Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dr. Dre & Timbaland Co-Sign: Earl Hayes Interview

Earl Hayes Interview part 1

It doesn’t get any bigger than being dubbed a Dr. Dre & Timbaland protégé throughout the internet world. In the last few months, Detroit MC Earl Hayes has seen what he describes as an “industry only buzz” travel through the walls of the public, as anticipating listeners remain curious to hear what about this latest Interscope signee has not only one legendary Hip Hop icon, but two Hip Hop icons co-signing him.

SoPrupRadio hooked up with Earl Hayes for part one of a two part interview. Giving you his background story exclusively on SoPrupRadio, the currently in his mid-twenties MC went for a trip down memory lane with us, from the beginning of his career with Young Black Brotha’ Records, long before the Aftermath/Mosley Music Group/Interscope deal. It all started when Earl Hayes relocated from Detroit to Oakland and met Khayree, CEO of Young Black Brotha’ Records, home to Mac Mall, Mac Dre and others.

Hayes then linked up with Supreme of the Supreme Team & Wu-Tang Clan and was introduced to Los Angeles, for the first time in his life, realizing the difference between the Bay area and Los Angeles.

Furthering the conversation on some of Hayes’ label journeys, he takes us through his previous record deals and why the situations didn’t work out, which ultimately can be taken as advice to any artist or aspiring CEO that is trying to pick up their musical movement off the ground.

SoPrupRadio: We’re right here with Dr. Dre & Timbaland protégé and signee, Earl Hayes. Now is there is a whole lot to talk about with you because you have a lot going on, and we are going to talk about everything. First off, I want to start off with your past, something not a lot of people have paid close attention to – your Young Black Brotha’ Records days…

Earl Hayes: (laughs) MAN!

SoPrupRadio: How did you hook up with Khayree for that situation to come about?

Earl Hayes: Where did you get that from?

SoPrupRadio: I got everything on you.

Earl Hayes: (laughs). That’s like, damn man, a long ass time ago. I was 16 years old when that happened, when I first touched down in California. I came out to Oakland to rap. I bumped into Khayree at a clothing store that I used to go to. I didn’t even know who he was. Me and him just kind of bumped into each other. He asked me what I do; he said I had a certain energy about myself. I told him I rap and he told me well, everybody raps nowadays. I rapped for him and he told me that he wanted to sign me. He brought me down to his studio and I met Mac Mall, Ray Luv – all of those Bay area cats, shout out to the Bay area. That’s basically how it happened.

SoPrupRadio: Being all the way from Detroit, you moved to California, staying in Oakland specifically. What made you want to even attempt to walk into a musical situation all the way in Oakland?

Earl Hayes: I would have walked into a musical situation anywhere.

SoPrupRadio: Ok. So why the relocation to California?

Earl Hayes: At the time, California was where Death Row was. It was my dream back then to hook up with Dr. Dre. I always told myself way back since Dre and Snoop put out “The Chronic” and “Doggystyle”, and 2Pac was still in jail and all of that stuff was going on, I said I gotta’ get to California and sign or work with Dr. Dre. But first off, I got to California and Oakland and I signed with Khayree.

SoPrupRadio: That’s crazy, seeing your dream come to fruition. Before we get into all of that, as you mentioned, Young Black Brotha’ Records was home to Mac Mall, Mac Dre and others. At such a young age, about 16, what did being around those people teach you?

Earl Hayes: Those guys were dope. I never felt anything but love around them. Every time I spit, they were like “yo, who is this dude? Where did you get him from?” with Khayree, it just used to be all love. I have nothing but good memories.

SoPrupRadio: Speaking of memories, do you have a particular memory about the late great Mac Dre that sticks out in your mind?

Earl Hayes: You know what? Not really any crazy stories about the Mac [Dre]. I only met him a few times; he was cool as a motherfucker though. That’s all I can say. I have good memories but I was so young, we didn’t really bust it up like men.

SoPrupRadio: Ok. From spending so much time in the Bay area scene, because you were based out in Oakland, what difference did you notice between the Bay area and the Los Angeles area?

