Dr. Dre and Eminem, needless to say, have a long and storied collaborative relationship, with Dre signing the latter to Aftermath in 1998 and supporting him on his way to becoming one of the most popular artists of all time. While Eminem would quickly establish Shady Records in 1999, he has remained signed to Aftermath his entire career.
In all this time, however, the two have only ever co-signed an artist to both their labels (discounting the unreleased debut of Atlanta rapper Stat Quo) once: that’d be 50 Cent. So, it’s something of a surprise that the veteran pair have linked up once more in 2023 to sign a new artist.
Naturally, there’s a sense that something special may be in the works. While Marshall Mathers has spent recent years signing artists he believes in with little chance for (or interest in) major chart success, Dre tends to only get involved if he senses something big.
The artist in question is Filipino rapper Ez Mil. Born in the Philippines to a musician father, Mil gradually relocated to Las Vegas, where he began to steadily record music.
Tweeting that Mil’s song “Up Down (Step & Walk)” was what caught his eye, and the reason for signing him, Eminem also Tweeted out a link the song’s video, which you can watch below.
Speaking on the signing to HipHop-n-More, Eminem shared, “We’ve never been out there signing a lot of artists, and one of the great things about how we built Shady is how selective we’ve been, and it’s even rarer that Dre and I sign something together – but I heard Ez’s music and was like, ‘this is really special” so I took it to Dre. We both agreed it would be a great fit and we wanted to work with him right on the spot.“
For his part, Dre remarked, “I’m really only interested in working on shit that sounds different from anything else going on out there, and only then if I feel I can really bring something to it. Em played me Ez and I had that feeling…that thing that happens when we both know we’ve found something special. And that was it….let’s get to work.“
Ez Mil will release a new version of his 2022 album, DU4LI7Y: REDUX, on August 11th, which will include the song “Realest” featuring Eminem. Check out “Up Down (Step & Walk)” out in the meantime.