FEATURE: Eminem, Welcome Back
[Editor’s Note: These are the outtakes to the edited interview that appears in the June 2009 issue of XXL.]
XXL: I’m hearing that Dr. Dre came out to Detroit and stayed in Detroit for awhile.
Eminem: Yeah, Dre stayed out in Detroit for months, I don’t know how many months, I can’t remember but a few months he was out there. And we just kept going. It was pretty crazy. Because usually, like my theories, like I’m real superstitious about shit and if I go [to] a studio like the one we went to in Orlando, I’m like if I got a good track record there I’ll go back and maybe I’ll write songs out there. Or I gotta go to L.A., in other words I gotta be out of my own environment in Detroit for my mind to expand and be able to write. But I guess that wasn’t the case because being at home, I still kept going with the pen and just kept writing. I couldn’t stop it was crazy.
XXL: That’s wild because I was just talking to Paul [Rosenberg] about how T.I. seems to have caught this amazing fire when he had to stay home on house arrest. He was saying for like the last two albums he was freestyling like on the Jay thing, going in the booth line by line or whatever. T.I. said that you guys had grown kinda cool.
Eminem: Yeah, yeah, we definitely built a relationship over you know, just recording and hanging out and shit, just…T.I. reminds me of me in the sense that he’s just a regular dude. He’s just real, he’s real humble, real just chill…just you know what I mean? The way we vibed in the studio and just talked and kicked it, it was like, “wow! This dude is cool.” We just kinda became friends after that. But I watched him do that shit in the studio, and that’s right around the time I kinda started wanting to do it or was kinda doing it but I couldn’t do it as good as him. And from what I heard, I don’t know if this is correct or not, but Lil Wayne does it.
XXL: Oh Yeah.
Eminem: Yeah I’m not as good as those guys when I do that. Like I can’t…I gotta actually sit down. For me, I want to actually write a whole song, because if I start, if I get to the second verse and I get stuck, I don’t want to record it just for nothing you know? So I kinda gotta write a whole song out and know if it’s gonna be a song and then record it. But I watched T.I. do that and was like, “How the fuck is he doing this?” Because it was intricate still you know what I mean like as he was going along like line by line. But when he actually got that time to write, you could definitely tell and I told him many times over the phone the way that he did this record was just, you know… you could tell, you could tell that he actually sat down and he crafted his rhymes. Like he’s got rhymes, he’s got lines that rhyme inside of rhymes and shit like that, which somebody like me can appreciate so much just because you know I do it. I try to do that. So like when you hear someone else do that, it’s like, you know how much time it takes to do it yourself so you can appreciate it, you know what I mean?
XXL: Since we’re talking about that whole new generation thing, are you into blogs are you on the internet checking out different spots thinking like this is where I can get my hip-hop information from outside of my close people?
Eminem: I don’t even know how to work a computer. Honestly I don’t. I think that if, obviously I could learn to work a computer, and people have offered to show me, but I just don’t want to because I know if I started getting into that shit I’d lose my mind. Like blogging and reading what other people are saying about me and shit I might lose my mind so I just stay away from it. You know?
XXL: Right. And what kind of TV shows are you into?
Eminem: Oh man, TV shows. I watch The First 48, The Wire. I mean obviously the seasons are over but there is nothing better than The Wire. Like The Wire for me is ruining TV because that shit was so dope that, and I was a late bloomer. I caught on late. [It] took me like three, no wait they were on the fifth season before I actually knew what the fuck was going on. But I had heard so many people talking about it and obviously them three or four years I was dealing with my own shit so I didn’t have time to really catch up on it or whatever but when it came out like the seasons and shit I couldn’t stop watching them it was like crack. I think I’ve seen every season at lease four times.
XXL: You’ve been one of the most successful MC’s ever, made a ton of money but you never talk about money. And you’re probably one of the only MC’s that we can even come up with that doesn’t do that. What do you consume? What do you buy?
Eminem: I just don’t, I’ve never been like a…I’ve just always been a pretty simple dude when it comes to stuff like that. Just never really got into cars and flossin’ or never really cared, like I was always the type of person that felt like as long as I make enough money to support my family with this music that’s all I really care about. You know what I mean so I don’t really buy, I’m just not into like that many material possessions and stuff like that, because at the end of the day, it’s just not that important. You know what’s important is if you’re raising your kids and being able to feed them and provide for them is the greatest thing in the world. Outside of that, what extra do you need? You know what I mean, because I don’t know, I don’t know. It’s just never appealed to me, the money thing is great, don’t get me wrong. You know what I mean. It just doesn’t, I’d rather rap about fucked up shit. So I don’t know. I’d rather rap about that. I’m kinda rather make people laugh I guess or cry or whatever but bragging about what I have for me personally uncharacteristic I guess. – Datwon Thomas