Eminem Talks Dr. Dre's Influence, 'The Storm' Freestyle, 'Revival' & More With Elton John for 'Interview' Magazine
Eminem will soon make his official return to music with his hotly anticipated album Revival (due Dec. 15). Em has spent months building up anticipation, from parody prescription drug advertisements to unleashing the Beyoncé-assisted "Walk on Water." In preparation for his ninth studio album, Em spoke with Elton John for Interview magazine about a range of topics, from Dr. Dre's lasting influence on his career and "The Storm" freestyle and his new album.
When Eminem unveiled the track list for Revival, it was met with mixed reviews as the album fell short on rap features and leaned more toward pop collaborations, with guest spots from P!nk, Skylar Grey, Ed Sheeran and more, but according to Em, he set out to do something different with Revival and that was to cater to "everyone."
"I’ve been working on it for over a year. You know how it is -- you make songs, and as you make the new ones, the old ones get old and you throw them out," he told Elton. "The album is called Revival. It’s a reflection of where I’m at right now, but also I feel like what I tried to do was diversify. I’ve tried to make a little something for everyone."
Revival is executive produced by Em's longtime collaborator and mentor Dr. Dre, who the "Walk on Water" rapper reveals he's constantly inspired by even years after their first team-up on Em's major-label debut, The Slim Shady LP.
"I met Dre and Jimmy [Iovine] at Interscope, and it felt so ridiculous and so far-fetched that this was happening. When Dre walked in, it was like an out-of-body experience," he recalled. "Nothing in my life had been going right for me, but he put me up in the Oakwood apartments and paid my rent so I could record with him. There was a period when I stayed up writing for 48 hours straight and ended up crashing at, like, 6 in the morning. I wanted to be prepared for Dre because I thought, 'If I’m not ready for every aspect of this, this could be it for me.'"
The Detroit native has kept a low profile but has seemingly kept an ear to music. When Elton asked Em which hip-hop artists he feels are "doing great stuff at the moment," the rapper praised J. Cole, Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar and Joyner Lucas, as well his Bad Meets Evil other half Royce Da 5'9".
Next, the pair discussed Em's viral freestyle "The Storm," on which Eminem aired his grievances with Donald Trump for his approach to some of the year's biggest events, from Colin Kaepernick's protest to the disaster in Puerto Rico.
"It was about having the right to stand up to oppression. I mean, that’s exactly what the people in the military and the people who have given their lives for this country have fought for -- for everybody to have a voice and to protest injustices and speak out against shit that’s wrong," Em explains. "We’re not trying to disrespect the military, we’re not trying to disrespect the flag, we’re not trying to disrespect our country. But shit is going on that we want to make you aware of. We have a president who does not care about everybody in our country; he is not the president for all of us, he is the president for some of us. He knows what he’s doing."
Read the full interview here.