Eminem graces the cover of Billboard magazine for the first time. Hit the jump to read an excerpt from the article.
Props to RR.
On being the best-selling artist of the last decade
“I don’t think I’ve actually stopped to think about it,” Eminem says by phone from his home in Detroit, while on a brief break between trips to promote Recovery. “I never thought that my life would amount to this. But to be able to sit back and digest it is so strange to me, because I still feel so regular. I don’t understand what people think the big deal is about me. It’s a very strange relationship that I have with fame.”
On his approach to Recovery:
“I would go back and listen to songs off The Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show and some of Encore and ask, ‘Why don’t my music feel like this anymore?’ ” Eminem recalls. ” ‘The Way I Am,’ ‘Criminal’ and ‘Toy Soldiers’ were songs that meant something. I wanted there to be a reason why I was making each song, instead of making it just to make it.”
On taking his time before touring:
“I’ll do these shows and see how I feel afterward, then set up a couple more,” Eminem says. “I’ve had to relearn to do shows sober, because there were so many years that I didn’t know how to do it. Alcohol, Valium — all these things were crutches for me so that I didn’t have to feel anything when I went onstage. Everything right now is a step at a time, a day at a time.”
On caring more about critical reception than sales:
“Honestly, as long as people enjoy the music, that means the most to me,” Eminem says with unabashed sincerity. “I could sell 80 million records in the first week, and if my peers or fans of real hip-hop didn’t like it, it really wouldn’t mean anything.”
More on the quality of his past albums:
“I was pretty much in full-blown addiction while I was creating [“Encore”],” he says, “and as far as Relapse, when I first got sober I got really happy because I was not a prisoner of addiction anymore, so life was brand-new to me. I was like, ‘Shit, man, trees are beautiful again. What a nice day it is.’ I don’t think I was paying attention to what the average listener might like or not like.”