Jon Bellion, Songwriter On Eminem's "The Monster" Details Life-Changing Single

posted Monday November 04 ,2013 at 09:30AM CST | 46 comments

Jon Bellion, Songwriter On Eminem's

Exclusive: Jon Bellion, a songwriter on Eminem's "The Monster" talks about how the single has changed his life.

Jon Bellion, a singer-songwriter, thought he was working on an independent song, but that track ended up being Eminem's most recent single, the Rihanna-assisted "The Monster," off his upcoming The Marshall Mathers LP 2.

Since the single's release, many have become interested in Bellion's work, but of course his journey did not begin with Eminem's selection.  

"I've been doing the artist stuff independently for about a year now," Bellion says in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. "We put a free mixtape called Translations Through Speakers and we're in the middle of a roll out plan for this next album were about to drop in December called The Separation. We have three videos out for that right now and thus far it's been good. The general public really digs the sound...I'm glad people really dig that. So to have that branch out while all the writing and all the other stuff is happening, its a blessing to be moving in both directions." 

Those directions began to cross paths when Bellion got in the studio with Frequency, "The Monster's" producer and the deejay for Shady Records' Slaughterhouse. 

"This dude Calvin Rosecrans over at BMI set me up with a session with this dude, Frequency, who is Slaughterhouse's deejay," Bellion says. "He is also a producer. He's like, 'Yo, you wanna do it at Stadium Red in New York City?' I was like, 'Yeah, let's do it.' So I walked in, it was me, this artist Bebe Rexha [also a co-writer on "The Monster"], and this dude Frequency. Long story short, I played him a bunch of my artist stuff and then this girl, Bebe was like, 'You know what, let's not work for other artists today, let's work on my project.' I was like, 'Alright, cool.' So one of the key players came down, played a couple of chords and I just rewrote the hook in like 45 minutes. Just kind of came to me and she laid it down. It was more of a Shakira, like, Florence And The Machine type record, like Indie-sounding. The production was totally different.

"When we finished the song, it was a totally different song for this girl Bebe," Bellion continues. "Then right before I left, Frequency was like, 'Yo, maybe I'll just take the verses off and send the hook out to Riggs Morales over at Shady.' And we were like, 'Yeah, that would be crazy. Imagine if it goes to Eminem.' And then, basically, four days later I got back in another session with them. I came back to the studio and they were like, 'Yo, Atlantic wants it. Shady wants it. Everybody wants the record.' So we were kind of just deciding who to give it to and we ended up taking the risk with Shady 'cause he didn't really have to explain himself. He didn't really have to tell anybody what his plans are. So we kind of just let go of the record, gave it to Shady and Frequency did a bunch of different versions that Riggs asked him to do so he turned it into more of a Hip Hop record with the hook that I wrote. And then, fast-forwarding, Rihanna cut the joint and Em threw some verses on it and then we found out it was going through. So it was pretty crazy." 

The song endured production changes, but Bellion says those didn't negatively impact his chorus.  

"I knew the chorus was the smash regardless," Bellion says. "No matter what direction they took the production. It had to be really hard to mess that chorus up. I mean, you know when you do something and you listen back to it and you kind of just know. When we listened through the speakers, everybody in the room just kind of looking at each other like, 'Yo, this could be a life-changer. This is a really big record.' Yeah, basically there was like nine months of just silence. Like, absolute silence. We had no idea what was going on with the record. We didn't know what was happening."

Then Bellion says he received a phone call.

"My lawyer called me out of nowhere and was like, 'I heard through the grapevine that they got Rihanna off tour for a couple of days or something to come cut the chorus,'" Bellion says. "I was like, 'No way.' Then like, two days later, I checked my Twitter and Rihanna tweeted, 'Just recorded a monster hook for one of my favorite artists.' I was like, 'Damn, that could be her.' Then I think five days later, I check the internet, [Eminem] dropped the tracklist and we all saw that it was on the album. We were just like, 'Holy Shit.' And because it's Rihanna, we were like, 'Yo, maybe this can be a single or something.'"

The song did become a single, one that was released without Bellion knowing, making for a surprising cab ride.

"So then, I went to London and then basically got there, worked over in London or whatever and my phone died while I was flying back to New York," Bellion says. "In the air, I guess they dropped the record. I had no idea. I was going through customs. I plug my phone in and my driver was driving me home. Like this dude who picked me up from the airport from car services. I said 'Hey, can I check the radio really quick?' And the first record after I turn the radio on, Flex is dropping bombs on Hot 97. So it was pretty crazy.' I'm freaking out in the car. This dude is 80 years old, this driver. He has no idea who Eminem or Rihanna are. I'm like, 'I wrote this.' I'm freaking the fuck out in the car. He's like, 'You sound like a girl. You have a really singing voice.' I'm like, 'Nah, nah, nah. I wrote it. I didn't sing it. I wrote it.' He's like, 'I don't understand, but congratulations.' I'm like, 'Thanks man.' It was definitely funny." 

