D12’s DeNauN Porter Is Every Bit As Talented A Singer As He Is An MC & Producer (Video)
DeNauN Porter is a rare talent. The Detroit native is a bona fide double threat, equally skilled at producing and rapping. As some may know, Porter played a key role in launching Eminem’s career, producing his debut album, Infinite, in its entirety. That affiliation would remain strong for years, with Porter and Em joining forces as members of D12. However, Mr. Porter always forged his own path, working with Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Xzibit, Snoop Dogg, Method Man, Royce 5’9″ and several others, as a producer and collaborator. He also created a substantial body of work as an MC, both solo and as part of D12. Now, DeNauN is on the verge of releasing a new EP (8/19), titled Connect, and, seemingly out of nowhere, he reveals that he also is capable of singing with the best of them.
DeNauN’s first release from the project is a video for the song “All 4,” featuring Keyon Harold, which premieres today (8/18) on Ambrosia For Heads (AFH). Porter showcases a rich tone, filled with emotion, with his newly unveiled vocals. When asked why he chose now to share his singing voice with the world, Porter told AFH “I used to be scared to sing and rap, but the game has changed so much since when I was first introduced to it. I figured if I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it. I’ve always considered myself to be multi-talented. I’m good at what I choose to do. So why not just do it now?”
“All 4” tells two tales, both about lost innocence. In the first verse, DeNauN spins a narrative of a young man who, after having his heart broken by his first love, embarks on a self-destructive path littered with women and reckless behavior. On verse 2, Porter turns his pen to a young boy whose lust for money leads him on a misguided paper chase that ends with jail time. In each case, Porter plaintively asks “what’s it all for?” The song sounds deeply personal, and DeNaun spoke about some of the parallels. “As a man I believe that men are more afraid to face why they do what they do. We don’t normally wear our hearts on our sleeves,” he said. Expanding, he adds “I like to believe that if I tackle these issues in song or writing it will help me understand even my own self. I have displayed these same patterns. So part of it comes from experience and part of it comes from observation. This is some of the realest shit I ever wrote.”
Mr. Porter also confirmed that the type introspection he shows on “All 4” will be featured throughout the entire Connect EP. “People can expect more personal, aggressive thought-provoking content and even some personal feelings I’ve been harboring since the time that Proof died,” he revealed. “The last time I released solo music was ‘This Corner‘ from the South Paw soundtrack, so now I want to give people an overall deeper look at how serious I take my solo artistry. I am more focused on connecting with people and building a fan base as a solo artist which is why I called the EP Connect. Its only four songs but its four different versions of me.”
The visuals for “All 4” are an ominous warning, from start to finish. The clip starts with a disclaimer advising it has the potential to induce seizures. It then commences with a close up of an old TV set that does much of the heavy lifting throughout the video. The screen showcases flashes of archival footage that supports the words and themes of the song. Shots of UFOs, birds, families, women, money, swing sets and Samurais are intercut with footage of DeNauN, himself. DeNauN said of the video “I want people to look at themselves in the mirror. Ask yourself ‘what is the end game for the shit you do?'”
Whether Porter’s singing is a noteworthy exception or a shift in direction, it’s an impressive addition to his already sizable arsenal of abilities.