Despite countless attempts to get in touch with the Shady Records camp, Alex Da Kid kept striking out. The British producer contacted Eminem's management and sent various beats, but none of them made the Detroit MC take notice.
Then Alex produced B.o.B's "Airplanes," featuring Paramore's Hayley Williams, and suddenly, Em was the one reaching out to him. The rapper loved "Airplanes" so much that he dropped a verse for the remix, "Airplanes, Part II."
It wasn't until later, however, that the Shady One realized the producer of B.o.B's hit was the same guy who was sending him musical samplings. According to Alex Da Kid, Em's camp then reached out and requested "something different."
"A lot of time, generally in the industry, [artists] will say they want something different, but they don't know what that is until they hear it," said Alex, who produced Recovery's "Love the Way You Lie," featuring Rihanna. "So you kind of just go out there yourself. 'Cause if you chase what they did before, it never really works out, and I wanna do different things anyway. That's my thing. I took his past work into account, but he was looking for new things, and I did my thing, and luckily it worked out."
The producer, who also helmed Nicki Minaj's first single, "Massive Attack," sent over only one beat, and Eminem jumped at the record. The result was "Love the Way You Lie," an ode of sorts to the rapper's tumultuous relationship with ex-wife Kim.
Rihanna recently spoke about the collaboration and explained how Eminem got her to appear on the track. "They reached out to us directly, and they just said, 'We have this song, and we just think Rihanna would be perfect to sing it,' " Rihanna recalled in an interview with E!'s Ben Lyons. "And, of course, I was like, 'OK, if I love it, I'll definitely do it, because I love Eminem.' And I love the song.
"It's really beautiful, and it really stands out," Rihanna added. "It's a really unique record. I'm really excited about it."
What do you think of "Love the Way You Lie"? Share your thoughts in the comments.
It's Eminem Week at MTV News, so stick with us as we celebrate the release of Recovery and take you inside the making of Em's latest album.