With two tracks he produced hitting the net (Game's "I Just Wanna F*ck" and Slaughterhouse's "Sun Doobie") D12's own Mr. Porter (aka Kon Artis aka D9) sat down to speak with XXL Magazine about everything from Eminem and Shady Records to his upcoming production and album.
I know you’ve been around Eminem a lot recently. What else have you been up to?
Just rebuilding. Doing the hypeman job; playing my position when it comes to production; and also sharing ideas when I have them. In 2009, we talked about getting some new people, new artists, and kind of rebuilding that, as well. I’m always there anyways, in anything he does production wise alone, and then being a member of the group, playing that position. It’s been really a rebuilding process with that and then with myself personally with my own career as a producer. I got a lot of placements coming out next year; maybe 10 placements in two months. I’m still going. I got a lot more to go. Really man, it’s just been a long road for all of us.
You mentioned that when Em is producing, you said you’re there most of the time?
Yeah. You know, me producing with him, a lot of times, when it’s a project that he’s doing, I’m there as an artist as well as a friend. For me, it’s just a regular two-step. However I can help. I like to consider myself a man of many talents. Like, I don’t have a particular job. Whatever a job may call for, I always stand up to make it happen.
What’s it been like playing hype man? I saw you guys over at Yankee Stadium which was a crazy show.
Yeah, man. It was a tough thing in the beginning, just because that has always been Proof. And when he asked me to do it, all I could think about was–I can’t fill those shoes. I could never fill those shoes. So I had to bring something different to the table. Whatever I could bring to the table. For him asking me to do that, I felt like it was a step for me. It was like him thinking and feeling I was ready to do something and he could depend on me.
Were you hesitant at all at first?
Nah, nah. Because Em is like my brother. So it’s like, if my big brother was hurt and he couldn’t take care of my mother or something like that, I would have to do that, and he would expect that of me. And it was the same thing with Em. I didn’t think twice, because I wanna have his back like he always had my back. And I was like, Who else is gonna do it? It didn’t make sense any other kind of way. Me and him have been around each other for years, before all of the–where he is right now.
When are you planning on dropping The Memo?
I’ve got maybe two albums worth of material for myself. I was just getting comfortable being behind the mic again. I’m trying to have a video out by February. I’m trying to approach it differently. Most times people do an EP just to get their awareness up. I’m doing everything. I hold a lot of great material for myself. Like I got a record right now that would be huge for Jay-Z or even 50. If Swizz did the hook. I’ll probably have Swizz do the hook, cause I wrote it for him. I held a lot of material until I got comfortable. All of the videos I do, there’s gotta be some kick to em. I don’t wanna just do em to do ‘em. They gotta be edgy and artsy.
Thinking back, when you guys dropped Devil’s Night, it debuted at No. 1 on Billboard. Could you watch the shift happen? Or it was more of an overnight thing?
Yeah, we did a couple million. It was crazy. I don’t remember what age I was at the time, but I’m still that age now. At that time, what people don’t really know when they get in this business, your success goes from 1-60. I don’t care who you are, and everything changes. Everything that you know is not the same. People aren’t the same. You aren’t the same. You try to hold on to those things, but you have to let them go. For me, I don’t know what it would be like to be a regular 32-year-old, cause I’m not a regular 32 year old. You know what I’m saying?
Shady was involved in a lot of rap beef. From inheriting 50′s Murda Inc. beef, to the back and forth with Benzino and the Source magazine. Looking back on it now, how did you get through all of that?
I think that in this business, you going to run into those things, and you just hope that it doesn’t get to a point that it gets to sometimes. Any rap beef or whatever they call it these days, its natural to be that way, especially when you’re young and rah rah rah. You ain’t gonna let nobody talk about you and take you out. I think that’s what Em’s position most of the time was, and our position as a label, was defending ourselves. That’s how I always looked at it. If you saying something about Em, you’re saying something about us. And if you saying something about us, you saying something about him. Ultimately, when I think about it now, it could have went different. It could have went a lot worse. We won.
I think you can say that.
I don’t think anybody should take a position–magazines or whatever–to try and destroy anybody. You can’t. You can’t do that. You can’t take a piece of power that you have and misuse it, and that’s what they did. They tried to make it a racial issue at one point. But look man, dude is fresh. You can’t take that talent away from him. Put him up against whatever, you can’t take that talent away. That’s my homie. Fuck everything else. I’ve seen that since he helped me get my first real job, and showed me how to make sure I went to that job–as a person. Outside of what I knew as a father, my own father was a great father, and having him as a friend and he’s such a great father, helped me become the person I am today. You can’t take that away from him. There was one point in time where a lot of DJs were beefing with rappers and I was like, this is stupid. We’re destroying the culture. That ain’t what Kool Herc and them dudes built. We started misusing it. When you look at those beefs, how they went, they were incorrect. They were morally incorrect.
Were you close while Eminem was going through some of the drama over the last few years of his life? Or was he completely confined to himself?
It was a lot of confinement at that time. He didn’t really want people to see him that way. His management did everything that they could to help him get well. You have to allow that healing process. It’s not gonna happen overnight. I didn’t even know everything, and that’s my homie. Fuck music. Fuck all that. That’s my dude. I didn’t even know the totality or how deep the situation was. I learned after. I had emotional moments way after, cause I was like, wow, I didn’t even know and this is my friend. And I was going through something myself, physically, spiritually, mentally, about Proof. I wasn’t fully aware, just as he wasn’t fully aware of what I went through.
You made it sound like you fell back, as well.
Yeah, I started a sound design company. I’m actually finishing that project that I started in the middle of 2006. I put my head in that. It dealt with music, but I wasn’t making music really. I was doing Pharoahe Monch, but I had already started that, so it was kind of like finishing stuff that I had already did. Anything that people got from me was stuff that I had already created. I was doing the sound design thing and that was a brilliant idea that’s just not being finished, because I had to remember where my headspace was at.
You didn’t have it in you for a little while it sounds like.
Yeah, man, I was disgusted with music. My friend got killed and it was people with him that are alive. I felt like if he had been a regular Joe that was just in there and got into it, it probably wouldn’t have went that way. In him being there, he didn’t have no business totally being there anyway. But I felt like wow, y’all know this cat; y’all know what his worth is even to his community and the people that depend on him to wake up in the morning. I was mad at music. I wasn’t in the mood to do shit. I’m trying to get away from it. My man got a little bit going on for himself in life, and some people took that shit away from him. I didn’t wanna do music at all. I was in a fucked up ass relationship. It made me fall into that. It was just a big block. I tried to block everything that had to do with music. I had a crazy, crazy studio in the basement, and I ain’t walk in there to do shit. That’s when I started making drum sounds. I’m looking into making sounds and trying to pick songs for movies and shit like that.
But you got back into music. Was it ’cause this is your job? Or was it because you found your passion again?
I had lost my confidence and I had lost my drive. When you lose your confidence, you lose a lot. I wasn’t confident that I could compete at all. I wasn’t in love with music at all. I listened to–being around Dre and Em when they was working on Relapse, for me, it was like, I was reintroduced to being in the studio like that. Being around people that were brilliant people. Even if one of them was coming out of that crazy space, flushing drugs out of his system, and the other was like stepping back out again and trying to finish a work of art that he had been working on for a long time. I was a part of that. I’m a part of that. These people both respect me. (XXL Magazine)
Slaughterhouse – Sun Doobie (Produced By Mr Porter)