Emile: Low Key Heat…From Cormega to Eminem

emile2

Ask

anyone who has toured overseas in the last few years, and they’re

sure to confirm that Hip Hop is alive and well outside of North America.

Artists who don’t draw crowds of over 200 in an American city are

able to pack clubs and halls with 1,000 people and more overseas, new

jacks and OGs alike. While New York based producer Emile doesn’t perform

live very often, the allure of European shows was too strong to ignore

when he was recently invited to DeeJay on tour.

      Emile

is basically your favorite rapper’s best-kept secret. The fact his

name rings industry bells, while drawing blanks among the consumer population,

is a testament to his work ethic and disregard for the limelight. And

as long as he’s in the studio with Ice Cube or contributing tracks

to Busta Rhymes’ new project, he could care less if he’s recognized

in public.

      A

day before departing the U.S., Emile still had a few minutes to run

us through his history in the game and let the world know why he doesn’t

plan to change a damn thing in 2008. 

AllHipHop.com: Yo Emile, how’s

everything going with you? 

Emile: Dude, I’m leaving

for a tour in Europe tomorrow. 

AllHipHop.com: Crazy. How long

are you going for and what kind of dates are you doing? 

Emile: I actually did an album

with this dude Ian Brown, who’s a big British artist. I produced half

his album, and he’s doing this big tour of all these arenas with like

10,000 people a show. He was just like “Dude, if you want to come

hang out and DeeJay you should come on through, cause I’d love to have

you DeeJay rather than get an opening band.” So I was like “F**k yeah.” 

AllHipHop.com: That sounds

dope. Is this your first time going over there? 

Emile: Yeah I’ve been quite

a few times to Paris and London just producing. The biggest s**t I’ve

done on stage was DeeJaying for The Beatnuts, because I don’t get a chance

to do too much performing. That was another situation where they were

my boys, and they asked if I felt like checking Europe out. They did

a show in Switzerland once for New Years in an airplane hanger with

10,000 people, that was pretty sick. 

AllHipHop.com: That’s wild

because over here The Beatnuts would never get 10,000 people to a show. 

Emile: I mean, what rapper

does except for a select few? It’s just different. They’ll go out

there and do “Props Over Here” and records like that, and people

just lose their f***in mind, you know? 

AllHipHop.com: Definitely.

So from what I know, you grew up kind of a bad a** kind in Buffalo,

sold bootleg tapes in junior high to buy turntables and practiced DeeJaying

while under house arrest. Is that how it went? 

Emile: I was just a bad kid. 

I guess, never did anything really bad, just stupid s**t. Kept getting

in minor trouble here and there, and it just kept building up and building

up. Eventually I was actually looking at going away to juvenile detention

for a year and change, but the judge offered me two years of house arrest

instead. Hell yeah. I had some turntables and that was about it, no

girlfriend, no cable, just some turntables. So that got me nice on the

turntables. Before that, I had never really put in the work, but I really

put it in during that time period. I had a bunch of records and some

f****d up, Gemini BD40s or something like that. But by the time I got

some techniques I was good to go. 

AllHipHop.com: How long after

that did you move to New York City? 

Emile: That was ’96, and

I moved to New York in ’98. I came out here, and luckily I had family

so I had somewhere to crash. I worked every job that I could during

the day and just made beats all night until I eventually ended up selling

one of them s***s. After that I quit the job and was like “Let’s

do this.” 

AllHipHop.com: Sounds like

it could be the opening of a feature film right there. 

Emile: Yeah it was pretty crazy.

A lot of my boys from Buffalo moved out here, some of them rapped, some

made beats some of them DeeJayed. We were all just out here grinding,

and I was in the basement making beats every night. 

AllHipHop.com: Was the first

beat you sold the one Cormega picked for his album? 

Emile: That was the first thing

that came out officially, but believe it or not the first beat I sold

was to Rodney Jerkins, who’s a huge multi-platinum R&B producer.

He was working on a rap project, and he had somehow heard my beats through

a friend and he wanted to buy one. So that was the first check I got,

$3000 from Rodney Jerkins. Man, that was the most money I’d seen at

once. It wasn’t too long afterwards that one of my best friends started

tour managing the group D12 and I met Proof. He really liked my beats

and just wanted to get me working with the guys from Detroit. He got

me with Obie Trice, and he sat down and wrote what would be “Don’t

Come Down” for his first album.

Cormega happened right around

the same time as well, cause I was going over to In Your Ear studio

all the time which is right by Queensbridge, and there was people affiliated

with Cormega there so he got hold of my beat tape. He took one, and

that was the first to get released, the intro to Cormega’s album (“Introspective”

from The Realness). 

AllHipHop.com: After that you

must have started shopping your beats like crazy. 

Emile: That was around the

time I linked up with and got my manager, and started really pursuing

s**t. All the s**t started happening at once, once I got on Obie and

Cormega’s albums everything changed. It went from when I would meet

some random A&R and they’d be like “What have you done?” What

do you say? “I haven’t really done anything” isn’t the same

as “Well, I’ve done this.” That changed a lot of s**t. Also around

that time, I had always done sampled beats, and a lot of people weren’t

f***ing with anything with samples until Jay-Z came out with Blueprint.

