Q&A: Producer Alex Da Kid Talks Eminem

You may not know his name yet, but that’s about to change. Alex Da Kid is quickly becoming hip-hop’s hottest commodity as the producer behind B.o.B’s “Airplanes,” Nicki Minaj’s “Massive Attack,” and his latest bragging rights, Eminem and Rihanna’s Recovery collaboration “Love the Way You Lie.”

Currently in the lab with Rihanna, Diddy, Jeezy, and Ashanti, the 26-year-old Londoner sat down with Rap-Up.com to chat about orchestrating pop’s most unexpected pairing of the year and what it was like to work with Slim Shady.

How did the Eminem and Rihanna track come about? Did you do that song with them in mind?
[Rigo “Riggs” Morales], head of Shady Records in New York, heard my tracks and liked them. He knew that Em wanted to do something different on this album or work with different people, so we started sending Em tracks.

How long ago was this?
This was like four, five months ago. We started sending tracks. At the same time, Em heard [B.o.B’s] “Airplanes” and he loved it and wanted to get on it, so he got on “Airplanes, Pt. II” eventually, and he helped do additional production on that as well. He became aware of me in both ways. He just asked me if I had any other tracks, so I sent him [“Love the Way You Lie”] with a hook. I just signed the girl that wrote the hook. I gave it to Em and he loved it and recorded it within two days. He was like, “I definitely wanna get Rihanna on this.”

So he had her in mind?
Yeah. Paul [Rosenberg], his manager, sent it to Rihanna and she loved it. She hardly collaborates on anything anymore. It all happened at the last moment.

Were you in the studio with Em when he recorded it?
Not when he recorded it. I went in there to mix it. He recorded it two to three weeks before the album got mastered, and then I went out [to Detroit] like two days before it got mastered. It was last minute. Rihanna was in Dublin, so we were mixing it while she was recording it and doing it over the Internet.

How was it working with Eminem?
It was amazing. He’s really down-to-earth and not how you would expect a humongous artist to be. Everyone around him is really down-to-earth as well. Everyone makes jokes about each other. It’s really funny.

What artists have you had great chemistry with in the studio?
Definitely Em could be the top one. Rihanna was super cool. We did some stuff last year in London.

Why Em?
Em reminds me of one of my friends from back home. It was just so natural. I forgot in two seconds that he was the biggest-selling artist of the decade. He knows what he’s doing. Me and him mixed [the song] together and he’s not like somebody that’s telling somebody what to do. We were both on the board turning knobs. The atmosphere and the vibe down there was just super cool.

–Reporting by Georgette Cline