It’s the rebirth of Eminem. The new and improved Marshall Mathers covers the latest issue of Rolling Stone. The “Berzerk” rapper, whose album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 has gone platinum after two weeks, rocks an adidas track jacket with a boombox over his shoulder on the cover.
In the issue, he opens up about how hip-hop saved his life, the Beastie Boys, and Tupac and Biggie.
“I’m as happy as I can be, I guess,” says the 41-year-old MC, who also reflects on his sobriety.
The issue hits newsstands on Nov. 22. Read highlights below.
On hip-hop: “Hip-hop saved my life, man. It’s the only thing I’ve ever been even decent at. I don’t know how to do anything else. I think they have a word for that—what do they call it? Idiot savant?”
On “Berzerk”: “The whole song to me feels like vintage Beastie Boys. And you know the ‘Pass the Mic’ video where Ad-Rock is making that face, kind of not looking the camera? I was doing my own version.”
On the Beastie Boys: “Obviously, yes, there was something about Licensed to Ill—you had the Zeppelin samples and their vibe. You had Run-DMC, who were so cool, with the attitude of ‘Fuck you if you don’t like us.’ Same as the Beastie Boys. ‘Fuck you. We fucking curse. We spit beer. We throw it on our fucking fans.’ And obviously as they got older their views and things changed, as all of ours do. You can be mad at their shit for not sounding like their last shit, but if it did, then they didn’t grow as artists. Same as me.”
On Tupac and Biggie: “Being a student of hip-hop in general, you take technical aspects from places. You may take a rhyme pattern or flow from Big Daddy Kane or Kool G Rap. But then you go to Tupac, and he made songs. His fucking songs felt like something—’Holy shit! I want to fucking punch someone in the face when I put this CD in.’ Biggie told stories. I wanted to do all that shit.”