Denaun Porter

Mr. Porter On “Nine”, Missing Gucci Mane and Why Mitt Ain’t Sh*t

Mr. Porter is a busy guy.  When he’s not in the studio working ungodly hours, the producer and rapper is writing songs in his car or listening to his latest mixes there on a top of the line sound system. But this should come as no surprise. Having worked with so many Hip-Hop greats,  the artist formerly known as Kon Artis has learned a lot – and still has a lot to offer.

AllHipHop.com had the pleasure of visiting Mr. Porter at his studio in Oak Park, Michigan, to discuss, among other things, his two upcoming solo projects, what brings him to tears in Hip-Hop today, and the importance of voting in the 2012 presidential election:

AllHipHop.com: Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to speak with AllHipHop.com.

Mr. Porter: I love AllHipHop.com.

AllHipHop.com: What are the current statuses of your projects Nine and The Memo?

Mr. Porter: Nine is coming first because it’s like a completion. It was supposed to come out on 12/12/12, but a lot of people coming out on that day. Then I decided not to do it, because it takes away from what I was trying to do. The meaning of [Nine] to me is that I have never completed a project for myself. Nine is moved back to somewhere in January, and then The Memo is going to be more like the summer, because The Memo is a dedication to everyone and everybody that ever did anything for me in this game. In my life. It’s a real album.

AllHipHop.com: In the spirit of your record, The Sum of All Tears, what brings you to tears in Hip-Hop right now?

Mr. Porter: The first thing that comes to mind is the content. I feel that a lot of people are harping on the same content. I feel like a lot of people are one-trick ponies. I do it, too, sometimes. I’m a victim of it, too; I’m not sh*tting on anybody. Change up the content a little bit. I don’t want to hear a whole album about your car, your clothes, and how many b*tches you’re f*cking. Actually, I don’t give a f*ck.

But it’s a business. What brings me to tears is that we are scared to take control of the business now. We are the business. We dictate and tell these motherf*ckin’ labels what they’re going to sell by what people like. The more creative you are, you never know. Take a chance. Nobody takes a chance.

AllHipHop.com: There is footage of you at The Shelter this summer co-signing Jon Connor. He’s also in AllHipHop.com’s Breeding Ground. What makes him stand out among this generation of rappers?

Mr. Porter: His content is different. And he’s a very hard working guy. I’ve seen the best of the best, and every time I saw somebody turn into what they are, they worked that hard. And this dude really works hard on his craft. He doesn’t wait for somebody to tell him to do something. He just moves. And that’s the first thing I noticed about him. He’s got sense, and he’s a real humble dude. He’s great.

AllHipHop.com: What’s your goal with your label, My Own Planet?

Mr. Porter: The goal right now is to have a successful artist that I put out. It may take a couple tries; we may go through numerous artists. I want to put out an artist or two through My Own Planet that are successful artists. And when I say successful, I know what that means. Successful to me. Whatever they turn into, they turn into. There’s a success rate that I have for it, and a goal that I have, which I never tell people my whole goal, because then they have their mind on you. And they’ve got this negative energy that I don’t want.

AllHipHop.com: Who are your Top Five Producers, and why you did you select those people?

Mr. Porter: Obviously being a student of [Dr.] Dre, he’s always my number one. And that’s because of his ability to reinvent himself.

Dilla, of course, being a student of that and learning things from him, and being able to have those conversations when I didn’t know how to do something, and then learning why they did it.

And this is where it gets tricky.  [laughter] I would have to say Just Blaze definitely. I know Just and his personality and how his beats are two totally different things. I think sometimes the aggression [in his music] is attributed to the fact he’s not like that as a person.

I would say Q-Tip was one of the reasons I even started doing music. When I heard A Tribe Called Quest and the way they produced, that was the best experience in my life.

You know what? I’ve got to say J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. They’re consistent.

AllHipHop.com: What isn’t on your iPod?

Mr. Porter: Right now, what’s not on my iPod is Gucci Mane. Last year, he was on my iPod; this year, he’s not. I kind of keep it short. I don’t try to listen to too much. I stay real current. When I wake up, after I pray and all of those things, I’ll go see what people posted, and see what’s new.

AllHipHop.com: Where do you stand on voting? Do you believe the Hip-Hop community will make a difference in November?

Mr. Porter: The only way Mitt Romney will win is if we don’t go vote. The guy is an idiot. In the debate that happened the other day, he had great points. But I’m no fool. You’re not going to fool me. For the last four to six months, those points [he was making] had nothing to do with what he did in that debate. That was for that debate. And [if] people follow him, and look at his track record, he doesn’t stand for half the sh*t that he said [the other night]. I’m not voting for Obama because he’s Black. I’m voting for him because he’s an intelligent human being. And you can tell that he has compassion. Hip-Hop has to vote. And not just Hip-Hop, everybody.

Follow Mr. Porter on Twitter (@MrPorter2012).

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