New book reveals Eminem’s triumphs and troubles
In “Not Afraid: The Evolution of Eminem,” out on Tuesday, writer Anthony Bozza traces the rap god’s rise in — and retreat from — fame over the past 20 years. The book — a sequel to Bozza’s 2003 best seller “Whatever You Say I Am: The Life and Times of Eminem — dishes on Slim Shady’s battle with drugs, his recovery with help from Elton John and his jealousy of Lil Wayne. Here are some of the juiciest tidbits about the MC born Marshall Mathers:
Halsey didn’t steal Eminem’s song and neither did these other artists
Eminem’s daughter Hailie is an Instagram star with 1.3M followers
Eminem drops surprise new album ‘Kamikaze’
Eminem recalls near-fatal drug overdose on new album
In the preface by LL Cool J — Eminem’s “first childhood hero and inspiration” — the “Mama Said Knock You Out” rapper recalls their initial meeting in 1999. LL told Em that he was impressed by his line “How can I be white/ I don’t even exist” from his song “Role Model.” “I think it took him by surprise,” LL writes, later adding that “we can’t ignore the level that his career has gone to simply because he’s white.”
Although his No. 1 smash “Lose Yourself” — from his hit movie “8 Mile” — captured the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2003, Eminem didn’t even bother to show up for the ceremony, thinking that he had “a snowball’s chance in hell of winning” because “rap never got a fair shake at anything.” Instead, he was home with his daughter Hailie watching cartoons.
Eminem developed an addiction to prescription drugs that first sent him to rehab in 2005. “My routine was Ambien at first, but then Valium or anything else to get me to sleep, and then basically Vicodin to get me through my day, or whatever,” he told Bozza in 2009. He began to abuse methadone in 2007, but it was recovering addict Elton John who eventually helped the rapper get clean: The Rocket Man became Em’s sponsor years after they performed “Stan” together at the 2001 Grammys.
Eminem also became addicted to fast food in the midst of his drug abuse, piling on the pounds while hitting spots such as McDonald’s and Taco Bell every day. “I got up to between 200 and 230, about 80 pounds heavier than I am now,” he said in 2011. “I got so heavy that people started to not recognize me. I remember being somewhere and overhearing these kids talking. One of them said, ‘That’s Eminem,’ and the other said, ‘No, it’s not man, Eminem ain’t fat.’ I was like, ‘Motherf–ker.’ That’s when I knew I was getting heavy.”
While Eminem retreated from the spotlight because of his drug abuse and the subsequent time it took to get sober, he became jealous of the rise of Kanye West and, in particular, Lil Wayne. “I was hearing things he was doing, and I was like, ‘Damn,’ ” Em said of Wayne. The two rap stars would then collaborate on “No Love,” a single from Eminem’s 2010 album, “Recovery.”
“Renegade” — which remains the only song that Eminem and Jay-Z have ever collaborated on — was originally intended to pair Em with his friend and fellow Detroit rapper Royce da 5’9”. But the track ended up going on Jay-Z’s classic “The Blueprint” album, released in 2001. Nine years later, the two hip-hop heavyweights would co-headline the Home & Home Tour in Eminem’s and Jay’s hometowns of Detroit and New York, respectively.
Eminem tested Kendrick Lamar on his lyrical skills when the Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper first came to the studio to appear on 2013’s “The Marshall Mather LP 2.” “He kicks everybody out the studio,” Lamar said on an Australian radio show. “I took it as him kicking everybody out to see if that’s really you writing them raps, to see if that’s your writing.” Lamar passed the test, collaborating with his labelmate on the track “Love Game.”
The Detroit house that Eminem grew up in is pictured on the covers of both 2000’s “The Marshall Mathers LP” and “The Marshall Mathers LP 2.” Days after the latter album was released, the house — which had been up for auction, with a bidding couple planning to turn it into an Eminem museum — went up in flames. Em and his manager purchased the rubble from the demolition company and, in 2016, put 700 autographed bricks from the house up for sale on his website.
Eminem was initially tapped to play the lead role in the 2015 boxing film “Southpaw.” In fact, screenwriter Kurt Sutter had based the film on Em’s battle with drugs and his subsequent music comeback. “I love that the title refers to Marshall being a lefty, which is to boxing what a white rapper is to hip-hop,” Sutter said in 2010. But after years of talks, the rapper dropped out of the movie, and the part ended up going to Jake Gyllenhaal, although Eminem did record two songs for the soundtrack that he executive-produced.
Source: Read Full Article