Eminem: Stadium Shows with Jay-Z 'Won't Be a Competition'
Less than a week before the start of his Home and Home tour series with Jay-Z, Eminem is staying tight-lipped about his plans for the stadium shows, which commence Sept. 2-3 at Detroit's Comerica Park before switching to New York's Yankee Stadium on Sept. 13-14.
"I don't want to get into it too much," Eminem tells Billboard.com. "I don't want to give anything away. But...I think it'll be good. He does, however, allow that his song selection "will probably be all over the place" rather than concentrating on "Recovery," his double-platinum latest album that's still sitting atop the Billboard 200. "Hopefully it'll be songs that everyone is familiar with."
Eminem -- who will be performing with a nine-piece band that includes hype man Denaun Porter of D12, DJ Alchemist and "Lose Yourself" co-writer Luis Resto on keyboards -- adds that he "won't even allude to" possible guest appearances at the show, even though rumors have everyone from Rihanna, his duet partner on the current Hot 100 No. 1 "Love the Way You Lie," to Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Drake making the scene in some way or another at the shows. Nor would he say if he and Jay-Z are planning to do anything together, although he promises there won't be any kind of battle attitude between them. "Nah, I don't think it'll be anything like a competition," Eminem says. "For the most part me and Jay just want people to come out and have a good time. We want them to enjoy the music."
Eminem is also slated to perform at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 12 in Los Angeles and has another concert lined up for the Epicenter Festival on Sept. 25 in Fontana, Calif. Plans for other shows and even a tour, however, remain up in the air. "I'm taking everything as it comes...a step at a time and seeing what the next thing's going to be," Eminem explains. "I haven't really planned too far ahead as far as what I'm going to do next or whatever, so we'll see."
It has been determined, however, that "Recovery's" next single will be "No Love," his Just Blaze-produced collaboration with Lil Wayne. "I did a song with Wayne called 'Drop the World' for his ['Rebirth'] album," Eminem notes, "and we had just agreed to do an even swap, so I wanted him on my album. I kind of waited, and when Just Blaze had finished that beat we jumped on it."
Even though "Recovery" is continuing its dominance with no signs of letting up (it's been No. 1 for seven non-consecutive weeks), Eminem is also looking towards his next recording project. Though he says there are 25-30 tracks he completed in addition to the 17 that made the album, Eminem is also "in the studio probably about five days a week. I'm always working. I don't have any plans as far as when I would put another album out or anything like that. I just make music and always like to write just to stay mentally on my game."
He also says he would "definitely like to get back into" acting eight years after his star turn in "8 Mile," and though producers of the new ABC police drama "Detroit 1-8-7" have made some public overtures towards him, there are no commitments to anything yet.
"As busy as I am with the music and recording albums and things like that, I've kind of taken an obviously long break from" acting, he says. "If there's a role, something that actually hits me that I feel like, 'Yo, I've got to do this, this is crazy,' then I'll do it. But I haven't had any scripts or anything sent my way that feel like that yet."
Eminem, Porter and Alchemist were judges for the final round of the Red Bull EmSee: The Road to 8 Mile national rap competition, held Thursday night at Detroit's St. Andrews Hall. The winner, an 18-year-old Detroit MC named FowL, will get the chance to record with at Red Bull Studios in Santa Monica, Calif., with "a headlining producer" who has not been specified.