Has it really been that long? “8 Mile,” inspired by Eminem’s rise to fame, debuted in November 2002 and to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the film, the Detroit rapper covers the latest issue of Vibe. Inside the issue, he and other members of the cast–including Mekhi Phifer and Anthony Mackieand–talk in detail about putting the final together. Check out excerpts from the interview below.
Vibe: Eminem, at the time you hadn’t really acted before; but the story was based in Detroit, based off of some of your life experiences. When the cameras stopped rolling, did you feel that you headed further into these guys’ world of acting, or they into yours?
Eminem (B-Rabbit): I definitely felt like I was about to embark on some shit that was not necessarily up my alley. It was all brand new, and I’m so glad I had all of these guys around me. My hardest part, was remembering the lines. ‘Cause really, all I had to do was take myself back into the mind frame of how I felt before I got signed with Dre. It wasn’t really too much to just be myself.
Vibe: How were the battle scenes written?
Eminem:I think Curtis had a lot of the guys write their own things, and then I would see what they were going to say. I might sit there with some of the guys and be like, “What if you changed this?” The hardest thing for me was trying to figure out what that last [rhyme] was going to be. As I was going back and forth with the other guys about what they were going to say—“Okay, if you’re going to say that, then I’ll write this”—the last one was [challenging] because I didn’t have anything to respond off of. So I had to write it myself, off what somebody could say to me.
Mackie: I’ve gotta give it to Curtis, because he challenged us. It wasn’t just, “Okay, bring us what you’ve got.” He kept you on edge, like, is this enough? Am I giving enough?
Eminem: That’s the other thing, too, with the battle scenes. I remember him saying, “This shit has gotta be flawless. [Then] Curtis would say, “Is this good enough?” I went back and rewrote a couple of lines. Curtis definitely, definitely pushed us.
Read the full feature here.