Though he didn’t receive lead production credit, Dawaun Parker - who describes his own style as “halfway between G-Unit and A Tribe Called Quest” - laced the underlying gusto that made these Aftermath singles bang harder than Jenna with a jackhammer.
Eminem - “Crack a Bottle”
If one cut marked Eminem’s inevitable reemergence, it was “Crack a Bottle,” which leaked this past December. “The demand was crazy, so Dre and 50 [Cent] hopped on it too,” Parker says about his Steinway-driven ripper that initially featured just Shady. “It became my first number one single, so I’m definitely not mad.”
Busta Rhymes - “In the Ghetto”
This slow-burning Rick James redesign was the fourth single off The Big Bang, which was the first chart topping project of Busta’s career. The track is a lesson in minimalist execution, with Parker providing synthetic claps and sporadic ivory accents beneath his MC’s legendary staccato flow.
Jay-Z - “Lost One”
On every Jay-Z album - once you get past the bling and bullshit - there are always heartfelt gems for his true fans. On the 2006 disc, Kingdom Come, “Lost One” hit that spot, with Hova negotiating fame and fortune over a poignant Parker loop that Tupac would have likely horded if he was still kicking around Dre’s studio.
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