Dawaun Parker may not be a name that strikes you immediately but if you’re a credits reader and pay attention to detail, the name can not be missed. Dawaun Parker has been signed to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment as a producer and songwriter for many years now. From producing hit records for 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, Jay Z & more to co-producing nearly every song on Eminem’s Relapse, Dawaun has been in the studio with the best of the best.
His latest outing is 50 Cent & Trey Songz’ latest single ‘Smoke‘ for which is credited as a co-producer. We had the chance to speak to Dawaun about his contribution to the song, how it’s like to work with Dr. Dre, allegations that Dre doesn’t produce his own beats, whether Detox will ever come out, working with his artist Phil Beaudreau, building his own company AoE and much more.
Thanks for talking to us Dawaun. First off, congrats on co-producing 50 Cent’s ‘Smoke’ feat. Trey Songz. Sounds like a big record.
Thanks man. It’s a cool record, hopefully the fans enjoy it.
Yes, it’s getting a good reaction and it’s important that this songs works for him.
Definitely man. I’ve always been a fan of 50. He’s always had a presence and I think he still has a lot of viability and credibility. When he focuses, he’s capable of making some great music. I continue to root for him and I hope that whatever amount of records he sells, at this time, he’s proving himself. At the end of the day, it all comes down to making music that his fans enjoy.
So how did the song come about? In the breakfast Club interview, 50 mentioned that the original version of the song was quite different than the one that has come out today and that he re-wrote the hook a few times with Trey Songz.
Yeah, he’s quite accurate on that. It’s had a few versions but it’s been a 50 song for a while now. I wasn’t sure when the hook came about. I remember the process of making the beat. During that time period, we were just making records with Detox in mind and just wanted to see if there’s something that Trey might wanna smash. Just like 50 said, he needed some joints and he ended up hopping on that and making it his own.
Was 50 there when you made the beat or did he get involved later on?
50 wasn’t there when we made the beat. Most of the times, the artist isn’t there when you are making a joint. It was an unfinished record and when he heard it, he wanted to make it his own. When we’re making stuff, we never really have the artist in mind, unless he or she is in the studio with us. It’s great that 50 stuck with this.
What all did you contribute to the beat?
I did a lot of the track actually. Me and Mark Batson, if I’m not mistaken, we did that track in Hawaii. It was one of the tracks we were making during that time and yes, I’m heavily on that. I did part of the synths and drums. Doc of course did the breaks, arranged it and mixed it.
You have been a part of some huge songs and worked with the biggest artists in the game. How do you feel about that after all these years?
I really don’t get a chance to reflect on that so much. It’s cool for some people to hit you up and tweet you from time to time because they read my name in the credits. But it’s mostly a behind the scenes job. I just want to contribute to the culture, make some good music and hopefully inspire others to join the music game. It saved my life and I wanna perfect my craft going forward.
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