It’s been a big year in music with Kanye, J. Cole, Wale, and Jay-Z. Which one of those albums is getting the most spins from you?
Kanye is definitely getting a lot of spins because it was one of the first Kanye albums that I wasn’t so involved with the making of it. I heard Yeezus towards the end and got involved then. I’m just proud of it and proud of what it’s doing. It’s innovative. It’s something that probably a lot of people won’t get, and don’t get. He really stays creative. He reinvents himself every single time. That’s definitely one getting a lot of play.
Kanye knows what he likes and what he doesn’t like. I think G.O.O.D. Music is the best and we’re just growing.
How much input on Hall of Fame has Kanye had?
He definitely gives his input and tips, man. I try and listen as much I can. We disagree on a lot of things. Sometimes I’ll take his lead on certain advice and sometimes I learn that he’s not a perfect person. Sometimes I gotta follow my own heart and my own fate, you know what I’m saying? I take his advice and he’s definitely been very involved as far as he’s been hearing it from the beginning to the middle through the end. As far as timelines and me working on it, he always wants to hear the music and tell me what songs he think should go, and what songs shouldn’t, and what songs should be singles.
I know it was a while ago, but what was it like to be ranked above him on the MTV list?
It was an honor to be on any list. But that was just really opinionated. If I’m not mistaken, it’s not even by the people. I think it was like eight or nine people at MTV. It’s an honor. But, also, I understand it’s opinionated. Even though I’m above Kanye, I don’t think people should take it so serious. It just all depends on who’s in that room who decides. It’s not like the whole world was on that panel. It’s crazy, though, just to see my name on MTV above his, but, like I said, that’s just a list. I put out a lot more music than Kanye that year, too, so maybe that had something to do with it.
The last big show I did in Detroit was at a big arena and Danny Brown was there, Royce was there, a lot of Detroit people were there, all the Burn Rubber guys, Eminem’s people. We made sure to make the tickets affordable for everybody. When the city comes together, it’s beautiful.
Do you still think G.O.O.D. is the best label in the game?
Yeah or else I wouldn’t be a part of it. I think G.O.O.D. Music is stronger than ever. Especially after Cruel Summer, we showed we could come together and make the best collaboration album. Kanye knows what he likes and what he doesn’t like. I think we’re the best and we’re just growing.
How proud are you of the Detroit movement? You’ve been a big part factor of that, but even people like Danny Brown are coming up.
I’m definitely proud seeing that and I want to help introduce that movement even more and help move it along, help evolve it. It’s a lot people in Detroit that still don’t have a lot of light shone on them. But I am proud of the progression. It’s a lot of great artist. Like you said, people like Danny Brown and other artists are getting shine from Detroit. It’s just beautiful to see. It’s great to see the city come together for like events. There’s not too much that goes on in Detroit. It’s a very depressing place. The economy is very depressed there. The last big show I did in Detroit was at a big arena and Danny Brown was there, Royce was there, a lot of Detroit people were there, all the Burn Rubber guys, Eminem’s people. We made sure to make the tickets affordable for everybody. When the city comes together, it’s beautiful.
Speaking of Detroit, you and Eminem worked together. How crazy is it to still see Eminem live in Detroit?
It’s just incredible to see. Like I said, it’s just mind-blowing. He’s like a ghost. When I met him, it was like seeing a ghost. I was like, “Goddamn.” I just remember buying his first album. I think I bought it form like Costco or something way back when I was a little boy. I remember when my mom was like, “Who’s Eminem?” It’s just crazy to idolize somebody like that and then to be in the studio working with him, playing him my album, and him giving me the feedback he gave me: saying how surprised he was and just how good of a body of work my new album is.
Kanye will tell anybody to rewrite their verse, not just me. He’ll tell Jay-Z. He’ll tell Rick Ross. He’ll tell Nicki Minaj. I’ve seen it.
What’s the biggest difference between Eminem and Kanye in the studio?
Kanye has such high standards. Not saying that everybody else doesn’t. Not saying that Jay-Z, or Eminem, or anybody doesn’t. What I’m saying is he’s such a tastemaker. And he’s so particular. He knows exactly what he wants. He’ll tell anybody to rewrite their verse, not just me. He’ll tell Jay-Z. He’ll tell Rick Ross. He’ll tell Nicki Minaj. I’ve seen it.
I’ve seen these people in the studio rewriting verses and it’s just crazy. I think that’s just the difference. When I’m in the studio with other people, I don’t make people rewrite their verses or anything like that. And that’s not bad or good, it’s just the difference. You gotta respect Kanye for that, for sure.
You gave Justin Bieber a pinky ring and it made the news Have you talked to him and given him advice since it seems he's been having a tougher time, lately?
I’ve really been thinking about it a lot lately. I talk to him a lot. I probably talked to him a month ago and I respect Bieber just for the sense of being a kid—I don’t think people understand how hard it is to be young and so successful, so in control, and in demand. He does a lot of wild things, but I haven’t talked to him recently since all this stuff has gone on. I’ve definitely thought about hitting him up. I probably will get around to it. He’s my homie, man. He’s just a kid out here living it up.
Finally, can we put to rest the Cruel Winter thing?
[Laughs] I don’t know. I can’t even speak on it. I know Hall of Fame is coming out, though. That’s for sure.