Eminem’s Big BBC Interview – 10 Revealing Home Truths

To complete a trilogy of huge rap interviews in 2013, BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe sat down with Eminem for an interview broadcast which went out on Monday (November 18). The chat swung from Eminem joking about topping the PR generated from Lowe’s Jay Z and Kanye West interviews (by urinating on the floor), through to his years of addiction, the plight of Detroit, and working with producer Rick Rubin. He also performed four tracks with a live band (one of which you can watch below). Here are 10 of the most interesting moments:

On Working With Rick Rubin
“I had my reservations just because 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. It was very much kind of like the feeling that I got early on with Dre.”

“All my albums I think for the most part pretty much tell where I’m at at that time period. There’s a lot of reflecting and things like that back on everything that was happening during that time. It’s kind of like me reflecting on it and getting to the point where I’m with it now.”

On The Sound Of Nostalgia
“How can I make the record sound nostalgic but subliminally nostalgic? Not blatant.. so that it kind of reminded you of 13 years ago when you first heard me but it’s over beats that are older.. To create a feel. We started messing with old beats and samples. Rick is talented in every different of genre in music. I was hoping to get what I got from him.”


On Hip-Hop
“I’m still passionate about hip-hop and every aspect of it. Making beats and producing is still fun for me… I love beats and rhymes and that you can express yourself in a rhyme, lay it down and it can be therapeutic.. I love to watch what’s going on in the game and keep my finger on the pulse, it’s exciting as a fan watching how it moves from each year to year. “

Being A Pop Star
“I never intended to be a pop star. All I ever wanted to do was get respect from my peers and other rappers. Everything else was just confusing to me. I never set out to make a pop song or crossover song. I’m not stupid, I know when a song could be a radio record. Or when I’m like ‘Fuck, shit, ass,” is not going to radio. I never wanted to compromise lyrical integrity.”

On Breaking Out With ‘My Name Is’
“I understood that ‘My Name Is’ was funny and that it was a little kitschy. The whole record was tongue-in-cheek. I still do a lot of records like that. That record was almost my anti-pop song. It was my ‘hello’ and ‘fuck you’ to the world at the same time. I never understood how that became a pop song.”

On The Pressures Of Fame
“I want to be able to go in public and eat a fucking sandwich to be left alone. I don’t like attention. I don’t want it. My dream was for to be able to one day – what if Jay Z, whoever, if they heard of me or they thought I was dope. That’s where my mentality always was. When it all went crazy it was really hard to wrap my head around it. “

On Addiction
“I’m thankful. I know that I could have gone another direction. I’m able to be more focussed. I can put it in perspective. There’s a lot I don’t remember. There’s so many addicts in the world who don’t make it. The one thing I held on to is the passion for the music. It keeps me pushing forward.”

On Making Peace With His Mother On ‘Headlights’
“It was one of those things that bothered me, that I needed to get off my chest. Everything I needed to say I put on that record and left it there.”

On His Home City, Detroit
“We’re the underdog, I feel like we’ve always been the underdog. I’ve always kept that with me, that fighting spirit that Detroit has because Detroit is so resilient I feel like we have this Detroit vs. Everybody mentality because I feel like the way that people look at us they always count us out. I know that that attitude is displayed in my music but I feel like that’s where it comes from, feeling like we’re being counted out. Detroit is known for fighting back so we’ll come back, we’ll be back.”