“Fast Lane”

Produced by: Eminem, Supa Dups

Eminem: “Royce had beat CDs that he was getting from various people at the time mostly for his own shit. I was getting my own beat CDs for ideas. I was just getting beat CDs from Shady, the A&Rs at the label. I was just going through them and I think that was one that was on a beat CD somewhere. I liked it and I wrote the hook.

“But when I wrote the hook I was thinking of someone else to sing it. I didn’t want to sing it. So I got Sly, one of Dre’s artists. Sly writes his own shit, and he’s sick with the pen, melodies and with the delivery, everything. I just heard his voice on it. So it was just like, ‘Yo, what if we put Sly on it?’”

Royce da 5’9”: “He was coming in town with Dre anyway.”

Eminem: “Yeah. That’s what it was. Dre was coming in town to work on Detox, but in between that we were like, ‘Let’s do some stuff for this other record.’ We work on music basically five days a week. There’s always something.”

Royce da 5’9”: “I do seven days a week—Marshall takes the weekends off. I try to come up [to Eminem’s studio] as much as possible, no matter what he’s doing. Just to draw inspiration, because I prefer working at night. I try to spend my days up here. Even after he goes home I go to the other studio. I’ve got my album, Slaughterhouse albums, there’s a long list of shit I’ve got to do.”

Eminem: “You wanna know about the Nicki Minaj line? I wasn’t saying anything that everyone wasn’t already thinking. I mean, obviously I’ve worked with Nicki. I did a song with her. She’s a phenomenal rapper, and phenomenal looking. [Laughs.] I mean look, it was right there. I thought it was funny. I think she sees the fun in it too, but no, I haven’t spoken to her about it. It’s just hip-hop.”

Royce da 5’9”: “[When I got to the studio,] Eminem pulled the beat up and asked me what I thought about it. I thought the beat was crazy and he was like, ‘You trying to do something with it?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, why not?’ So he took it in one room and I took it in another room. I just so happened to get done writing before him.

“I ran my first rhyme by him and he was like, ‘Okay, well shit, you gotta go first.’ So I laid mine down while he wasn’t in the room and he came in and heard how I ended mine. Em told me how he was gonna come in on the first line of the second verse, so I actually changed my last line to run into his first line so it would make sense. After that, it was the same thing with the second verse.

“That’s really the funnest part to both of us about working with each other. It’s like doing a crossword puzzle. I give you a word that you have to complete the syllable of, make the line make sense, and keep a continuous flow with the verse. That’s what we had the most fun doing with each other for the EP, the back and forth.”

Supa Dups: “I’m on the Recovery album. [I produced ‘W.T.P.’] Eminem’s people hit me up again and said, ‘Yo, Em wants more beats.’ When I got the call, I was in a session at the time and I just stopped the session cold turkey. I was like, ‘I have something very important to do.’ The people that were with me were looking at me like I was crazy. I never even told them why I stopped the session.

“I won’t say who the session was with because I don’t want to piss them off anymore. It was somebody that’s signed. They’re a little known, but not as known as Eminem. Eminem is the biggest rapper that ever existed. When Eminem says, ‘I want something,’ you give it to him.

“I made the beat in my studio in Fort Lauderdale. When I made it, I didn’t have Em in mind, I had 50 Cent in mind. We sent it to 50 and a couple of other people, but nobody really picked it up. When Em’s people asked me for the files, I was like, ‘Wow! Cool!’ Around the time of the Grammys is when I found out they recorded on the track.

“When I went to L.A., Grammy weekend, I met Em at his Grammy party because he invited all the producers that were involved on his album. I spoke to him and I was like, ‘Yeah, you asked me for the files to one of my tracks.’ But he still didn’t tell me what it was about.

“Later on, I met Royce Da 5’9” and he was like, ‘That’s the first single!’ I’m like, ‘Word?!’ But I still wasn’t sure, you know how the music business is. I didn’t find out that it was the first single until it leaked. I had never even heard the record before that, but when I heard it, I was like, ‘They ripped it from start to finish.’”

Dart Parker (Director Of A&R, Shady Records): “I got [the ‘Fast Lane’ beat]—it was called ‘Da Da Dee’—from [Supa Dups’ manager ] Mr. Morgan in early 2009. So I sent that and a few more for Relapse and didn’t really hear anything. I sent more beats for Recovery; obviously other producers, but I got some more Dups beats and then was like, ‘You know what? I really like that one, let me send it again.’

”Earlier this year, Tracy [McNew] calls me. She’s the GM of Shady [Records]. She was like, ‘Yo, I need to play a track for you over the phone.’ She plays it and it’s the ‘Da Da Dee’ beat. So, she’s like, ‘Hit the manager, hit the producer, whoever, just tell them Marshall’s writing to it and put it to the side.’

“I’m thinking it’s an Em song. I didn’t even know about the Bad Meets Evil project. That was some super top secret, area 51 shit. I had no idea.

“So, a month or so later, Paul filled me in on the actual project and he played me some songs in his office. He played ‘Fast Lane’ and it was the ‘Da Da Dee’ beat with a brand new paint job. Em had totally redressed it, 2.0-ed it, and made it his own. It’s kind of like how he does with things. He’ll get a beat and then keep the vibe and skeleton of it and then change some things, add this or that or intros, and just make it his own.

“He definitely kept the vibe of it, but just took the vocal melody and made it a subplot instead of the main feature. I think the rhymes would have probably had to compete with that too much. He obviously liked it, so he kept it as an undertone.”