Producer Dawaun Parker has had one of the bigger weeks in his four years working at Aftermath Records with Dr. Dre. The Boston area native co-produced 14 of the 15 songs on Eminem‘s potentially record-breaking Relapse [click to read]. Still, asked how he spent the third week of May, Parker told HipHopDX, “Working, man. I went to a couple Best Buy‘s to find Relapse. The first place I went to was [sold out]. That was a nice little feeling. Otherwise, man, we’ve been working.”
Working on a production team with Dr. Dre and Mark Batson, the trio apparently follows the doctor’s orders, and uses the hype of a release week to work ahead on projects in tow. “Dre‘s a pretty hungry guy. There’s not really been too much celebration. I’ve been getting calls and texts and stuff from people who have been listening to the record, critiquing. That’s been cool – a lot of positive feedback and support. We’re in the studio man. We’re working on 50 Cent [click to read], we’re working on Detox. We’re trying to get it done.”
While Hip Hop has seen many beat luminaries come up from each other, whether it was Pharrell learning from Teddy Riley, Kanye West learning from No I.D. and D Dot, or Large Professor with Eric B, tomorrow’s next hit-maker has often worked with today’s superstar. Still, Parker quickly admits that collaborative production has given him his career, “[My] production has increased exponentially because of Dre‘s help and his tutelage and things that he’s said to me. ‘Try this and try this.’ None of the music would have even gotten made, that I contributed to, that any of us contributed to, if Dre wasn’t there.”
Parker told DX that the trio rotates as far as who uses what equipment in the studio. In order to truly collaborate, the musician noted, improvisation and expertise in mixing, programming, sampling and instruments are all necessary.
With his credits coming on Jay-Z‘s [click to read] Kingdom Come, Busta Rhymes‘ Big Bang and Snoop Dogg‘s Blue Carpet Treatment, among others, the patient Parker isn’t in a rush to produce records without his team. “I know that the opportunity is there for me, when I’m ready to go aggressive and try to shine on my own.” The producer says he does have solo material in progress with Bishop Lamont and 50 Cent. “The last six months or so, has been heavily Aftermath-based.” Perhaps after Detox and Before I Self-Destruct, the professionally-trained producer will focus on some solo work. “When we take our next break, we’ll get our next batch of things out there.”
Dr. Dre has long maintained production teams, stemming from DJ Yella in the ’80s, to Daz, Warren G, Sam Sneed and Mel-Man in the ’90s, to his teammates today. Asked about one of the songs hinting at a new direction in Dre‘s sound, Jay-Z‘s “Trouble,” Dawaun Parker spoke of one of his earliest major credits. “[‘Trouble’ and Busta Rhymes‘ ‘Get You Some’] and all the Jay stuff were made around that time. That was the first big period of myself, Dre, and Mark Batson. What I can remember about that session – I’m not sure I can remember the date of that beat, but I remember the day we got the reference back from Jay, and us buggin’ out.” He continued, “Dre was like, ‘I got some of the stuff that Jay‘s been touchin’ that we’ve done.’ That was on there. We played it a few times in a row. That was a pretty nice moment.”
Although humble, Parker said he showcased some of his trademark sounds in the loud, percussion-heavy track. “People from school and stuff, people who knew what my sound was, people knew it was Dre, but Dre‘s tone or sound having a different effect with the team he was with now, which was us. I hope that people enjoy all that. It’s an honor.”
Parker is presently at work on Detox and Before I Self-Destruct.