After collecting platinum plaques with D-12 and contributing singles to Xzibit, 50 Cent and G-Unit, Denaun "Kon Artist" Porter is launching his Runyon Ave. imprint � making him a player to watch in 2005.
Denaun may have blew up airwaves and sold out stadiums as a member of D12, but his production work is what first got him solo notoriety. After working under Dr. Dre for months, the Detroit multi-threat (Denaun raps, produces and sings) hit it big with Xzibit's "Multiply," 50 Cent's "P.I.M.P." and G-Unit's "Stunt 101."
"I've been doing it since �92, but I didn't take it serious. I wasn't trying to be a producer. When my first record came out, I was under Dre at the time. He saw that in me early when he was just listening to beats. I would give him beats, songs, all kind of sh!t and I was like, �Let me just do my beat and leave.' But he put me in the studio with people and was like, �Nah, produce some sh!t,'" Porter, who produced Eminem's 1995 LP, Infinite, told SOHH.com. "He kept me in there and kept that belief in me and just threw me out there to the wolves. Jay-Z and all these people would see me out there with Dre, but didn't know. They probably thought I was just working on a song, but all that time I was getting my sh!t up."
Porter soon became sought after and started working on his Runyon Ave. imprint. For over a year now, rumors have persisted that Pharoahe Monch was in talks to sign to Shady Records through Denaun's company. Mr. Porter recently confirmed that the deal is close to being sealed.
"We got past the Rawkus contract, but now there's some issues with Geffen we gotta work out. They know this record is gonna be a big record, so everybody is trying to win on it. But me and Pharoahe got an album already," Porter revealed to SOHH.com. "He was looking for me. We did one joint together and it came out dope. Some people have a marriage. You got Primo and Guru, Pete Rock and CL Smooth. Me and this ni99a have a marriage like Snoop and Dre when they first came . I thrive off of what he does and he thrives off me. I already came out of my own pocket to do press on it and I know Interscope and Shady is gon be behind it. So, it's gonna be a big record."
Things have never looked better, but Porter won't be content until he releases his debut solo record, an effort he describes as, "a male Lauryn Hill album with a rougher edge." Denaun is presently considering five labels, including Interscope to release the project on.
"Primarily it would be Interscope, but I wanna be a priority. That's the greatest machine alive for Rap music, but I would take that chance to go somewhere else because I know I got a great album and it's gon draw enough attention," Porter explained to SOHH.com.
"It's a whole poem, like the whole song is tied into the next. It reads as a poem on the back of it. T and Joe, , they're working with me now. I incorporated them into what I'm doing when it comes to my record. It's the complete opposite and that's a scary thing for me. I'm taking that chance. I'm doing it because I love what I do."
First recognized as a role player, Porter is now heading a new movement. After years of Hardcore Rap, he plans on spearheading a new genre he dubs "neo-street."
"My album, Big Dame's album and Pharoahe's album is all a part of this thing we call neo-street, not neo-soul. It's got those real feel good beats, but then they can have a hard edge to it," Denaun offered. "I'm just trying to start a whole different genre of music to give people an outlet to come through with some real feel good music."
Denaun "Kon Artist" Porter's Play-O-Graphy
Projects for 2005
Lil' Kim (album)
Method Man (album)
Black Rob (album)
Big Dame (Runyon Ave.) "He's coming through Koch."
Phear (Runyon Ave.) "They did a single with ABB that's doing real well with college radio."
Pharoahe Monch (Runyon Ave.)
T Baby (Runyon Ave.) "I'm trying to start shopping her now. I've been grooming her for a minute. She be spitting like crazy. I never was gon sign no kid, but this little girl�" T Baby is 15 years old.
"By the end of the year Pharoahe will be kicking off. D12's next album will be kicking off. T Baby will be out amongst the fans. Dre will come out with his album hopefully."
Denaun Porter's "Watchlist"
Omarion "That Omarion kid. That "Touch" record he just did� that kid, he's gon be on Usher's ass."
Shady Records "Look for Shady to do something different with my own label doing something with them. It's gonna help them."
Busta Rhymes "Look for Busta to be respected in a different light and people to really get into a Busta Rhymes record. His album is incredible."
Quote for the year
"If you don't stand for nothing you'll fall for anything."