Days before his seventh album, Recovery, dropped, Eminem sat with VIBE for a short convo
VIBE: How'd you feel about the response to "Forever"?
Eminem: The response was great. I didn’t really look it like I’m competing against these guys. I’m on a record with them, but I just wanted to make a good song. Certainly, the response helped, as far as me being able to feel good about myself again. It took me so long to just even be able to do that. I was pretty down for a few years. I went through some things and not just with addiction, some personal setbacks and I was down. Just being able to get back up again feels good. I think everything played a factor of where I’m at now.
On Recovery, you have this one line on “25 to Life” where you talk about taking control of your relationship with hip-hop. How have you done that?
What the whole song is saying is that I have a strange relationship with hip-hop because I love it so much. I go through this thing in my head a lot, which I’m sure every rapper does, where you give your life to this thing. You literally give everything that you got. I come to work some days wearing the same thing two days in a row—baggy sweats—just dedicating my life to this. And there are times that I feel like I get the respect that I deserve and there are times where I feel like I don’t.
Like when MTV excluded you from their Hottest MCs of 2009 list?
That hottest MC list that I was left off, it was one of those things that I was glad that I am at where I'm at. I’m glad I’m in this place now, because a few years ago I would've let it bother me more than it did. I took it not as a slap in the face but more so like, "Maybe I’m not on that list for a reason. Maybe I’m not doing the things that I need to be doing. Maybe I need to look at myself and step it up." I don’t know what I would have thought being in the mind state that I was in. I just felt like maybe I need to do better.
As a person, are you proud of yourself?