When asked about the difference between writing a song and being on the track, Bellion says there is no difference at this moment.

"At this point in my career, with the way music is going and how fickle all the labels [can be], I'm just blessed to be working, as long as something goes," he says. "Granted, number one, Eminem and Rihanna is a little bit different than just working 'cause that's life-changing."

It's life-changing for several reasons. One of those reasons lies in his respect for Eminem. During the interview, Bellion refers to Em as his "childhood hero" and his "Rap hero." 

"For him to be a part of something that I do or for me to be a part of something that he is doing, it's a blessing," he says. "I don't care if I'm on it. I don't care if I'm off it. As long as I make sure that the product is dope and I'm a part of what's going on, I'm just blessed to be working, like humbled to be in the mix, in the conversation, in the industry." 

And though the song has changed since the initial studio session, Bellion says Eminem took the song where it needed to go.

"I wrote the lyric, 'I'm friends with the Monsters that's under my bed' mainly because sometimes you can't necessarily get rid of your demons," Bellion says. "You can't necessarily, completely just not be fearful or not have an addiction or a problem so you kind of have to live with it and learn to like, kind of live with monsters. He's not going to go away. The monster is still there but he's got to learn to live with it and deal with it and kind of co-exist with your demons 'cause demons will never just be gone. You'll never just be happy your entire life. So I think he really hit the nail on the head 'cause he really addressed everything. He addressed the drug problem, he addressed the issues with fame. I think those were his monsters that you can't really get rid of. I think he'll always be relatively addicted. I think he'll always be relatively annoyed by the fame and all that stuff. But it's something he's going to have cope with. I think he literally hit the nail on the head with exactly what I meant." 

"The Monster" can be streamed on HipHopDX. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 can be streamed online and its credits can be found on HipHopDXThe Marshall Mathers LP 2 is set to be released November 5. 

