Eminem: Rebirth ( 2013 Rolling Stone interview about MMLP2)
Sober and as big as ever , Slim Shady looks back on a life devoted to hip-hop .
Eminem was only a few days from the end of the recording of his new album , The Marshall Mathers LP 2 ( coming November 4) when we interviewed him in his suburban Detroit studio in early October.
In these sidebars to the future theme issue of Rolling Stone, coming November 22 , rapper talk about the writing process of repainting in blond , his wicked sense of humor , and much more .
Read supplement - full version of the interview!
Platinum - blonde hair back , and in many ways - for the first time in many years - Slim Shady really such as before . In the new issue of Rolling Stone ( coming Friday ) , senior editor Brian Hiatt makes Eminem think about his sobriety and a life devoted to hip-hop , more earnestly than ever before .
"I'm so happy as I can be, I guess," says Um later to Hiatt, " Hip- hop saved my life , man . This - the only thing that I've ever been very personal . I do not know than I have to do. I think they are playing with words for this - they call it there ? talented idiot ? "
Eminem emphasizes that he was deliberately " stoned " when he appeared alongside Brent Musburger on ESPN in September. In fact, he followed the path of Beastie Boys. "I knew we were going to show the video 'Berzerk', so I did what I call the person Berzerk ," he says . " The whole song for me feels like a vintage item from the Beastie Boys. And you know clip 'Pass the Mic', where Ad-Rock makes the same person , in part not even looking at the camera ? I did my own version. "
Em also admits that he did not always understand artistic twists and turns Beastie Boys. " When I got out from Paul Boutique , I was one of the fans that did not get his ," he says . " It took me years to understand what made this a fucking genius. Even I was not myself when I went to bed .
"Obviously , yes, you had something like as Licensed to Ill - you had samples Zeppelin and their image. Did you have a Run-DMC, which was so calm in relations ' Come on x * y, if we do not love you. ' The same as in the Beastie Boys. ' Go on x * y . We fucking curse. Plyuemsya We beer. We throw it on our fucking fans. ' And obviously , as they got older , their views on things have changed , like everything else in this world. You can be mad at them because the last available crap sound , but if so, then they did not grow as artists . Just as I am. "
Eminem nostalgia for classic hip-hop albums formed for The Marshall Mathers LP 2 platinum first two weeks. But he stressed that it looks back to the past were not purely mechanical .
" As a student of hip-hop in general, you take the technical aspects of different places ," he says . " You can take a sample of the rhymes flowing from Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap. But then you are going to Tupac , and he made the song. His fucking song felt like something - ' Damn it, I wanted some punches to the face when I put this CD. ' Biggie told stories . I wanted to do all that shit , which is now described . "
Eminem: the full version of a Rolling Stone interview in 2013 about MMLP2
Do you feel that the album is good at this point of its creation ?
Hmm , this is - a tough question , man . For the most part , yes. But I do not know if I ever feel myself what I was doing a great album when I write it. With every album that I do, someone literally had to reach me and drive me to pick up , because when I listen to my own music , I hear flaws. And I tell myself something like , ' Oh, my God ! I could do it even better , or it 's still better! ' And I'll work on the disc to death. Obviously, if I was not happy with them , I would not let him. But from the beginning , ever since I started my career , I do not know if I have the feeling that I could say, "Oh yeah, the album is ready ! " .
In this last crisis period , as you continue to work ?
I guess you would say , at the last minute " Bl * Th! Is vocals loud enough , then you can hear what I say on this part ? Are bit right ? Are vocals loud enough ? ' " If I do not have to mix songs and actually just take two tracks where I rap and who produced , I'll do it . ' Cause nothing ever felt as well as in the moment when you did it.
But you do not change the lyrics or anything like that ? This is - you're talking about just the process of mixing and audio material ?
This - just fucking sound process , which must be resolved for the most part , because when I decide to save the song is - largely so. And so, if the song did not work , then I immediately sit behind the wheel , putting the disc in the car and the radio takin stuff home.
So, why did you paint it again blonde ?
