Eminem made waves onto the Hip Hop scene in 1999 with his first LP, and following that he had a “never looking back” attitude about him. Then he decided to retire, or at least the equivalent of retiring, as he hid away in his home in Detroit. During that time, Eminem has gone on record in saying he was addicted to prescription drugs and didn’t know if he would make it out alive.
Fortunately, he did, and now he’s crediting his savior as the one thing that got him out of Detroit — Hip Hop. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Eminem reflects on his life now that he’s sober. Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, seems to have left Slim Shady back at home for this revealing interview.
Speaking about his life now as opposed to a few years ago, Eminem said:
“I’m as happy as I can be, I guess. 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?”
Recently people questioned if Eminem was still sober due to his appearance on ESPN in September. The rapper appeared next to Brent Musburger to introduce the video for his song “Bezerk” and appeared to be zonked out of his mind. According to Eminem, that spaced out look on his face was all intentional, and he was actually just channeling the Beastie Boys, whose music he sampled for the song.
“I knew we were about to show the ‘Berzerk’ video, so I was doing what I call the Berzerk face. 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.”
A self-proclaimed student of Hip Hop, Eminem elaborated on how important it is to be well versed:
“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.”
Eminem’s current album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, scored the second biggest debut this year. The album is only second to Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience Part 1. Eminem’s album has been critiqued by fans and critics alike for its lyrical content and style. While some have hailed the great return of Eminem, others have come out against Eminem for a familiar return to form for what some are deeming as homophobic lyrics in a more progressive era.