After a meteoric rise to fame caused him to dive into addiction, Eminem says one thing got him through it all: Hip-hop.
Guess who's back? The real Slim Shady, platinum buzz cut and all. While Eminem says a relapse into addiction nearly took him out of the game permanently, his one savior, hip-hop, brought him back from the brink again.
The "Berzerk" rhymer sat down with Rolling Stone and talked about that 2005 relapse.
"I relapsed on drugs. It was a little creepy," he told the mag. "I certainly had some dark times with that s***, mostly due to taking a lot of pills and f***ing drooling on myself. It was a s****y time."
"I know I probably shaved a few years off my life."
The star explained that his various addictions began as a cover for his crippling stage fright.
"Early in my career when s*** started happening so fast, I think it was more liquor than anything. I was using it was a crutch more for anxiety to go onstage," he explained.
"I'm not saying I wouldn't have become an addict if I never got famous… It was more about 'I need this onstage — I can't handle this many people looking at me,'" he admitted.
"I always joke that it's a hell of a career choice for somebody that doesn't really like attention."
But despite fame making his addiction worse, Eminem gives music full credit for him being alive today.
"Hip-hop saved my life, man. It's the only thing I've ever been even decent at," he said. "I don't know how to do anything else. I think they have a word for that — what do they call it? Idiot savant?"
And his biggest inspirations? None other than Tupac and Biggie.
"Being a student of hip-hop in general, you take technical aspects from places," he said. "You may take a rhyme pattern or flow from Big Daddy Kane or Kool G Rap. But then you go to Tupac, and he made songs. His f***ing songs felt like something — 'Holy s***! I want to f***ing punch someone in the face when I put this CD in.' Biggie told stories. I wanted to do all that s***."
Read the complete interview with Eminem in the new issue of Rolling Stone, available on newsstands Nov. 22.
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