Guest Star: "Eminem Embodies Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye West & Drake" -RESPECT Magazine Editorial Director
Wednesday, Jun 9, 2010 1:15PM
The way our interview runs out with Eminem is that we talk to him about the story behind some of his career photos. So he would kinda just look at a photo and sometimes he would talk about that specific shoot and sometimes he would be like, "Yo, I can't remember that shoot because I was too much on drugs." And then he would go into this thing about his drug use and where he was at or what his fear was with his career just these different things based off what these images prompted him to remember.
So we never specifically got into the album because I expected him to have these really short answers and he was just really open and forthcoming and started talking about former addiction and we talked about some things he couldn't remember because he was like, "I was just really drunk and I don't remember that at all."
The conversation went that way, you just, as somebody interviewing an artist you sorta like, wanna follow the river, you don't want to guide the river where you want to go because when somebody's comfortable, like, you're just gonna get stuff out of them. So that's what happened when I talked with Em.
In his music, Eminem has always been very forthcoming and very blunt and I think that's what's always been his strength that he's kinda been the person that says what's on his mind, he's always been very self-aware. If you look at some of his greatest hits, it's always talking about his hyper-awareness of his whiteness, of his standing as a pop star, people not including him on Top 10 lists, he's very aware of all of these conversations so I knew that he was gonna bring that to the interview but what I didn't expect is this clarity that comes from this sobriety, he's sorta in this place where if you look at the four biggest rap acts at the moment, that aren't him, it's sorta like Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye and Drake.
I think he embodies all of those people where he has this grown, late 30's, vibe to him that Jay-Z has. He's always had this Lil Wayne thing where he's kinda coming off as a functional addict. And with Kanye there's this sorta ability or willingness to say 'F You' that most people or rap stars are too scared to. There's this part of this Drake thing that's sorta like, has this reluctant fame thing.
He's somebody that's gonna be upfront, somebody that's gonna be forward thinking, who's gonna be very responsible about not hiding anything and just not deflecting, especially being post-12 Step, he's not deflecting to say "Oh, it's the label's fault." You talk to rappers and it's some other rapper's fault or it's the radio's fault or it's ringtones' fault and he's just like, "This is me. I did this, I messed up. I couldn't remember, I couldn't do this. No one made me these things." So it's refreshing to talk to a person like that let alone an emcee.
Kris Ex is the editorial director for RESPECT magazine.
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