Esham: Evolution, Victory, Independence, Leading – All Hip Hop – By Champtown

Detroit rapper Esham recently released a new album, DMT Sessions. Although the 23-year veteran of Detroit’s Hip-Hop scene’s album did not receive the same type of media attention as hometown heroes Eminem & Royce Da 5’9’s Hell The Sequel, Esham’s influence over the state of Michigan’s Hip-Hop scene should not be understated. 

Esham began his career at the tender age of 15, in 1989. His first album, Boomin’ Words from Hell, was one of Detroit’s earliest pure gangsta rap albums. 

Around that time, a young Esham helped lay the blueprint for Detroit’s scene, by opening his own label, Reel Life Productions. Albums like Judgement Day, KKKill the Fetus, Closed Casket and Dead Flowerz earned Esham an infamous reputation within Hip-Hop, that included accusations of devil worship. 

There’s no doubt that his “Acid Rap/Horrorcore” style influenced everyone in the Detroit scene, from the Insane Clown Posse to Eminem, Royce, Kid Rock and D12.  Esham will be featured in the upcoming documentary “The Untold Story of Detroit Hip-Hop” which is being produced by another Detroit veteran, Brian “Champtown” Harmon.

Check out this Q&A between Champtown and Esham, who describes his independence, his upcoming album, and his controversial thoughts about Eminem’s influence on the Detroit scene, as well as Em’s latest album with Royce, Hell: The Sequel, as Bad Meets Evil. A lot of folks don’t know you were born in New York.
Esham: I guess you can say I was the first king of New York. Sorry Nas and Jay Z but my first LP went way harder content wise. I mean Jay-Z had “Hawaian Sophie,” I had Boomin’ Words From Hell. How old were you when you moved to Detroit? I know you was young but what did you instantly see different in the murder city of Detroit than New york? 
Esham: Three years old. New York was a thriving metropolis and Detroit was a blue collar town. Big difference with no Hip-Hop scene. You being a founder father of Detroit Hip-Hop, what’s your take on straight up Detroit Hip-Hop vs. Detroit “Shelter” Hip-Hop? 
Esham: There was never “Shelter” Hip-Hop until groups like Esham and Natas sold that place out, long before fictitious movies about fabricated lives of make believe MC’s came along. It’s f**ked up that the world even thinks it does. Lets get right to the new album DMT Sessions…. is this album number 20 something for you?
Esham: I don’t even know.  Let’s just say I got more Hip-Hop albums than any Hip-Hopper in the history of Hip-Hop period. What’s the whole concept behind this album DMT Sessions?
Esham: DMT Sessions is an like an auditory high that sonically gives the listener an out of body experience. A metaphysical journey into my lucid dream.  Each song on the album is named after a different drug, as if you were on such said drug.  In some cases I blended 3 or 4 different songs into one singular recording and the results are vivid and psychedelic. 
So the album has a movie to it?? How do we get the movie?
Esham: Once you purchase the album, there is a special web link to my free movie “Death of an Indie Label.” It gives you a little insight into my world, it’s like getting into a time machine. The industry is definitely not ready for these cutting edge tactics. The corporate world is clueless so follow the leader b**ches!!! 
A lot of folks think that you gotta go gold or platinum to make it in this game. What’s so funny is most gold and platinum artists are broke or are puppets to the machine.
Esham: For whatever reason you get into the business, everyone has their own agenda.  Mine just happens to be keeping my business tight.  Can’t say that for anyone else. Here Esham is 20 years later and more than 20 albums deep, still in full control.

Esham: With some of the most powerful people in music conspiring evil things against me, I gave a new meaning to the term Blackballed. When all your favorite artist sold their souls to the devil, I remain the same soul intact laughing at the wack ha ha! 
Back in the day I admit, I use to talk mad s**t about you… like man that n**ga is not platinum… that n**ga is not gold… that n**ga is not on the charts. Not hating, just blinded by industry standards. After a few albums I was like s**t this n**ga is as smart as Luther Campbell and Eazy-E.
Esham:  Yeah, you probably one of the main reasons Eminem hates me. Because just like you said, you didn’t know, instead of embracing the greatness that is Esham. A lot of people chose to steal and pretend to be the nucleus that is me, to this Hip-Hop thang.  Marshall Mathers was a made to be Esham MC by the corporate machine, because we generated so much heat for the city. They mimicked the hardcore content and controversy, but watered it down and made it accessible by having it served by someone safe. They then went in and spelled his name with a “E” made sure it ended with an “M” to subconsciously take the buzz we built up for the city 10 years prior to him even coming out. But even hoe ass Marshall knows he is Ne-Yo to my Micheal Jackson. And it is written in history.