Earl Hayes: I didn’t even know there was a difference until I got older. I was from Detroit; I didn’t really know California like that. I thought it was all California, I thought it was like Detroit. I figured everything in California was like everything in Michigan. That’s not true obviously. I didn’t know Southern and Northern were far as fuck from each other. I learned about the parts of California that I needed to be in to really do what I wanted to do, which was sign to Dre and get on. I used to tell my friends all the time, I’m about to go California and sign with Dr. Dre. But I was like 14-15 when I used to say that. It’s some freaky shit that you brought that up though.

SoPrupRadio: (laughs) thank you. Being from Detroit and telling all your friends about your plans to get up and go to California, tell us about what life was like in Detroit before you got to California?

Earl Hayes: It was Detroit. I always had a good head on my shoulders. I was bad but I always made due for myself. I always hustled up and kept myself fly. I kept the newest things and money in my pocket. I learned how to do this because my parents wouldn’t give me a lot. I would see things I wanted and I was always great at making realistic plans. I always laid out my goals for my own life. When my mom kicked me out, I really had to learn how to provide myself with shelter and transportation. I looked for guidance to get me through life. I think I did pretty good.

SoPrupRadio: You were also around some Wu-Tang affiliates, The Supreme Team. Growing up in an era where Wu-Tang really dominated Hip Hop…

Earl Hayes: (Laughs), wait, how do you know that?

SoPrupRadio: I’m a journalist; it’s my job to do research.

Earl Hayes: (Laughs) your crazy.

SoPrupRadio: (Laughs) As I was saying, they really dominated Hip Hop and you were around for a period of time. What was that situation like for you?

Earl Hayes: My man Supreme was on the Supreme Team. He was a dude that really brought me into the Wu and introduced me to the Wu life, and how the Wu was moving. That’s the dude that showed me the difference between Los Angeles and the Bay area. When I hooked up with Supreme, he brought me straight out to Los Angeles. He showed me that life when I as about 18 years old. He brought me out to Los Angeles and showed me what it was like out there, on a crazy level. You have to think, they were more advanced than Khayree and them. That’s when I really started getting exposed to the fast life. Then Supreme got locked up for about eight years. He just got out. That’s what happened with The Supreme Team and why it didn’t work out.

SoPrupRadio: Have you spoke with him? You said he just got out.

Earl Hayes: Yeah, that’s my dog.

SoPrupRadio: He must be really impressed with your progress.

Earl Hayes: I spoke to him while he was locked up too. Oh yeah, a lot of people are impressed. A lot of years and I never came up. I refused to do anything but what I wanted to do in life. I never had a job. I looked at working for somebody else as a sign of giving up on what you really want to do. I would never do anything but what I wanted to do, and find a way to support myself at the same time.

SoPrupRadio: Supreme brought you out to Los Angeles and you were about 17-18. He was the one who really showed you the difference between the Bay area and Los Angeles.

Earl Hayes: Supreme showed me a whole other pace of life. It was totally crazy. I was under a lot of real life street dudes and Supreme was a real real real life street dude. That exposed me even more to the outside, the fast life and the quick money, the cars. He wasn’t really a flashy cat but he used to throw that paper around and that was fine.

SoPrupRadio: What was your initial reaction like? It must have been like a culture shock. Even if we’re not talking from a street perspective, just in general.

Earl Hayes
: I remember the first time I flew out to Los Angeles. It was like an unreal feeling; I can’t even really explain it. It felt like I was about to make it. It reminded me of a scene in a movie when a dude finally makes it in Los Angeles; but it wasn’t time yet.

SoPrupRadio: You’ve been signed to Interscope once before and a number of independents. Touch on some of your label journeys.

Earl Hayes: I’m glad you brought up my previous label deals. I keep reading, I was never signed to Loud Records; people keep saying that but I never signed to Loud. I did have other several situations as you mentioned. It was more about street music and street movements. A lot of street movements don’t last long because not a lot of street dudes last long. All my situations were street affiliated and when that type of money is used to fund projects, not everybody gets to make it. There is too much shit that happens and goes on.

SoPrupRadio: I know you were already rapping and wanted to make it at 14, your still in your mid-20’s now, and “Cash Flow” came out a long time ago. Have you really been rapping that long and making progress like that?

Earl Hayes: What’s “Cash Flow?”

SoPrupRadio: This record you did. I can play it for you. You did it like 1998 I think. It was on a soundtrack or something. Do you know which record I’m talking about?

Earl Hayes: I think I do.

SoPrupRadio: I’m gonna’ pull it up and play it for you in a minute.

