With Eminem taking five years off from music, rumors started that the Detroit rapper was considering retiring. Now that he's back and released "Relapse," plans to release "Refill" near Christmas and "Relapse 2" next year… Fans seem to have forgot about the "retirement" rumors, well now Eminem is talking about the subject along with his plans after music including doing another movie. "We just haven't found anything that's been the right thing at the right time," Em explained about movie roles. "I have to be finished with this album and then I'll probably want to jump into something like that. I don't know if there's a movie where I'll want to be in every single scene again, but something, yeah…It was, 'I don't want to be a rapper when I'm 40,' and the next time we talk it will be, "I don't want to be a rapper when I'm 50." Sixty is the cut-off. I can't be no 60-year-old rapper, son!" [Eminem Talks About Retirement & More In Complex – Full Article Here]
In related news, Rakim recently talked about how rappers should call it quits and retire. "Yeah, I think what's happening is, rappers are becoming, especially for people that love a rapper, rap and hip-hop come to party," Rakim explained. "You can't just put it down. It's not like sports where you know, you lose a step. You can lose skills in rapping of course, but it's a little different man and I think sitting back and watching the R&B genre, you got, at any awards show and you see brothers like Al Green come out and tear it down. It's longevity in R&B and I think if it's done right, to an extent, I think we can have a little longer gevity in hip-hop, it don't just have to be a young music anymore… I think we should stretch out our age limit as far as hip-hop 'cause if that's the case, I think when brothers grow up they just want to leave rap entirely and listen to other genres of music so I think there is room for a little mature sound of hip-hop, for the older, grown and sexy, whatever you wanna call it." [Rakim – Talks About Rappers Retiring – Watch Here]
Rakim – Talks Rappers Retiring[gnvn]102699[/gnvn]
Eminem – Behind The Scenes Of Complex Magazine Shoot[gnvn]102465[/gnvn]
You've had about five months to sit with your "comeback," Relapse. What are your feelings about it now?
Eminem: I was happy with it when I put it out—but honestly, I haven't
given it too much thought since then because I've been so busy working
on Relapse 2.
So the sequel won't reflect your reaction to the first one and its reception?
Eminem: Well, when I finished Relapse, I had a whole album of material
that didn't make it that I wasn't ready to throw away, so that was
going to be Relapse 2. But then I got with Dre in Hawaii and started
recording more, and now the new material has knocked out all the old
songs. But yeah, the new material is definitely different. Making
Relapse, I was still working the drugs out of my system, so there was a
lot of…just jokey shit. It was a lot of punchline-y, funny, shock
value—kind of going back to The Slim Shady LP. And that was cool, but
I've kind of flipped the page. Now I'm going for songs instead of
one-liners. I don't want to make shit that you hear once and then the
joke's over; I want to make records that you could play a hundred
times, a thousand time
Relapse definitely feels like you're shaking off the dust—it was like I
could take the songs out of sequence and put them in order of when they
were recorded, because the rhymes got so much sharper the farther you
got from the drugs.
Eminem: You're right, my thinking became sharper again as I went along.
If you were to take a song like "My Mom" or "Must Be the Ganja," those
were cool—but they were the beginning stages of me coming out of the
[addiction]. It wasn't until it got into songs like "Stay Wide Awake"
that it felt like my mind got sharper. I became more on-point towards
the end of recording the album. Right now, I feel like I'm more focused
than I've ever been. I still feel like I have room to get better but I
feel like I'm definitely on my game right now.
Speaking of being on your game, who had the second-best verse on "Forever"?
Eminem: Who had the second-best verse? [Laughs.] I don't know, I like
everybody's verses—but I like Drake's verse a lot. I wouldn't say I had
the best verse; everybody approached the beat different. Kanye was
crazy, too, and Wayne. I just saw the beat differently than anybody
else did; for some reason, I felt like the beat was a double-time beat,
so I rapped faster.
I'm sure sobriety has changed more than just your rapping. Has it changed your friendships?
Eminem: Yeah, I've gone back and rekindled some old friendships—people
I knew from back in the day. I feel like I'm closer with everybody now,
certainly—probably a lot easier to get along with, too.
Eminem: [Laughs.] You want to explain that, Paul?[Em's manager] Paul Rosenberg: [Laughs.] In every regard. Literally, in
every way you can imagine he's easier to get along with.
So you feel better?
Eminem: [Laughs.] Hell yeah, I feel better. I feel like a human being
again. There was one point in time where I felt like…[Sighs.] I don't
know—I felt like plastic.
