Mr. Porter Interview Part 3 – Checks And Balance

October 7, 2009

RESIZEdenaun-porterMr. Porter has compiled quite the discography for himself since Dr. Dre gave him his first check for a beat (click here). His catalog isn’t only admirable because of the heavyweight names that it includes, but because of its balance—multiplatinum-selling superstars like 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg have found the Detroiter’s production just as valuable as area staples like Monica Blaire and Guilty Simpson have. Add that to Mr. Porter’s partnership with Open Labs, a company that makes music production equipment, and you may think twice the next time you say it’s impossible to be in several places at once. In the final part of his interview with MichiganHipHop, Mr. Porter talks about how he balances his many musical lanes, executive producing future projects by Pharaohe Monch and Royce Da 5’9”, and the prospect of new music from D12.

MIHH: I really think you’re the most well balanced artist from Michigan. You work with cats like Eminem and Snoop, but you also work with a Guilty Simpson or Monica Blaire. And then just on the wide range of stuff you’ve already done as far as the movies, as far as your website, as far as everything you seem like a really balanced dude. How do you stay involved in so many lanes at once?
Mr. Porter: One lane don’t pay attention to the next, so they don’t get in each other’s way. 50 won’t pay attention to a Monica Blaire, but then she’ll sneak up behind him and have a hit record just because we were doing it because he wasn’t paying any attention to it. I work with a lot of different artists and nobody would ever know, because you go from one instant to the next. My team consists of people that’s just as humble and just as dope, but Em might not know that right away. One day he may be like, “Who did this?” An artist that I work with from here named MarvWon wrote the hook for this joint I just did on the Slaughterhouse album, that song with Pharoahe Monch. Nobody would have thought that, they would have just thought, “Oh, Pharoahe always does great hooks.” He was just here and I was like, “Yo Pharoahe I need you to do this hook. Marv wrote it.”

I figure that I’m never too big to be small, and I’m never too small to be big. So I can move anywhere I want and nobody pays a whole hell of a lot of attention to me, but I make a great living doing it, and I love doing it. And people don’t look at me and say, “Oh he’s Hollywood.” So tomorrow if I turn into Will Smith, they gon’ say, “That nigga still answers people on Twitter?” I talk to nobodies. I don’t know who the fuck these people be. I talk to anybody, anybody man. I did a beat website, where I gave out beats for extra cheap, just so people can get a hold of them and shit like that. People be like, “You take your work down like that.” I think they’re idiots, because the way you take your work down is by doing stupid shit. I’m not doing something stupid. These kids can’t touch me no other way. …

I know I’m good, and I’ma stay that way. I keep my ear to what’s going on. I’m always trying to do better and evolving and listening. I’m not scared to make a change. I’m not scared to take constructive criticism. If somebody don’t like something, it’s just their opinion. I don’t take it too seriously. But I do listen to it and say, “Well, what makes you not like it?” And that person might have a conversation with me on Facebook. They might say, “I didn’t like the beat because of this, this and this.” And I may say, “Oh, I thought I was making that mistake’. You know what I’m saying? I don’t look at it like, “Fuck this muthafucka, he don’t know.” That’s what most people do. I ain’t like that because I wasn’t raised that way. That’s really how I stay busy in all of them. You just don’t get too big for people. Everybody isn’t the same.

MIHH: As a quick aside – you have a customized beat machine with Open Labs, right?
Mr. Porter: Mine’s customized, but there are some high end pieces. We’re working on a new model right now that younger kids are actually going to be able to touch, and then they’ll be able to move up to these machines. But that’s Open Labs, which is me and Victor, and Hank and Sassy, all of these great people that have ideas all the time. We talk about the ideas; they know I’m not a guy who just wants a piece of free equipment. Half of these niggas are trying to get shit for free. I find out ways that make it better because I use it. This is my livelihood, this piece of equipment. I base my life around it right now, so I know it like the back of my hand. If they ask me, “What’s the problem with this?” I’ll say, “This is why it doesn’t work for these kids.” … But trust me, in about a year, I’ll give it a year and a half, you gon’ see this things everywhere like the drum machine. They’re the best thing since the MPC to me. So it just depends on how you use them.

