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Hartford, Connecticut, United States | SELF

Hartford, Connecticut, United States | SELF
Band R&B Soul


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"Charmagne talks Eminem Collaboration"

Charmagne Tripp graduated from singing radio jingles to writing and appearing on one of the most anticipated releases of 2009. The Connecticut based mystery voice behind Eminem’s “We Made You” caught-up with Rhyme & Reason to share the story behind her contribution to Em’s latest hit single.

How did your contribution to “We Made You” come about?
My long time friend and producer Doc Ish had been working on this song for sometime. He had the music and had other hooks that he was not happy with. While in the studio working on an unrelated project he asked me to listen and see what came to me. He described to me some of his ideas and I came up with the hook in about 20 minutes. He loved it! I jumped in the booth and recorded it. I love the songs Doc produces but this one had such an exciting feel about it. It was really fun to do. Doc had some ideas about who he wanted to rap on the song and at first he got Bizarre from D12 to record on it. Bizarre let Eminem hear it and then to our surprise, we got a call saying that he wanted the track instead.

You’re not credited as a side-artist on “We Made You”, which has caused some mystery and intrigue about your identity. How do you feel about not being credited as such?
I am very happy to have the opportunity to be the vocalist on a song that is a single from such a highly anticipated album by one of the most loved artists. I knew [my identity] would not stay under wraps forever. You found me. I actually think the intrigue that has been caused by not being mentioned has been cool. I have watched blogs and online forums try to figure out who I am [laughing]. It’s been fun. This has been great exposure for me and I’m mentioned as the vocalist in the liner notes on the full album, so hopefully the rest will come.

Has your contribution to “We Made You” opened any new doors?
It has. I am getting offers to work with new producers and doing a lot of networking and getting interest for my new projects.

What are those new projects?
I have a Neo-soul band that I have been working with for years and we’ve just completed our first album together called “The Charmagne & Porter Project” that we will release this summer. I still write and shop songs, and I’m networking with other artists to get featured on more projects.

For more information on Charmagne Tripp:
- Rhyme and Reason

"Who can really blame you"

The anticipation was high and the wait was long. On April 7, 2009, loyal fans and obsessed Stans were finally rewarded with the release of Eminem's new single "We Made You" and its accompanying music video. Once again that distinct and familiar voice and the blasphemous message that comes along with it will dominate radio airwaves for the next few months.

The high-profile rapper has made such an effort to shun any public appearances during the last couple of years that the media decided to label him reclusive. Fans are still intrigued by Marshall Mathers and that is one of his biggest appeals. He raps about almost every aspect of his life, more so than a lot of other artists, and yet even his biggest fans have not the slightest clue to understanding him as a person. Eminem maintains an aura of mystery with the public. He only finds solace in his music and that is what makes him a great artist.

I will not call it a comeback because Eminem only took an extended break, but the new single "We Made You" is definitely a throwback to the early 2000's. Slim Shady maintains his persona and definitely has not lost his touch. The rhymes as only Eminem can deliver them is all there. The beat holds Dr. Dre's unmistakable signature. The list of pop celebrities and political figures to throw jabs at have been updated. Everything comes together with a hilarious music video directed by Joseph Kahn. We are given a treat with Charmagne Tripp (and not Eminem himself) singing the catchy chorus. Eminem starts off with a disappointly high pitched accent reminscient of "Ass Like That" from his last album Encore. It was piercing to the ears and I was glad that he toned it down throughout the song. Trying to catch the complete list of celebrities and drugs he mentions is a good enough reason to justify listening to the song multiple times. Like most of Eminem's first singles, the song takes multiple plays before it grows on you. Notable targets are Sarah Palin, Kim Kardashian, Jessica Simpson, and Amy Winehouse. Eminem enlists Lisa Ann, the pornstar infamous for portraying Sarah Palin to appear in his music video.

There are however some key ingredients that I find absent from "We Made You". The first is a strong central underlying message. If we take a look back at "The Real Slim Shady", Slim points out that we live in an already imperfect world and he should not be judged for his brash rap style. His follow-up "Without Me", Eminem declared that his rhymes may be offensive but the world would be boring without that controversy. Other than the declaration that Slim Shady was back and the world adores him, I did not find any sort of statement from "We Made You". The new single also lacks any sense of sarcasm and anger. In Eminem's past work especially for his first pop single, his remarks were mostly sarcastic or angry and at the same time comical. With "We Made You" the comedy is still present, but the sarcasm and anger seems to have calmed. This may be a sign of Eminem's maturity as an artist and will be interesting to follow.

Any Eminem fan knows not to judge his album based on his first single. The single only serves to attract attention and draw interest to the album. With the slew of issues in the world and Eminem's loss of his close personal friend Proof, he will definitely be putting out a heartfelt ensemble. In the song Eminem says "Why should I wash my filthy mouth out?/You think thats bad, you should listen to the rest of my album". The new album called Relapse comes out May 19, 2009 and that is exactly what Eminem's legion of fans will be anxiously awaiting.


