Big news courtesy of Q-Tip himself today as he reveals to Elliott Wilson that he and Rick Rubin will be producing Kanye West's next solo album!
"I’m producing Kanye’s new album with Rick Rubin, I’m doin’ that, so that’s coming up." - Q-Tip
Of course one's quick to assume that the album will have a more traditional hip hop sound with Tip and Rubin involved, but as we all know with Kanye, we really shouldn't have any expectations. The bottom line is that I think these three will make for a good mix, and I'm intrigued to hear how working with Rick Rubin from the start of the album (as opposed to the end, like Yeezus) will be different for 'Ye. There is of course no word yet on when everyone will be together working on the album, but hopefully we'll hear more updates as 2014 is upon us.
Eminem just took the stage on SNL and performed the first two singles off MMLP2: "Berzerk" and "Survival".
Rick Rubin was the surprise DJ for "Berzerk", Skylar Grey brought the hook on "Survival" to life, and Mr. Porter acted as Em's hype man in both performances.
I thought the "Survival" performance was the better of the two, probably because "Berzerk" has so many studio-produced vocals that Em had to lip-sync the chorus and possibly even parts of the verses. Skylar set the tone on "Survival" with her booming rendition of the hook and I found new appreciation for Em's last verse after seeing it performed tonight. Watch both performances ICYMI!
Shoutout to the homie Curt Chambers — the talented singer/songwriter/guitarist, who did the lattter for Em tonight.
“I think it’s unlike any current hip-hop songs. Em wanted to do something, kind of a throw-back to some of the early records that we were making in the old days, and it more reflects that energy of the early days of hip-hop.”
- Rick Rubin
We go in for an official behind the scenes video on the making of "Berzerk", which primarily features Rick Rubin talking about how his collab with Eminem came about and some revealing info on the records' development and creative process. I thought it was all particularly interesting on a single, that albeit has garnered mixed reviews, but is one that I'm on the positive end of the spectrum on. Watch the quick, 2 minute video above (a pt. 1 as well).
It was awkward, it was light-hearted at times, it was full of compliments, and it was awkward some more. And it just happened on live TV as Eminem joined Brent Musberger & Kirk Herbstreit at halftime in his home state of Michigan for an interview and world premiere of the "Berzerk" video teaser.
This was a fun Twitter moment if you just happened to watch it. If not, press play above and see some odd, and vintage Eminem.
Shouts Deadspin on the rip. When the teaser hits the web, we'll have another update. It already revealed cameos by Rick Rubin, Slaughterhouse (no surprises yet...) and Kendrick Lamar!
The full version arrives a few hours early. Listen to Eminem's "Berzerk" — the first single off MMLP2. This is produced by Rick Rubin, with the album dropping November 5th, as announced during last night's VMAs.
For me, it's a *Tibs Fav. for sure — Em drops a raw hip hop flavor, with a catchy chorus, and rhymes that are only going to grow on me. Given the teasers too, I think we'll see an awesome video to match the return of Eminem's bleached blonde hair.
Eminem 'MMLP2' 11.05.13, executive produced by Dr. Dre & Rick Rubin.
Wow... Marshall Mathers, the original, was great. To give a sequel to that... *nods head*
Dre involved... no surprise there. Rick Rubin... what big artist isn't he working with? Awesome news tonite.
UPDATE: Here's the Beats By Dre spot that announced the album just moments ago during the first VMAs commercial break. It features a 15 second preview of a furious Eminem wanting to take it back to real hip hop. An old-school sounding beat to top it off. This is the first listen for "Berzerk", which, as the image from Eminem.com says above, drops Tuesday...!
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Beats By Dre x Eminem Announcing MMLP2
UPDATE 2: A 30 second preview of "Berzerk" that sounds like the hook. The Billy Madison superfan in me is elated that Eminem is rapping over a sample of Billy Squier's "The Stroke". The video also has a dope Beastie Boys vibe to it, coinciding with all of us connecting the dots to Rick Rubin. Plus, is that a bleached blonde Em? "Guess who's really back?" is right..!
