Following his epic interviews with Kanye West and Jay Z, BBC Radio 1 host Zane Lowe sat down with Eminem. In the first part of the four-part interview, the Detroit rapper opens up about his chart-topping album, which debuted at No. 1 and scored the second-biggest debut of the year with 792,000 copies.
After joking about pissing on the floor, Em discusses “Rap God,” the sequel to “Stan” (“Bad Guy”), his reservations about working with Rick Rubin, and why he still wants Dr. Dre’s approval.
He also performed “Berzerk” live in the studio with a band.
Read highlights and watch Part 1 of the interview below.
On “Rap God”: “I didn’t write it, I freestyled it. … That’s a good stream of consciousness or unconsciousness.”
On MMLP2: “It’s grown up and down. Some of the themes and topics and things like that are revisited on this album. But at the same time, I feel like it’s a 2013 version. … There’s a lot of reflecting back on everything that was happening during that time. It’s kinda like me reflecting on it and getting to the point where I am now.”
On putting together the concept: “Once I did know what direction I was going, I knew that I needed certain songs to be able to call it that. … I just wanted to make sure that I had the right ones.”
On his “Stan” sequel “Bad Guy”: “I had heard a lot of chatter right around the time of doing the Recovery record that I should do ‘Stan 2.’ Why doesn’t he do ‘Stan 2’? All I kept thinking was, well Stan’s dead. He died in the story. So in the back of my mind, I kinda had an idea of like who could be left from the story, but I needed to get the right beat.”
On Rick Rubin: “I’ve always been a fan of Rick. My manager Paul had been talking to him and Rick had expressed that he had interest in working with me. When Paul brought it to my attention, I was like super excited, just honored at the fact that he was even thinking about it. I had my reservations just because I’m a super-fan of Rick, so I’d probably be a little nervous. I don’t know what the vibe would be just because I would be wanting to impress him, so it was very much the feeling I got early on with Dre.”
On Dr. Dre: “In my head, I’m still always trying to impress Dre too to this day.”