Eminem, in a rare new interview, had a lot to say to the New York Times and most interestingly to me talked about his mindset when it comes to a solo album. I hope he explores new sounds if he goes that route. Here’s a wide amount of tidbits below and the full read here.
Has being a father to teenagers changed how you think about your music?
“Not really. I think as you get older, you start — I don’t know how to answer that. I don’t really change. I guess I get more mature, but I don’t feel like I’ve changed much. I’m still a dad. You just go with the flow. But work is still work, and when I’m working, I’m focused on that.”
Do you show your kids your music?
“I’ve been trying to not focus as much on them, because I’ve done that and I don’t want to hinder their lives. I feel like the more that I talk about that, the harder their lives are.”
What’s your relationship like with 50 Cent these days? He’s on the soundtrack and in the movie.
“Same as it’s always been, pretty much. I love Fif’, man.”
Does Dre come to you about business, like with Beats?
“We always still do that. But I never thought the headphone thing — it came out of nowhere. I remember we were in Hawaii, and we were recording songs for “Detox” and for “Recovery.” Jimmy [Iovine] wanted us to do a photo shoot with the headphones on. Of course I’m gonna do it — it’s Jimmy and it’s Dre. But I’m thinking: “All right, can we get to the music? I just want to get back and record.” I remember thinking like: “How big is this thing going to be? It’s headphones.” But man, I should’ve known just based on Dre’s name alone. And Jimmy’s like the Great Gazoo, from “The Flintstones.” Somehow he has the foresight to always know what’s up. Sometimes I just don’t know what’s up. It blew my mind.”
Are you plugged in with current rap music?
“I try to stay up on everything that’s out. I love [Lil] Wayne, Drake, Big Sean, Schoolboy Q. I love Kendrick [Lamar]. I just try to pay attention to what’s out. Wayne puts out a new song, and my ears perk up. There are certain artists that make me do that just because of the caliber that they rhyme at — it’s like candy to me. Kendrick, the way he puts albums together — front to back, they’re like pieces of art. But hip-hop needs Drake, too. Hip-hop needs Big Sean. I feel like hip-hop is in a good place right now. There’s this balance of things going on, and it feels like some of the best rappers are the most successful. Sometimes that’s not the case.”
Do you feel competitive with the Kanyes and Drakes and Kendricks of the world? You seem a little removed from that.
“Kanye, as well — I forgot to mention Kanye. I’ll always be lyrically competitive.”
Where do you hear new stuff?
“Other people tell me about it and pull it up for me. I wait for other people to show it to me. I don’t particularly go on the Internet, because the experiences that I’ve had are not good. It’s not productive for me.”
You don’t want to Google your own name?
“Once I’m on the computer, it’s over, because I’m tempted to look at everything. I went on the computer recently and got on one site, read five comments and was like, “Man.” I have friends that do it — rapper friends. I’m like, “I don’t know how you do that.” Because you end up wanting to fight someone, kill them, or kill yourself — usually all three at once.”
Do you think Twitter and Instagram have affected rap?
“I know there are a lot of Twitter beefs. People used to just make songs. But it is what it is. The world’s forever changing, and you’ve just gotta adapt and evolve.”
What is your day-to-day life like in between albums?
“A lot of work. I’m usually in the studio five to six days a week, trying to think of my next move. Every now and then, I’ll reassess where I’m at in my career. I’m usually trying to think of what I’m going to do next.”
Are you working on a solo album?
“Not as of yet. But I’m just trying to figure out what to do next musically. There’ll be a certain page that I get on, and I’m like, “O.K., I’ve done it this way.” Sometimes I think that if I get comfortable or set in my ways of doing something, maybe I should step back for a minute and figure out how to mix it up a little bit.”
Do you feel like you’re still topping yourself?
“I feel like I’m still trying to. And sometimes I don’t know if that’s always a good thing. I don’t want to make it so that by the time I’m done with a song, you didn’t even understand what just happened. That’s what I try not to do. I’m my own worst nightmare in that sense.”
Because you’re so technically proficient that you can take it to a place where faster and more complicated isn’t always better?
“Yeah, that’s what I mean. Sometimes that’s cool, if the song calls for it. But if I end up starting to record for another album, I want to make sure I approach it the right way.”