Onyx’s Fredro Starr wasn’t too surprised when Eminem mentioned the legendary group on “Legacy,” a song off the recently released The Marshall Mathers Lp 2. He was more surprised that Em found a way to rhyme the group’s name.
“I was just trying to figure that out on an artistic level,” Fredro told XXL. “Not too many words rhyme with Onyx, so I was just sitting there thinking, ‘Did he have it planned? Or did he write that as his pen was going?’”
On the song, Em rhymes, “Instead of tryna escape through my comics, why don’t I just blast a little something by Onyx?” Fredro said he wasn’t shocked to hear the lyric, because “Eminem has always shown Onyx love.” He then went on to reference the fact that Sticky Fingaz was featured on the original The Marshall Mathers LP, on the song “Remember Me?” Similarly, Em was featured on Sticky’s 2001 album, Blacktrash: The Autobiography of Kirk Jones, on the song “What If I Was White?”
The two parties also bonded through the film 8 Mile, Fredro added. At one point in the film, its characters freestyle over the instrumental of Onyx’ “Last Dayz.” Fredro got to attend the film’s premier; he didn’t have a ticket, but “just walked in with Dr. Dre,” he said.
Further down in “Legacy,” Em also mentions that Onyx’ music puts him in the “mood to wanna fight.” Fredro said he captured the mentality of the group perfectly with the line.
“That’s the kind of music we definitely produce,” he said. “We produce that angst…and him saying that is just reinforcing what we’re doing and what we’ve been doing.”
Fredro went on to say that he believes the line is a reference to Em’s childhood.
“We’re a little older than Eminem, so he probably put an Onyx album on before he even came out and (was) probably ready to fight somebody,” he said. “Probably happened when he was in high school or something.”
Onyx is currently working on a new album, titled Wake The F*** Up, which will be entirely produced by German hip-hop production duo The Snowgoons. Sticky and Fredro are also working on a movie together, titled Cain and Able, which will be produced by Russell Simmons. Sticky will direct the film, which he also wrote, and Fredro will act in it.
The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is expected to debut at number one on the Billboard charts this week.
Previously: The 50 Best Eminem Verses