Eminem Never Thought Dr. Dre’s Beats Would Explode, Wanted to Focus On Music Instead
Nicki Minaj confirms she's dating Eminem. bag the Em/ Once he go black, he'll be back again," the Young Money spitter shrewdly rhymes. In his only major interview to mark the release of Relapse, Eminem talks to The stuff of his life – from his acrimonious relationships with his mother .. after celebrity, he just wanted to make enough money rapping to get by. She's been ambiguous about some relationships and completely open about others, but has always vehemently denied any relationship with Eminem.
I first heard Eminem inwhen he was an unsigned rapper freestyling on a Los Angeles radio show and I was on staff at Rolling Stone magazine. I kept my eye out for him and a year later, when he signed to Interscope records and was working with Dr Dre — one of the most infl uential hiphop producers in history — I was dispatched to interview him for a word piece on the "novelty" video for his surprise hit My Name Is.
The Eminem I met then was on fi re, with wit, with creativity and with a nothing-to-lose momentum that was carrying him further to the top day-today than I think even he reali sed.
But as time went on, and over the course of several in-depth interviews that saw me finally writing a book called Whatever You Say I Am Transworld about his rise to fame and his cultural significance, I saw the Eminem I knew change. It wasn't just the stress of success and the complicated life he chronicled so well in rhyme. In our last interview, circa the album The Eminem Show inhe had grown very visibly reserved; it was a trend that seemed to continue in his subsequent dealings with the press and public at large.
Soon after, on Encore, his rhymes fell short of his acerbic, acrobatic best. It sounded from the outside as if the wordsmith who was never without a pen and a pad had grown bored of his craft. In truth, he had. He was midway through a spiral that he has finally turned around: His voice is clear, his speech is focused and for the first time in too long — to my ears at least — Eminem sounds like the man he used to be.
The outward signs are positive: And though he has not decided if he's going to tour this album or Relapse II, a second studio release tentatively scheduled for later this year, he has decided that he's ready to keep writing and rapping rather than working behind the production desk for other artists.
It sounds as if Eminem has realised, once again, that rap saved his life and that no one should turn their back on what they're born to do — especially if they're given the chance to do it their way. Anthony, long time, no speak. Marshall Mathers, it is good to hear your voice. Yeah, I'm doing that "I am back" thing a little bit. Is that all you need for this article? Seriously, though, what made you want to put yourself out there again?
Honestly, I never really put the mic down. The problem was, as I'm going to be explaining over and over again for a while, is that I had a pretty bad drug problem. I was messing with Valium, Vicodin, Ambien and anything to [help me to] sleep. Basically I'd take Vicodin to get me through my day. You went to rehab for the first time in August when you cancelled the European leg of the Anger Management 3 tour, which was your first in three years.
And when I went to rehab that time I wasn't ready to go. So when I came out I relapsed pretty much right away, within a week. I was still writing at that time and trying to do my producer thing. I was sitting in rehab reflecting for the first time in a while.
I felt like I needed to pull back from the spotlight because it was getting out of control. I mean, you could blame my drug problem on genetics, you could blame it on my career and the way it took off, or you could just blame it on me.
Which did you blame it on? I think more than anything it had to do with me. You know, my career certainly played a hand in my drug use and how bad it actually got, but it was also my own doing.
It sounds like you got a bit of perspective that first time in rehab, even if it ultimately didn't work. What changes did you make? I felt like I had to pull back from the spotlight. I thought I'd try to produce records and work with artists from my label and shit like that. I thought this would be my way to pull back a little bit and not be the front man. Eminem, photographed in Los Angeles, California, April While promoting one of those shows he met Proof, the rapper who urged Eminem to challenge himself and, along with some of the future members of the group D12, inspired him to create his alter ego, Slim Shady.
Eminem has remained fiercely loyal to these roots — to his hometown and to the rappers that made him the artist he is. It was clear, from my first trip to Detroit with him back inthat even though the city and many in it hadn't shown him much love, he still had love for where he was from. It makes sense that Eminem turned to producing his friends during his darkest days — like his house and the city itself, they are his refuge.
During your "retirement", you did release Eminem Presents: We did do that album during that time… you have to excuse me if my memory is a little blotchy from those four years.
It's probably understandable looking back at how much I was actually using. But yeah, that album came out and it did what it did and came out how it came out.
I never stopped working, but I had a problem I was hiding. I guess it was a combination of writer's block and being lazy, because I just didn't want to write rhymes any more.
Every time I've seen you since day one you've always had a note pad or a napkin or something nearby that was always full of rhymes.
