The friendship between Royce da 5'9'' and Eminem goes back decades, beginning on a night that Royce outlines on "Tabernacle," from his new album, Layers. It tells the story of a fateful day when he not only met Em for the first time, but also experienced the death of his grandmother and birth of his son. And it was the first song he wrote when he decided to get sober.
Royce has been vocal about that sobriety recently, and is continuing to do so. He outlines the process of his downward spiral to alcohol addiction and ultimate journey toward sobriety in an essay for Medium, titled, simply, "Why I Quit Drinking" (you should really read the whole thing).
Beyond the "why," though — which includes that he was getting into physical altercations, spent time in jail for DUIs, and was losing relationships — there's the "how." And some of that has to do with Eminem.
"Eminem helped me all the way through," Royce writes of his longtime friend, who himself has fought addiction. "He was one of the first people I called. I let him know I needed help. I came back to Detroit and he, Tracy McNew and Paul Rosenberg at Shady Records checked me into this hospital and I went and saw Em’s doctor. It was an inpatient thing, where they monitored me while I slept, with IV’s in me to make sure I didn’t succumb to alcohol withdrawal symptoms and that I could sleep right. I stayed in there for a few days and when I got out, I immediately started seeing my therapist, who I still see to this day."
That's what friends are for.