Obie Trice Speaks on New Music, Eminem and Proof

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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

  • Its Um

    Liked that song battle cry.

  • http://XXL cheers

    obie got more skillz than most of these rappers out .. he deserves his props..

  • Areej

    I am so proud of Obie for pulling through all those tough situations in his life and getting to where he is now, recording a new album. But I don’t understand when he says “my daughter PLAYS with his daughter”…isn’t Eminem’s daughter like 16 years old??? Lol

  • Will Morebucks

    All these Detroit niggas are like barnacles stickin to he boat that is Eminem… Jesus Christ, do a song/interview w/o mentionin the dude, maybe we’ll remember you for some shit

    • U R

      U stupid

  • 305reprezentah!

    Obie is a BEAST on the mic, however, his albums are garbage! He uses the WORST beats that i have ever heard.

    • NAPTOWNNUISANCE

      Albums are garbage? Really? I think Cheers was a damn classic, Second Rounds on me was hit and miss.Not nearly as good. But Obie has always been good in my eyes, I hope he turns it around and makes another hot album its been a minute.I still bump Cheers.

      AND @ Will Morebucks
      get off the hate train They mention Eminem because he is who he is- a dope ass rapper who is respected in the game, not to mention they are his friends, so why not speak highly of a dude who took you out of the streets that believed in you and gave you success. Its a respect thing most haters dont get it.

      • NAPTOWNNUISANCE

        @305 Oh and if you think he raps on some garbage beats then I dont wanna even go close to anything you think is a good beat because Obies first cd had a lot of bangers on it. A at least a couple stand outs on his second one.

  • gyuer

    So Jimmy fired him over a missed radio interview? Damn niqqa is ice cold. Obie spits fire, cheers was a classic

  • Fireforeal

    Cheers was a really good album but a classic ? lol hip hop fans are using that word to loosely. If Jimmy let him go over a fucking radio interview missed than what power does Em really have ? One missed interview ? I think there’s more to the story than he’s telling.

  • NAPTOWNNUISANCE

    Yeah classic, as was most of the Aftermath Shady albums during that time period, damn near every album dropped around that time had tons of heat, they was the second generation of Death Row it seemed for a minute. Platinum album after platinum album.

  • maryjanelovesbrucewayne

    did I ever talk about my distaste for the segregation of music even in chorus and loop back tracks. Under the bridge Red hot chili peppers now thats a great underlying track .. more hmm Enter sand man metalica ( I can sp it makes me mad GER) Pantera cowboys from hell thats another great one. Just increase the base line. Hi I hope your coming too … Im doing my homework on obie a lil more in depth out of respect since .. hes coming here. And I have heard his stuff but I should learn the words like the rest of the freaks in the audience. Did I just say that yep I did. So obie Im gonna find a song I really connect with .. wish me luck. Im just happy to see you come here to my friends place of establishment. Heres a stupid though wtf am I going to wear. Im not wearing a church dress and sketchers. lol oh the things poor chicks say when they have to go out and be seen. I guess I just need a nice shirt and a sweater , Id rather if I found them for 3 bucks . Wish me luck .

  • maryjanelovesbrucewayne

    Dear community Im sorry I cant erase that I usually do . Sorry its not an option.