Hmm, I would say it was one of the ideas [ manager Paul Rosenberg ] . In the earlier stages of the recording and the thought of that crap has evolved in my head, I thought about it . And as soon as the song began to unite and overall picture of the project became even more clear that it will be in the end, he infected me with this idea, and I said, like " Hey, you know what I thought about it , because right? " And he also told me , " Okay , you know , so why not? " And I said , "I do not know how it will look. How many fucking years I did not have blond hair ? Five, six years? " I thought , " I'm so used to the dark hair , " you know. So I just tried it . And I said , " Oh, * et same ! "
Physical resemblance helped you back to those thoughts or change the way you create music ?
Not really , really do not . Since I already had most of the songs ready. And I do not know if I will keep it and how long I will be so . But right now it is - what it is. And I feel that this may be , and maybe people will understand when they get their hands on the album .
Recovery was a lot for the rejected material. You wrote about 100 songs, or at least you had 100 bits. So if there was so much material , which fell under the hand this time ?
Right now I feel that I probably work more harder than ever worked in my life. And I probably worked harder on this album , more than ever , except maybe the time period during the time of The Eminem Show, and it was a little foggy period ' because a lot of shit was going on . Just being so busy recording The Eminem Show , and acting in the movie 8 Mile soundtrack recording and preparing the film. This - probably the equivalent of , but this time it was focused on the recording of the album .
Once I became a guided material that I wanted to go and call him The Marshall Mathers LP 2 , obviously I knew that there might be a certain expectation . But I did not want to just call your drive, only because of the reason " how else to call ." So I wanted to make sure I had the right songs , so I was able to call it so . So, there most of the songs . Many songs that probably never heard by the people . We lost a few song. There were songs where bits leaked to the network or producer sold the bits to someone else or for any other reason . And just at the very time when you think you got it, or you got the right number of songs , you go back and listen again and say like, " Bl * be , man , I feel that the track needs it or here in this yet, " to draw a complete picture.
Many people , perhaps you think that the original MMLP - your best album .
This - probably my favorite. I think some of them - my favorite for various reasons. Not even want to talk about their own albums, but I mean the first three discs , I think they could have chronicled my time. And then I thought that I probably largely publicly said, you know , Encore and Relapse were not established - it was just another period of life.
Eminem: Rebirth - the full version of a Rolling Stone interview in 2013 about MMLP2
You were hard on Relapse, but Tyler, the Creator says it - his favorite hip-hop album for many years. He loves that album .
Yes, he says it to me, every time I see it. I hate I do not have the album. I want to make rap and be able to always make every effort to poetry , but at the same time to find the right balance between the right and the creation of songs. And you know , I do not know if I found the right balance , because I'm just getting sober and I just mean, got to his feet and so had a lot of songs that were just perceived by me , like " Ha ha it's fun ! " You know , walking around and joking around with your friends and all that shit , and they finish the album , and then you laugh about it. Because when I got sober , I thought - I said it before - but it was just like, " Oh shit , I can think back now!" So I do not know whether that album special and my best work speaks about the songs , writing songs that felt like something that brings some emotion . I read with an emphasis exhausting and it was prohibitively difficult. I'm stuck on this image of a serial killer and just kind of went with it .
Recovery on the world obviously turned to face you . What do you feel now about the album?
I feel that making the disc , I finally went back to a time where I was was possible during recording The Eminem Show. In terms of creativity and songwriting , I guess. I mean , obviously Recovery - it was the first time I worked with so many producers outside of our camp. In addition to working with Dr. Dre, I always wanted to co-produce their own albums because producing - for me it 's fun too. One of the things that was an awesome for me on that album - it's getting bits that have already been choruses . It 's kind of like challenge yourself , be able to hear someone else's chorus and partly to interpret the words . Because on their own chorus , I already know what I mean when I write them . The way I make music , no matter what bit , and whatever kind of treatment that may or may not have , I always want to try to go so cool in the lyrics , as far as I can . Thus , regardless of how it sounds a bit " Wow, it is possible that it could be on the radio, " I'm not saying like, " Maybe it would take a radio so I'll just be in this track . " Like, I always looked at it , I want to get closer to each track as an MC .
Thus , you have to ensure that decided to call it a sequel to The Marshall Mathers LP? So you decided to make your life miserable as it was then ?
Well here's what it is: it is - not necessarily continue.
