Stat Quo Reveals The Disagreement With Eminem That Destroyed His Shady/Aftermath Career (Video)
At the top of the 2000s, Eminem was building Shady Records into a juggernaut of a label. From D12’s double-platinum, #1 debut Devil’s Night to the 8 Mile soundtrack, Shady expanded from simply Eminem’s efforts into a multi-faceted force. In 2003, through a joint venture with Dr. Dre and Aftermath Entertainment, Shady introduced the biggest new artist of the period, courtesy of 50 Cent. The first five Shady releases all reached #1 (and nine of the first 10 albums). There was only one other artist to be tied both to Eminem and Dre: Stat Quo.
Stat was an Atlanta, Georgia product. Introduced to the Shady/Aftermath fold through Dre’s then-right-hand Mel-Man, both D-R-E and Em’ took interest in the Underground Atlanta mixtape series creator. As early as 2003, his debut Statlanta was planned for release, but delayed (an album of the same name was released in 2010 with former G-Unit Records President Sha Money XL).
Speaking with HipHopDX’s #DXLive this week, Stat remembered that period of his life. “People say, ‘Oh, you never got your album out [as intended].’ But I got more than that: I got the experience around these dudes. Dre taught me so much about the music business and artists, and Em’ taught me so much about music in general and Rap. The things that I learned from them is what I can apply to what I’m doing myself now.” Stat says that on occasions when he has received checks larger than $300,000 since leaving Shady/Aftermath, he personally calls Dre each time to thank him.
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In the nearly one-hour interview, Stat Quo says a lot about what he recorded and what he witnessed in those days. The MC also defends Dre’s reputation for signing and shelving artists. From Joell Ortiz to Rakim, King T to RBX, and Last Emperor to Bishop Lamont, Aftermath has a storied roster that’s missed release dates. In defense of the doctor, Stat says, “The [artists] on the shelf… people try to blame Dre, that’s not always Dre’s fault. I was on the shelf [and] that was my fault. Because I didn’t pick a side as far as an artist. I didn’t have an identity. I came in there a certain kind of way. Then I started making music to appease them instead of trying to make music to appease the people that got me in that door. I came from the Underground Atlanta making a certain kind of Rap. People loved me for that. Then, when I got around Dre, I started trying to make shit that sounded like 50 [Cent] and what they was doin’. I should’ve just stayed in my lane, and then the people would have forced [the music] out. See, with Kendrick [Lamar], the people forced it out. They couldn’t hold his album; the people wanted it.”
In terms of why his own album never released through that machine, Stat blames himself and one incident. “My album [Stantlanta] would have came out [in the mid-2000s] but I fucked up,” said the MC. “[There] was a song called ‘Dance On It.’ Em’ wrote the chorus and Em’ wanted me to say the chorus. I thought it was not good. And if I would have said, ‘Yeah, that’s it! That’s the one we going with!’ I would’ve got my album out,” believes Stat, who did appear on Encore‘s “Spend Some Time.” “But I tried to be on some, ‘Nah, I don’t like that; that ain’t a hit.’ I was really arguing with the top-selling rapper of all time on what a fuckin’ hit was. What a dummy idiot I was!”
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From there, Stat Quo admits he made matters worse by making “Dance On It” a point of negotiation. “Obie [Trice] didn’t argue with Eminem about ‘Got Some Teeth.’ Obie [accepted it as a single]. He didn’t argue; I argued. The song Em’ wanted to put out on me…my exact [response to Eminem’s offer to release the single was] ‘Well, if you give me a million dollars, then I’ll put it out.’ When I said that, me and Eminem [split].” Laughing, he continues, “It was a wrap; he was mad as shit. Literally. Dre was like, ‘Yo, you made him mad.’ Then, the next day, I apologized, with tears in my eyes. I’m watching my fucking career go down the drain.” That night, Stat Quo remembers recording “Syllables,” a super-collaboration featuring Eminem, Jay Z, 50 Cent, Cashis, and him. “We did that song right after my long apology. I was like, ‘Oh, we cool; he put me on a song with Jay Z.’ But no, he was not cool [with me after that].”
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In the interview, Stat also describes some unreleased Dr. Dre records with Jay Z, as well as additional Eminem and Nate Dogg collaborations. “That vault is insane; he’s got some real shit,” he says at one point. The MC also reveals his disappointment in Compton, as well as concern that an upcoming Aftermath debut will not advance the career of Flint, Michigan MC Jon Connor.