!!!

  • VLsteve

    obie prolly needs to move away from em n dem, because they just drag on his career, d12 and em arnt doin nuthin, and they aint promotin or pushin obie, they just draggin him down. he should go independent, and cut it with the other D cats, not the shady fams

  • traebizzo

    The most slept on in the game. Most Detroit emcees been nice.

  • http://www.xxlmag.com The Chancellor

    I’m from Lansing, Mi and were extremely proud of obie, em, dilla, elzhi and slum village and all the artists in detroit. Both of obie’s albums got slept on and lets not forget obie came out in the wake of get rich and went platinum so dude can scan units, not to mention his almost dying and we lost dilla and proof in the months to follow. Big up to obie. 517!

  • Q-BURO

    DADE COUNTY ITS THE ONLY ONE WHO RESPONDED TO THE FAGGOT SHIT CT KILLAH POSTED, SO HE MUST BE GAY LIKE ME!!!!!!!!LETS MEET DADE COUNTY I LOVE TUFF GUYS !!!!!FAG LIKE ME

  • TROY SMITH

    Tony Draper(Suave House II) is his new manager. We’ll see how everthing will work for Obie He’s mad underrated.

  • J3

    Obie could go plat again if he picks the right single. IDK who’s picking the singles for interscope artists but someone needs to make better decisions. Stat Quo’s been waiting for a minute, can’t wait for that album. Actually i think their were advertisements for ‘Statlanta’ in Obies first album, or ‘The Eminem Show’.

  • Bonafide

    Yeah its messed up. Obie deserves to be a star but bad luck has been following him. Obie>half of the rap game. He should listen to Dre and leave Detriot to record this album. He should go to NY to hook up with ppl like Just Blaze & Swizz Beatz. Then he should hit Atlanta and get some of that southern heat from ppl like Jazze Pha

  • fireforreal

    Obie is dope but being affiliiated with them D-12 cats doesn’t help because there pretty much viewed as clowns.

  • http://www.myspace.com/jmassive1 J-MASS (Local Detroit Producer)

    Obie dont got to leave the “D” to blow. He dont have to do collabs to blow. Em from the “D” and his first album only had one industry cat on it, DRE. He can blow without collabs. Its enough cats in his camp to do collabs with. He need better promotion thats all. Obie dope though he gon make it.

  • Dude

    This kind of stuff makes me sad. Damn 50 Cent and his stupid album. 50 hypes up his album for the June then is tryping to push this hype ’til September. LOL! A whole year of 50 Cent is going to make us sick; he’s talking about releasing his “Before I Self Destruct” album early next year too.

    Eminem needs to stop pushing these gangster rappers like 50 Cent and Ca$his. Give some real guys with word play, wit, and humor some time to shine. I bought Obie’s first and sophmore album. I cannot wait for D12 & Obie to blow up next year.

    STFU fire before someone beats your ass.

  • futureblacklawyer

    obie trice is one of the best. Keep reppin that midwest.

  • Walker V.W.

    Obie Trice has really become a fan favorite even before he got shot in the head. I don’t know anybody who dosen’t like him. Even with all that stuff said, he still could grow into even more as an artist. Big ups to XXL and Obie Trice.

  • http://www.xxlmag.com/?p=11274 jay

    obie is NICE!!!! fuck all the shit.. snitch was a hot fuckin track and shoulda blew the fuck up..obie will get what he deserves tho

  • dan

    i want to see a collaboration between obie and royce. Everything between em/d12 and royce is cool even tho i don’t noe bout the situation with dre but i do think that they are two of the most talented lyricists outta detroit and it’d be nice to hear a ding/dope jobs homeless mix

  • Bonafide

    J-Mass U left out Two BIG reasons why Eminem blew up without help. The first one is that he was signed DIRECTLY to Dr. Dre and Dr. Dre was probably the most successful producer in the 90s. The second reason is he is white. Even Eminem himself states that his extremely successful career is based on him being white and having a white fanbase.

  • UKFAN

    OBIES THE FUCKING MAN!

  • UKFAN

    DETROIT HIPHOP IS WHERE ITS AT!!! LISTEN TO THAT OH! TRACK OF CHEERS AND TELL ME THATS NOT WHAT HIPHOP SHOULD BE?

    DETROIT HIPHOP IS WHERE HIPHOP LIVES

  • http://xxlmag.com quandah

    I’m very proud of ya!

  • vegas player

    obie is nice i hope his next album is his break out joint.

  • vegas player

    obie

  • http://myspace.com/youngpeterb peter b

    Obie the shit and dat nigga real as fuck, but he need to move out the hood. I don’t me don’t be true to his city but you got to leave some time b4 some hating azz nigga pull a 187 on his azz. Music wise I think snitch was the write single but he just needed more video play but better luck next time 1.

  • Big Mike Da BOSS

    OBIE TRICE= real muthafuckin HIP-HOP!

  • Yun

    Obie Trice is ill, but when i listen to him i think he and Royce Da 5’9 are too similar…

  • da boss

    obie got mad respect, all u haterz eat a dick u soft hatin on a real muthaf#@$er like obie, obie u ever roll through my hood i got first and second round homie

  • jovan mitchell

    obie one of the top five in the game today hands down

  • IT IS I

    PRODIGAL SON Says:

    July 2nd, 2007 at 1:40 pm
    obie is a very underrated rapper, he just needs more promotion, producers should be excited to work with a rapper that would do justice to their beats in a lyrical sense.

    I gotta agree with you on that one son.

  • negros please

    obie needs to get the fuck out of the d and promote his fuckin projects so all these lames who thinks hes brand new will know

  • http://www.illestlyrics.com complexity

    Sad story. The production was wack on that album though and his first album was almost classic because of like 6-8 songs alone. It’s a lot of follow up on.

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