anyone who has toured overseas in the last few years, and theyre
sure to confirm that Hip Hop is alive and well outside of North America.
Artists who dont 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 doesnt perform
live very often, the allure of European shows was too strong to ignore
when he was recently invited to DeeJay on tour.
is basically your favorite rappers 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 hes in the studio with Ice Cube or contributing tracks
to Busta Rhymes’ new project, he could care less if hes recognized
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 doesnt
plan to change a damn thing in 2008.
AllHipHop.com: Yo Emile, hows
everything going with you?
Emile: Dude, Im 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, whos a big British artist. I produced half
his album, and hes 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 Id 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 Ive been quite
a few times to Paris and London just producing. The biggest s**t Ive
done on stage was DeeJaying for The Beatnuts, because I dont 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: Thats 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? Its just different. Theyll go out
there and do Props Over Here and records like that, and people
just lose their f***in mind, you know?
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 Lets
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, whos 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 Id seen at
once. It wasnt 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 Dont
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 Cormegas 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
Cormegas albums everything changed. It went from when I would meet
some random A&R and theyd be like What have you done? What
do you say? I havent really done anything isnt the same
as Well, Ive done this. That changed a lot of s**t. Also around
that time, I had always done sampled beats, and a lot of people werent
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 cant f**k with you. After that, people
started listening in a whole different way.
AllHipHop.com: Not to mention
that Obies debut was a big album as far as being alongside some heavyweight
producers like Dre and Timbaland, and you with two tracks being relatively
Emile: Yeah, one of the first
big records I did, the credits read Produced by Eminem and Emile.
It wasnt 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 thats 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
its funny, I dont have a lot of records out with Ghostface, but
Ive 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 Raes Lex Diamond album,
but those two were two of my favorite artists. Always have been. Thats
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 theres 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 theyve put out has delivered to me. Every album
theyve 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 Im concerned. So it would have just been another classic
AllHipHop.com: No doubt. The
more recent record you did for Obie called Wanna Know got picked
up for an HBOs show Entourage. You a fan of that show?
Emile: Yeah, huge fan. Huge
fan. Ive seen every episode of that show at least twice. It was kind
of just coincidence, like Entourage? Thats my s**t! F**k yeah,
you know I was Tivon 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 youre going to be working on next.
Emile: Man, how did I even
pull that up? Ive been working with Ice Cube quite a bit on the last
two projects he did which were his solo album and WCs album. Cubes
just getting ready to come out with a new solo album, so you can definitely
catch me on a couple records on there. Ive got Rhymefest in the studio
tonight and weve 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 hes working on.
AllHipHop.com: Ive heard
youre 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, theres
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. Thats something to be aware of, but I dont 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 Im 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: Youre 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 dont 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. Its 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 youve done in the past. But as long as
I can keep getting on projects that I really want to get on, I dont
care about anything else.