In what way?
Eminem: I think I looked plastic. My face, fat plastic. [Laughs.] I was
eating, but the Vicodin made me hungry because it eats up your stomach
lining, so you want to fill your stomach back up, but then it stops you
up so you can't shit, you just—
Eminem: That's why I was gaining so much weight, I was just so fucking
bloated. It's a trip when people take sobriety for granted. Feeling
trapped in my addiction and then getting sober—you appreciate it so
much more, because I didn't know if I would ever know what it's like to
feel normal again, ever.
Are there moments when you feel like you're being tested?
Eminem: Not with drugs or alcohol or anything like that. I just steer clear of it.
So you're stone-sober these days?
Eminem: Yeah, it'll be 18 months on the 20th [of October]. I realized I
can't touch anything, and that's why I'm clean right now and why I'm
going to stay clean. My brain just doesn't know when to shut off. When
I do something I have to do it all the way—that goes for music, with a
high-hat, a snare drum, a rhyme, everything. I have to push it to the
extreme. That's how I realized I have addictive behavior. Somebody told
me this once, that the thing that makes me bad is the same thing that
makes me good at other things.
When the details of Michael Jackson's death came to light, did you see any parallels?
Eminem: Oh, 100 percent. When you read things about Michael Jackson
it's hard to decipher what the fuck is true, but there's the story of
how he woke up at whatever time and he needed something to go back to
sleep because he had this or that and it didn't work. That's exactly
what used to happen to me: I would take a couple of pills and I would
be up an hour later and I'd want more. Then I'd take more and that
would be enough to maybe get me back to sleep for two more hours. Then
I'd be wide awake again. So I definitely can relate, and it's a shame
if he didn't have anybody there to just say, "Michael, you're an
addict, you need help." It's one of the pitfalls of fame. I could just
say, "Yo, I need this and this and this," and they're going to give me
whatever I Want Become Im
—because you're Eminem.
Eminem: Exactly, it's fucked up. The worst thing that could have happened to me as an addict was having money.
So much of your best music was born of your addiction, but your writing
is clearly inspired again. Where do you draw inspiration from now?
Eminem: [Long pause.] I don't know, that's a hard question. As far as
the everyday inspiration to write? I guess I draw it from
everywhere—conversations, something I saw on TV, whatever. But as far
as inspiration to make music? Of all the albums I've made, I still
don't feel like I've made the perfect album. I've had ones that touch
on this, and others that touch on that, but never one that's just
perfect and fully relevant. I don't know if I'll ever make it, but I'm
certainly trying every day.
To that point, all of your albums have followed certain conventions as
"Eminem albums," and though Relapse was well-received, "We Made You"
was the first time that the funny-lead-single formula didn't fully
Eminem: Yeah, looking back on it now I don't know if that was 100
percent the way to go. I kind of liked the way the beat felt like it
was slower in the chorus and then it sped up for the verses, but
stepping back and looking at it as an average consumer or somebody who
goes to a club, it might have been hard to figure out what the hell was
going on in the song. On the other hand, it was the only option we had
and the album might not even be out now if we hadn't found a song that
was clean enough for radio. But am I going to go in that direction
again? Probably not.
When you first started putting out those singles talking about
celebrities, you were saying things no one had ever said in a public
forum, but now even the most conservative housewives in Middle America
check Perez Hilton to see whose face he's drawing cum on today—
Eminem: —So I started felching.[Laughs.] Can you still shock people when there are no taboos left?
Eminem: I don't think I'll ever run out of ideas on how to shock—and if
I do, I'll probably just stop. But I definitely know what you mean,
kids nowadays are so used to seeing crazy shit, there's so much crazy
weird shit on the Internet, it's certainly getting harder to shock
Speaking of which, you've always said you don't use computers or the Internet. Is that really still the case in 2009?
Eminem: I don't even know how to turn a computer on and it's probably
better that way. I look at stuff, but as far as actually sitting there
and knowing how to work it and knowing what sites to go on….
So you're saying you still buy porn on DVD, then?
Eminem: Um… PR: There's a lot of free porn on the Internet, I think,
is what Noah's trying to tell you. Eminem: Oh, is there? Maybe I should
go on the Internet.
Eminem: What? Spankwire?
Imagine a YouTube of pornography.
Eminem: Really?! I know what I'm doing for the rest of the day when this shit is over. [Laughs.] You can look up anything?
Eminem: Nostril fucking?
