He’s like Jay-Z, but better,” says Eminem’s former producer and engineer, Mike D. The two spent six years working for him. The pair even had a small part in Eminem’s 2011 debut, When I Was Your Man.
It was a rough transition for D. The producers, who would go on to have a long career in rap, made it a point to get a good handle on what the music was supposed to sound like. They were the first to see how Eminem was dealing with how to make an album “sound like nothing else.” “We’d run it through our computer and see how the drums were doing,” says Mike D. “His computer was full of drum machines. All the sounds were all recorded on one machine. He took all those sounds and just mixed and matched them. So to think about the idea of him writing a song on a piano, on a guitar, on a drum machine is just crazy.”
The producers were also the first to understand how much work and patience had gone into making an album, and how much was left to be done. As of the time of “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” (2012), two songs had been mastered, but four tracks had been left untitled and still untitled. The first song, “Rap God” had taken 16 days to record.
“He does take a long time to finish an album,” D. says. “He has to be 100 percent sure of what the project is going to sound like. He doesn’t make albums that sound like nothing else. He doesn’t do that. So for somebody that doesn’t know it, all of a sudden, he’ll just spit about how good it is.”
For the time having been set to record the “Rap God” record, Eminem had a few things planned to make sure it was perfect. D. spent a day in New York recording the track. But as is so often the case, there were plenty of other things he needed to get done.
“I was in Chicago at the time but we were not finishing the record at the time,” says Eminem. “We went over to Chicago and then it took like 7 days to get the whole album done.”
Eminem is also one of the best interviewers of all time. He’s often asked questions such as, “What is Eminem’s greatest characteristic?” (Eminem’s answer: a knack for creating a great story) or “What is Eminem doing