The wisdom of Eminem

Eminem – Live

On the power of music: “Sometimes I feel like rap music is almost the key to stopping racism.” (Spin, 2000)


On honesty: “My thing is this; if I’m sick enough to think it, then I’m sick enough to say it.” Pic: Retna


On is daughter Hailie: “My daughter wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth… but she’s got one now.” (Daily Telegraph, 1999) Pic: Retna



On fame: “You gotta be careful what you wish for. I always wished and hoped for this. But it’s almost turning into more of a nightmare than a dream.” (Detroit Free Press, 2000) Pic: Retna


On growing up poor: “There were times when my friends had to buy me fucking shoes.” Pic: Retna


On coming from a broken home: “I never knew [my Dad]. Never even seen a picture of him.” Pic: PA Photos

eight mile

On his past: “OK, yeah, I’m a criminal and I did a couple of things that I shouldn’a did, but I’m still a human, and people make mistakes.” (Rolling Stone, 2002) Pic: PA Photos


27th Annual American Music Awards

On accusations of homophobia: “I’m not gay bashing. People just don’t understand where I come from. ‘Faggot’ to me doesn’t necessarily mean gay people.” (NY Rock, 2001) Pic: PA Photos


On being misunderstood: “When I say, ‘jump off a fucking bridge or slit your wrists’, that’s not what I’m really trying to say. It’s tongue-in-cheek.” (VH1, 2002) Pic: Retna

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On being an elder statesman. “I remember when 8 Mile came out and
suddenly I was being appreciated.
That was strange. I was like, Oh, shit, I got old people
comin’ up to me sayin’ they love my music and I got them into hip-hop.”
(Rolling Stone, 2004).

Eminem NME 2000

On stardom: “The first time I really sensed it was flipping through channels and seeing my face on every channel. You kind of get sick of yourself.” (MTV, 2002) Pic: Kevin Westenberg



On aggressive fans: “Some asshole kept throwing oranges and other fruit at me while I was onstage. Fucker had an arm like a major league pitcher…” Pic: PA Photos

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On being responsible: “There are certain things I won’t do in front of my daughter, or let her know about. I just let her hear most of the fuckety fucks.” (VH1, 2002)

Rapper Eminem Arraignment

On Sarah Palin: “I want to nail her.” (‘Friday Night with Jonathan Ross’, 2009). Pic: Retna

Eminem – MTV Europe Music Awards 2004

On race: “There was a while when I was feeling like, ‘Damn, if I’d just been born black, I would not have to go through all this’.” Pic: PA Photos

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On the long gap between 2005’s ‘Best Of’ ‘Curtain Call’ and new album ‘Relapse’: “I had writer’s block. For the first time in my life I couldn’t write. I couldn’t write a rhyme to save my life.” (The Observer, 2009) Pic: PA Photos

People Eminem

On his ex-wife: “Kim has been in and out of jail and on house arrest, cut her tether off, had been on the run from the cops for quite a while. Tryin’ to explain that to my niece and my daughter was hard.” (Rolling Stone, 2004). Pic: PA Photos

Eminem NME 2000

On his early work: “One thing I won’t do is put out another song like (breakthrough hit) ‘My Name Is’. I can’t stand that fucking song.” Pic: Kevin Westenberg

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On drugs: “I was messing with Valium, Vicodin, Ambien, anything to help me sleep. Basically I’d take Vicodin to get me through my day.” (The Observer, 2009)

eight mile

On his alter-ego: “Slim Shady is just the evil thoughts that come into my head. Things I shouldn’t be thinking about.” Pic: PA Photos

Editorial Use Only Eminem crowd

On being a white rapper: “Unless you want to fuck me, why do you care what I look like?”

eminem superhero

On humour: “People should be able to determine when I’m serious and when I’m fuckin around. That’s why a lot of my songs are funny. I got a warped sense of humour I guess.” Pic: PA Photos

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On childhood heroes: “I wanted to be LL Cool J, I wanted to be Run, Ad-Rock, Big Daddy Kane, a lot of people. Me and my friends used to stand in front of the mirror and perform.” (Music 365, 2000)

Brits Eminem

On childhood aspirations: “I wanted to be a comic-book artist. That was my dream as a kid. I used to paint and draw. If I wouldn’t have had rap, I would have strived to do something like that.” (Esquire, 2008)  Pic: PA Photos

ABACA USA The Shady Convention

On how he came up with the name Slim Shady: “I was takin’ a shit. I swear to God. And the fuckin’ name just popped into my head. Then I started thinkin’ of 20 million things that rhymed with it.” Pic: PA Photos

Eminem showing his tattoo’s NME 2000

On fashion: “I’m a T-shirt guy now. But wifebeaters won’t go out of style – not as long as bitches keep mouthing off.” Pic: Kevin Westenberg


On 2004 album ‘Encore’: “It feels a little too self-loathing to me. When I go back and listen to
it… it just feels like I’m pissing and moaning about whatever.” (The Observer, 2009).

Eminem giving the finger/ rude gesture NME 2000

On courting controversy: “I do say things that I think will shock people. But I don’t do things to shock people. I don’t know how long I’m going to be on this planet, so while I’m here, I might as well make the most of it.” Pic: Kevin Westenberg