During an interview on Beats 1, Alex Da Kid revealed how his partnership with Eminem popped off with “Love The Way You Lie,” going so far as to detail an argument they had over the mixing process. The way Alex tells it, everything started after Eminem hopped on the remix to B.O.B.’s “Airplanes.”
“I was also sending him beats through his new album, because he was going to make an album that wasn’t like Dre-centric for the first time, so he was looking for a new sound. I sent him really strange beats, because I know he liked them and then he did the remix, and he got on it,” says Alex. “He didn’t really realize it was the same producer and then he realized and he’s like, ‘send me some more stuff,’ so I sent him “Love The Way You Lie,” and he loved it and he did it.”
In case you don’t know, Eminem has since developed an affinity for mixing, after studying under his mentor Dr. Dre. Clearly, Marshall has come to feel possessive of his music, given his status as a perfectionist. “He was like, ‘OK, I want to put it out,’ and I’m like, ‘well, who’s mixing it?’ And he was like, ‘I’m mixing it,’ and I was like, ‘well, I need to be there.’ And he was like, ‘You can’t come to Detroit. I’m mixing it by myself, or you can’t have the song.’ We argued for a little bit, and he said eventually I could come to Detroit and mix it. So I went to Detroit, and we just hit it off straight away.”
While Alex has since solidified himself as a staple in Eminem’s current production circle, one of their biggest collaborations came in 2011, on the Dr. Dre assisted “I Need A Doctor.” The UK producer opened up about working alongside the legendary duo, giving an interesting insight into their hands-on approach to audio engineering.
“We would spend like days and days and days just with Marshall writing things and me and Dre, waiting outside, to see what he wrote, going back and forth. And then we kind of got some verses that we liked and then we were mixing and obviously Dre is a perfectionist. And I like mixing and so does Eminem,” says Alex.
“So me and Marshall started mixing the song the first day, and Dre didn’t really get involved and we just mix the song and the drums on that song were really hard to mix. We had all these crazy loops from different places and they didn’t work together. We had to try to mix them together and we did the first day, and we come back the next day, and it sounded terrible.”
Luckily, they had the good Doctor on deck. “I did most of the mixing to be honest, the first day, and it just sounded so bad. Dre was standing over me, like, I could feel the pressure. I was like, ‘what do you think?’ He said it was ‘okay,’ and he’s like, ‘you should change some things.’ So we changed and I was really struggling to get the snare right. Then in the second day — I didn’t think there was any coming back from it— and then Dre got more involved the second day and it kind of came out the way it was, and everyone was excited.”
For more insight from Alex Da Kid, peep the audio of the interview below.