Earl Hayes: Is that me and Black Rob?

SoPrupRadio: No, it’s a solo record. I got it here. Here is the “Cash Flow” record. It was on something called “Young Black Brotha’ Records Presents: Constant Drama” (plays song)

Earl Hayes: (Laughs) you have this song? That’s it right there. Turn it up, let me hear it. You were able to find that on the internet? Yeah, I remember this record. I didn’t even know it was out there like that. Thank you, I just wanted to hear it.

Earl Hayes Interview part 2

It doesn’t get any bigger than being dubbed a Dr. Dre & Timbaland protégé throughout the internet world. In the last few months, Detroit MC Earl Hayes has seen what he describes as an “industry only buzz” travel through the walls of the public, as anticipating listeners remain curious to hear what about this latest Interscope signee has not only one legendary Hip Hop icon, but two Hip Hop icons co-signing him.

Raptalk.Net hooked up with Earl Hayes for part two of a two part interview that focuses on the present. Currently on the “Shock Value 2” tour with multi-platinum producer and Hip Hop icon Timbaland, Earl Hayes talks to us about the tour and appearing on “Shock Value 2”, a track alongside R&B songstress JoJo titled “Lose Control.”

With “The First 48” mixtape out now making its rounds, Hayes talks about hooking up with Dr. Dre & Timbaland. Talking to us about the first time he was signed to Interscope, Hayes explains why he’s confident this time around his Interscope situation will work for the better, and what changes he’s made to ensure his success on the label.

Finally, we talk about the “elephant in the room”, the much-anticipated Dr. Dre album, “Detox.” With Hayes working on the project, he gives us the details that he can.
With his as of yet untitled debut album in the works, Hayes expects Dr. Dre to produce half of the project, with Timbaland contributing the other half of production. Realizing this is the set up for what could be one of the largest debut albums in the history of Hip Hop; Hayes speaks about the pressure to deliver and what it’s like recording with Dr. Dre & Timbaland.

Raptalk.Net: How’s that “Shock Value 2” tour treating you?

Earl Hayes: It’s dope. We’re tired right now; me and Timbaland are in the studio working. Today we have the day off, I was sleeping before I called you, as soon as I get all the way up, I’m about to go back to the studio and get to work. I got some stuff I’ve been working on.

Raptalk.Net: Speaking of the tour, have you had any particular spots or cities you’ve really enjoyed rocking?

Earl Hayes: I like them all the same. It’s all love. Every place we’ve been too has been dope. I like the entire show, the whole show is crazy.

Raptalk.Net: Working with Timbaland so close, how come you’re not credited on “Lose Control”, the song you’re on with JoJo?

Earl Hayes: I’m on “Shock Value 2” but we did the song the night before mastering. The art work was already done so I didn’t get to appear on the credits. That song is me, Timbaland and JoJo. I missed the credits but I’m on that record. I just made the record. The art work was already done when Timbaland called me to come to the studio and lay down my part.

Raptalk.Net: Tell us about that record.

Earl Hayes: I was in the studio with [Dr.] Dre working on “Detox” and we were doing a track. I got a call from Timbaland saying for me to come to the studio, he said I got a song I want to throw you on. We did the “Lose Control” record and that’s it.

Raptalk.Net: Ok. Let’s get into the new mixtape, “The First 48.”

Earl Hayes: “The First 48” is like a street album I put out. I don’t even want to call it a mixtape, will call it a street album. I called it “The First 48” because for a lot of people who are just getting into my music, it’s the first 48 songs that there going to hear. It’s really about the first 48 songs people are going to hear from me. This is the first 48 songs I’m giving y’all. The whole thing is on my website, All 48 songs are up there. I’m giving out thousands of copies away for free on the tour and people are blown away that I got a double disc with 48 songs in hard copies that I’m just giving them for free. People can go to my website and see all 48 songs.

Raptalk.Net: This is what we’ve really wanted to get into. It doesn’t get any bigger than being signed to, and being co-signed by Dr. Dre & Timbaland. How did each
situation come about?

Earl Hayes: Wow, let me think. With Dre, I’ve known Dre since the end of 2003. He was the reason I got signed to Interscope in the first place. He really liked my stuff. At the time, it didn’t work out. There were a lot of people that offered me a lot of stuff. I was signed straight to Jimmy [Iovine] at Interscope. I was working on my album and I met Timbaland. We did some records together way back in the day. Our chemistry was good. Later on when everything didn’t go good with my deal, and I started dealing with Dre, Timbaland came on board.

