DJ Head Explains Why He Stopped Working With Eminem

A longtime Eminem collaborator, DJ Head explains why he stopped working with Slim Shady after "The Eminem Show."

DJ Head worked extensively with Eminem during the rapper’s pre-fame days in Detroit up through The Eminem Show in 2002. But after that album was released, DJ Head and Eminem stopped working together.

“I moved to Europe for a couple years to do a bunch of gigs and keep money flowing in,” DJ Head says during an interview with noisey.vice.com.

Even though DJ Head had been an integral part of Eminem’s musical career as a DJ and musician, among other things, DJ Head says Eminem did not reach out to him after The Eminem Show.

“He just went and did the 8 Mile thing and just kept going,” DJ Head says.

DJ Head says that he was “neither here nor there” about working with Eminem after The Eminem Show.  

Prior to that, DJ Head played a prominent role in several of Eminem’s breakthrough recordings. For instance, DJ Head worked on the drum programming of several songs from The Marshall Mathers LP. When he was working on the song “Criminal,” he says he was changing his equipment.

“I was actually switching from using one drum machine to another at the time,” he says. “I was using the SP1200 a lot, and beatheads know about that machine, it was very limited, but that damn sound on it was hard, very hard. It was just an old analog machine, simple as hell. So I was transitioning from that to an MPC3000, but I hadn’t learned how to work it yet. So ‘Criminal’ was the last time I used the SP1200. For the rest of the songs, I would put the drum sounds in the SP1200, but then I would sample out of that into the MPC3000. A lot of the reason that Marshall Mathers knocks so hard is because it was all done on analog. We were recording on tape.”

DJ Head says that his work on “Cleaning Out My Closet” was something that stood out about his contributions to The Eminem Show.

“There was a D12 show that I had to DJ for and I had tracked out some of the beat before the show, went and did the [g]ig, then came right back to the studio and kept working on it,” DJ Head says. “Em had written about 75% of the song while I was DJing, so when I came back I realized what he was doing and I began putting the other pieces together. So I laid down that rhythm track before the show, and he figured out his rhyme schemes and patterns on that, and when I came back and heard the rough skeleton of what he was doing, we completed it.”

DJ Head Ponders Studio Tricks Dr. Dre Taught Him

Even though he was often in the studio with Eminem, DJ Head says that he did not spend a lot of time working with Dr. Dre. Nonetheless, they worked together on a D12 track.

“Dre actually helped me mix ‘Shit On You,’ DJ Head says. “He didn’t teach me anything I didn’t already know, but there were a couple tricks in terms of mixing that I’m still pondering. Like when he made ‘Guilty Conscience,’ I was trying to figure out how the hell he got the drums out of the sample.”

Even though he had worked with Eminem for several years before he became popular, DJ Head says that he did not think Eminem would become the superstar that he is.

“None of us was picturing that,” he says. “Ever.  We would work a day job and that was how we let off steam. I didn’t feel like he was really blowing up until around The Marshall Mathers LP. Like, ‘Damn, this shit is huge.’ The TRLs and all of that. You’re actually on MTV. You’re actually at the Grammys. You’re actually at the AMAs. And Detroit isn’t a super media hub, so that’s why it wasn’t any kind of Hollywood thing. None of us thought, coming where we came from, that all that would happen.”

RELATED: Eminem's "The Eminem Show" Goes Diamond In The US

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96 Comments

  • Dave Davis

    You never turn your back on the ones you came in the game with unless they do you wrong other than that stay loyal. Make sure yall check my boy new track out on youtube by clicking this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGnF2raO23Y or typing 85 Clay Everyday and vote for it at Http://bsta.rs/7f3b6 he just getting started comment and subscribe

  • Barbara Herrera

    just before I saw the bank draft that said $6816, I have faith that...my... neighbour was realie bringing in money parttime at there computar.. there dads buddy has done this for only twenty three months and by now paid for the debts on their house and bought a top of the range Lancia Straton. why not find out more... www.Fb39.com Its super sad that they lost a partner on person of interest. Maybe cbs should remind me one more time so I can fully come to grips with it