All of a sudden, The Blueprint drops, and the beats I had been

making are the s**t. But before that s**t came out it was like “Aww

dog, you got samples? We can’t f**k with you.” After that, people

started listening in a whole different way. 

AllHipHop.com: Not to mention

that Obie’s debut was a big album as far as being alongside some heavyweight

producers like Dre and Timbaland, and you with two tracks being relatively

unknown. 

Emile: Yeah, one of the first

big records I did, the credits read “Produced by Eminem and Emile.”

It wasn’t an assisted production thing, it was a straight co-production

with Eminem. He blessed me to just put his name next to mine. That was

a really, really big foot in the door. 

AllHipHop.com: You know come

to think of it, your beats are always in good company with the projects

you get placed on. Aside from the obvious inspiration, is there anyone

in particular that’s given you guidance as far as the music goes? 

Emile: Alchemist showed me

a lot of love from the jump. He had one of the first beat CDs that I

was kind of passing around, and he always showed me mad love after I

met him. Every time I had a question on the business side or the studio

side, he was always cool with lending some advice. The Beatnuts showed

a lot of love. You know, a lot of producers that I had a chance to meet

did. DJ Premier, he did scratches on one of my beats which was crazy

for me. That was dope, and it still is, just being able to get alongside

cats that I really look up to on projects. When I heard Premier was

doing the scratches on “New York,” which was AZ featuring Ghostface

and Raekwon, it bugged me out. If you would have told me all that when

I was 15, 16-years-old, I would have f***in fell on the floor. 

AllHipHop.com: Especially if

you were someone who really enjoyed Only Built 4 Cuban Linx and

Ironman growing up. 

Emile: Oh hell yeah! You know

it’s funny, I don’t have a lot of records out with Ghostface, but

I’ve recorded quite a few with Ghost. Some of them ended up on the

Theodore Unit album, one of them was the intro for Pretty Toney,

some never came out. And I was on Rae’s Lex Diamond album,

but those two were two of my favorite artists. Always have been. That’s

the s**t I used to listen to and get the whole sound for my beats. It

was all inspired by the purple tape, Supreme Clientele, Ironman,

all that shit. M.O.P. was another group I was a huge, huge fan of that

I got to work with. 

AllHipHop.com: You got to work

with them for the album they were making during their Rocafella signing.

Did a lot of tracks eventually get released from that, and how dope

would that album be if it dropped? 

Emile: You know, M.O.P. record

so much music. A lot of it eventually comes out, but there’s probably

10 times more that never comes out. But those dudes’ work ethic is crazy,

they stay in the studio. To me the album would have just been any M.O.P.

album, every album they’ve put out has delivered to me. Every album

they’ve put out I still listen to this day. Whether it was their first

album or the one they put out on Koch, every album they put out is quality

as far as I’m concerned. So it would have just been another classic

M.O.P. record. 

AllHipHop.com: No doubt. The

more recent record you did for Obie called “Wanna Know” got picked

up for an HBO’s show Entourage. You a fan of that show? 

Emile: Yeah, huge fan. Huge

fan. I’ve seen every episode of that show at least twice. It was kind

of just coincidence, like “Entourage? That’s my s**t!” F**k yeah,

you know I was Tivo’n that s**t man. I watched that a few times, I

was hyped. The first part [of the episode] they play it for like 10

seconds, and I was like “OK, that was dope.” But then they played

it for like a minute at the end of that shit, so I was buggin.  

AllHipHop.com: Alright, tell

me about what projects you’re going to be working on next. 

Emile: Man, how did I even

pull that up? I’ve been working with Ice Cube quite a bit on the last

two projects he did which were his solo album and WC’s album. Cube’s

just getting ready to come out with a new solo album, so you can definitely

catch me on a couple records on there. I’ve got Rhymefest in the studio

tonight and we’ve been working on some hot s**t. Snoop just took a

joint, so that could be some s**t. And I think Busta just took some

s**t for the new thing he’s working on.  

AllHipHop.com: I’ve heard

you’re a guy that spends a lot of time in the lab regardless, but

have you felt the need to work any harder the last couple years with

all the competition from new producers? 

Emile: Hell yeah, there’s

a lot of producers and a lot of them have hot s**t now. It used to be

if you wanted to be a producer, you had to save up a lot of money to

buy an SP or an MP or an ASR or whatever it is you work with. Now you

can be a producer for free and have good equipment if you have a good

computer. That’s something to be aware of, but I don’t know if that

makes me want to work harder. Every year that goes by I do more shit

and get to work with more artists, and I get addicted to that. So every

day I’m not in the studio I feel pretty guilty like “Damn, I gotta

get back to work. What the f**k am I doing?” 

AllHipHop.com: You’re a go-to

producer but you have a low profile. Are you happy just being known

as a dude that makes dope records? 

Emile: Yeah, I don’t really

give a s**t about that. I think the one benefit of being a bit more

known is getting on a few more projects. It’s always nice when people

in the business know who you are, as far as when you sit down to play

them records they know what you’ve done in the past. But as long as

I can keep getting on projects that I really want to get on, I don’t

care about anything else.

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