Just as - revisiting - since it is a different time period in my life. Thus, it is not going to be a continuation of each song or something like that. For me it's more about the same form of nostalgia. One of my favorite new things - is to experiment with new, more starymm beats and sounds and all this shit. You know , retro crap, and trying to make it flow , osovremenivaya it .
Therefore, the search Rick Rubin came from the same management? You spoke like, " Why do not I go back to the source ? "
Paul told me that he might be interested in this , and he talked with him, and I thought, ' Bl * , dude . " Another thing with this album is that I kind of went back to producing more . Recovery on I wanted to focus more on writing and worry about the process of creating beats . On Relapse I think mainly making beats Dre . So I slowly began to produce again samostoyalno some stuff . I was kind of in the middle of the process , when Paul mentioned that , and tinkered with similar sounds , and I do not know if this is what made Paul's appeal to Rick or Rick turned to him . But as soon as I heard that he was interested , I said , " Hey, let me just terminates it and we'll take a look at his work. "
You called Rick " Yoda " - whether there is still a material that can be taken from him at this point in your career?
[ Yoda voice ] I did study . Um, yeah , I mean that most of the spirit Rica , it is very similar to Zen in the sense that it 's just " Let it happen. " The strange thing is - is that 9 out of 10 times have we know immediately if something does not work, and things do not work well , you know. He's almost like a coach.
He is very psychological , right?
Yes, this guy took my shoes off . [Laughs ] Working with him - this is the most bland atmosphere . He is not afraid to try anything . I kind of felt the same way I felt and still feel to this day, the same desire to impress him , as his time at Dreux. We talked in his house , and then I think we went straight to his studio there, and we started to listen to bits . I told him that I started experimenting with some more retro sounds. So we just sat down and started to choose , and I will write to him and the next time I want to meet with him, we 'll start adding things to his shit . I have so many ideas dude , man . One of the coolest things - a sound that he gives you are scratching Rick Rubin . When he makes enno oh * scratches with some shit , it's almost like those wonderful slop that he wears. Not that it is out of time or something , but it's exactly the same as - it looks weird . I do not even know how to explain it . You just know that he made these scratches . I do not know if it even makes sense or not . It looks like a simple scratch , as the main kind of thing , but it's oh so * enny drug when you hear it . This is true , it is - it like vintage. And plus he knows where all the profits sounds and all that crap.
He had all those old drum machine sitting around in the studio?
Oh yeah , he's got some shit in the den . Yes. Definitely .
So much has changed in hip-hop , since you started to produce - you have found the bits that you do yourself, it was the influence for a new material ?
Hmm, not necessarily because I feel that I'm just doing anything that sounds good. Obviously, I pay attention to what is happening around and what comes out , and I keep my finger on the pulse. But I never want to be someone similar. It's not a crime yet .
Yet whether the material from other producers influence you , your shit - it's still your shit .
Yes. This is - this is true . That upcoming advances in sound shit I send back to the producers . And not that I do not feel like the fact that my shit seem relevant , but it's not the same . And I think I obnovilyayu their sound as well.
On the new song "Legacy" you say about yourself in detail as a child. What's it like to go back to thinking that at your age ?
I always try to make their music like a child , which people said , "He is not shit " or intimidated or whatever it was . It felt like one of them self-empowerment song . All , I believe , want to show the world that , " One day I'll be that. One day I 'll be that. " We all have goals, ambitions , or whatever it was, and everyone was at such a point in his life where no one believed in them. Well, like, if you have never been expelled or whatever it was, you've not passed through it ...
Misfortune and all that shit when you are perfect , but you sent anyway. Thus, all were at that point where they just were excluded with them or not even considered . Type of a situation where you say , " You do not have any value. " " That's it, huh? I 'll show you . " So it was the inclusion of this idea in the idea of my heritage - in what I leave behind, behind when I'm gone . And I've always looked up to other rappers on their words , that they gave me . There are many, many songs that I listened to , and then through a large amount of crap that I went through .
I just love it , you rifmuete "Onyx" with " comic " on the song.
I do not know if someone will catch it as it is super- brakes, but the rhyme words in this song never change. And that's just one of the things that I do to try to challenge myself . I wanted to try to do the whole song , which rhymes in words never changed .