Raptalk.Net: So if it didn’t work out the first time with Interscope, what makes you think this time will be any different?

Earl Hayes: The first time I signed to Interscope, it was just me and I was signed to Interscope directly. If you know about the Interscope system, nobody signs to just Interscope. Not one artist has ever come off just Interscope; it’s always through affiliations of one of Jimmy’s power teams. I think when Jimmy Iovine signed me, we had planned to work that out later, but we never worked it out. Dre saw me lose my deal and he came with support. He told me “this time, we’re gonna’ make sure that you blow.” We found a way to make it big. Timbaland came in, him and Dre together. It’s as big as it gets.

Raptalk.Net: That happened in about 2003 when you signed to Interscope the first time?

Earl Hayes: We were negotiating since 2003; I think I officially signed in 2004.

Raptalk.Net: So after the deal went sour, why do you think it took so long for Dre & Timbaland to come back in and make it an affiliation deal in order to make it work in the Interscope system?

Earl Hayes: It went sour for a long time.

Raptalk.Net: So it took a long time to get that situation over with?

Earl Hayes: Yeah, and I wasn’t trying to get it over with. We were actually about to put out a single when we ran out of our budget. We spent three million dollars working on the project. I’m gonna’ give out more information as we get closer to the release of my album.

Raptalk.Net: Understood. We want to continue touching on the Dr. Dre & Timbaland connection. In your words, what’s the difference between being in the booth with Dre & Timbaland?

Earl Hayes: I don’t see a difference. They’re both great. What’s the difference between great and great?

Raptalk.Net: There sound is definitely different. How do you approach their sounds and styles differently?

Earl Hayes: I’m never the same. It’s all a challenge to me. We’re all great workers and I don’t approach anything the same way. The change is beautiful. I feel right at home with everything being different all the time. Even if it wasn’t different, I would change to make it different.

Raptalk.Net: Even though Dr. Dre & Timbaland are different and you’re never the same anyway, what is a typical studio session like with Dr. Dre & Hayes? Same question for Timbaland and Hayes.

Earl Hayes: A typical studio session is like, I come in and hear something, get ready to go and get right to it. I try to make the track the best I could make.

Raptalk.Net: What kind of pointers do they try and give you in the booth? What are the main similarities in terms of things you hear coming out of their mouth a lot?

Earl Hayes: They both hear things that you would never imagine. They both hear these pockets and bounces and these rhythms and tones. To me, it’s one of the best tutorials I’ve had in my life. I’ve never learned in so many different ways. To be able to do such things, I’m having a lot of fun.

Raptalk.Net: How is “Detox” shaping up? How have you contributed thus far?

Earl Hayes: I’ve contributed like a student. I’ve been working with Dre. I can’t say I’ve been writing for Dre – I’ve been working with Dre. He’s guiding me and I’ve been learning. I may make up some words but it’s all in the parameter of what he’s teaching me at that time.

Raptalk.Net: Do you think Dr. Dre is close to having the album completed? Do you think you’ll 100% appear on the record?

Earl Hayes: I’m sure I’ll be on the record when it comes out. I’m sure Dre is going to put it out when he’s finished with it.

Raptalk.Net: They’re saying that probably won’t be until 2011.

Earl Hayes: In the studio, I don’t hear anything but good records. That man is the man. He’s been making great records. I don’t know when it’s coming out.

Raptalk.Net: Have you had a chance to work with any other names around Dr. Dre right now? Slim The Mobster, Eminem, 50 Cent and even Game is back around Dre.

Earl Hayes: I got to work with Slim The Mobster and that was great. I also got to work with T.I. that was dope. I got to work with a lot of people that is working with Dre.

The "Detox team 2010":

^ Stat Quo, The Game, Earl Hayes, Sly Hook & Dr. Dre ^

Raptalk.Net: Being from Detroit and around Dre with Eminem there, that must have been surreal since you’re from Detroit.

Earl Hayes: I haven’t had the chance to meet Eminem yet. But when I do, I’m sure it’ll be a nice Detroit moment.

Raptalk.Net: What’s the timeline like for your album? Does it have a title or is there any information on it you can give us at all?

