Most Detroiters probably know Denaun Porter as the D12 member (aka Kon Artis) and producer. Most people probably don't know that this guy Porter is an incredibly accomplished and in-demand producer. (Note: Porter's list of credits is rather jaw-dropping — he's worked with everyone from 50 Cent and Busta Rhymes to Burt Bacharach and Shakira.) And much of his knob-twirling happens in the basement of his roomy Farmington Hills crib.
His state-of-the-art cellar studio — painted a lovely hue of Prince purple — is littered with vintage synths. And today Porter jams seamlessly along to some unreleased J Dilla tracks as a photo of Dilla looks down approvingly over the mixing desk. Like Dilla, Porter got his start at Maurice Malone's Hip-Hop Shop, which is Detroit's hip-hop equivalent to Motown studios in a way. So much started and happened there. It's where Slum Village, Proof, Phat Kat, Dilla, Eminem and Houseshoes all hung out and got their start. These days, you're as likely to find Porter in a studio in L.A. or the Caribbean as you are to find him in his home studio.
Lately he's been working on upcoming D12, Dr. Dre and Pharoahe Monche albums as well as Detroit-fave Guilty Simpson's debut for Stones Throw Records.