The Akon comeback season is upon us, and with it come press runs. Legendary artist that he is, Akon has experienced no shortage crazy behind-the-scenes tales, and he happened to share a few with the folks over at Hot 97. “He was the first artist I worked with who treated the business like a real job,” explains Akon, reflecting on Em’s studio regiment during their time recording “Smack That.”
“He comes in at 9 Am every day to the studio, takes his lunch break at 1, and is out there by 5 PM. It’s like a schedule. I didn’t expect that from him. The first day I come, I come around 6. Like we going to do an evening session. I get to the studio, they said ‘Em just left!’ He said ‘I’m out here!’ I said ‘I just got to the studio, you coming back here?’ He said, ‘yeah, I’ll be back there at 9 AM.”
Eliciting a laugh from the Hot 97 crew, Akon couldn’t believe Em’s adamance. “I was like, you joking right?” And yet Em was unwavering: “I’ll see you at nine.” And when Akon set his alarm for the morning session, he was surprised to see Eminem arriving exactly on time. “Plays some beats, we vibing,” reflects Akon. “Em’s like, ‘yo I’m about to go out for lunch.’ I said I’ll meet you after…He goes takes his lunch, after an hour comes back. I play him the record, play him the chorus. He’s like oh, this is it!”
The story continues. “He goes into his verse,” says Akon. “5 PM comes. He’s halfway in. He’s like ‘alright bro, I’ll see you tomorrow.” Despite Akon imploring him to finish his verse, Em remained fixed to the schedules. “At this point, I’m like ‘Yo, this is crazy right!” It prompted him to inquire further. “I just like to be here,” said Em. “I treat it like a real job. I don’t make it no more than what it’s supposed to be. I don’t let it stress me out, stay longer than I have to. I got a family, I got a daughter. I want to make time.”
Ultimately, Akon found himself moved by Em’s process. “I was like ‘damn, he’s right,” says Akon. “Some days I’m in the studio three, four days. I don’t come out. Don’t see my kids, don’t call my wife, none that. I’m sitting here like, Em’s way] makes a lot sense. Ain’t nothing gon’ change between today and tomorrow.” Check out the full video below.