Eminem Talks Pop Stardom, Fame, & Overcoming Drug Addiction

Eminem

Eminem’s in-depth conversation with BBC Radio 1 host Zane Lowe continues. In Part 2 of 4, the hip-hop icon opens up about producing and his love for hip-hop.

“I love to watch what’s going on in the game, and keep my finger on the pulse,” says Em.

He also opens up about unintentionally becoming a pop star, and why he was surprised when his debut single “My Name Is” became a pop hit.

“That record was almost like my anti-pop song because it was like my hello to the world, but it was my fuck you to the world at the same time,” he explains. “So I never understood when all that started happening like, ‘Holy shit. How did that become a pop song?’”

Plus, he speaks about his love/hate relationship with fame and how he overcame his drug addiction.

“I’m definitely thankful,” says a now sober Em. “I know that I certainly could have taken another path.”

Read highlights and watch the full interview below.

On producing: “It was fun to be able to just mess around with beats from scratch again. I think Recovery was the first time that I ever got really super open to working with a lot of other producers. That was the most that I had ever done aside from working with Dre. That album opened those doors a little bit, so that’s kinda how early on I started approaching this album. … I’m still passionate about hip-hop and every aspect of it, so making beats and producing is definitely fun for me.”

On his love for rap: “I love the expression of it. I love beats and rhymes and I love the fact that you can express yourself in a rhyme and lay it down and it can be therapeutic and you got it off your chest. There’s so much shit that I love about rap. I love to watch what’s going on in the game, and keep my finger on the pulse of that and it’s exciting to watch as a fan for me. Just being a fan of hip-hop and watching the evolution of it and how it moves from each year to year.”

On being a pop star: “As far as being a pop star or whatever, I never intended to be any of that. All I ever wanted to do was get respect from my peers and other rappers. All the other stuff that came with it was just confusing to me. I don’t feel like I ever set out to make a pop song or a song that was gonna be some kind of crossover song. I’m not stupid, I know when a song has a certain particular sound like, ‘Well, maybe this could possibly be a radio record,’ or when I’m going, ‘Fuck, shit, ass,’ this will never go to radio. In making any song I’ve ever made, I never wanted to compromise lyrical integrity and I always wanted to make sure that if I was rapping on a beat that had some kind of appeal to it or was catchy, that I was at least doing my job as an MC and doing what I felt like I need to do.”

On fame: “It was this thing where I want this attention for this music, but then I want to be able to go in public and I want to be able to eat a fuckin’ sandwich and be left alone. I’ve never been an attention seeker, and it seems like a hell of a career choice, but that’s not why I do it, just to get attention. I don’t like to go in public and walk around and be like here I am. It’s not what I want. My dream was to be able to one day—like, hear rappers that I look up to on the radio, and be like, ‘Yo, what if Jay Z, whoever, what if they heard of me? What if they thought I was dope?’ That was where my mentality always was with it. So when it all went crazy, it was really hard to wrap my head around. A lot of it still is, but especially back then.”

On staying sober: “I’m definitely thankful. I know that I certainly could have taken another path. I feel like I’m probably able to be more focused now than I’ve ever been. I’m also able to, I guess, put it in perspective. The problem is I can’t put a lot in perspective because there’s a lot that I don’t remember, and maybe that’s cool too. I know that there’s so many addicts in this world and people who have problems like that that don’t make it, so I’m thankful for that. I think that that’s one thing that really keeps me pushing forward is the music and is the passion for that.”

Part 1: Eminem Talks MMLP2, “Bad Guy,” and Rick Rubin

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5 Comments

  1. Jonnyjon

    Hey looks absolutely nuts. That stare is serious.

    [Reply]

  2. mon88

    This is not the Real Slim Shady this guy is a clone #deadserious

    [Reply]

  3. NoName

    No EM you’re lying, you’re just a sell out and POP star. Come up with all these excuses.

    [Reply]

  4. i s r a e l

    Dumb idiot plays music too loud when interviewing Em…Sway shits on this Zane guy

    [Reply]

  5. Deborah

    I swear this guy is just re-hashing the same stuff in every single interview. Do not get me wrong; I am a big fan- but only of the material that he put out that was actually, you know… hip hop. Obviously, he should not go back on drugs, but anyone insisting that the new version of Eminem is awesome does not know the first thing about hip hop; they are just the kind of ”fans” (blowhards) who will give him a pass for anything. Sorry, Marshall, but you have turned wack. Your catalogue of pop-collaborations with the likes of Rihanna might earn you a high place in the charts, but that does not classify as hip hop, neither does it make you awesome or deserving of ”Artist of The Year” at the YT music awards… (I ask you!)

    [Reply]

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