Maybe so. It's like, any genre or actress—
Eminem: I have to go back and look at my pornos because there's a couple chicks that really
Changed your life?
Eminem: Yeah. [Laughs.]
Wow, Complex just put Eminem on to streaming porn. I'd like to apologize to music fans around the world now.
Eminem: If my album doesn't come out, it's Noah's fault. [Laughs.]
OK, so before you got ruined by streaming porn, what was your daily routine like?
Eminem: I'm usually in the studio five days a week. Get up, run in the
mornings. I run anywhere from two to five miles. There was a point in
time—this is how I know I'm an addict—when I was running literally 17
miles a day.
Eminem: Sometimes 19. I would run eight and a half in the morning and
then in the second part of the day I'd go home at night and do another
eight and a half. I literally felt like I was addicted to running, like
I was trapped in prison because it was like, "Ah, fuck, I gotta run
again." I got into calorie counting so bad that when they told me that
I was going to be in the woods with my shirt off [for the "3 a.m."
video], I was like, "Fuck."
What snapped you out of that?
Eminem: I saw an episode of Obsessed on A&E where this dude would
get up in the morning and go to the gym, and then again at lunch, and
then again after work. But then on his way home he'd pass by another
gym, and he'd have to go in that gym and do like 15 reps of everything,
too! He couldn't pass by a gym without stopping in it. I saw that and
was like, "I really got a fucking problem—I'm this guy." There was a
point in time when I had to burn 1,000 calories; if I didn't burn 1,000
calories my day wasn't complete. But now it's like I can burn 275
calories and jump off the treadmill, or I can burn 550, and I'm OK with
it. Have you seen The Machinist?
Eminem: For the "3 a.m." video, I was thinking they could make my spine
look real crazy like in that movie. I started getting real skinny so my
veins would pop out and I was trying to get that look, but it just
didn't work. My body won't really let me get that low. I was running
17, 18 miles a day and it was like, "OK, this is not going to happen."
But I still got pretty skinny, so after the "3 a.m." video I threw a
pizza party at the studio and ate a bunch of fucking pizza. [Long
pause.] Then I went and purged. [Laughs.] No, I'm kidding.
50 Cent talked about how you blew out your knee playing basketball with him. Do you still play?
Eminem: Yeah, I still play a lot.
Who do you compare your game to?
Eminem: Ummm…I would say a cross between LeBron and Jordan,
basically. Maybe just a little bit higher level than those two, though.
PR: His nickname on the court is Sweetness.
Eminem: Yeah, that's actually what they call me. You can call me Sweetness for the rest of this interview, actually.[Laughs.] As long as we don't have to make eye contact when I say it,
Sweetness. So you ball with 50 and Kanye West plays with Jonah Hill.
Who'd win if you and 50 played two-on-two against them?
Eminem: That'd be very interesting. But I've never seen Kanye or Jonah Hill play.
Me neither, but Jonah says he's all hustle, and Kanye says his game is
better than people would expect, that he plays for highlights.
Eminem: 50 is better than you would expect too, though. OK, you know
what, I think we could get them. I'm just saying, I'm just putting it
out there. [Laughs.]
In case someone wants to put money on it. [Laughs.] Speaking of 50,
he's been venting about his placement on MTV's "Hottest MCs" list. You
Eminem: You know, when I heard that the other day, I didn't really
think too much of it. My only comment was, "That's some peoples'
opinion." It's their opinion, and opinions can't be wrong. As long as
I'm comfortable with what I'm doing and I'm comfortable in my zone,
then that's that
Wow. In the past, even though you were Mr. Just-Don't-Give-a-Fuck, when
we talked about lists and what people thought or said about you or your
work, you really, really did give a fuck. What's changed?
Eminem: I think it just has to do with not only being sober, but just
being confident in who I am and my abilities or capabilities. Coming up
as an MC, I took the frustrations of the underground and brought it
with me into the mainstream. I know there was a certain complex I had
in the beginning that was just a little paranoid or a
OK, let's talk about other changes. You're wearing denim for the first time since…I don't know. How did that happen?
Eminem: Really, it was just friends telling me I needed to wear jeans.
[Laughs.] They were like, "Yo, you can't come back wearing sweatpants."
I think a lot of it had to do with being heavier. When you feel fat,
you wear clothes that are bigger so you don't feel as big. I was
wearing 3X—literally 3X—clothes, and as I got smaller I felt like, "OK,
I think I can wear some jeans now and be OK with it." And instead of
just T-shirts, sweaters, or a vest or whatever. But I'm certainly not a
fucking fashion consultant. Don't call me if you want to know how to
dress. I just rap. That's all I really know how to do.