I don't know, I was just too lazy to write my rhymes so I started to do the Jay-Z thing. I'd just go in and freestyle whenever I did a verse. For the first time in my life I couldn't write. I couldn't write a rhyme to save my life.
That is shocking to me.
Eminem Never Thought Dr. Dre’s Beats Would Explode, Wanted to Focus On Music Instead
I've seen you literally not be able to stop rhyming. I mean, don't get me wrong, I could write rhymes. But I wasn't able to write anything that was good and up to my standards. This went on for two, probably three years. It was the worst case of writer's block. Going through that I felt like shit. Me, personally, if I don't write all the time, if a couple of weeks go by and I'm not writing, I feel shitty.
I need to write, just as little exercises to feel like I'm doing something. So you must have felt completely strange. It was the pills I was taking; they had my mood really fucked up. I was already depressed and with the drugs it just became a vicious cycle of depression. And as if my drug problem wasn't bad enough, when Proof died it was like, "Son of a bitch, what I am going to do now? I went through a lot when he died.
It was the worst time in my life. It just gave me a real legitimate excuse, in my head at least, to use drugs. I didn't care if my drug problem got worse at that point so I took more pills. And the more I said fuck it and took more pills, the higher my tolerance got.
The higher my tolerance got, the more I needed those pills in my body just to feel normal and not feel sick. It's a vicious cycle. I got over it all last year. I ended up coming out of all that shit that was cluttering my mind and as I came up out of the haze from the pills and everything, shit started to get clearer.
I met Eminem's long-serving manager and close friend Paul Rosenberg in the Shady Records offices in Manhattan, before being taken on a ride in a well-appointed Cadillac Escalade to listen to the new album at full volume. Though the first single We Made You, with its pot-shots at Lindsay Lohan, Amy Winehouse and Sarah Palin, reintroduced the clowning Eminem to the world, the album as a whole is a darker, more lyrically fi erce aff air.
In fact, Relapse contains, hands down, some of the best work he's ever done. That doesn't mean it's full of Grammy-ready collaborations or radio-friendly jingles. The subject matter is ripe with humour and horror, and injected with a dark intensity. Getting there wasn't easy: I was nervous about it. I had called him and told him I had something for him so I was nervous.
You see, he and I had got together five or six times over the past few years and literally left the studio with nothing. The two of you have such chemistry, you really must have been in bad shape.
I was really nervous about that trip. I had let him down, like, five times. I wasn't sure if we were going to work on his record or mine, but I didn't want to get down to Orlando and not have anything again.
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A couple of weeks before the trip I was still pretty new to my sobriety. I was a few months clean but my mood was elevating and my mind was getting clearer. I started writing more and I told Dre that I had been writing songs without beats.
I was making beats in my head and writing lyrics down just like I used to do. At that point I had a couple of songs and a few loose verses. In hindsight I was doing mind exercises, getting myself back into shape.
I wasn't sure if I was ready but I called him anyway and was like, "Yo, homie, I think I'm starting to come out of this writer's block. That's what I like to hear. We did 11 songs and when we were done I felt like I did when we did the first two records. It was that same feeling, so the word "relapse" just kept playing over and over in my mind. It all made sense.
You were relapsing back into the old ways of being yourself, just without the drugs. I'd had conversations with Dre over the years about what people wanted f rom me.
I was hearing all these things about what if Em comes back and the different ways he needs to reinvent himself as a completely diff erent person. Dre was just like, "Man, people want to see you, they just want to hear you get the fuck out there again. Like, "He is right. We did 11 songs and then I went back to Detroit and I was worried about that.
I was going home and I thought I'd feel uninspired to write. I thought I'd need to leave home for my mind to expand. But we came back and it never stopped. Once I got sober, man, it was a whole shit storm — these thoughts that I could not control. That really made me feel like me again.
I'd lay down to go to bed and think of three lines I had to get up to write down before I forget them. It was that sort of thing.Eminem Brings Out 50 Cent at Coachella - Crowd Goes CRAZY!
Did you change up your routine to keep you from falling back into your old ways? I had been recording a lot of shit at home during the past few years and got real comfortable doing that.
So I got a new studio and started recording there. I didn't like doing vocals and recording at that studio at first — it took me a while to break it in, but once it got broken in, I liked it better. Now I don't record at home at all any more. Dre produced every track bar one on Relapse, many with Eminem as co-producer. The exception is Beautiful, the most revealing tune on the album, produced by Eminem alone.
It follows the tradition of cuts such as Rock Bottom and Hailie's Song in frankly detailing Eminem's depression and chemically enhanced ennui. Its anthemic style is equally different from the rest of the album, too; it's more mid-tempo rock song than window-rattling rap track.
