As notoriety has grown for rapper Eminem, he has forced himself into a focused daily regimen, laying low to avoid getting lost in the limelight. "It's almost to the point where I truly believe I may b

As notoriety has grown for rapper Eminem, he has forced himself into a focused daily regimen, laying low to avoid getting lost in the limelight. "It's almost to the point where I truly believe I may be getting too big for my own good," he told the Detroit Free Press. "And I never really asked for that."

This year, his Web/Aftermath/Interscope album "The Eminem Show" sold 7.4 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and the "8 Mile" film soundtrack sold 3.5 million. "8 Mile," which stars Eminem, has been one of the most successful pop music films in history.

"Looking back at this year? I really haven't thought about it," said the rapper, whose real name is Marshall Mathers III. "I never really stop to look back on things and reflect on them. I keep 'em on the head, but I'm concentrating on next year more than anything."

He spends long hours producing at a studio in Ferndale, Mich., and evenings at home in Clinton Township with his 7-year-old daughter, Hailie. His ex-wife, Kim, recently moved back in, and the couple is reconciling what has been a famously tumultuous relationship.

Mathers, 30, said he's abandoned drugs and hits the weights daily. He said that if he had kept up his pace -- the drugs, the parties, the relentless family crises -- he'd be dead. But he knows his success comes with another danger: the mainstreaming of a bad boy, whether he wants it or not.

"When everyone loves you, who's left to hate you?" he said. "The kids want something they can hold onto that their parents hate. I know I did growing up. I didn't want to listen to anything my parents listened to."


AP LogoCopyright 2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print