In an industry where everyone has an alias, Obie Trice chose to stick with his real name. When Eminem signed him in 2000, the sky was the limit for the Detroit native. Armed with some of Hip Hop’s heavyweights for his 2003-debut album, Cheers, it eventually sold over 2 Million copies worldwide. Obie followed up his debut with his second album, Second Rounds On Me in 2006, which sold 74,000 copies in its first week. Little did we know, two years later, Obie would leave his deal at Shady Records, leaving the majority of fans wondering what was next for the Detroit emcee?
Fast forward to 2015. Obie Trice is back. He released his single “Good Girls” on June 15, which is featured on his new album The Hangover, slated for an August 7 release.
The majority of journalists would pry Obie about his relationship with Eminem, which he ensures is A-OK, but I wanted to talk to him about his new album, and his interaction with Nate Dogg. Let’s not forget the Shady Records “Invasion” mix-tape series that shook the industry in the early 2000’s. “Times was different back then,” Obie says.
In an industry filled with diva’s and egotistic rappers, it’s a breath of fresh air to talk to an artist with no gimmicks. He wants to grill shrimp, chicken and fish, drink a glass of hard liquor, and bump his Cheers album.
Is that too much to ask for?
Obie Trice Talks Advice Given By Nate Dogg
DX: In a recent interview with Complex, you mentioned that you have Estelle and Young Buck on the album “The Hangover,” dropping August 7th. Are there any other features on the album?
Obie Trice: Yep. I Got Drey Skonie, Gwenation, P8tience, J. Nutty & Young Zeether on there too.
DX: Malik Mausi and Magnedo did work on the project correct? What other producers did you utilize for the album?
Obie Trice: Yep. The other producers are Denaun Porter, Doeski, Millz, Irock (Member of No Speakers) and Geno xo.
DX: You have collaborated with some of the most talented people in Hip Hop. Walk us through what it was like to work with Nate Dogg on “The Set Up?”
Obie Trice: Nate Dogg was just cool and real down to earth. I was in Los Angeles one time and was supposed to stop in his studio for a session, but decided to hit the club first. The text he left is still stuck in my brain to this day, “Obie this is a business.” I left the club and rushed to the studio. That was my guy!
DX: Wow! That’s crazy. What’s your favorite Nate Dogg joint, excluding your own?
Obie Trice: One of my favorites still got to be that “Area Codes” joint with Ludacris.
DX: In my opinion, you had a chance to be part of one of the dopest mixtapes of the last 15 years. What was it like to record “We All Die One Day.”
Obie Trice: It was murda time if you know what I mean. At that point it was time for a posse track to show camaraderie. We felt them guys got out of line, so it was time to ride whether lyrically or the in the streets. Times were different then.
Obie Trice Talks His Idea Of A Rap Supergroup
DX: Eminem was a monster on that joint, but I feel you, Lloyd Banks and 50 Cent complemented each other very well on that track. If the offer was extended, would you sign to G-Unit today?
Obie Trice: I always thought G-Unit was a dope group, even when Game was there. 50 paid them boys so I respected that situation, but adding another member outside of Kidd Kidd, I don’t know how I’d take that. Even he had to grow on me. I think the group is fine where it’s at.
DX: Like I mentioned, Invasion is one of my favorite mixtapes from the last 15 years. What’s your favorite mixtape to drop in the last 15 years?
Obie Trice: Invasion is still #1 on my list, shouts to Green Lantern. And of course my “Watch the Chrome” mixtape. Shout out to DJ Whoo Kid.
DX: So if you didn’t sign with G-Unit, who would be your top nominees for a supergroup. Give me two more artists and one producer and what would be the name of the group?
Obie Trice: Easy. Eminem, Jay Z and Kanye West. In my opinion they are the greatest, therefore the group would likely be called “The Greatest.”
DX: Dope line-up! They are definitely some of the greatest in the game. I actually did a list last year naming the top artists from Detroit that are not named Eminem. I listed You, Royce, Big Sean, Kid Rock, Danny Brown, Guilty Simpson & Apollo Brown, Trick Trick, King Gordy, Black Milk, D12, Slum Village including Dilla, Phat Kat. Who am I missing?
Obie Trice: P8tience, J-Nutty, Freddy B, Gwenation, Drey Skonie, Ro Spit, Boldy James, Fat Killaz, Moe Dirdee, Dej Loaf.
Obie Trice Talks Best Tour Stories
DX: If you had to pick two out of the bunch you listed, which two got next?
Obie Trice: Got to say Dej Loaf and Gwenation.
DX: Will we be seeing Obie Trice tour in 2015 or 2016?
Obie Trice: Yes it’s definitely time, looking to make my rounds after The Hangover drops.
DX: What’s the craziest thing that happened to you on a tour?
Obie Trice: There are so many stories. One of the craziest involved Jonathan Mannion, the photographer who shot the album cover and inserts for “Cheers.” He was standing on one of those 8-foot catwalks getting shots, lost his balance, fell down the side of the stage and broke his damn arm! The crazy part of the story is he went to the hospital, got a cast put on and was back out there that same day and for the remainder of the tour like it never happened. Can you say devotion? This was all back in 2007 during the “Anger Management” tour.
DX: Wow! That’s definitely dedication! So it’s obvious that tour time can be hectic, but what’s the ideal summer time day for you? What are you eating, drinking and listening to?
Obie Trice: Got to have that shrimp, chicken and fish on the grill, glass of hard liquor while bumping my classic “Cheers.”
DX: Good choices! Last but not least, in 2011 you met with Michigan State Senator, Virgil Smith, Jr., to discuss ways to develop local talent, to fund youth music programs, a community-recording studio and more. What is the current status of these projects? What other current community projects are you working on?
Obie Trice: The Senator and I had a conversation but nothing came of it in the end. I just performed at a free community event in Muskegon, Michigan that was sponsored by one of the local radio stations and I’m definitely still looking to have youth programs for Detroit soon.