Grammy-winning rapper Eminem is the latest high-profile musician to follow in the footsteps of Jay Z and Kanye West by taking part in a BBC 1 Radio interview series with host Zane Lowe.
While Em touched on topics mostly surrounding his new Marshall Mathers LP 2 album, Slim Shady delved into working with mega music mogul Rick Rubin.
“I’ve always been a fan of Rick. My manager Paul [Rosenberg] 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 felt like, 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 kind of like the feeling I got early on with [Dr.] Dre. I hadn’t met him [before this]. I’d never had met him. I was nervous to meet him and even more nervous to work with him.” (BBC Radio 1)
Em also detailed what his in-studio experience with Rick was like.
“I’m still, always, in my head, I’m still always trying to impress Dre too, you know, to this day, at the same time but yeah I kept thinking, ‘If I get into the studio with Rick, what if we’re not able to come up with anything?’ All these things popped up in my head — then when I met him, the guy is so like, laid back that it made it easy and his vibe in the studio was just like [relaxed and experimental].” (BBC Radio 1)
Last month, Rubin spoke on Em’s undying and never-ending work ethic.
“I just think he’s a one-of-a-kind MC. And he’s first and foremost an MC. That’s it. I’ve had other great rappers ask me how he does what he does. You know, how does he do that? And I mean really great rappers. It really is him, and it’s natural. And a lot of his greatness come from his work ethic. It’s just on. It’s really an obsession.” (Complex)
Recently, Slim Shady boased about working with Rick and noted what makes him so unique.
Some tracks, including the Rick Rubin-produced, Beastie-esque single “Berzerk,” draw on old-school hip-hop. Eminem was already headed that way when his manager, Paul Rosenberg, hooked him up with Rubin. “Getting with him was like, ‘Holy sh*t!'” says Eminem. “As many genres of music that he is able to f*ck with, he’s like Yoda. I couldn’t do it. You sit me there with a rock group, I don’t know the first f*cking thing about banging on the drums.” Eminem emphasizes that the album, which includes collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, Nate Ruess and Rihanna (again), is “not necessarily a sequel, as much as it is a revisitation. “So there’s not gonna be, like, continuations of every old song on there or anything like that,” he adds. “To me, it’s more about the vibe, and it’s more about the nostalgia.” (Rolling Stone)
Check out part one of Eminem’s interview: