Eminem protege’ EZ Mil has been in headlines lately thanks to Slim Shady guest appearing on his song, “Realest”. Now while most sites gravitated to the controversial portions of the song, true music fans also took note of the skills presented by the young rapper – he can definitely flow! Our own Todd Davis caught up with Shady/Afternath artist to get a few words about his rising career.
Now let’s hop right into this latest single, “Realest,” feat. Eminem — Tell me about this particular track; how did it come to fruition?
I already had made the beat before knowing I was going to meet Dr. Dre and Eminem. In light of all it happening, I just thought to myself I had to bring whatever I can with me to show them, so I had brought that beat, too. I let Dr. Dre and Em listen to the beat, and Dr. Dre said, “Oh, yeah, Marshall gon’ eat that up!”And, Em screamed at the back of the studio, “Yup! Give it to me.”
Of course “Realest” comes courtesy of your brand new solo LP, DU4LI7Y: REDUX — Conceptually, what does this title represent both to and for you?
It’s pretty much a transition of the DU4LI7Y album. It’s me opening up another chapter. My creative process, with all the songs I make, is just putting my thoughts out there and wearing my heart on my sleeve. It’s my journal. My music is my story.
How then does DU4LI7Y: REDUX either differ and / or compare to previous EZ MIL efforts?
I think every project I make is different from each other — just because I feel different each time I make them. Every song is a story of its own.
What particular string of events actually led to your initial linking up with both Eminem and Dr. Dre and ultimately inking with SHADY RECORDS / AFTERMATH ENTERTAINMENT?
They said they really liked the “Up Down (Step & Walk)” track and music video, and that’s what started everything.
Reflecting, tell me your whole inception into music — When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for Ezekiel Miller?
Growing up, I’d already been into music, especially with my family, so naturally I already had kind of some knowledge of it. But, it was not necessarily up until I reached high school and college that it took off. That’s where I started dibbling and dabbling. When I dropped out of college, I kinda took it more seriously ‘cause like, I would just be up to no good. I’ve thought, “you know, outside in the streets…I’ll get home, I’ll try to let out all my frustrations in the music.” At that time, I was making metal, and then when I went to the States – I had the realization of what I actually should put my time into. I figured I could try to make a career with this sound because I built up a knowledge of creating it, and I tried it with different areas; like video creation and producing for other artists like family, friends, etcetera. After that, I focused on myself, and tried to make it. I just mirror the reality of what I’m trying to do.
Now you’re a native of the Philippines, by way of Las Vegas, NV, correct? So growing up, who all did/do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?
My biggest influences are Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Hopsin and Tech N9ne. For metal music, it would have to be Infant Annihilator, Rings of Saturn, and The Faceless.
In having said that, how do you classify your overall sound and/or style?
I genuinely feel like I don’t put myself in a box for that certain reason, because I want to be able to discover my own sound and cultivate my own genre in the future as well.
As an emcee, when you sit down to pen your rhymes where do you draw your inspiration from?
At the root of it all is frustration, and when I pen it to the pad…that’s what everybody is hearing, me battling those frustrations.
Switching gears here, what exactly do you want people to get from your music?
I want what music did and still does for me to this day: empowerment.
If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Hopsin, Tech N9ne, Snoop Dogg and Anderson .Paak, Lil Loaded, Mac Miller, King Von, MF DOOM, Pop Smoke and Tupac.
If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?
Tushino Airfield, Moscow. Well, Metallica did 1.6M there! I wanna do that, too.
On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of Hip Hop?
Hmm…I would say it’s pretty healthy. I mean, that’s just my Filipino rapper perspective at least. You got some of the best real lyricists right now still massacring with their pen-game, and you also got some of the most ridiculous “artists” as they say, that we can’t help but thank them for givin’ us a laugh.
What do you feel has and will continue to be the key to your longevity?
My will to keep trying new things out with the music, and being able to watch it evolve is beautiful!!
Do you have any other outside / additional (future) aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?
I wanna be able to attain my Airman’s coin, not be a leg, and set up aeronautic studies and research for my country.
To date, what has been your biggest career moment(s), at least thus far anyway?
I’m with the one and only!! Both of em!! So for now, that’s definitely the biggest. But as far as before, I would say the people’s decision on the 24 bars challenge and the heights that “Panalo” reached.
What’s an average day like for you?
Wake up, drink water, have Onyx (my dog) chase me around, work out, eat with my girl, work, and anything comes up, you know… sprinkle in some skateboarding, go to my mom’s crib, sometimes going out to eat.
Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…
They are my homies for realll!!!! Sometimes they can get a lil wild, so I gotta calm ‘em down, hahaha! But, yeah, they gon’ slide for real, trust that!
What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?
The greatest reward and double-edged sword with this career, I feel, is the authenticity. Because the more authentic you are, I feel, the more authentic the love is gon’ be for you. And hate, see, it just goes both ways!
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Keep stepping towards your goals, young gun!! Don’t ever let ’em knock ya hustle!
Looking ahead, say five or maybe even ten years from now, where do you see yourself?
Maaaan, probably like we got kids by then and a pack of wolves probably, hahaha! But definitely making music — more and more music!
As for the immediate, what’s next for EZ MIL?
MORE MUSIC. MUSIC VIDEOS. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED.
Is there anything I left out or just plain forgot to mention?
I don’t think so… OH, “REALEST (WITH EMINEM)” OUT NOW!!
Any “parting” words for our readers?
Thanks for having me! “REALEST (WITH EMINEM)” OUT NOW!!