Legendary mentor and consultant for hip-hop artists, Wendy Day, has recently sat down with Andrew Moffatt on Hip Hop XXIV where the two talked about her meeting Eminem for the first time and how Eminem handled people who where pointing out his skin color.
“Eminem was rapping outside of the hotel, I was there and I had a rapper with me called Rhymefest. Rhymefest is a rapper who wrote ‘Jesus Walks’ for Kanye West. When we got to the hotel, Rhymefest stayed outside to rap, I went inside. And by the time I got out, an hour had passed and we were starving. I hopped in a car, Rhymefest left the cypher and hopped in a car, he handed me Eminem’s demo and said: ‘You should listen to this, he can really rap.'”
“I was not focused on music, I really just wanted to get something to eat. And then Rhymefest did a full turn to look at me, I felt his eyes burning through my head and I was like ‘WHAT?’ and he said, ‘that’s really messed up, you know how hard it is being a white in a rap music industry and you are not even listening to his demo, that’s really f**ked up.’ And I agreed, I popped it in and it was really amazing.”
“I made an U-turn, when back to the hotel told Em to get in. We all drove together to eat. I sat there for hours just talking to him and Rhymefest to explain what publishing is and how to get a record deal. Just sharing as much knowledge as I had at that time.”
“Once I got back to New York, I had just done the deal for Twista at Atlantic records and I had just helped Do Or Die to put out their music independently, so I had the attention of all of the record labels at that point in time, so I shopped Eminem’s demo but nobody wanted to sign a white rapper, they admitted that he was talented but there was a fear that white rapper would not sell, this is ’96 or ’97. There was still a fear that white rapper would not do well so I ended up doing an event called ‘Rap Olympics’ and Eminem was part of my team. Although my team didn’t win, Jay Smooth’s team won, my team was able to go to the Wake Up show which is Sway and Tech and Dr. Dre heard him rapping at Wake Up show and went up to the station to see who this amazing lyricist was and it was Eminem.”
“His lyrical ability…He had ability to rap and rhyme three and four syllables and that was just amazing. You know, most rappers could do one or two but he was rhyming three or four syllables at that time and lyrics made sense!” – said Wendy.
In another clip, Wendy talks how the music industry record labels rejected Eminem because of him being white. You can watch the videos below: