Hayes, Dr. Dre and Timbaland’s new Protégé. Will he soon be among Hip-Hop’s Elite? Several months ago when Timbaland and Dr. Dre signed their mutual protégé, Hayes, the Hip-Hop world rolled out the red carpet for the Detroit raised rapper.
Now fresh off traveling with Timbaland to a few select dates on the Shock Value 2 Tour, Hayes is looking forward to the buzz he gets from his most recent release, First 48 a compilation of 48 original songs.
Will the production of Dr. Dre and Timbaland catapult this rapper into Hip-Hop’s elite? Check out what he had to say when he recently sat down with AllHipHop.com.com in an exclusive Q & A.
AllHipHop.com: What’s good man?
Hayes: Man you know working hard. Got to work hard.
AllHipHop.com: Right I already know. So where you located now man?
Hayes: Right now I’m in between; I’m just in Miami.
AllHipHop.com: Aight man, so lets get right into this man. Listening to the First 48 project, you got production from both Dre and Timbaland, tell me what that’s like working with each producer respectively? Hayes: Yea, like if you do music and you are really trying to make a statement in Hip-Hop, those are the definitely the two people to be working with. It definitely doesn’t get any bigger than that. Like we make history off the top. You cant’ top it. Just with all the three of us working together, the amount of talent that’s on the project, it’s through the roof, we’re looking for a good outcome.
AllHipHop.com: Right, so how did this all came together? I know you were originally from Detroit, and then you moved around a bit. How did you end up linking up with them?
Hayes: Some crazy s**t. God. You know how the dice roll. You never know what numbers you gonna get. I just kept throwing them motha f**kas. Like I had been signed to Interscope already and I was never put as one of Jimmy’s bigger brands. Like you know how you can get successful or whatever. I had signed with Jimmy because I thought you know, it would be best for my situation. Because I was looking at all the situations like all the big brands and money that they was making This was back before the recession hit. This was when Jay was putting out them shoes, and Fifty was putting out shoes, and n***as was taking turns making alcohol, it was like that brief second when rappers were making money like NBA players for a second. I mean you can still make good money, you just got to be down with the right team. I saw that shit, and that’s why I went with Jimmy. But since I wasn’t one of his bigger brands the venture was unsuccessful. But along the way I had made great relationships with people like Timbaland and Dr. Dre, so toward the end of my run when we split the whole budget up and stuff like that. I started working with Dre. And then, I had already known him for a long time since being signed with Jimmy. So Dre was like “You know what Hayes? f**k it, I’m gonna sign you. I don’t give a f**k what happened over there, you know what? I’ll f**k with you, cause it ain’t goin down like that.” You know what I mean? Then I was like “Hell yea, I’m about to sign with Dre, lets get it,” Then me and Dre was shooting dice at Jimmy’s club, shooting craps at the craps table and Timbaland walked in and was kind of just like, “what the f**k is y’all doing? Dre was “like me and Hayes are about do an album together.” Then Timbaland was like “Yo I f**k with Hayes, Dre lets do it together my n***a, let’s make this s**tbig.” Dre was like, “Hell yea that’s a good idea. Hayes what you think?” I had been f**king with Tim since ‘04 or ’03, about the same time I had known Dre, so I was down with it. We did the deals and like, you know it was natural. You know how when you get introduced to a new situation and you got to get used to everybody and you have to adapt and you have to learn the ropes. I had already knew the ropes in both camps. Its like I already know the whole camp over here and the whole camp over there and was already cool with n***as. So it wasn’t no adapting. It was like, oh yea that’s Hayes right here. It was a bulls**t little situation, now its politic free you know what I’m saying, and it fit well and worked good.
