Grammy-winning rapper Eminem continues to open up in his four-part BBC Radio 1 interview series and delves into the touchy topic of him remaining sober these past few years after an intense drug addiction battle.
In Em’s latest segment, he acknowledges how keeping sober has made him extremely focused.
“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.” (BBC Radio 1)
Slim Shady’s longtime manager Paul Rosenberg recently admitted Em went through an uphill battle when he first sought medical help to fight his addictions.
“He’s five years sober, so things are a lot different. But it’s not as different now as it was when he first went into recovery. There was a time during that period where I felt like I was sort of meeting him again for the first time. He came out of this like horrible spell and he just wasn’t himself. But then as I got to know him again as he is now. It’s been really great. It was hard to connect with him when he wasn’t present. And now [that] he’s present, he’s a much better partner. I think his art’s a lot better and we have a lot more fun doing it. Our relationship both professionally and as friends is stronger than ever.” (Billboard)
Paul also detailed just how difficult it was to keep Shady Records going with Em being treated.
“It was horrible. It was difficult in a lot of ways. It was sad because of his condition and we were worried about his health first and foremost, but beyond that. Trying to keep everything running when you don’t have a partner who is so important to the brand that you’ve built together and he’s just not present and unable to contribute, it’s just… very difficult. But we were definitely most worried about his health and wellbeing.” (Billboard)
Back in 2010, Marshall Mathers said his past drug woes had a damaging impact on his music-making abilities.
“I had to learn to write and rap again, and I had to do it sober and 100 percent clean. That didn’t feel good at first…I mean it in the literal sense. I actually had to learn how to say my lyrics again — how to phrase them, make them flow, how to use force so they sounded like I meant them. Rapping wasn’t like riding a bike. It was [as much] physical as mental. I was relearning basic motor skills. I couldn’t control my hand shakes. I’d get in the [recording] booth and tried to rap, and none of it was clever, none was witty and I wasn’t saying it right…It was four or five months after I’d been clean when I started to get a glimmer of my writing skills back. I don’t remember what song I was working on specifically, but I do remember getting feeling back in the music. I realized I wanted to do this again.” (New York Post)
Check out Eminem’s interview: