Eminem already tried to out-Kanye Kanye by promising to pee on the floor of Zane Lowe’s BBC studio. Now, in the second and third parts of his epic interview with the DJ, he’s getting serious … about the creative fire that fueled him during the recording of The Marshall Mathers LP 2 , and welcoming one of hip-hop’s breakout stars into his inner circle.
At one point, Lowe asked Em about the inspiration behind his single “The Monster,” on which he details his ongoing struggles with celebrity, and his desire to live a normal life. In a way, the track sounds like something Eminem could have recorded a decade ago … which is fitting, considering he’s still trying to figure out fame.
“It was this thing where I want this attention for this music, but then I want to be able to go in public, and I want to be able to eat a f—ing sandwich and be left alone,” Em said. “I’ve never been an attention seeker, and [rap] seems like a hell of a career choice [for me], but … that’s not why I do it, just to get attention. I don’t like to go in public and walk around and be like ’Here I am.’ It’s not what I want.
“My dream was for, like, to be able, like to hear rappers that I looked up to on the radio and be like ’Yo, what if Jay Z, whoever, what if they heard of me? What if they thought I was dope?'” he continued. “That was where my mentality always was, so when it all went crazy, it was really hard to wrap my head around.”
Later, in part three of their interview, Lowe and Eminem discuss MMLP2’s most unexpected moment: Kendrick Lamar’s guest spot on the song “Love Game.” It was a collaboration that came together at the last minute — Eminem and his manager Paul Rosenberg were going through the stack of songs that had been recorded for the album, and Em realized “F—, I got no rappers on this sh–” — and, unlike most high-profile cameos these days, this one was actually recorded face-to-face.
“Kendrick came to the studio in Detroit, I laid a verse and played it for him. I had other things to play him, but what I explained to him was ’I had an idea for a hook, but I’m doing a lot of hooks on my record, it might be interesting to have you do a hook,’ because he’s great at melody, too,” he explained. “I think he laid, like, two different hooks, and I’m not sure if, to this day, he understood that I always wanted him to rap on it, because he laid two hooks and kind of looked like ’Is that it?’
“The only other rapper on the album won’t rap,” Em continued. “So I was like ’Yo, you want to lay a verse?’ and he looked surprised. It was getting late, I ended up going home, he laid something … it took me a couple of days to get back to the studio to listen to what he did, it took me a minute for me to get back to him. I told him he killed it. … The feel of that record is so different from what people would expect us to do.”