"Nuttin' To Do"
Produced by: Reef
Royce da 5’9”: “I wasn’t familiar with Reef when we made those songs, that was Shec that turned me onto him. But I did a lot of work with him after that. For that though, Shec gave us the CD and me and Em sat down and picked those two beats for ‘Scary Movies’and ‘Nuttin’ To Do.’ One thing I do remember about ‘Nuttin’ To Do’ is that we were in the hotel room that night before—”
Eminem: “—And we didn’t have a hook for the song. I don’t think we were trying to come up with a hook. Someone was kicking some clothes around. It was you or me. I think he said, ‘I’m fucking with you’ and he was kicking some clothes or some shit, and I said, ‘Fucking with you, ‘cause I got nuttin’ to do. I’m just fucking with you...’ and I just started working out the hook in my head.
“Back then, and now too, I think the reason this all came together is because once we repaired our relationship, it was always just so easy and fun to rap together. There’s a certain chemistry that me and him have when we rap that we can knock shit out quick, and it’s fun. This thing, I think it came together pretty naturally once we fixed shit between us.”
Royce da 5’9”: “Oh yeah, there’s one other thing I remember about that song. I said ‘I’m the hottest shit in the industry,’ and Shec felt like I shouldn’t have said that, so he actually asked me to change the line.”
Eminem: “Oh yeah!”
I was really bothered by that line when he said, ‘I’m the hottest shit in the industry,’ because just having come out of The Source, being, what I felt, pretty deep into the rap industry at that time, I felt that that statement was too much. —Jon Shecter
Eminem: “You’re supposed to rap because you think you’re the hottest. You’re supposed to rap because you think you’re the best. It’s the whole reason anybody raps and competes. Anybody who competitively raps, you’re supposed to think that. It’s just lines. It’s just fucking rap.”
Royce da 5’9”: “So now that I’m 33, I’ve decided that I was right and he was wrong. [Laughs.] I was right, for a change.”
Reef: “It was Sunday afternoon and before the "Scary Movies" session was gonna happen and I started messing around in my crib and working on the ‘Nuttin’ to Do’ beat. I kind of took the raw idea of that and was actually working on it in the studio with the headphones on while the ‘Scary Movies’ track was playing and they were writing.
“I just liked the groove and the bounce of it and at one point pretty much towards the end of the session after the vocals were tracked and everything and people were kind of listening and vibing out to it, I was like, ‘Yo, what do you guys think of this one?’ I remember Royce particularly liking that one.
“I had just done it on the spot so I didn’t have it fully arranged. It was just a basic skeleton and that was enough for everybody to be cool and we came back because I remember going back home and kind of arranging it before we eventually tracked it.
“I had it more arranged in a song mode and I had some pieces that came in and out and a chorus part, parts to the verses and a change up because it wasn’t like a loop. It was little stabs of sounds off this record so it wasn’t anything that I would have to worry about clearing or anything. It just took a second to kind of figure out like, ‘Okay, put it together where it made sense. It had a format or a song mode.’”
Jonathan Shecter (Founder Of Game Records): “I was super excited because there was more interaction between the two of them with trading rhymes and trading stanzas, which is what I really wanted.
“The story on [the ‘I’m the hottest shit in the industry’ line] was, in retrospect, it probably would have been better if I never brought that up and didn’t say anything because you gotta let an artist be an artist and do what they wanna do. Maybe I was stepping over the line a little bit by asking him to address a certain, particular line.
“This became a point of contention between us for a while. I hope that he’s over it. Maybe he’s not. Basically, for some reason, I was really bothered by that line when he said, ‘I’m the hottest shit in the industry,’ because just having come out of The Source, being, what I felt, pretty deep into the rap industry at that time, I felt that that statement was too much.
“It’s one thing about bragging, but when he said that, it just rang not true to me. So, I guess I made an issue out of it to Royce. I said, ‘How can you say that because you’re not this guy or that guy?’ It became a little bit of a funny turning point, but it didn’t stop the project. It kept going, but there was a little bit of a moment where it was like, ‘Wait, you want me to change that line?’ I was like, ‘Well, you’re not really the hottest shit in the industry yet. You can get there, but you’re not there yet.’
“I got a little bit hyper-critical. My role in this project is the executive producer. Executive producer can play a lot of different roles. Being an A&R-type of guy is part of it. Even though I had been around rap forever, from the beginning, it was one of the first times I was working with artists in that capacity. Maybe I was still figuring out on my end what the right thing to do was.
“First it was joke and then they got angry about it. Then it was a joke again. When they would come up with reasons to be angry, they’d be like, ‘Yeah! That ‘hottest shit in the industry’ shit!’ They would throw it in my face like a month or six weeks later.
“I probably came to my senses. I was like, ‘Okay, it’s silly for me to argue about one line on a record with with a rapper. So, I basically stopped talking about it. There was maybe a little bit of anger, and then we laughed about it, and life went on, [which happened over the course of several weeks over the course of several sessions and different places.]
“Over a couple days, they did all the recording and then we maybe went back for another session and mixed it and added a few more others things, like ‘The Bad, the Evil,’ stuff like that. I went and did the whole cover shoot and had these two adult film stars—Crystal Night and Midori—on the cover.
“There was an adult film convention in Atlantic City and I went down there and had a huge party in one of the hotel suites of Trump Taj Mahal and had a lot of people there, probably some of who wouldn’t want me to name them. We did the shoot in Atlantic City that day in the midst of a sick party with all these porn stars, rappers, and hip-hop people. So, while the party was going on in one part of the hotel suite, we had the shoot going on in another room.”