Heads were scratched when a dated, top-notch collaboration between some of hip-hop's biggest MCs, including Eminem, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent and Stat Quo, surfaced in the blogosphere yesterday. And while deliberate (and unintentional) leaks happen all the time, it was odd that nobody had ever heard of the all-star cut titled "Syllables." However, Cashis, another one of the track's featured rappers, gave fans some insight into the track in an interview with Vibe.com, admitting his excitement as a then-newly-signed artist to collaborate alongside rap icons.
"I laid my part at Dre's studio with Stat, 50 and Em," Cashis recalls of the track, which talks of the industry's lack of lyrical substance and its reliance on gimmicks. "I heard that Jay had just left when I got there. Fif' was there kicking his verse in another room when I did mine."
But the MC, who had just been signed to Shady Records at the time, confessed that he wasn't nervous to spit alongside the hip-hop heavyweights. "I was more so excited than intimidated because I already had held my own with Em, and I think they believed in me this time. After I kicked my verse, Em, Dre and 50 all said it was dope. That was the cosign I needed. I learned more from that session than any other before that."
While Cashis isn't sure whether the "Syllables" leak was authorized by his label or not, the Slim Shady protégé says that the version that hit the Internet is different "and even better" than the one originally recorded in 2007. The tune was set to be featured on one of Eminem's LPs or Dr. Dre's highly anticipated Detox.
However, the rapper, who released his County Hound EP that same year, reveals that he's remained patient and hardworking while waiting for Eminem to sort through his personal trials in recent years.
"I ain't never left. My position is good over at Shady," the MC says. "Em pulled me to the side when he was coming back and told me the plan. He was going to get himself going again and then put me out. It got to a point where Em didn't want to rap anymore. But I told him to take as long as you want to take. For him to get inspired again is a blessing."