Things should be good for Obie Trice. The artists debut album, Cheers, managed to sell over 500,000 copies. Hes a part of the reigning Shady/Aftermath machine and hes about to release his sophomore album after a three-year sabbatical. But, Obie Trice has a bullet lodged in his head from an attempt on his life in December, 2005. The artist has a lot more than sales on his mind, with the recent loss of comrade Proof still fresh. As Obie prepares Second Rounds On Me, he finds himself pouring out a little liquor.
AllHipHop.com: How was the Anger Management Tour?
Obie Trice: We went all over the U.S., it was crazy. It was real fun to have everybody on the same tour. Me and my n***a, Marshall was just getting it in working.
AllHipHop.com: Any cities that stood out?
Obie Trice: The South was real dope. Atlanta, Houston, Dallas everywhere was dope.
AllHipHop.com: Howd you know that you were in your element?
Obie Trice: Crowd participation. You spittin your s**t, and the crowd is right there wit you, looking at you, spittin your s**t verbatim, word for word. Its like scoring a touchdown, man.
AllHipHop.com: How important is stage presence?
Obie Trice: It all depends on the song. If I got a song thats crazy, a wil out song, Ima rhyme and move accordingly.
AllHipHop.com: Since the last project, how have you grown as an MC?
Obie Trice: Cheers is a classic. Its been almost three years since my last album, which is a long time. Second Rounds On Me shows a different Obie. Im going deeper. Im not the same dude. I think this album is more lyrical, more spontaneous. Second Round Shows growth as an individual. I got 18, 19 songs on my album. Most albums come with 14 songs, and thats a complete album. You dont want people to get drowned in the music and not listen, but I give it all to you.
AllHipHop.com: Dr. Dre versus Eminem. Who takes the title of best producer?
Obie Trice: Im going with Marshall. Thats my homey. Dres the man, but Em is sick. He got some s**t. He gives away beats! He dont charge Nas or Jay-Z. Dre want a $150,000 to a million [dollars]. Eminem is a motherf**king artist. Hes a talented dude and you gotta respect him. Hes never been fake.
AllHipHop.com: No doubt. The worlds been giving it up for him. At this point, what separates Shady Records from the other labels out there?
Obie Trice: Marshall lets you be the individual that you are. He listens to my music, gives his opinion, then mixes and masters it.
AllHipHop.com: The first song that I heard off of Next Rounds On Me was Ghetto featuring Trey Songz and producer JR Rotem. When I heard that, I was like Damn! What went into that?
Obie Trice: I felt Trey Songz hook, and JR is a beast. I was right at home. Im from the motherf**king slums where the cops dont come/ turn the lights on and the bugs dont run/ you aint s**t without no gun in the ghetto. Thats not just Detroit, its the whole world, especially us as black people.
AllHipHop.com: I agree completely. What do you miss most about Hip-Hop from ten years ago?
Obie Trice: N***as wasnt killin each other like they are today. Hip-Hop was fun when I was young. You were speaking where you came from, and n***as respected it. Nowadays man I dont know if the crack babies are growing up or what, but its crazy. I got a bullet in my head right now as we speak.
Hip-Hop was fun for me; I had fun with the music back then. That was my passion. I was born to do Hip-Hop music. It goes way beyond another hustle. You cant just jump into the culture; its a relationship that needs to be appreciated. Really, really appreciated. Its a bond, more than just rap; its the significant other. Its more than just saying that I can rap. Thats where a lot of n***as got it twisted. You cant just be rapping just to rap. As a rapper youve got to have an objective. And youve got to have somebody in your corner with a good ear to give constructive criticism, not just a bunch of yes-men. Its just like getting drafted to the NBA or NFL, it aint for everybody. There are a lot of dudes in the NBA that got drafted and sat on that bench. They were a part of the team but they never played. Rapping aint for everybody. We all arent stars.
AllHipHop.com: Would you consider yourself a star?
Obie Trice: I consider myself as a star, and as a dude that does it for Hip-Hop. Im not trying to get over on you motherf***ers. I love the music. I dont do it just to shine. I do it because I love Hip-Hop culture. I try to make music that people can appreciate. I love the music and the culture, always have and always will. But Im a star.
AllHipHop.com: As a star, and as far as your career goes, where do you see yourself in ten years?
Obie Trice: I see myself making movies. I also see myself established as one of the greatest MCs that ever did it.
AllHipHop.com: Our prayers and condolences go out to Proofs family and the Shady Aftermath staff. What would you have fans of Hip-Hop and members of our community take away from this unfortunate situation?
Obie Trice: Us as Black men theres a lot of dudes that just take your life for no reason. I think its some bulls**t, truthfully. Not just from what happened to Proof I mean, I saw my n***a on a gurney. I went to the hospital when they brought his body in, cold, one eye open its just senseless dog. We kill each other cause, I dont like you. You bump me walking through the crowd, and Ill kill you. And Ill kill any n***a trying to take me away from my loved ones! And its sad that it has to be that way, but thats how it is. N***as will kill you and not think nothing of it. I almost died New Years Eve
AllHipHop.com: I dont know your history of violence or of being shot, but you were shot in the head and survived. Whats your outlook on life like nowadays?
Obie: Trice: Its still surreal to me. Its funny that I didnt get shot a long time ago. Im from the hood and been in a lot of bulls**t; shoot-outs, n***as shot at me its just a blessing that I can talk to you right now about my situation. It aint no hype – getting shot aint cool. Im surprised that it took this long for me, and I get shot in the dome at that? I got a bullet in my head; it cracked my skull so the doctors aint want to pull it out. The nurses were like; You had three angels in the car with you that night. And four months later, my man gets killed. He wasnt meant for that.
AllHipHop.com: You got any advice for all the gun-happy kids and rappers with assault rifles in all their rhymes?
Obie Trice: If you murder a person, thats a track record. If you murder someone one time, you feel like it aint s**t. Keep laying n***as down, you gotta answer to the Man upstairs in the end. The niggas that shot me, all of that s**t comes back around. Ill give it to this summer, they gon be talking, n***as want to express themselves. I dont care who the f**k you is. If it was a real killing type of n***a, he would have killed me. The person that shot me was just a hatin ass n***a. I dont owe anybody s**t. I aint took no work from nobody. I might have f**ked somebodys b*tch. If thats why you want to kill a n***a, then youse a fag. I aint never snitched on nobody and I gets it in Detroit. I f**k with trife life. I f**k with real people. Its just a sad situation.
Detroit is a small working-class city. Word gets around. Its so small, certain niggas talk like bitches sometimes, even though Detroit is made up of real motherf***ers. I love my city and thats why I cant move. All we got is downtown where everybody pulls up at the same spot; all the killers, hustlers, everybody. Its not like New York City; its only a few spots.
AllHipHop.com: Whats the economy like in Detroit right now?
Obie Trice: Were $130 million dollars in debt. If we dont have the money by June, the state is taking over. Thats called receivership. Thats crazy, laws is going to change the s**t is crazy. N***as is broke for real. So when they see Obie Trice, Eminem or D12, they like f**k yall n***as! And all we doing is chilling and embracing you. We from the D, so we trying to indulge in the things weve always been doing. It aint like you going to see Nas or Jay-Z walk past, its no stars like that. But, if you dont like me, who gives a f**k? N***as die over that. Thats when it gets real hectic.