Adam Graham / The Detroit News
Denaun Porter produced the distinctive beat for 50 Cent’s single “P.I.M.P.”
ON THE WEB
He’s worked’ with the biggest names in rap, from Eminem and 50 Cent to Busta Rhymes and the Game. And now, hip-hop heavyweight Denaun Porter is crafting beats for you? Your neighbor? Joe Blow up the street?
Producer/rapper Porter, a member of the currently stagnant D12 (more on that later) and a celebrated producer in his own right, launched mrporterbeats .com earlier this week.
It’s a Web site where he sells beats to budding rappers for $25-$150 a pop, far less than what it would cost to log studio time with Porter, whose credits include 50 Cent’s steel drum-enhanced “P.I.M.P.” and G-Unit’s glossy “Stunt 101.”
“I felt like I wanted to shake things up a bit,” says Porter, who also goes by Kon Artis, on the phone earlier this week. “I’m giving artists (something) they can take a chance with.”
Beats are sold for use on demo or mix tapes. If an artist wants to purchase a beat to be used on an album, he can broker a deal with the third party that handles the day-to-day management for the site, and Porter says those rights might run between $1,000 and $1,500.
“Some of the stuff is two to three days old, some of the stuff is two to three months old, and some of it is even older,” says Porter, who says he crafts up to 15 beats a day. “I’m making it easy and accessible for these people to have top-quality production.”
Hip-hop producer Rockwilder (Jay-Z, Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty”) has a similar beats-for-sale Web site, and Erik Parker, director of content at hip-hop news site SOHH.com, says more sites such as these will pop up as technology continues to advance.
“It’s another step in helping the Internet spread music,” he says.
Parker says mrporterbeats .com will help keep Porter’s music alive and relevant, as well as create another revenue stream for him. The downside, he says, is the beats aren’t the unique property of the users.
“You can’t get the hottest exclusive Denaun Porter beat, and people will pretty much catch on that you’re rapping over a beat that’s not exclusive,” he says. “But it beats having records laying around that no one’s using, and I think that’s what Denaun is going after, saying if no one’s going to use this, at least let it be available to the public.” Meanwhile Porter, 27, says he’s still gaining clarity after what he calls the worst year of his life, 2006, when his friends Proof and J Dilla died. “I’m just now coming out of that whole hurt,” he says.
D12 is’ currently “on hold,” he says. Their forthcoming third album is 70 percent done, by his estimation, but so far boasts no input or content from Eminem, whom Porter says he hasn’t spoken with in some time.
“The last time I talked to him? I don’t even remember. It’s been a couple of months,” he says.
The D12 album will be finished after Eminem’s next album – rumored to be awaiting a holiday release – is finished. In the interim, Porter worked on Pharaohe Monch’s upcoming album, as well as projects by Detroit rapper Guilty Simpson and Detroit/New Jersey duo Nu World Hustle.
But Porter also is keeping his eye on the ‘Net, and plans to unveil a Web site similar to mrporterbeats.com next month, this time with the goal of helping budding producers.
“It’s a new age of music and it’s a new age of technology,” says Porter, who also was at the cutting edge of the ringtone craze, creating exclusive works for Blingtones. “I believe this is going to be the way of the future, and this is my way of staying a step ahead. I’m not afraid of change.”
You can reach Adam Graham at (313) 222-2284 or firstname.lastname@example.org.