This summer's sports drama Southpaw
has been earning praise for Jake Gyllenhaal's portrayal of boxer Billy Hope, and its soundtrack — executive produced by Eminem and also features 50 Cent, Bad Meets Evil, The Weekend, and Detroit's own Denaun Porter, aka Mr. Porter
— is no slouch either.
We’re talking with Porter about his record, "This Corner," which is featured on the soundtrack, and Porter is quick to point out that his song relates to the storyline.
"If you listen to the lyrics — so don't look at me like I am the same person I was before— it was almost like I was crying out to the people around me,” he says. “I don't even know if they caught it."
Considering Porter has had more than his share of ups and downs — including producing hit records for Eminem, Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent, but also losing long-time friend and fellow D12 member Proof to a shootout in 2006 — it was easy for him to tap into the mindset of the main character and express his own Billy Hope story of redemption.
"I got to stretch my wings and really show who I am, outside of (D12), outside of everything I've done," he says. "The responses have been really, really positive. For the most part it makes me happy because I feel comfortable. It's helping me feel comfortable in my own skin."
Along with the buzz of the Southpaw
soundtrack, Porter has just released The Great Depression A.P.,
which is his first ever commercially released instrumental album. Porter says TGD A.P
is one of his proudest works.
"This is definitely a moment of being vulnerable and sharing my vulnerable side," he says. "One thing that I set out to do was to stop being afraid of what people think. People will keep you from moving forward, society and media are so critical that it makes you scared to be who you are."
Porter says he decided to not let anyone keep him from putting out the type of music that he wants, and he's been satisfied with that decision. "I'm happy it came out," he says. "I'm glad people ordered it and that people liked it."
Earlier this year, he also released a 6-song EP, sTuFf In My BaCkPaCk,
which he describes as having more of an old-school hip-hop feel. "I love that era of hip-hop," he says. "That was when I really starting loving music. I didn't compromise what I felt."
When asked what his defining moment would be, Porter says it's hard to pinpoint. "I said I was going to be a rapper, I want to be a really good writer, and I said I wanted to be a really good producer. Now I'm doing movies, scoring and all these other things," he says. "That moment is when people start recognizing you did everything you said you were going to do. You helped build the lamp, right? But without the light bulb there's no real purpose to the lamp. I've created a lot of light bulbs, but because of the company that I'm around, it's very hard to see that."
After years of being Eminem's hype-man and being among heavy-hitters like Dr. Dre, Porter admits there’s challenges in being the underdog. But also thinks there's also an upside. "The challenge is, you have to still try and figure out how you fit in, how you can get better, where your place is," he says. "I think it has kept me hungry all this time."
What's next for Mr. Porter?
The forthcoming album by Tierra is his main focus right now. "Definitely look out for Tierra," he says. "I feel like most people will be super shocked. I think she's one of the best female emcees of all time and just playing the records we have so far for people, their reaction lets me know I'm on to something."
You can look out for Tierra and keep up with Detroit's own internationally respected heavyweight Mr. Porter on Twitter @mrporter7
and on Instagram @denaunondos