I’m trying my best [with Recovery] not to be a stan because please believe, “Not Afraid” was on repeat for hours. And that always happens with his first singles. When “The Real Slim Shady" dropped I was like, "Genius." When “Without Me” dropped I was like ‘Okay, he’s understanding a formula’. When “Just Lose It” came out, I was like "This dude knows how to make people laugh and he’s ill." I don’t think people get it; his first single was not funny. This nigga said "Put down the scissors and shit and cut the crap." I feel like I be the only one who understands what he’s saying. "He's got the urge to pull his dick from the dirt and fuck the whole universe." That’s real right there and all I can do is sit back. I’ma touch that instrumental after two or three MCs show their bravery because once I get on that beat I’m dead-ass not afraid and my lack of fear has people around me like, "Charles shut up because you’re going to say something a bit much." My team was not allowing me on the Internet around the time “Not Afraid” was talking about being released cause they knew.
It was like I had completed my dharma when [we] recorded “I Don’t Care.” While I’m in the booth recording, [Em’s] like "Yo, you went in on that second verse." I was like "Ohhhhh, that’s crazy!" I think it would be therapeutic for the both of us to work together [again]. Maybe that’s why I [was] so adamant about writing a letter to him, do the 17-year-old high school fanatic approach to things. Because I’m a big, big, big Em fan, he has his slim shadies and I got my star chasers. I listen to this dude and I’m like man it’s going to take a lot of people to say we should be in the same rap group. Our careers mirror each other, except I’m a lot more below the surface as far as success, record sales, and controversy. All I need is to sit with Em and just talk for a minute [about being in a group] and I guarantee we’ll be one the same page and we’ll go forward. And it’s been like that for a little minute… I wouldn’t mind signing to Shady Records and if me and Em got in a group we would be The Shady Bunch.
It’s so public that I’m an Eminem fanatic. I’ll never forget Sunday, June 4, 2002. [That’s when] The Eminem Show came out. I [had] just come home from church and Eminem was on Hot 97 and I lived in the Bronx and all the record stores was in Manhattan and I was pissed. That Monday, I made sure I conned my teacher like "Yo, I’ma write a dope article about this. Give me $16 and I’ma go get The Eminem Show," which is one of the most intricate albums of his career.
When I listen to “Beamer, Benz or Bentley,” I think about this ill conversation we had. I swore to secrecy that I wouldn’t share it. He laughed when I put out the pinky finger. [But] that conversation was a confirmation of everything I had ever seen, felt, witnessed before and after February 23, 1999. February 23 was when “My Name Is…” dropped.
Do you know that the first Mather was born in Hamilton, Scottland? We have a lot of things in common. —As told to Tracy Garraud