It was a relief for me to not worry about the beats and strictly focus on writing and what the hell I wanted to say. It took a lot of the stress off. But Beautiful is a different story. That song is the only one out of a whole batch of songs — probably three or four albums' worth of material — that I recorded in the time I was gone.
I did all of that when I wasn't sober and that is literally the only song that's on this record. I don't know if any of the others are going to make it to Relapse II, which I plan to release later this year, because I haven't picked out those songs yet. Is this the best of the bunch? Or is it the only one you're willing to let the world hear? It's the only one I could actually listen to and feel OK about. It brings me back to a time when I was really depressed and down, but at the same time it reminds me of what that space is like and what never to go back to.
There is a lot of honesty in that song that I wouldn't want to just throw away. I started writing the first verse and half of the second when I was in rehab going through detox.
I didn't have a beat in my head or anything like that… I wrote the verse and just knew I wanted it to be a bounce-style, I guess. I got that first bit out and finished it when I got out of rehab, when I relapsed right back into taking pills.
If you listen to that song and how it starts off, I'm just so fucking depressed. Where were you exactly when you wrote that? I was sitting on the end of the bed in detox, not fully committed to it and not fully detoxed. They give you medicine to make your detox not as rough. Joseph, Missouri, Nelson filed for divorce from Bruce.
As is often the case, the troubles Nelson faced as a pregnant teen in an abusive relationship would reemerge one generation later. In the memoir, Nelson recounts meeting Kim for the first time, writing, "Marshall arrived home from school with a tall, sulky blonde girl. He introduced her as Kim Scott. Kim said she was fifteen, and I had no reason to doubt that.
In truth, she was so cute and busty that she could have passed for seventeen. He insisted she was sixteen," Nelson writes. To everyone's surprise, what had begun as puppy love—intensified through family turmoil on both sides—turned into a very rocky year relationship. Under one roof Getty Images For Nelson, who in her memoir is somewhat critical of Kim Scott, the relationship between Marshall and Kim was fraught from the beginning.
She's much too young for you," Nelson pleads to Marshall in her book. But Marshall didn't care; he was in love. It's the type of young romance that parents like Debbie Nelson usually have no control over—the harder you push the more they'll defy you. What's odd about Kim and Marshall's situation is that Nelson—at the request of her year-old son—allowed Kim stay indefinitely in their house as a member of the family.
Our house was full of waifs and strays. I looked on Kim as a challenge, someone I hoped I could give a better life to. After all, I'd been through the mill with my own family. Even so, I didn't trust her. Once she started to feel comfortable around me, she began to cause trouble. It became a difficult living situation for all parties involved. Kim was dealing with her own family dramas and Marshall was understanding and a source of support.
But Kim's increasing friction with Debbie Nelson put Marshall in a tough spot. Please don't make me choose," he [Marshall] said many times," Nelson writes in her memoir. They'd break up, but get back together a week or so later. But aroundaccording to Debbie Nelson in her memoirMarshall began dating a nice girl named Amy. Over the next few years, Mathers' relationship with his mother would become more and more scant, while his musical career flourished.
He had doubled down on his commitment to providing for the family, now working hour weeks as a cook at a dumpy Michigan restaurantbut the pressure of a newborn overwhelmed the couple. Other than the brief split in '95—before Kim announced she was pregnant—the two had been together for nearly a decade.
But this feud in was serious. According to this Moviepilot article"After the breakup, Eminem moved back in with his mother while Kim moved to a one bedroom apartment with the infant Hailie. It was during this time that Eminem created his violent alter-ego Slim Shady and began to channel his frustration and rage into his now infamous songs about Kim including '97 Bonnie and Clyde.
On the record, in the song "'97 Bonnie and Clyde", and under the guise of this character Slim Shady, Eminem raps to his daughter about drowning her mother in a lake.
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But I took her to the studio. Things became strained again soon after.
This song would be only the first public strike by Eminem against Kim. Eminem released the song "Kim" http: The first song on the record was ominously titled "Kim" and exists as a narrative prelude to "97 Bonnie and Clyde.
In the song, Eminem raps, "Don't you get it, b—, no one can hear you? He talks about infidelity. In the Eminem cover story for Rolling StoneDr. Dre who co-produced the record says of the song's subject, "If I was her, I would have ran when I heard that shit. It's over the top — the whole song is him screaming. Kim gives him a concept. Kim tries to kill herself Getty Images Indespite what had been a tumultuous relationship, multiple breaks, and Eminem's seemingly threat-laden songs, Kim Scott and Marshall Mathers got married.
But in JulyKim attempted to take her own life.