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The Hartford native has worked with some of the underground's finest rappers, from AZ to Talib Kweli. But when he created the beat for "We Made You," he never imagined it would land in the hands of Marshall Mathers. He originally shopped the record — with the same hook, sung by Charmagne Tripp — to Red Café, before D12 member Bizarre picked it up.
But after writing his own version of "We Made You," Bizarre called Doc Ish with news that Eminem wanted the record. Because Bizarre is such a jokester, though, Doc didn't believe him. So he hung up on him.
"He called me at a bad time, so when he was like, 'Marshall wants the record,' I was like, 'Yeah, right,' " Doc told MTV News. "He was like, 'No, seriously, I'm not playing.' And Bizarre is a comical dude, so it's hard to know if he's playing or not. I didn't have time that day; I was busy mixing a record for Saigon. So I basically hung up on him. So he called me back with his cousin, Gambino, from Hartford, and he's who I know Biz through. And [Gambino] was like, 'Ish, he's for real, he's not playing.' So they put me in touch with [Eminem's] management. I was still like, 'OK,' 'cause Bizarre plays jokes on people. But within five minutes, his management called, and they said they wanted the song. I believed in that song, but I didn't know it would make it to where it did."
The song was picked up in November of last year, and the video premiered last month on MTV.
The accomplishment served as a testament to Doc Ish's perseverance. In 2004, the producer, who suffers from lupus, endured heart problems that he struggled with into the beginning of last year. Once he finally got a grasp on things, Doc — a former rapper, who had to give up rhyming because of a lack of breath control from his condition — turned to producing with fervor. He still remains a part of his group, the Abnormals, consisting of Apollo Swyf, Colloso and Belly. But nowadays, he keeps his rhymes limited to short bursts.
In the meantime, Doc is working on a compilation album, Arbitration, that he hopes to release later this year. He's negotiating a deal for the project, which includes tracks with Sean Price, Kool G Rap and Bizarre.
He also, of course, hopes to land a track on Eminem's Relapse follow-up, due later this year.