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Myke Charles Talks NBC’s The Sing-Off, Writing to Eminem & Drake Comparisons

Your group got a lot of attention for your performance on this season’s first episode for Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie.” Who’s idea was that?

They (the producers) like to come to us and say, “Here’s the theme. If you guys had any choice in the world, what would you do?” But, I mean there’s eight members in our group alone, that’s a lot of opinions. We wanted to do “Love the Way You Lie” for the first episode, [but] you have the legal side of things. Eminem would not clear this song to save our lives. We had 10 days until the first taping, and the producers were like, “Eminem hasn’t cleared the song so we’re going to give you a completely different song. We’re working on this [new] song,[then] the Wednesday night before the show we get a call. “Eminem cleared.” I had to write Eminem a personal letter. They pulled footage of me from freestyle battles that I’ve done…That’s the song we wanted to do from the beginning.

You also recently performed BBD’s “Poison.” In a pre-performance confession, you said, “If Shawn [Stockman] is not out of his chair by the end of this performance, I don’t think we’ve succeeded.” Shawn was signed to by Michael Bivins, were you nervous to perform the song?

I think that maybe my favorite performance. The minute we got that song, we started talking about the correlation between Michael Bivins and Shawn Stockman. It was like we had to go out there and kill this thing. There was nerves there for sure. I was playing right to Shawn sometimes, you know, ‘I’m determined to make you feel this man.’ We didn’t think that was gonna happen but at the end of it he had all good things to say.

Because you rap and sing, do you see yourself often getting compared to Drake?

It’s a little disheartening, I guess, that there’s already going to be that comparison just because I rap and sing. The sad part is that he’s been doing it about as many years as I[‘ve] been doing it, and I’ve been doing it since like, the 7th grade. Long before I knew who Drake was, or knew him as “Wheelchair Jimmy.” So I’m like cool, Compare me to Drake. That’s a compliment. I’m going to keep doing my thing regardless.

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