  • jack johnson

    Maybe Dre got a drummer to replay the sample for the drums

  • Anonymous

    crazy how he don't fuck with d-12 his child hood homies

  • Anonymous

    jimmy took em soul

  • Anonymous

    illuminati took control over eminem, sorry dj head

  • imo

    best rapper of all time stright up

  • Carolyn4432

    Brody. if you think Doris`s bl0g is good... last tuesday I bought a new Toyota since I been making $5564 this last five weeks and-a little over, ten k last-munth. without a question it is the best-work Ive ever done. I began this four months/ago and almost straight away was earning at least $80.. per hour. I went to this web-site,... >>> WWW.JUMP85.COM

  • vftyungj7yu

    where is alicia keys and jay z mother bitchesssssssss

  • vftyungj7yu

    kill paul wall g unit and the game and more of those people

  • 666

    http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/m4wBDcAcIoQ/mqdefault.jpg

  • YMCMBoyyyyy

    Real reason: Em tried to rape him when he was drunk. Weezy wouldn't pull that shit.

  • danny brown

    the return feat freddie gibbs

  • king mathers

    the eminem show one of the best rap albums out too bad eminem changed his style kendrick lamar is wack now he should have stuck wit hiipower sound

  • king mathers

    danny brown album better than mmlp2

  • king mathers

    Eminem - We're Gone -New King Mathers Album Track 2008 RARE-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Olkkl_qmE3g leak that king mathers album

  • Anonymous

    dre 50 em jay snoop they just cant hack it anymore pac probly would have fallen off to underground forever fuck mmlp2

  • Anonymous

    we as americans - EMINEM ...will the real slim shady please stand up mmlp2 was trash dont think i can put em up there wit pac any more

  • Jeannie Cole

    before I looked at the draft which was of $8968, I be certain that...my... friend woz like they say realie receiving money parttime on their apple laptop.. there sisters neighbour started doing this for under 22 months and a short time ago paid the morgage on there home and bought themselves a Citron DS. look at more info... www.Fb39.com Taylor didnt say any of what youre writing about..stick to the facts and stop writing these untrues. Your articles are trash to benefit yourself at the expense of your subjects. SHAME ON YOU!

  • Anonymous

    Monday, Eminem talks about why Hallie prefers smoking weed to cigarettes, and how the Ja Rule beef was really just good natured fun between two misguided men.

  • Justin Bieber

    Fuck all your haters. Im down with Eminem just like: - Rihanna; - Skylar Grey - Pink; - Elton John. Pop rappers rule. Fuck underground rappers.

  • Anonymous

    Eminem's a pop sellout fag.

  • Anonymous

    i wish eminem stuck with the eminem show sound or the re-up style king mathers should have been relapse it would have been so dope cashis bobbycreek water stat quo obie and g-unit he had an army, now all his new albums are wack and so are all his acts

  • Katherine J. Hunt

    like Jean replied I am surprised that someone able to make $7469 in 4 weeks on the computer. browse this site ......www.jobs39.com

  • hell rell on pcp

    did eminem name him dj head?lol thats like calling yourself dj blow job

  • xxxx

    kill g unit 'muder inc paul wall joe budden redman among others

  • xxxx

    kill all cops and news broad casters

  • xxxx

    most terrisot are rappers news broad casters cops acters

  • xxxx

    tell us how recor companys sign ppl saying they wanna kill ppl none stop and play and sell their music none stop

  • xxxx

    tell us more about sept oct xmas of 2013 bam margera mtv

  • xxxx

    fox news. jay z left eye fabolous kerri hilson ice cube wicked video tell us more about the o o oo s and soda 13th..and wu tang bombing atomc lee

  • xxxx

    9/11 twin towers sea side beach board walk burning 13 years apart sea side happen sept 12th. how can 5 ppl take over plane locked cock pit.

  • poppa large

    i'm really sick of seeing eminem act all serious and look all mean and overly focused. it comes of as premeditated and contrived to me. guess you gotta act a certain way to keep up your image for interscope and his fan boys.

  • riv216

    Em been in the game for a while now..... still gotta check out a coupe of his albums...never been a real big eminem fan ...come check out my new music video "The Good Die Young 2K13" in 720/1080p HD here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vp8lj_Smpw

  • CP

    Em is just alright. He was wayyyyy off-the-beat when he started, he's gotten better. Top 5 dead or alive? Could be 1. Nas 2. Rakim 3. BIG 4. Kane 5. Andre 3000. 2pac was great, but not in the lyrical acrobatics, or the rhyme scheme part of the job. He is #1 in iconic impact though. Em needs better and more important subject matter before I would consider him top 5, but he is top 10(probably 7 or 8 on my scale). Just my opinion y'all, try and not be too feminine and get mad about it, in other words, tighten up your tampons and deal with an alternat opinion bitches! hahahahahaha!