You praised the Beastie Boys' evolution, but we do not think that you are going to pass again through a period of " disrespect for women."
I mean , listen to my sense of humor , but of course do not go that way. I understand that I - adult that I fuck up already , but I do not know what I'll do next year , and that in 10 years , but I do not think I ever leave my taunts . I guess it - just part of my personality . I always want to keep an element of fun in music. If one song darker or says about the sad subject, I do not want to do a whole album of this from being boring . I do not want to do a whole album from being too cocky . You should try to find the right balance , and this - one of the things in the creative process that was on this album, as well as experimentation . In other words, I was doing until I poluchalil finished album . And if I write 100 fucking songs, and I do not see what I need , then I just go and continue to record until it is ready.
You've written a bunch of their own choruses , and even sing some of them . Where did your sense of melody ?
This is - a good question. I would say that it comes from the early hip -hop. Rappers before romping all the time with the tunes , at least on that shit , where I grew up. I do not know klivish on the keypad or the like. I can only sing something. But I think it just comes from all the data I've collected over my years proslushaniya music. And you know , bl * Th dude, I think , because hip-hop began to develop , it was more melody in it , people began to sing the chorus . Even as early Slick Rick - [ sings ] "Hey young world" - and things like that . Maybe I took it somewhere characterized by time , I do not know .
Maybe it - just pure instinct .
Honestly, it's probably true. I do not want it to look like arrogance , I just do not know where I get the sense , and where , you know what I mean ? I'm not a singer singer. I just know what is in this vein, and what not.
Having Kendrick Lamar'a on your album , did you have any fears that he can go and try to push you on the back burner ?
I totally respect what makes Kendrick and the fact that he is in the same camp as me - on Aftermath, only makes sense to me. He came to Detroit , and we cut down all within a few minutes , you know , and I felt an image of what it looks like , and you know it - very cool and super humble dude. When we made that track, I think it was actually for 1 or 2 weeks before he made a verse to the song "Control".
Is there advice that you would give him at this point?
I do not know if he needs advice. I think it has a really good head on his shoulders , man . He is very smart , and you can tell it by the way he combined his music for one. He's like a hip-hop head , man , he just loves hip-hop . And obviously, as he did in verse "Control", it was like that , if you get mad at him, then you would look silly. He set it up so that you can not really get mad at a lot of crap , he said , because it was what every other MC 's already thinking . Or you have to think .
In fact, do you feel like God Rap , or as a loser?
I think that all the switches back and forth from hour to hour , day after day with me . All that track "Rap God" largely ironic . So I mean, I want to feel like this ? Maybe sometimes . Again, this goes to everyone who raps and competitive and makes it just purely for fun , and he wants to be the best. Again, that's why verse Kendrick worked so well because he only said what every rapper and thinks if you do not want to be the best , then why are you rapping ?
You gave us to understand again and again, that you actually have no problem with homosexuals . So why, in 2013 , used the word " fagot " in that song ? Why use the phrase , " You look like a gay " as an insult ?
I do not know how to explain it , not to mention the fact that I said this phrase a million times already . But this word like this word when I fought in rap battles or anywhere else , I never really equated the words to this pidrilam ...
What actually means " homosexual "?
Yes. It's more like the same thing, if you are calling someone with * Coy or punk or asshole . So , it's just a play on words , no more. This brings me back to those battles , over and over again in my head , wanting to talk and not be shy about what I want to say and then [ do not worry about to say ] , whether it can or can not affect people . So do not say that it is wrong, or it is correct, but at this point in my career - man, I 'm talking so much crap , it's bullying. I'll tease other people. But the real me , sitting here right now talking to you , I have no problems with gays , transsexuals , or with anyone else. I am glad that we live in a time where people are really starting to feel so that they can live their lives and express themselves . And I do not know what else to say about it, but I still look at myself as well as when I fought in the battles .
I just thought , you're doing it , because when you read a rap as Slim Shady, is part of your mission - is to annoy people .
Well, look , I'm doing this shit for 14 years ? And I think people know my personal position on things and images that I create in my music . And if someone does not understand that by now, I think I do not know that I can do something to change my opinion of him