Interview: Obie Trice Talks ‘Bottoms Up,’ Collaborations, Detroit, Black on Black Violence and More



Obie Trice is as real as they get. The day after experiencing the after effects of eating bad seafood in New York, Obie made time to speak with MSDTV about his new album “Bottoms Up;” his relationship with Eminem, and Dre; Black Market Entertainment; Black on Black violence; new hip hop artists and more.


In 2000 Obie Trice signed to Eminem’s Shady Records. In 2008; eight years later he would depart Shady, citing issues with being properly promoted. Just two years later Obie Trice announced the creation of Black Market Entertainment (owned by Universal); a label focused on creating opportunities for talented Detroit area rappers. Black Market Entertainment would also be the label from which he’d release the highly anticipated “Bottoms Up” in 2012.


MSDTV: Tell me bout your latest album, “Bottoms Up;” what was the motivation?

Obie Trice: I just wanted to put some more work out there. A lot of my fans have been waiting for a long time to hear the music. It’s been a minute so I felt like it was time to return.


Off that album; what are the tracks you think people will be most hyped about?

They’re definitely feeling the “Richard” joint with Eminem. There are a lot of people saying the whole album is dope.


Speaking of Eminem, I’m guessing after the hoopla that happened before, the relationship you have with Shady Records, Eminem, and Dre is all good right now?

Yeah, it was never nothing that happened between us anyway. It was with Interscope and Jimmy Iovine over there. We couldn’t come to a business conclusion on certain things. Back then I was a little reckless as far as the things I was doing, and it was always family with Shady. Actually they tried to save the situation but they couldn’t. Eminem and Paul [Rosenberg] couldn’t save me. Dre didn’t have anything to do with any of that; our relationship was always good. Fans and a lot of people can take what they want to take even though I repeatedly said even back then; there was nothing wrong with our relationship but people take things and run with them.


How are you developing Black Market Entertainment?

Right now it’s in the baby stages. We just wanted to get this album out on this imprint. We’re about to do an international tour for “Bottoms Up.” We’re going to try to find some talent in my region, back where I am from; see who’s for real about it. You know it’s just a process.


How do you see Black Market Entertainment with regards to the revitalization of Detroit since that’s your home town and it’s been going through these growing pains right now.

I think it’s a positive. There are a lot of artists who want to get some international love, and and we hope to make that happen for them that’s basically it.


Who are your top three rappers from the Midwest?

My man [unintelligible], Marshall [Eminem], and I’m going to say Kuniva from D-12.


After Proof died you make a statement about Black on Black violence. In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death — although he wasn’t killed by a Black man — people are bringing up theĀ  topic of Black on Black violence in America. What’s your take on Black people still killing each over what you said was “nothing”?

I think that’s foolish. I am a real advocate of protecting yourself, and going home to your family at the end of the night if you are put in those types of situations but just doing it viciously; committing murder … I don’t believe that’s necessary.


What do you think about the current state of hip hop? Some people say it’s on a decline, some people say it’s on the rise. There are a lot of new artists; some people trying to do different things, and others trying to kick it old school.

I hope it continues to grow, and continues to change. I’m all for it right now.


Who are some of the new artists you can see yourself championing?

(Enthusiastically) I like Wale. I like J. Cole. Who else am I feeling right now? I like French Montana. I like Mac Miller, Machine Gun Kelly, Yelawolf.


What’s the timeline for your collaboration with French Montana?

I just talked to him the other day. We don’t have anything set in stone. A friend of mine does security for him, and just put me on the phone so we chopped it up for a quick second. Hopefully when he comes out to Detroit we can get in the studio and make something happen.


What is your take on female rappers? You know, the Azealia Banks’, Iggy Azaleas, and Nicki Minajs of the world.

I love her [Nicki Minaj] music. I definitely think she brings something different. She has her own style. She’s talented, she’s a spitter.


Oh wait, I mentioned three.

Who are the other ones?


Iggy Azalea from Australia but she kicks it on the West Coast, and Azealia Banks from Harlem.

I’m not familiar with them.


They were beefing like mad. Even T.I. got into it because he works with Iggy Azalea. He was saying Azealia should be honing her craft, and letting her work speak for itself. Azealia Banks was upset because Iggy Azalea was named to the XXL Freshman Class of 2012 so she called her out.

Oh, okay. I don’t know nothing about that.


It [Obie Trice’s response] helps to put things in perspective. You have two camps of people; those who don’t give a crap because they don’t know who they [Banks and Azalea] are, and other people who are either team Iggy or team Azealia. So I just wanted to find out where you stood on that.

I don’t know either one of them. I have to do my research on that.


“Bottoms Up” was released on April 3, 2012. On June 7, 2012 Obie Trice begins a 20 date tour in Canada.


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Photo via The Source