Producer Dawaun Parker helped to craft 50 Cent’s “Smoke” record. HipHop-N-More caught up with him recently to talk about the record, being a fan of 50’s work, working with Dr. Dre and if Detox will ever be released.
Thanks for talking to us Dawaun. First off, congrats on co-producing 50 Cent’s ‘Smoke’ feat. Trey Songz. Sounds like a big record.
Thanks man. It’s a cool record, hopefully the fans enjoy it.
Yes, it’s getting a good reaction and it’s important that this songs works for him.
Definitely man. I’ve always been a fan of 50. He’s always had a presence and I think he still has a lot of viability and credibility. When he focuses, he’s capable of making some great music. I continue to root for him and I hope that whatever amount of records he sells, at this time, he’s proving himself. At the end of the day, it all comes down to making music that his fans enjoy.
So how did the song come about? In the breakfast Club interview, 50 mentioned that the original version of the song was quite different than the one that has come out today and that he re-wrote the hook a few times with Trey Songz.
Yeah, he’s quite accurate on that. It’s had a few versions but it’s been a 50 song for a while now. I wasn’t sure when the hook came about. I remember the process of making the beat. During that time period, we were just making records with Detox in mind and just wanted to see if there’s something that Trey might wanna smash. Just like 50 said, he needed some joints and he ended up hopping on that and making it his own.
Was 50 there when you made the beat or did he get involved later on?
50 wasn’t there when we made the beat. Most of the times, the artist isn’t there when you are making a joint. It was an unfinished record and when he heard it, he wanted to make it his own. When we’re making stuff, we never really have the artist in mind, unless he or she is in the studio with us. It’s great that 50 stuck with this.
What all did you contribute to the beat?
I did a lot of the track actually. Me and Mark Batson, if I’m not mistaken, we did that track in Hawaii. It was one of the tracks we were making during that time and yes, I’m heavily on that. I did part of the synths and drums. Doc of course did the breaks, arranged it and mixed it.
A lot of folks talk about how Dr. Dre doesn’t actually produce the songs and that people like you and Mark Batson do bulk of the work. How true is that and what’s the actual process like when you get together with Dre to work on songs?
You know, it’s cool for people that want to support and give credit to the collaborators, but nothing will sound like it sounds, if it wasn’t for Dre. He’s a true producer, the real definition of a producer and not just a beat maker. He really is responsible for the way everything sounds, the decisions on the arrangement and all that. I’m thankful to have had great mentors; Doc and Mark Batson and Mike Elizondo and everyone I’ve got to work with as part of the Aftermath team. We’re always expected to bring our best over there. But yeah, Dre is a real producer like Quincy Jones, like George Martin. Anyone who would try to discredit that, hasn’t been in the studio and doesn’t know what work goes into it.
Do you honestly think Detox will ever come out?
That’s not up to me man but I do think it has every chance of coming out. It can come out any day, it’s really just about Doc deciding what he wants to do with it. Believe me, no one knows until he knows.