AllHipHop.com: So I know you are from Detroit, it seems like at pretty young age it seems like you started off grindin hard man. In those early years, who were some of your influences as far of the music maybe that you listened to or maybe people you think about that influence your songs today? Hayes: Everyone that was pushing it further and not a failure. I was very inspired by success. I was very inspired by any type of person who had a lifespan. Meaning not just a flash in the pan, like “I got one platinum record and then you never hear from me again rappers. Although that type of s**tinspired me too because thy did go platinum, I was looking at the people who had longevity. Because you know, I’m from the hood you know so I seen n***as come up an fall off all the time, so I paid attention more to the moguls then I did the artists and I was inspired by the traits by the n***as that brought home the big bucks. I studied the people that made it a lifestyle not a check, not an experience. This is not an experience for me this is a life. That’s just what Ill say.
AllHipHop.com: So this First 48 album, is this really 48 joints on here, do I understand that correctly?
Hayes: Yea, that’s why it’s called First 48. n***as think I’m trying to bite off the show or I’m gonna kill them in 48 hrs or something. No n***a its 48 songs. I don’t know why n***as are diggin into it so deep
AllHipHop.com: So tell me about your album that you’re working on, more about the First 48, I know that’s done but tell me about some of the songs you are working on. Hayes: We already have started some recording on it. I just got off tour with Timbaland, the Shock Value 2 Tour. Me and Timbaland are about to start working on the album. We was working on the studio bus being on the road. Tried to find a few times to work with Dre in between the tour dates.
AllHipHop.com: Right, so tell me, is there anyone that is featured on the album, or any specific songs that you are looking forward to people hearing.
Hayes: Right now I just signed like a month or two ago and it’s in the very early stages. I’m sure it’s going to be huge. The thing that tripped me out the most, is that I signed to Jimmy, and you know the biggest problem with the game, is that the power that may be, is everyone is wondering how they are going to break their artist. Like if you ain’t got a dance or f**king gimmick. I don’t know what kind of bulls**tthey use now with that autotune. I don’t know what you are supposed to use to get on right now, but I am blessed to have my situation. It’s just good that the major concern of every artist is already taken care of with my project. Plus the fact that just being involved with Dr. Dre and Timbaland makes my album highly anticipated off top. And that’s the best thing about the situation, I just signed and the album is already highly anticipated. Just because it’s Dre and Timbaland, and people are gravitating towards all my music and whatever type of presence that I have on the internet.
AllHipHop.com: It seems like they already have a machine or a format that will just crank out projects. And with the people that they’ve already worked with, it’s just a no brainer. On this album and on this time around, and on this Dre and Timbaland project, I’m only working with Dre and Timbaland.
AllHipHop.com: So is there an expected release date for the album? Hayes: Ummm… Were working. Tim and Dre planned to do something early in the year. They’re both going to bring their A game. That’s the only f**king game they play. So you know what I’m saying? I don’t think that there’s any competition in my lane and I feel free.
AllHipHop.com: So going forward, what is it going to take for you to be where you want to be? Or do you think that you are there with respect to music and your life goals. Hayes: I will be happy when I am a household name and everybody recognizes me for my talent because I don’t want to be recognized for nothing else. Like you know, I live the real life and did a lot of real shit, but at the end of the day that don’t validate a person, just because you been through a bunch of street shit; that don’t mean that you have what it take to make it in life.
AllHipHop.com: So Bishop Lamont was signed with Dre, and people were expecting a little bit more from that collaboration, we heard music, but fans were left wanting a little bit more. How do you feel you set yourself apart from any of Dre’s other projects? Hayes: Man you know what, there are things that go on and things that don’t go on and at the end of the day hopefully, I would like to be one of the things that goes on. I hope God stays with me and guides me the right way and stays with me through this whole thing and we will get the results that we want. You never know what’s going to happen today or tomorrow in the music industry and Bishop Lamont is the type of person that just because he got dropped from Aftermath doesn’t mean that his career is over. Bishop is a very talented artist. I have been dropped before and that could be anybody at any second. You just got to keep your faith in God and work as hard a possible and hope everything will be alright.
"Earl Hayes" "Dr. Dre" Timbaland Aftermath Interscope "Jimmy Iovine" "Bishop Lamont"