Earl Hayes: Half of this album is supposed to be produced by Timbaland, the other half is supposed to be produced by Dr. Dre. Right now I’m on the road with Timbaland, me and him are recording every day. I’m trying to get his half done. After we get off the road, will go back to Los Angeles and seen if we can get Dre’s half done and that’s it, it’ll be out.

Raptalk.Net: I’m sure you realize, but that could be one of the biggest projects in Hip Hop history. We’re talking about an album half produced by Dr. Dre, and half produced by Timbaland. Do you feel any pressure to make sure you deliver?

Earl Hayes: Nah, I’m straight. I mean, I’m naturally going to come through because coming through is what I do. I definitely think it’s going to have a positive effect on Hip Hop. I think we’re going to give people what they want. You already know what you could expect. You’re not going to be disappointed. I can guarantee that.

Raptalk.Net: Your recording Timbaland’s part now and plan on getting Dre’s half after you get off the road. Do you think there is any chance will see this project this year? Or is 2011 more likely?

Earl Hayes: I don’t know. It depends what we come up with now and what we come up with when I get home.

Raptalk.Net: You’ve been compared to The Notorious B.I.G., especially in the way you tell stories in your raps. That is evident on records like “Block Party.” How do you react to such a comparison?

Earl Hayes: To be honest, I don’t really react to that. Every time I hear that, I just keep on moving. How is that supposed to make me feel? I don’t even know how to feel about that.

Raptalk.Net: Is that because you don’t like being compared to anyone?

Earl Hayes: No, it’s not that I don’t like being compared to anyone, that was one of my biggest influences and favorite artists as far as music goes. To be compared to him before I even drop an album, for people to say that based off a couple mixtapes is phenomenal. I think that might stir up some shit. People are going to say “wait a minute, who is he? What the fuck is going on?” they are going to wanna’ know why I’m being compared to Big [The Notorious B.I.G.]. They might take the time to hear me and like me. What do you think about that comparison to Biggie?

Raptalk.Net: Honestly, I see how people get that, especially on records like “Block Party” where your storytelling is in full effect. The Intro on “The First 48” as well, I see where people are getting it from. I don’t think there are a lot of rappers out right now that are telling stories on records like you are. Do you see where an opinion like that
comes from?

Earl Hayes: Yeah, that makes sense completely.

Raptalk.Net: With “The First 48” out right now, how do you think that compared to “24 songs of Power?”

Earl Hayes: It’s just more Hayes music. It’s always gonna’ be the same level. As long as I’m behind the mic, you’re always going to hear something you like - I’ll never let you down.

Raptalk.Net: What’s next up for Earl Hayes?

Earl Hayes: Music I’m doing an album with Dr. Dre & Timbaland. That’s the next move. That’s what I’m focused on the most.

Raptalk.Net: There isn’t a bigger or better way to end it than like that, so thanks a whole lot for your time Hayes; I know I took a lot of it so I appreciate it…

Earl Hayes: We had a lot to get straight. You took me way back.

Raptalk.Net: That’s exactly what I had to do. We had a lot to get through so I appreciate your co-operation and your time. Do you have any last words before I let you go?

Earl Hayes: For those who are already anticipating my album, I think for a dude that nobody really ever heard of except for a few people, because I always had a buzz within the industry walls as far as ghost writing and just being a good dude. I think it’s a blessing to have anticipation on what my album is going to be like only a month or two right after you sign, no promotion yet or anything. I like that people are already anticipating the album.

Raptalk.Net: Your buzz was behind the walls and now you’re seeing that come into the public.

Earl Hayes: It’s blowing over to the public and I never had a public buzz. I always had a great buzz throughout the biggest people in the game. Everybody in the industry is very happy for me. They see me finally getting my shot.

Raptalk.Net: I appreciate you.

Earl Hayes: Thank you.

Interview by
Co-Director of Site Content For Raptalk.Net
Staff Writer For WordOfSouth.Com
Staff Writer For Illuminati2G.Net
Staff Writer For

Earl Hayes albums (free download):
Earl Hayes; The First 48 Disc 1
Earl Hayes; The First 48 Disc 2

Related link;
Vibe magazine interview with Dr. Dre
Like Dr. Dre of N.W.A would say... (Still Not ♥’ing Police t-shirts)

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