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It’s been a tumultuous past few years for Obie Trice.
The former Shady Records MC was shot in the head on a Detroit expressway on December 31, 2005. Just four months later his good friend Proof was killed during an altercation outside a Detroit nightclub on 8 Mile Road. In 2008, his situation with Shady Records fizzled. Then this past July, approximately a year after launching his own Black Market Entertainment independent label, Obie’s mother succumbed to breast cancer.
“I been through a lot, man,” Trice told XXL. “It’s just been a long road.”
That’s for sure. Yet, Obie is fighting through the turmoil with music, having recently released “Battle Cry,” the first single off his Bottoms Up album due in stores January 17, 2012. Here, Obie talks to XXL about his independent situation, love and respect for Eminem, how the situation soured at Shady and losing his mom to cancer. —Mark Lelinwalla
XXLMag.com: What is your current situation?
Obie Trice: Black Market Entertainment. That’s my own label. Got the album, Bottoms Up on 1-17-12. I’m just ready to do my own thing, ready to go.
How do you feel about your independent situation and the music you’re about to present to listeners within months?
The independent thing, that’s what I wanted to do with this album. I wanted to run and own my own company and put artists out that are dope. That’s what I plan to do. The music on Bottoms Up…I think it’s a great album. It’s a good look for me, my company and myself. “Battle Cry,” my single is on iTunes, Amazon [August 23]. I’m really excited. I’m older, I been through a lot in this music industry and I like the album. I respect the album just as I do with [previous albums] Second Round’s On Me and Cheers also. I feel like this is a good look, a good comeback album.
You’ve been known as a lyrical MC. Is there anything on Bottoms Up that’s coming out of left field?
I think the people who know my music are going to appreciate it. I’m giving them good music. I got Dr. Dre production, Eminem is doing production and is also on a record with me, but it’s basically me. It’s just good music that people could relate to.
You mentioned that Eminem has production on the album and is featured on songs with you?
“No Turning Back” is one and there’s another joint.
So, it could be two joints?
Or it could be more. It could be more. [Eminem’s] my dude. You know how it goes. You just make music until it’s time to hand it in.
When you talk to Em these days, does he give you advice about your independent situation or is it more on some kick it stuff?
It’s more of a kick it type of situation. I spend nights at his crib, my daughter plays with his daughter. We got a more personal relationship than anything. For him to give me advice, though, I definitely will take it because you’re talking about someone who sold a lot of records despite his skin color. He’s still an animal with music. He’s still great at what he do. I appreciate Eminem forever for giving me an opportunity and making my name a brand and being able to do what I love. That has a lot to do with Marshall Mathers. The Jimmy Iovine thing and [fallout with Shady Records]…I missed Big Boy’s show out in Cali, the Power show. I flew out to California and the A&Rs got me hanging tough in Cali. I’m coming from Detroit to California. I’m a little jet-lagged, but I’m still hanging, so I get in real early in the morning and I kind of barricaded myself in the room. They wanted me to get up and go to Big Boy’s show at 7 in the morning and I just got in, so I didn’t make it. Jimmy Iovine really had an issue with that and he didn’t want to further my situation. When you fresh out the hood, they don’t have no artist development or no shit like that. Not to say that you need it—because I should have been on my j-o-b—but there’s two ways to look at the situation. So, I had to do what I had to do with Black Market Entertainment. I still got my loved one Em, I still got my loved one Dre. Everybody still fuck with me. It’s just a business decision that Jimmy made.
FOR MORE OBIE TRICE, GO TO PAGE 2