MIHH: You’re executive producing Pharoahe Monch’s next album. How is that sounding, and what is it like working with him?
Mr. Porter: We are really trying to get it done [laughs]. It is like pulling teeth. He has done a great job thus far. M-Phazes has been producing a lot of the music. It is a classic Pharoahe Monch album right now.

Shit man, we work too good together. When I met him, I said, “Yo man you’re one of the first dudes that realized [my talent], like other than Dre.” After Dre, I met him. That was the first time I went to shop beats, and that was the first artist I met. He was about to go on tour, and it was like, “As a producer, I gotta meet him.” And when I met him, it was like, “Oh OK, you get it. You get me.” But then we gelled. With that first album that’s out, Desire, it was just a great journey just doing it. He was here about two months ago. He’s been doing a great job of putting it together so far and it sounds incredible. … I think it’s going to be another classic album for him and people gon’ really dig it, because it’s different than the last one. He’s going hard on the rhymes. And I’m trying to lock down M-Phazes to be one of the first producers that I sign, because I like different producers. I like people that can do a whole album and I don’t get tired of hearing the beats. And I think that he’s one producer that’s like that. So it’s coming out great right now. We’ve been playing phone tag today. It’s funny that you said it. I’m gonna call him again by the end of the night.

MIHH: I interviewed Royce recently, and he also said that you’re going to be executive producing his next album.
Mr. Porter: It’s great, because I saw him grow up and he used to be a wild cannon. You know about it. You know the story. We all had attacks back in the day. And even back then I knew he was talented. It was just different things about growing up into a more mature person when it comes down to it. He speaks his mind and he has his own opinion, and I think everybody is entitled to an opinion. So to work with him now, what we’ve been able to do, and what I saw him do to my music, I was like, “Oh shit.” You meet this one person every once in a while that you gel with and he allowed me to produce him. We bump heads on ideas at times, but we don’t ever stick on an issue. We move through it. We try to get it done. I can give him a beat that’s all the way produced, and he’ll know exactly what to do with it. So I don’t have to give him a skeleton, wait for him to do something and bring it back. I can give the whole idea, and he’s one person that can get it from start to finish. That’s what I love about working with him. And it’s gon’ come out crazy, because he’s like one of my top five rappers. …

But the way that he hears my music, it’s only once in a while that that happens. Then he’s from the D, so it’s not like I should be hella surprised when I hear him. It’s some people that will get it. Some people will get my style of music. And he ain’t afraid to try no new shit. Like when you hear the song for this album that’s about to come out, it’s crazy. But the next album I get to have my hands on it from start to finish, so you can just imagine what that’s gonna turn out like. That will be the first time that I’m able to pull in the producers that I signed and the guys that I work with, and we’re gonna make an incredible album. That’s like my little brother so it’s kind of  like we bonded a lot more since Proof’s passing. So it’s just been great. I’m happy to be a part of it. That nigga’s working like crazy too.

MIHH: Has there been any new D12 music recorded?
Mr. Porter: I have some incredible music that I recorded with D12 that when the next album comes out, they are incredible songs. I have two, three incredible songs that today, people would be really happy with them. Like I said, when we figure out what we’re going to do business wise and make whatever changes we have to make to adjust. It’s just the content to me. I think the content has to be a lot more mature. I know the whole idea of what we were trying to do, but we have to have the growth and that growth has to show. You gotta be able to see it, you gotta be able to hear it. If it comes out in 2009 and it sounds like 2001, it ain’t gonna work. So I think we just have to work real hard on the content.

But the songs that we’ve done, I have three or four songs that I really like that are great songs. And you know, just stopped there because we have some differences, something like that with creative differences, I think. And then we cook a couple more hits. It’s just been like hell man, it’s just been like hell. So I don’t know where that is, because I’m not really in charge of how that’s going to work. I wanted to executive produce the next D12 album, but I didn’t want to take that responsibility on at that point. So I don’t know what they want to do, or how they want to do it. I’m just a group member, and I’m gonna do what I have to if my own schedule allows me to.

For Part 1 of the Mr. Porter interview, in which he speaks on his professional and personal bond with Eminem, click here. For Part 2, in which he speaks on learning from legends like J Dilla, Dr. Dre, Proof and Eminem, click here. Lastly, click here to follow Mr. Porter on Twitter.

1 Comment »

  1. red pill says:

    really dope series Will. Doing it big sir!

    October 7th, 2009 at 4:14 pm

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