Eminem's Record Producer Dishes on His Studio Style
Eminem is sitting on top of the music world for another week, with his Recovery disc spending a fifth week on top of the Billboard Top 200 albums chart and his second single off it, "Love the Way You Lie" with Rihanna, topping the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for its second week. So what makes the hip-hop mastermind tick? I chatted with one of the album's main producers, Jim Jonsin, about that and the time he's spent with T.I. and B.o.B., too!
UsMagazine.com: What was your favorite part of working with Eminem?
Jim Jonsin: It was my first time working with him. What was my favorite part? I guess just creating and coming up with ideas and kind of getting to know him. It's kind of rare to be in a room with a guy like that. So being a fan at first was really cool, you know? It's one of those things where you go 'holy s--- I'm in here working with Eminem.' That is a big deal for someone like me. Just meeting him as a person was probably the coolest part. Working with him in the studio is pretty standard, you write songs, you record them, you put down ideas, make beats. It is all about kicking it with the person. He is a lot more serious than most artists I've worked with. He takes his business and craft and music very seriously. He is very detail-oriented, so it could be something like a mix of drums on a record, and he is going to be really crucial about how it sounds, and crucial about instrumentation, his lyrics, his delivery.
Us: Why does this album differ from Eminem's past ones?
JJ: Because he had me producing records on there. No, first off, that is actually a good point, he had other producers working on this album with him, and not only Dre. That was a huge part of it --different sounds, different ideas. Not taking anything [away] from Dre. because he's a genius, but this was a way for Eminem to grow and learn more from different people. I'm always learning, no matter who I work with I learn different things, and I think the same thing goes for Eminem. If you're working with new producers, you're seeing different angles, and different sounds being used, different motivation and things like that. I think that's what makes this album different. Also, maybe what he is going through in his life right now, [is] different than before.
Us: You said his work ethic was very serious, very detail-oriented...
JJ: He has a strong work ethic. I'm a father, he's a father, [and] he came in at a certain time, early in the afternoon and he planned to leave like [at] a job. He went in, he did his thing, and was out at a certain time to be with his kid and his family, which I admire. It's kind of hard [having a family] in this business, but if you can balance it, it's a really good thing.
Us: So right now you're in the process with working with B.O.B?
JJ: We're going to get started in another 30 days. We are working on ideas, I'm going to get in with him and whoever else is involved and start working on the album. I've been working with him for over three years, producing and writing for him. We're working on some new stuff and I think creatively B.O.B and I have had many firsts together. He's very talented. He is a Jack of all trades -- he plays guitar, keys, writes, raps, sings. I’m sure he'd pick up a saxophone if it called for it and try to play that.
Us: How is T.I.'s album coming along?
JJ: I have done two sessions with him. We've done three songs together now and we are working on other stuff.
Us: How would you sum up your goals for his album?
JJ: I think he is just trying to write some classic records. Some really good, solid songs.