WSJ: Can you recall a scene from the sessions that might help people understand his method in the studio?
RR: We were working on a Sunday [the same day West attended a baby shower for girlfriend Kim [Kardashian] and the album was to be turned in two days later. Kanye was planning to go to Milan that night. Five songs still needed vocals and two or three of them still needed lyrics. He said, “Don’t worry, I will score 40 points for you in the fourth quarter.” In the two hours before had to run out to catch the plane, he did exactly that: finished all lyrics and performed them with gusto. A remarkable feat. He had total confidence in his ability to get the job done when push came to shove.
In a new interview with the Wall Street Journal, Rick Rubin shares some details about his involvement in Kanye West'sYeezus. My favorite snippet of the interview is above, as 'Ye knocked out what sounds like an incredible amount of work to meet the album deadline. 40 in the 4th, as he says. Ha! More interesting details are below and the full interview is, once again, here. Just a few more days everyone!
WSJ: When and why did you join the “Yeezus” project?
RR: Kanye came over to play me what I assumed was going to be the finished album at three weeks before the last possible delivery date. We ended up listening to three hours of partially finished pieces. The raw material was very strong but hadn’t yet come into focus. Many of the vocals hadn’t been recorded yet, and many of those still didn’t have lyrics. From what he played me, it sounded like several months more work had to be done. I joined the project because after discussing what he had played for me, he asked if I would be open to taking all of the raw material on and help him finish it.
WSJ: How would you describe the new sound he was driving for, and how you did you help him arrive there?
RR: He wanted the music to take a stripped-down minimal direction. He was always examining what we could take out instead of put in. A good example would be the song that became “Bound.” When he first played it for me, it was a more middle of the road R&B song, done in an adult contemporary style. Kanye had the idea of combining that track with a cool sample he had found and liked – I removed all of the R&B elements leaving only a single note baseline in the hook which we processed to have a punk edge in the Suicide tradition.
“Even by Kanye West standards, this is pushing it,” said a music industry source.
Uh-oh. It's pedal to the medal time with Yeezus set for release in 8 days. Reports the NY Post this morning (shouts FSD):
Kanye West is driving Island Def Jam executives “crazy” with last-minute changes, a new producer and legal issues over his new album, “Yeezus.”
Sources exclusively tell us that last week — just two weeks before the album drops — West brought in legendary producer Rick Rubin to help lay down additional tracks for the record, and Def Jam execs spent the week haggling over rights for a vocal he used on his song “Onsite.”
Page Six reported last week that after months spent in Paris recording, West was still working in the studio after early releases got mixed reviews.
We hear that Rubin, the co-founder of Def Jam Records, was brought in to help West finish the album. Rubin will be listed as executive producer, sources said.
Def Jam executives haggled over rights to West’s racy song “Onsite,” where the rapper samples an old vocal track from kids in a Chicago church choir. We hear lawyers last week had to track down the choir director and members of the Holy Name of Mary Church choir on the South Side of Chicago to get clearance for the vocals.
Def Jam label chiefs were so worried about whether they would get rights to the track, producers re-recorded the vocals with a different choir to be used in case they couldn’t nail down an agreement with the Holy Name crew in time.
Some interesting tidbits; some of which I'm skeptical about its 100% truth, but I'll take it for what it is. With Rick Rubin on board though, maybe that adds even more of a punch to Yeezus. Overall, I don't really look at this as a warning sign or anything like that. If anything, the more little details that leak, the more I'm intrigued. ICYMI late last night, be sure to watch Kanye West's latest rant, and premieres of new Yeezus tracks from the Governor's Ball.
UPDATE: Hudson Mohawke got in the premiere mode as well: previewing what may be called "Could've Been Somebody", which samples TNGHT's "R U Ready". Watch that below.