A lot of folks talk about how Dr. Dre doesn’t actually produce the songs and that people like you and Mark Batson do bulk of the work. How true is that and what’s the actual process like when you get together with Dre to work on songs?
You know, it’s cool for people that want to support and give credit to the collaborators, but nothing will sound like it sounds, if it wasn’t for Dre. He’s a true producer, the real definition of a producer and not just a beat maker. He really is responsible for the way everything sounds, the decisions on the arrangement and all that. I’m thankful to have had great mentors; Doc and Mark Batson and Mike Elizondo and everyone I’ve got to work with as part of the Aftermath team. We’re always expected to bring our best over there. But yeah, Dre is a real producer like Quincy Jones, like George Martin. Anyone who would try to discredit that, hasn’t been in the studio and doesn’t know what work goes into it.
Do you honestly think Detox will ever come out?
That’s not up to me man but I do think it has every chance of coming out. It can come out any day, it’s really just about Doc deciding what he wants to do with it. Believe me, no one knows until he knows.
Right. You’ve been promoting your artist Phil Beaudreau and his project Ether on social media a lot. I actually heard it for the first time yesterday and liked it. Why did you choose to go the R&B way?
Because Phil doesn’t rap. If he was TRILL Beaudreau the emcee when we met, then ETHER would probably be a trap album. It’s just based on the artist. I happen to be working with an incredible singer/songwriter. The first track we collaborated on was my song ‘Lost’. We said, ‘man, we gotta work on more songs’, we really felt like we vibed well on the music. As we continued to work together and began to cultivate a sound, Phil’s project started to take form. So, that’s how ETHER came about and we decided to put it out and see what people think about it. So, it wasn’t a conscious decision to pick R&B, it was just the music which dictated what it was. I wouldn’t box it in by calling it any particular genre. We’re just trying to carve out our own space in this crowded game.
It’s been a couple of years since you released any solo Rap songs. Are you still taking your solo career seriously or just plan to have fun with it?
It’s always been about the love, and having fun. That doesn’t mean I don’t take it seriously; I’ve never released something I didn’t care about. I’ve just been focusing on developing Phil’s project and building AoE. We’ll be going back to the studio soon to finish my project, The Decision, because it’s still something that I wanna do. You know, every now and then, I’ve had people come to me, even artists and producers ask me like ‘man where’s your record’ or some people who have an early version of the songs when I was putting my demos together. But it’s really about developing our company AoE at this point and yeah, you should be hearing something from me soon.
What are some of the upcoming projects and collaborations we can look forward to?
You never know what’s in the mix over at Area 51, as I call it — the Aftermath camp. You just gotta stay working and always expect the unexpected there. Right now, my focus is really AoE and we’re really building our movement – which means more songs and beats. I hope to work with some artists again that I’ve worked in the past. I don’t confirm anything until I get the official word.