When did you decide that you wanted to go back to your natural hair color?
Eminem: Once I got sober I was like, "What the fuck am I doing? I'm
like 35 years old, am I going to keep dying my hair fucking blonde?"
Also it was just about letting go. The hair reminded me of my
addiction, and I hated myself when I was in my addiction. I hated
myself worse than anyone could ever hate me.
That's pretty heavy. Well, on a lighter note, what do you do for recreation? Do you play video games?
Eminem: Yeah, I'm pretty nasty at Donkey Kong, B. You should go check
my high-score. [Ed.—It says "1st 229,100 M-M" on the stand-up DK
machine in his studio lounge.]
So you only play all the old-school games? No Xbox Live for you?
Eminem: Yeah, all the old-school games. I can't really fuck with some
of the new ones, they're too complicated. I want to run and jump.
That's it. [Laughs.]
What music do you listen to on Sunday afternoon, when you're cleaning the house?
Eminem: Sunday afternoon? I'm watching football on Sunday afternoon.
I don't mean Sunday specifically, but what do you listen to in your free time?
Eminem: Fabolous has got a great album. Jay-Z, obviously. Last year I
was bumpin' T.I.'s Paper Trail for almost the whole summer. I had
bought Lil Wayne's album, but I was so busy recording that it literally
just sat in my CD case until like six months ago. There was the hype
about him, but I didn't see what all the hype was about. I felt like he
was good, certainly above average from his singles, but it was like,
"Is he that dope?" Then I listened to the whole album and was like,
"Wow! My man is that dope—Lil Wayne is fucking dope!" You've got to
listen to a Lil Wayne song four, five, or six times to actually catch
everything he's saying. We were at a video set a couple months ago and
I'm bumping it in the trailer and I'm like, "Yo, Wayne is dope!" And
Paul is like, "Really? You're just now figuring this out? Where the
fuck have you been?" They think it's funny, but you know, being sober,
my eyes have opened up to so much more shit that I was missing, that I
should have been hip to
Eminem: Like The Wire! I slept on so much shit when I was in my
addiction. Man, it was crazy. Now I've literally watched all five
seasons of The Wire—I think I'm on my fifth time watching them all—and
I'm about to sit and watch it all again because it's the best show
ever. It's literally the best show ever. Oh man, what else did I sleep
on? Entourage, I'm watching that now. My eyes were just fucking closed
to everything. It was like I woke up.
Do you listen to any non-rap?
Eminem: Not really. Well, actually, '80s music. Like we'll be on the
plane playing Uno and listening to '80s music and people will think
that we're out of our fucking minds.
PR: Bumpin' Tommy Tutone!
Eminem: What the fuck is that?
PR: "867-5309"![Laughs.] What else have you discovered since you woke up?
Eminem: Oh God, Superbad could be the greatest movie of all time. There
are so many things in it that when you walk away you don't even know
what part to talk about. That's what happened to me. I watched that
movie when I was first getting sober—I had a lot of free time—so I
watched that movie, no lie, close to 200 times. I mean in the literal
sense, I would just have that fucking movie on loop. There was one
point in time I could give you the commentary on that up to about the
fourth or fifth scene, line for line.
That's nuts. You obviously had the small part in Funny People, but if
Judd Apatow had a starring vehicle for you, would you be into that?
Eminem: Hell, yeah! That would be crazy; that one little scene was a
lot of fun. We just haven't found anything that's been the right thing
at the right time. I have to be finished with this album and then I'll
probably want to jump into something like that. I don't know if there's
a movie where I'll want to be in every single scene again, but
I remember talking to you back in '98 and you were like, "I don't want to be a rapper when I'm 30," and the last time we talked—
Eminem: —It was, "I don't want to be a rapper when I'm 40," and the
next time we talk it will be, "I don't want to be a rapper when I'm
50." Sixty is the cut-off. I can't be no 60-year-old rapper, son!
then. What's up with your romantic life? Do you date? What's your deal
Eminem: I don't really have a deal with chicks right now. Honestly, I'm
so focused on what I'm doing and obviously I just came out of a long
relationship, so I'm just kind of coasting right now. I'm more focused
on my sobriety, my work, and my kids right now. Making sure I get those
aspects of my life right before I go into the world and do that again.
So I think that Spankwire will be the alternative right now. [Laughs.] Spankwire it is. OK, so now how do I get on the Internet, buddy?