The name must certainly ring a bell. Mr. Porter aka Denaun Porter, formerly known as Kon Artis of Eminem’s rap group D12 is living a new life. He recently announced his departure from the group and start of his solo career as a rapper/producer.
His production discography is one which is not to be messed with, with credits including two songs on Eminem’s major label debut Slim Shady LP, one each on The Eminem Show and Recovery, ‘Stunt 101’ on G-Unit’s Beg For Mercy and songs on 3 Snoop Dogg albums. Other major artists who have been happy to work with him are Busta Rhymes, Black Milk, Xzibit, Slaughterhouse, Game, Method Man, Lil Kim and the list goes on, endlessly. Not to forget, he produced Eminem’s entire debut album Infinite with some help from Late Proof back in 1996, as many as 5 songs on Eminem & Royce Da 5’9”s Hell: The Sequel last year and of course his biggest hit to date, 50 Cent’s ‘P.I.M.P’.
Mr. Porter is now looking to shed his quiet personality and aim for greatness with his debut album The Memo, set to release later this year or early next year. But that’s not the only thing he’s busy with at the moment. The producer, rapper & singer has established his own imprint My Own Planet through which he will be signing a few upcoming acts.
I had an opportunity to talk to him yesterday on various topics including his Coachella appearance with Eminem this past weekend, debut album, projects he will be releasing before the album, his imprint, artists that he has already signed, relationship with Eminem & producing Infinite, ‘Detox’, 50 Cent, top 5 producers, upcoming collaborations and much more. Enjoy the five page interview.
HHNM: Thanks a lot for taking out the time to speak to me. I’ve been a fan for years.
Mr. Porter: Ah, no problem. You’re making me feel old (laughs).
HHNM: Let me start this interview by talking about the epic Coachella set that went down this past Sunday. Dre brought out some big names out including Eminem and yourself. How was the experience?
Mr. Porter: Knowing all those guys, for us, it was like being around with everybody again. I’ve worked with Snoop on almost every album since we met. Warren G and Kurupt and those guys, I’ve been friends with them for a while. But for me it was like reconnecting with all of them. Em being there, 50 being there, it was great. Everybody sounded great and did an awesome job on that stage. But the most exciting part to me was the just entire show that went down. I had the chance to meet Kendrick Lamar and BJ The Chicago Kid. I’m a fan of both those guys and it’s funny because BJ actually said something to me and I didn’t even know it was him and he’s like “Yo I’m a fan” and when he told me who he was, I was like “Yo, I’m a fan!” It was crazy, I had fun. Me and Kendrick are gonna definitely hook up and do some music together. It was just awesome man.
HHNM: You recently announced that Kon Artis is dead and you’re no longer part of D12. So how do you feel being a solo artist now? Any difference from being in a group?
Mr. Porter: Yeah, it’s already a new journey. You know it’s just the beginning of it so I’m not sure how I feel about it. It’s kinda like you’re doing your own shows and promoting yourself and those things. I’ve been a very quiet person my whole career. And this is different because it’s lot of self-promotion and I’m still learning as I go and I hope fans are patient with me because I’m like really soft spoken when it comes to my talent and capabilities. I don’t want people to think I’m something that I’m not or thinking too much of myself. I believe in myself whole heartedly but this area of self-promotion is something new to me. I just love doing music. So I’m building a team around me that can help me with that and are well versed with it and who can point me in the right direction. So it’s really a learning process for me but I’m enjoying every step. Some relationships around me are changing because I’m a lot more busy now. So when I’m not producing or when I’m not working with Em, I’m still busy 24/7. It’s just different now, not being in a group but I’m definitely enjoying every bit of it.
HHNM: What can we expect from your debut album ‘The Memo’?
Mr. Porter: Phew (laughs). Let’s see. Because it’s so new I still don’t know what to tell you what exactly you can expect from it. I’m about 6 songs deep into that project. But I’m also considering doing 2 projects before it, before the actual album.
HHNM: Ah okay. Like mixtapes / street releases?
Mr. Porter: Yeah, something like that. Because I think I owe that to fans and to reconnect with people. It’s almost like you have to do that. But they will be proper projects. But ‘The Memo’ is what I’m focussing on right now. I worked on a song from a year ago but didn’t know at that time if I’ll ever do an album. But you can expect some great things. It’s not gonna be too much flossin’, it’s lot of messages in it. I feel ‘The Memo’ is in itself like a memo to the world. It’s like introducing the new me to the world and to remind the fans about who I really am. Like I would like a fan to state a fact about me and say “hey did you know that Mr. Porter was the one who produced “P.I.M.P.’?”