Support Detroit Hip-Hop by making a pledge at So back in the day you were gonna tour with Death Row. I understand you was cool with Suge and Eazy-E?  
Esham: No doubt, Suge is cool people. I know alot of rappers got slapped or beat up or shot at Death Row. I had to finagle a way to get on the Chronic Tour but it never happened because the Chronic Tour was cancelled. Snoop and Dre didn’t tour again til ten years later, when they was opening for Em. “Up in Smoke. [Esham mimics Tupac’s voice] “In this white mans world!” No one was more evil than Esham on record. You were Far ahead of your time. How do you feel when you see a project like Bad Meets Evil? Not asking as a diss, Because I think Royce Da 5’9 is one of the best MC’s out of Detroit ever…s**t, I even think he is better than Eminem…voice wise especially.
Esham: Eminem and Royce must have been listening to Booming Words from Hell and decided to make a sequel to that, because that is the original. It’s funny how these rappers gotta subliminally act like what they do is wicked s**t but don’t wanna give it up to the God, Esham…sound like that cereal cornpops. You and Royce was Gonna tour right? What happened with that?
Esham: Royce decided to bail on the tour because he knew if he worked with me he could never have the chance to get back in Em’s bed. I guess all that d**k riding paid off for Royce… What is Esham’s personal Fav on the new DMT Sessions album?

Esham: I OD off this album it’s that dope. And it’s not the same old, same old, that you get from these stupid ass record companies. b**ch I’ll knock over your monopoly board. Over 20 albums deep…. you go in to record this new album. Don’t you ever feel burned out?  Like s**t…what else is it to say?
Esham: I reckon Eminem feels burnt out cause he has nothing to say, but Esham. I got too much game. They get it from me. When I put a album out, everyone studies it so they can come up with dope s**t. Hey Wayne, here you go now you can drop Tha Carter 300. This is how it’s done. Some of the lil n**gas can’t even come with a dope title. So funny… One thing I’ve noticed in this game is that when your super good at what you do and your black, some try to assassinate your character.
Esham: I have been living in the shadow of death since we begun this thang, so try and assassinate my character. If you do, don’t let it backfire and get yourself killed. 
When a die hard Esham fan goes out and adds DMT Sessions to their catalog, what would you expect them to take away from it?
Esham: Another dope trip. No big names needed. My peeps know. No radio, no TV, just word of mouth. Esham’s dope hoe! 
For a new fan taking their first ride with the Wicket s**t, whats your advice to them?
Esham: Hold on tight, don’t let go. If you feel yourself slip, tie a knot hang on and remember aint nobody bad like you…. The Untold Story of Detroit Hip-Hop… Die hard fans are going nuts that you are apart of the documentary. How do you feel about that project ??
Esham: It’s cool. I hope it sheds some light on the struggle of Detroit artist and make people be like f**k the sellouts again! 
It’s so sad that a lot of fans have no idea what really went down with the Detroit Hip-Hop scene. Talking mad s**t on Twitter and they think it started at the Hip-Hop Shop and the Shelter. There is 10 years of Detroit Hip-Hop before that… you was there I was there ..
Esham: F**k THE FANS!!!! S**t, you even wrote songs for my dog Kid Rock…. right? 
Esham: Kid Rock can eat a d**k as far as I’m concerned. I said it before and I will said it again. RACIST, rebel flag wearing h**ky tonk piece of s**t b**ch die!!!!!! 
A lot of die hard Esham fans never understood why you went over to ICP’s label for a few albums.
Esham: I thought they would share some of the millions I help them generate, by letting them bite the wicket s**t. But when I saw there was no room for elevation I couldn’t f**k with the good old boys… still in this race running up against these racists. Before you stepped on the set to be interviewed for the Untold Story of Detroit Hip-Hop, a lot of rappers heard you were coming on set and would not leave…They were so shocked we were cool again. They were like I must stay to see Champtown and Esham in the same room. Did you ever know how huge our friendship and rap wars were and how they influenced others?
Esham: No! so much time was lost with negativity. I try and stay positive but no way to be a angel in a room full of devils. I have enlightened so many peoples lives with my presence, I never understood why they want my world to be darkened but jesus didn’t either.
 For over 20 years…. every time I see a true Eastside Detroit Hip-Hop head I get asked…..Why wont you and Esham do an album?  Will it ever be a Esham and Champtown Album ?          
Esham: Me and Champ have been in some secret negotiation with many top officials. I can’t speak on it do to national security issues. Let’s just say the real Bad meets the real Evil and the world ain’t ready! 

Support the arts. DMT Sessions in stores now.  Thank you to for their continued support and to Champtown for his allegiance to Detroit Hip-Hop.

Support Detroit Hip-Hop by making a pledge at


2 responses to “Esham: Evolution, Victory, Independence, Leading – All Hip Hop – By Champtown


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