With a nickname like "The Prezident", you have to be a person that has
garnered respect, not just from your hood, but from hoods across the country.
Such is the case of Detroit's E-Dub. With his acidic wordplay, the 24
year-old has been embarrassing opposing MCs and awing spectators the past
few years in many one sided rhyme fights, most notably his gladiator-like
romp to victory in the 1999 Blaze Battle. The following year, competitors
were so fearful of Dub, he wasn't allowed to defend his crown.
"I battled all 16 contestants backstage," he remembers. "I fucked up people’s
minds before they even went to Battle. All 16 of them came up and was
like 'We not gonna be in the battle if he's in the battle.'
" And while no MC has been able to see him on the mic thus far, Dub says
his biggest was his struggle to decide whether to continue hustling in
the streets of his Brightmore neighborhood (where he says "Just to live
to see 21 is like making a million dollars.") or to pursue a music career.
Seeing many of his friends get murdered or go to jail, coupled with his
love of spewing murderous vocals, E-Dub started to take rap serious in
the beginning of 1999.
"I said I can't chase music and the streets and do both of them well,"
he says. "To have a chance to go legit and can't nobody fuck with you
if you keep doing the right thing, that's worth its weight in gold to
a street nigga." After investing his money in starting his own label Hundred
Grand Entertainment, the lethal lyricist pushed 60 thousand units of his
independently released debut and began getting wooed by several labels
before deciding on partnering up with MCA. He says while making the album
with such notable producers as Swizz Beatz, The Medicine Men and Scott
Storch, he brought his battle skills into the studio.
"I only wrote two songs on the album, everything else is freestyle." However,
he says that fans will still get to feel his artistry in actual songs
rather just straight spitting, as he is a master of devising choruses.
"I never wrote rhymes, but I always wrote hooks," he disclosed. "In Detroit
I'm known as the Hook King. I wrote some stuff for some big names out
there, but it's on the low."
However, when making the record, street life began to interfere. Although
he changed his life, several of his friends and family members were still
out there. Just starting a studio session with Mystikal, Dub got the call
that his cousin was murdered. In the next few months, Dub not only saw
two more of his loved ones get murdered, but several of his friends get
sentenced to lengthy jail terms; all while trying to complete his album.
"I was so depressed and it started to effect my music," he says. "I was
like 'I'm gonna make a album that makes everyone depressed if I don't
change my focus, so I switched it up. This album you're going to get the
cool E-Dub. The 'Get your money, enjoy yourself' E-Dub."
That new focus is displayed on The Prezident's first single, the club
stomper "Gangsta, Gangsta." "It's a mockery of all that gangsta shit,'"
he says. "I'mma make y'all dance and yell out gangsta in a whole other
way. I'mma show y'all how real gangstas get it. How they walk around with
bitches having fun. Gangstas don't have problems, they have the utmost
respect. Niggas is avoiding gangstas."
Dub flexes those champion wordsmith skills on other tracks. There's the
synth powered freestyle fest "What You Want," the playful battle of the
sexes "You Really Don't Love Me," and the menacing "Bad as I Wanna Be."
There he boasts "When I box I beat your clothes off...you a rain drop
on the track, I thunder and lightning on the shit."
"Making the album helped me through a lot of shit," he says. "It helped
me take my mind off everything that happened. I'm watchhing niggas I thought
was gonna be around for the first video, not seeing daylight for ten years.
I had to block it out. A lot off people can't do that."