Obie Trice was waxing his first-ever boat on a sunny day in Detroit when he got on the phone. The former Shady Records signee, who hasn’t released a proper studio album since 2015’s The Hangover, was in a noticeably good mood and happy to talk about his upcoming album The Fifth.
Ahead of its release, Obie has shared a snippet of the project called “92.” As the title suggests, the song is dedicated to 1992, a pivotal year for the now 41-year-old MC.
“’92 for me, that’s when I really, really started seeing these cats are getting money out here that’s my age,” Obie tells HipHopDX. “It was like a real crazy year. That’s when I kind of got in the game and things of that sort. So, it was the year I became an adolescent and started doing things that I normally wouldn’t do when I was in middle school and just figuring out the ‘ching-ching.’ how the dope game go and everything like that.”
Obie was captivated by Hip Hop culture at a young age and started rhyming when he was 11 after his mother gave him a karaoke machine. He explains multiple artists influenced him to pick up a mic.
“I can’t even just name a particular MC,” he admits. “We’d go on for days, you know what I mean? I just liked the culture back then when I was younger, and it was just a bunch of people. It’s not just one MC. Definitely the 808, the whole style of MCs, the different backgrounds and where people were coming from.
“I loved being able to see the world from your living room by just turning on videos, buying cassette tapes and listening to what people are saying from different places. So that was dope for me.”
Although “92” effortlessly retains that throwback feel, Obie says The Fifth is multidimensional.
“It’s different things,” explains. “I’m not going to give it away, but it’s different things on the record. ‘You & Her’ is a whole different vibe. It’s just a party vibe, end of the summer, twerking vibe for the ladies to dance to and have some fun with.”
After almost 30 years in the business, Obie’s priorities have naturally shifted. He’s got children of his own and is about to become a grandfather. At this point in his career, he puts out music when the timing feels right.
“I’m just making sure my daughters are good and that I’m getting ready for my grandson,” he says. “That’s all I’ve been doing. I tour when I can and make music along the way, that’s all. I’m 41 years old so I make music and put it out when I feel like it. It’s no rush for me.
“All the hype is gone for me, you know? That’s the thing — we’ve been there, done that. I feel like I had an album done and I wanted to release it. I want to get back out here and see what the world think about it. That’s it.”
“You know I’m going to always go with Eminem — period, point blank,” he says. “I will say that Machine Gun Kelly was probably the best record that I heard that ever dissed Eminem. He’s been in a lot of diss records with other people. I think that was probably the best one that came out.
“But as far as a controversial thing, definitely Marshall [Mathers]. I gotta go with the home front forever. You know, that’s forever. So, I’m a little biased. You might want to be asking somebody else that, but you know, it is what it is. It’s forever Shady for me.”
He adds, “The whole thing was so long ago, man, I haven’t even been in that zone. I don’t even remember everything that was going on that time, what he did and how he did it. I’m really just focusing on my record and focusing on my boat right now to get this shit going.”
The Fifth is expected to arrive next Friday (August 23). In the meantime, check out “92” above.