"The Eminem Effect"

In May, Eminem released Relapse, his first album in five years. For the album's lead single, "We Made You," Em received some help from a team of producers from Hartford called In Ya Head Music, and from local singer Charmagne Tripp. Patting themselves on the back and resting on their laurels is not on the minds of the production team, or Tripp, as they plan on parlaying this opportunity onto bigger and better things, for themselves as well as for Hartford.

"We want Hartford and Connecticut to realize the enormity of the situation as far as the blessing that has been bestowed upon us," said Vishus, who's one-fourth of the production team. "We know that it's an opportunity for us to launch ourselves and do what we have to do to represent Connecticut."

The Broad Street studio's production team, along with Vishus, includes Belly, Colloso, and Doc Ish. They've been together for a year, and are also member of an emerging rap group in Hartford, the Abnormals.

"We've got different chapters [in this production team]," said Doc Ish. "We've got the hip-hop production, the writing, and R&B. Everybody has their own lane, and some of us have different value in different areas."

In the short time that they have been together, they have made beats for local acts like Devious, Sinister, and Gambino. Doc Ish has also worked with mainstream acts like Saigon, Quan, KRS-One, Talib Kweli, Nature, Joe Budden, and Bizarre. It was through Bizarre that the group got the opportunity to produce the song for Eminem, as it was originally created for and given to the chubby member of D12, Em's rap group, with whom he's performed and made records. The song the IYH team produced featured a hook written and sung by Tripp, a singer who is a popular attraction at numerous local nightclubs.

"We tried to outsource for different hook writers but I didn't like anything that they were writing," said Doc Ish. "One day Charmagne came in here to do a session and we were talking, so she asked me what the concept was. We started brainstorming and reminiscing about the house parties and remembering walking through the doors and the girls would all give you love. It was them who made you and gave you that popularity status. She was then like 'I got it.' She wrote it down and did the song in one take."

The song then made its way from Bizarre's hands to Mr. Slim Shady himself, who immediately wanted the song for his own. Tripp said she and Doc Ish knew the song was hot from the minute they finished it, but her excitement grew as things moved forward.

"At first I was excited, of course, but then I didn't know if this was really going down until the phone calls started coming in from the lawyers and the managers," said Tripp. "Papers were flying, faxes, e-mails, phones were going off. It all just happened so quickly."

Largely unknown outside Hartford, Tripp initially thought Eminem wouldn't use her original vocals on the track.

"A couple weeks before the song came out, I was at The Russell, performing. My phone kept going off, but I don't answer my phone during a gig," said Tripp. "Doc Ish told me to pick up the phone because they were trying to call me. So I called my manager the next day to see what was up, and they said, 'Yup, you got discovered.'"

Tripp and In Ya Head were unsure if the song would be a single or if it would just be buried somewhere on the CD. Shortly after, a buzz started about the song, which was soon also made into a music video. Although Tripp isn't featured in the video — and Eminem begins the song by saying "Jessica Simpson, please sing the chorus" — she has no hard feelings.

"I think it was a blessing to just get on the track," said a very gracious Tripp. "Just that alone I was happy about. Of course I would have loved to be in the video, but this is opening doors."

Doors are surely opening for Tripp as she has been receiving calls from all over the world asking her to write and sing, and she will be releasing her own CD this summer along with her backing band, Porter Soul. The future is also looking bright for In Ya Head Music as they will continue to produce songs for mainstream acts, and they have been asked to score the soundtrack for an upcoming Miles Davis biopic.

"Doc Ish is our quarterback and we have an awesome playbook," said Belly. "He's throwing us some passes right now and we have to receive them. But you'll know what the Abnormals are about when we hit the pavement
- Hartford Advocate

"Local Flavor"

She [Charmagne] projects a clear inviting tone for standards,while throwing some crooning flair in her soul numbers. - The Hartford Advocate


Cafe on Magne 1998
This Christmas 2002
Purpose 2006



Charmagne's music is the kind you vibe to. It is a soundscape to life, love and self discovery. Her soulful unique style caught the ear of Hip Hop moguls Dr. Dre & Eminem and they featured Charmagne on Eminems last single "We Made you" which hit number 9 on the Billboard charts, went Platinum and won a Grammy for Best Rap Album. Charmagne now has fans all over the world. Her website gets hits from over 32 countries. She has worked with her Smooth R&B/Jazz/Soul trio "The Porters" for almost ten years. Doug (Guitar) Tim (Drums) & Stephen (Bass) are brothers and with college friend David Davis on Sax they astound audiences with their musical arrangements of favorite covers and originals.

“Charmagne & The Porters” have completed her 5th CD. Drawing from their Jazz & Blues influences they have created an original project with a unique sound.