Obie Trice Interview: Second Round’s On Me

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by Alex Shtaerman

Striking platinum with his well-received Shady Records debut album, Cheers, Obie Trice is back with his much anticipated sophomore effort, Second Round’s On Me. With production from Eminem, Jonathan JR Rotem and Emile as well as guest spots from Em, Nate Dogg and 50 Cent, don’t look for this Detroit MC to hit a sophomore slump anytime soon. With rave reviews from fans and critics alike, Second Round’s On Me is certain to further solidify Obie’s name as a force to be reckoned with. And in case you don’t already know, Obie Trice is his real name; no gimmicks.

RIOTSOUND.COM: Your new album, Second Round’s On Me, just dropped. What can fans expect when they pick up the record? You’re addressing some serious topics on this album.

OBIE TRICE: I get into some social things, some conscious things and I also get to the club with it. I talk about personally being shot and I talk about the death of Proof in “Wake Up”. I talk about being around the world; I talk about loving the ladies. [The album] is real diverse, it’s all over the place.

RIOTSOUND.COM: When you were recording your first album, Eminem spent a lot of time in the studio with you, but on your sophomore LP you did a bulk of the recording on your own. How did your vision change as far as being in complete control of the creative process and having to make all the hard decisions?

OBIE TRICE: It really wasn’t nothing spectacular man, I just went in there and wherever the beat took me, that’s the kind of rhymes that came to my head, you know what I’m saying. However the music moved me, that’s what came out of it. I did a lot of songs. A lot of joints didn’t make it [onto this album]; we’ll be using them for my third album. I just get in there and mash it out; it’s kinda hard to explain. You just [have to] get in there and do it.

RIOTSOUND.COM: Was it somewhat easier the second time around given the type of success you had with Cheers?

OBIE TRICE: It’s not a big deal for me. I love great music, I love making great music; I’m into that. I wouldn’t put it out there if I didn’t personally think it was good enough to be heard. I always had a passion for Hip-Hop and it’s like second nature for me.

RIOTSOUND.COM: Your first two album titles have a bar theme to them. You got Cheers and Second Round’s On Me; any reason for that particular theme?

OBIE TRICE: I’ve always been a fan of album titles, that’s just always been my type of thing. I like to keep that whole creative type of idea going. At the end of the day when you have five or six or maybe even ten Obie Trice albums, you can like put ‘em in a case by theyself ‘cause they all can go right underneath the bar or on top of the bar. It’s just one of those things where I just want to keep that whole bar theme. Plus I’m a bar type of guy. I shoot pool, I throw darts, that’s my type of environment.

RIOTSOUND.COM: You were shot only a few months ago and we’re still grieving Proof’s death, who tragically died in a shooting. From the standpoint of safety, have you taken any extra precautions to protect yourself and your family and make sure that you can never be targeted again?

OBIE TRICE: What I do is I just watch where I move and watch places that I hang out at and watch how I move around the city. That’s about the best way to do it; be real observant of places you go and who you deal with. You need to pay attention to your surroundings, that’s the best way to avoid [an unfortunate incident].

RIOTSOUND.COM: Who would you say are some of the artists that inspired you early on and made you want to pursue a career in rap?

OBIE TRICE: Cats like Scarface and the Geto Boys, Big Daddy Kane, they always was inspirational to me. Masta Ace, Guru, N.W.A, Pharcyde, Souls Of Mischief, Del the Funky Homosapien, Jay-Z, Nas, Pac, Biggie – all these cats was inspirational to me – AZ, Dogg Pound. I always wanted to [rap]; I always had a passion for it. I like the culture of rap music and it was always something that I wanted to do.

RIOTSOUND.COM: Going back some years, how did you originally link up with Eminem?

OBIE TRICE: I hooked up with Eminem through Bizarre from D12. Eminem heard my music and he wanted to meet me. I came and I spit for Em and it’s been smiles and handshakes ever since.

RIOTSOUND.COM: Being from Detroit, how would you describe the influence the city had on you and your music?

OBIE TRICE: We got a lot of different cats here. We be in the mid-west; we soak up west coast music, we soak up east coast, down south, we take in every location and place on the map. We take it in and we listen to it. All that kinda builds an artist up. There’s a lot of different types of artists [in Detroit]. You can hear someone here that sound like they west coast, then there’s someone here who sound like they from down south, someone here sound like they from the east coast; it’s ‘cause we soak it all up. I think Detroit in itself being the Motor City and a working city, a lot people grind to get they music out there, just like they do at the plant. Detroit is just a strong city for music, even back in the day with Motown, so there’s a lot of talent here.

RIOTSOUND.COM: Do you feel that since there aren’t a lot of Detroit rappers from back in the day, up and coming Detroit artists are more free to experiment and go in different directions since there really isn’t a standard as far as what Detroit Hip-Hop is supposed to sound like?

OBIE TRICE: That sounds like it makes sense. It was nobody here to really take the torch from and continue to do it. So that sounds right.

RIOTSOUND.COM: You’ve toured overseas a lot with Eminem on the Anger Management tour. We always hear about the multitudes of Hip-Hop fans world wide; having experienced it first hand, how would you describe it?

OBIE TRICE: I say it’s great. I love going overseas and performing for the fans over there because they don’t get as many shows as we do in America. So it’s always a warm welcome when we go overseas and perform, it’s crazy, it’s a beautiful feeling.

RIOTSOUND.COM: You got the new album, Second Round’s On Me, in stores now; what else should fans be looking out for as far as Obie Trice goes?

OBIE TRICE: They can look out for the tour. I don’t have an itinerary in front of me right now but I know we going to start setting the tour dates and getting on the road and come touch the people in person.

For tour dates as well as more news and info on Obie Trice stay tuned to www.ObieTrice.com