RELATED: Eminem Releases "The Monster" Single Featuring Rihanna

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Comments 46 Posts

  • Scarface the Racist
    Lose the stupid ass Hershey Kiss hair and suspenders and get back to us.
    • Anonymous
      i dont think hes trying to pick up dudes on the internet like you so i doubt he care what you think of his hair or clothes
  • Anonymous
    Nice pic. What a pose lol! The age of butt pirates is among us
    • Anonymous
      clearly you're one of them checking out dudes poses and shit
  • St Fort
    Jon could not have gotten this far if he wasn't talented. I come from the same area as him (631) and this guy worked damn hard to get where he is. A lot of hours and time went into getting to this point. You know you made it when you write a song for heavy hitters like Eminem and Rihanna and the first thing off people's mouths is negativity, pretty sure if you accomplished that feat you'd be stoked about it.
  • fredddyyy
    http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/fgOx7-z-lmg/mqdefault.jpg
  • fredddyyy
    http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/e5J1vbCXikc/mqdefault.jpg
  • Rebecca Dickson
    until I looked at the bank draft of $5728, I didn't believe ...that...my cousin was like really taking home money in there spare time on their apple labtop.. there dads buddy has been doing this less than seventeen months and just cleard the debts on their appartment and bought a new Car. Discover More Here WWWFB39COM
  • Anonymous
    It took him 45 minutes to right something extremely vague that could be twisted in whatever way possible? Check, check and check. Yep sounds like a radio chorus.
    • Anonymous
      "write" not right
    • loser
      not vague at allhe actually explains what it all meanspretty specifically.45 minutes is pretty quickwhatever you consider "good" took much, much longer than 45 minutesanything else you want to hate on from your parents basement?
  • truth
    Bring back Dre.
  • sxxx4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W1tG-m4NSU
  • sxxx4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDYSLX_2vr0
  • sxxx4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IN_QgrLxPM
  • Anonymous
    If Proof was still alive this type of shit would not be going down in the Shady Camp. SMGDH at this faggetry.
  • At
    This fag is actually wearing suspenders with that gay ass arm tat... and people let him breathe... wow.
    • Anonymous
      you prefer your mean to wear belts and have no tats? LOL thats cool plenty of other men out there for ya champ im sure he likes girl anyway
    • Anonymous
      he actually prefers his men naked with a bulls-eye tramp stamp where he can dump his loads.
    • Anonymous
      better yet, ass-less chaps and hand cuffs so he can have his way with them.
  • wdwd
    FUCK EM FOR GIVING LEGS TO THIS POP FAGGOT!!!!!
    • loser
      he's actually very talentedand if you even read the articleyou'd know it wasn't written as a pop trackhe sold the chorus THEN it was turned into a pop trackif you can't read, there are people out there who can help
  • Black
    Get used to it family. HipPOP is here to stay. I seen it comin' a few years back when Julia Greenwald over at Atlantic did the B.O.B experiment and had Hayley Williams, Skylar Grey and Taylor Swift all up on the B.O.B singles. Them shits sold bookoo copies Fam. It's pretty much over, HipHop in the mainstream is officially Pop now and Emenem helped usher in this sugar pop shit with his early comedic videos and pop collabs. At least we got Pusha Ton still reppin real HipHop on the mainstream level but ain't too many left.
    • Anonymous
      " HipHop in the mainstream is officially Pop now and Emenem helped usher in this sugar pop shit with his early comedic videos and pop collabs" Mainstream hip-hop was pop long before Eminem came around
    • heyman
      co-sign x 100
    • heyman
      co-sign to Black x1000
    • Black
      Mainstream HipHop used to have guys at the top like DMX and Tupac who exuded manhood and masculinity, now the rappers at the top are feminine guys who wear dresses. When you used to look at the back of a rap CD to check for features you would see names like Mary J Blige and Ron Isley, now you see names like Skylar Grey and Nate Ruess. Rappers used to primarily sample Soul, R&B, Jazz, and a little Reggae and Rock, now they sample pop records. Em helped HipHop become more pop/popular and a lot less aggressive, a lot less serious, a lot less street and a lot less Black. Em is a pop rapper just go watch the "My Name is" video and ask yourself what kind of category of rap that song falls under.
    • Anonymous
      I never seen a grown man so butthurt in my life! BruthaDee is one hoe ass nicca! I wonder why he checks every Eminem article if he hates him so much?
    • Anonymous
      it's a shame we let black people use the computers and internet we made.
    • Brother
      Many cowardly and sickly whites in their arrogance will talk about the computers "they made" because they don't know that Mark Dean is a black man and holds 4 of the original patents to the PC computer. It's embarrassing that the people us original people created are so hateful and arrogant but their hatred is like a petulant child's because we are their parents. One of the whites has been damaged so terribly by my words that he feels compelled to respond and shout me out every time I type something....that's the power that I have over the weak.
    • Anonymous
      butthurt nigga alert butthurt nigga alert
    • Anonymous
      Black, everything you say is a lie.
    • Anonymous
      just so everyone knows this 'Black' commenter is almost 40 years old posting comments on Eminem articles arguing with children! what a sad life that must be!
    • White
      Dude is almost 40 commenting on an article about a 41 year old rapper, Im 13 years old and I'm not in school right now because of the bullies but I follow this guy reading his comments to pass the time.
    • Anonymous
      butthurt nigga alert butthurt nigga alert i find it creepy that this 40 year old black guy keeps posting comments pretending to be a13 year old white skinned geek
  • Gary
    Racism is still alive. No colour skin is disgusting. Whites aren't bombing marathons, and blacks aren't killing each other , obviously both have happened in the past, but it is a few people, not a whole race.
  • strik nyne
    Blah, blah, blah,.. great, you write formulated pop music and now you're recognized for it. Its just sad to me at least that as lame as that song and album is, is the fact that their was so many "producers" and people working on it. All the shit on this album sounds the same as all the shit on albums by j cole, drake, jay-z,...pop music impersonating hip hop
  • Anonymous
    It's so funny how black people in America still act like the Taliban or Mexica Cartels. You're in the most advanced country in the history of civilization yet you kill each other in the streets like rats. As long as their are black kids killing other black kids in Chicago, black people have nothing at all to be proud about. Including Barack Obama, who is from Chicago, which makes it even more pitiful that you 2nd class citizens can't figure out how to live in America yet.
    • Anonymous
      what does that have to to do with jon bellion or eminem's song?
    • Anonymous
      White-skinned people are the most sick and violent people on the planet which is why your world wars were responsible for more deaths than any other conflicts in history. You are the satanic beast that dropped nuclear weapons on a civilian population. Your serial killers run in classrooms and murder children, you run in movie theaters and slaughter people, you are the blood-shedde. You are Hitler, Cecil Rhodes, King Leopold & Stalin. Barack is from Hawaii you sick freak,and you white skinned people have nothing to be proud of as long as you terrorists keep bombing marathons while you threaten your first half-white president. You are a minority on this planet where the overall majority is non-white, you are only 11% of the worlds population and your birth rate is at zero, your women are having babies with non-whites and those babies are non-white just like Barack Obama. Your days are numbered on this planet.
    • Anonymous
      I guess thats one way to bring BruthaDee out from under his bridge!
    • Orville Reddenbacher
      dude stamps his own posts like we don't know it's him, that's pretty lame, but Jon Bellion is lame his cruddy pop sound is droning, I like the Bass Brothers a lot better.
    • Anonymous
      haha excellent troll. the second response was my favorite.
    • Anonymous
      If you're a fan of his work check out BruthaDee on twitter or google 'graftedgenes' for some more great comedic material
    • Jiminy Cricket
      I don't google random strangers and I only follow friends, hotties and celebrities on Twitter, find a hobby dude it sounds like you think getting trolled is an honor.
    • Anonymous
      nigga plz