Eminem Collaborator Denaun Porter Talks Bad Meets Evil, D12's Future
The D12 member and Eminem's onstage hype man, also known as Mr. Porter, produced five of the set's tracks and is listed as an executive producer along with Eminem. "I worked on it from the beginning, from before we even knew it was going to be an EP," Porter tells Billboard.com. "The minute that I knew we were doing to start doing it, I started working. It's a big thing for me. I definitely feel like it's just as much my project as theirs."
Royce adds that Porter "brought a real positive energy into the studio. He brought a lot of beats, a lot of different ideas. He was real excited the whole time we were working. His vibe is just positive and...really a big part of this thing."
Porter says that he was just as surprised by "Hell: The Sequel" as Eminem and Royce. He and Royce were working on material last year for the rapper's next album and decided to approach Eminem to be on a track called "I'm On Everything." "It had this feeling that Em would be right on it," Porter recalls, "but we were thinking about how Em could talk about being on drugs and everything being that he wasn't in that place anymore. But it turned out crazy. He wound up jumping right back into that character, and that showed how clear-minded he is, to be able to remember what to say and how to say it when it came to that concept. Everything really started there."
He was also happy to be part of a project that once and for all put to rest a long-held feud Eminem and D12 had with Royce. "I believe for those two guys it was a lot of, 'Man, I wish we could've done this a long time ago. I wish this would've happened back then,' " Porter says. "For them I felt like it was a really gratifying experience."
Porter, who produced the track "On Fire" on Eminem's 2010 album "Recovery," says that after so many years together in D12 and on stage it was gratifying to work with the superstar MC in a greater capacity. "I was able to bring concepts to the table and produce," he notes. "I've always wanted to do that with Em, and I never felt like I was actually ready. Now I felt like I was ready, and it was just a lot of fun, man. We approached everything with clear minds and no expectations. We just did it."
Porter has plenty to do in the wake of "Hell: The Sequel's" success. He's working with Royce on his upcoming solo album -- "Success is Certain," which drops July 26 -- as well as the all-star group Slaughterhouse's Shady Records debut. He also produced two songs for Dr. Dre's "Detox" that he describes as "really different. I didn't want to do what everybody else was doing and...send him a weed-smoking song. Dre's like a big brother to me, so I know what to approach him with, and the songs we did for him are totally different." And Porter, like the rest of the world, is waiting to hear when "Detox" will finally be released.
"I don't care when it comes out, really," Porter says. "It doesn't matter to me if it ever comes out. I understand the pressure he's got on him, everybody asking for it. He's just real particular about songs. If it comes, it comes. If it doesn't, it doesn't. He can do whatever he wants."
Porter is also working with up-and-coming artists for his My Own Planet production company and is getting into software design. He also hopes to return to film work after composing the score for 2007's "Waist Deep," and he predicts another D12 album is in the offing -- although it may be something of a finale for the group.
"Because it's so different without (the late) Proof there, I don't think I would do it any justice just because my mind state has changed so much," Porter explains. "My concept and the things I want to do are so much different than what I remember when I was younger and we started (the group). But I want to go out with a bang. I want to go out with a big party. I think we've been through enough turmoil. I definitely want to twist up the Lady Gaga approach and take a page from that book and twist it in a D12 way -- almost like a monster disco. That's really what I'm looking at."