  • dirty doug

    ever notice how Rakim talks and moves. he really does think he's god. to bad his albums are all boring and inconsistant.

  • !

    youtube.com/watch?v=UJzEo5I4nYs

  • Anonymous

    Eminem use shock rap but not working no more to me mmlp2 was good but sounds like recovery 2 with the singing im kind done with Eminem now I think he going same way of snoop dogg and he sucks now when he start working wayne we should all knew Eminem we knew was dead forever

  • 666

    kill all off themm kill all copsss

  • Anonymous

    fuck cops kill all of them

  • h6tj67hku8li9

    kill all cops and club bouncers burn them mother fuckerssssssssssssssssssssss

  • insanemacbeth

    EMINEM is great, but not the greatest. RAKIM, the 'GOD EMCEE' is. that is why in 'RAP GOD', EM [a white male) is using 5% ideology, in the hook....and says (I'M A PRODUCT OF RAKIM...).

  • FREDDDYYY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVuiM3dmw3Y

  • 666 jasonnns

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avas-u4od6w

  • Former fan

    THE TRUTH Eminem is dead. It hurts to type this, and what's worse is I know the barrage of responses I'll get from my fellow Eminem fans, but as a real Eminem fan - you should know this isn't Eminem. Knowing where to start is the hardest part of this... Em, died around 2007 right around the time he was unseen for close to 3 years due to his 'drug issues'. ''He'' then came back in 2009 with the song 'We Made You'. The title is interesting and more telling than you know, but before that THINK what was the song 'We Made You' actually about? Think on it for a while too. We Made You is important for a few reasons, the title is one of them, but the biggest reason is it marks a complete change in formula and even artistic integrity for Em. It also readies fans for the new all pop, all choruses sung by other artists version of Eminem we now have. The program has never changed My Name Is, Real Slim Shady, Without Me, and Just Lose It all comical songs, all colourful videos, all the first singles, and ALL EM SINGING THE CHORUSES. Theres a reason it was that way from the start the main one being fans want to sing along with Eminem. Also, all of the hooks directly relate to what Em is talking about on that particular single. We Made You is a complete oddity in this regard. Again, what are the lyrics for WMY? And how do they relate to the lyrics in the song? The hook means nothing unless you read them in a different way Who has been made? And who is We in this context?

  • Anonymous

    http://legitmix.com/EPCWA/artist/16409/Section/mix/13569

  • 666 devils

    hey fucker fucker fuckers

  • jasonnns 666

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCGNTO0qaVc

  • Black Jack

    Whites are the majority consumers of HipHop so many rappers feel compelled to cater to the white audience and pander to them. It helps with album sales if you put a white artist or white producer on your album, white consumers like to feel as if they are a part of the music and culture so they enjoy the vicarious experience of having a fellow white person inviolved in the project. JayZ has mastered the art of making white consumers feel like they are a part of the culture which is why JayZ has guests on his album like white favorites named Eminem, Rick Rubin, Luke Steele, Chris Martin, Linkin Park, Mr Hudson, Justin Timberlake..... ..... ....whew, he could fill an entire album with his white guests. JayZs formula has worked magically and whites show him their support in the millions. In comparison Nas has 10 retail albums without a single white man as a guest feature. Pusha T didn't feel the need to pander to whites on his latest album so instead of going out and getting Skylar Grey he went and got Kelly Rowland. .....Pusha T got Swizz Beats instead of Rick Rubin he got The Dream instead of Chris Martin he got Rick Ross instead of Yela-Wolf he got 2-Chainz instead of JMSN Pusha T said fuck that gay shit! Somebody has to buck the trend and keep the Soul of the music intact! Pusha T album of the year!!!!

    • Anonymous

      BruthaDee, you're trying too hard.

