DJ Khalil Details Producing "Survival" For Eminem

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DJ Khalil Details Producing "Survival" For Eminem

Exclusive: The Los Angeles-based producer says that he did not hear the finished version of "Survival" until after the record leaked.

During an exclusive interview with HipHopDX, Los Angeles, California-producer DJ Khalil detailed the creation of “Survival,” a cut from Eminem’s eighth studio album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2.

DJ Khalil says that although he crafted the beat and hook for “Survival” more than 18 months ago, he did not hear the finished product until the song leaked earlier this year.

“[Eminem’s] been working on [The Marshall Mathers LP 2] for a minute,” DJ Khalil says. “I’m always sending him records, especially stuff that really fits him and what he’s trying to do creatively. I don’t just send him tons of beats, but I’ll try to craft certain things that I think he’ll like. I try to send him records with concepts because it’s [Eminem]. He’s an incredible songwriter. 

“I hadn’t heard ‘Survival’ until [it was released],” Khalil continues. “I talked to him. We spoke about the record because we had to mix it. He was in his studio in Detroit, [Michigan] and I’m in L.A. so we talked about the record. The first time I heard it was when they leaked it.”

Prior to “Survival,” DJ Khalil produced four tracks on Eminem’s multi-platinum Recovery album, including the Pink-assisted “Won’t Back Down.” 

“Before then I worked with Slaughterhouse,” Khalil says. “That’s kind of how I passed on [Eminem’s] radar musically. I was on [Eminem’s manager] Paul Rosenberg’s radar already, but really after Slaughterhouse and lots of stuff started coming out around 2009 they really was following what I was doing. We ended up connecting through that. Dr. Dre’s the one that introduced us. Just being in the studio with Dre and Em is incredible on its own. It’s still incredible just to be working with an artist like him. He really wants to build something creatively so that’s just great.”

DJ Khalil is a member of the writing and production team The New Royales with Liz Rodrigues, Erik Alcock and Pranam “Chin” Injeti. He also produced Aloe Blacc’s 2013 EP, Wake Me Up.

DJ Khalil began his career as half of Hip Hop duo Self Scientific with Chace Infinite.

RELATED: The Marshall Mathers LP 2 [Album Review]

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