    • Anonymous

      MNIMN is album of the year - agreed

    • sam snead

      Nas is my fav of all=time but he was discovered by a white rapper

    • Anonymous

      @chris The whites got angry and upset because I spoke the truth, they become so emotional over my words that they resorted to name-calling. Notice how the whitea-skinned posters couldn't deny or debate the factual content of my post so they had to resort to frivolous banter about them listening to dead Prez. LOL See how emotionally unstable these wannabees are? If a white boy in an executive position is telling our brothers to make sugar-POP songs with Hayleiy Williams, Taylor Swift and Anna Wise so the label can get that crossover money from the POP crowd and the white consumers. This is the music BUSINESS, so you have people that maneuver through the culture looking to make a profit by any means even if it means diluting the culture with their soulessnes. White critics are biased as fuck, you go on Metacritic and the highest rated HipHop albums are the ones that cater to whites the most. So don't be surprised that Pink is on a 2-Chainz album and Juicy is doing songs with Miley Cyrus, the last stage of the game would require these devils inserting white women into the culture. They been desperatly trying to groom a white female rapper to be the Queen alongside their so-called King Eminem but so far they have to settle for a blonde weave and a British accent on a bi-racial chick from Trinidad. Now that HipHop has been white-washed in the mainstream and Hipster-Hop is the new trend we should put more energy into Neo-Soul and conscious music, let them make their homosexual anthems and do Rap music like they did Rock music.

    • Anonymous

      raaaaacist. Some people always claim they are victims of racism. And then perpetuate racism with their ignorant rants. Mate, you're a fucking cunt.

    • chris

      2 white dudes just came and proved your point bruh. i have no problem with them in the culture, but it's weak when they don't acknowledge it.

    • WhiteOut

      You're an idiot and probably a racist. I'm white and I listen to rap from black people too. Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Dead Prez, Xzibit, old school Snoop Dogg, Naughty By Nature, NWA, old Game... the list goes on so FUCK you and all of your separatist bullshit. You may as well be Lord Jamar, bitch.

    • Anonymous

      Only lames care about this bullshit

  • Anonymous

    CRIMINAL IS 1 OF THE HARDEST SONGS OF ALLLLLLLL TIME. FUCK U!

  • Jackpot

    DJ Head stopped working with Eminem because he witnessed the greatness of Chingy and became his exclusive DJ, but he wanted to keep it a secret. Plus, he earned way more money working with Chingy than he did with Em. DJ Head is helping Chingy with his major 2014 comeback as we speak right now. #FullDekk

    • Lil Stayne

      HE LEFT BECAUSE EMINEM QUIT GIVING THE DJ HEAD.....(BIGGIE VOICE)...GET IT DJ HEAD?SOMEBODY THROW SOME SALT ON THIS SALTINE.....LORD JAMAR FOR PRESIDENT!!!!

    • Chingy refuses to confirm or deny

      No I'm not Chingy and if I was I would probably not confirm or deny that

    • DG

      You're Chingy, aren't you?

    • Chingy Refuses To Confirm or Deny

      I heard something about DJ Head and Chingy too around 2003 approx but don't know if there's any truth to that. I saw on TMZ something about Chingy and Em doing laying down bars together for an upcoming collab album, they were spotted at a swanky Detroit bar and cafe sharing a cafe latte, but you can't trust TMZ. The fact that Chingy refuses to confirm or deny this though just fuels the rumours

  • Anonymous

    Lol so basically they just grew apart for no real reason at all. dumb article

  • philosopher

    Kanye: Imma have Rick Rubin on my new album Eminem: Imma do that too Jay z: Imma advertise my release on NBA finals Eminem: Imma do that too. OH! season ended, NFL then. Kanye: Imma be on Zane Lowe Eminem: Imma copy that one too. Black people: Wow this white guys done stolen our rock n roll. Lets become rappers. White people: WE"LL STEAL THAT TOO!!!

    • Brian White

      You forgot how to put Kanye West brought out a crappy album so Eminem copied err just wait he actually brought out another great album. Philosopher's always forget that you are just using a common philosophy not facts. Another racist person on this board bites the dust.

    • Anonymous

      ...Eminem sadi Proof put where he needed to be so, "The Black Man Does it Better"!!!...Just Keepin' it Real KID!!!...

    • Anonymous

      Nobody is stealing anything. Open your eyes, putting bullshit thoughts out there. Nothing is yours, nothing is mine. It's all love.

    • Anonymous

      None of those moves were original to begin, quit bitching & make your own moves

    • Anonymous

      lol, if they did it better they would be able to think of it first instead of culture vulture-ing so thanks for saying you're not racist but showing your bigotry even when you can't grasp what the comment actually meant in the first place

    • JD

      So what you're saying is that Kayne & Jay needed a White Dude to make a hit record?

    • Anonymous

      All of them have got something in common funnily enough, I'm not racist but you can't deny the white man did it better

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