Are fame and fortune dreams come true? According to Eminem,
they're more of a nightmare.
Born Marshall Mathers III and alternately known as Slim Shady,
the guy from Detroit came from out of nowhere, skyrocketed
to hip-hop stardom in less than two years, and is now a household
name, unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons. With four-million
copies sold in five weeks (ten-million to date), Eminem's
latest release The Marshall Mathers LP scored the best-selling
solo debut week in pop history. The CD won countless awards,
accolades, and, an avalanche of criticism, for its implications
of violence and prejudice. The unrestrained rapper has become
a steady guest on every rock radio station's playlist and
every publication's headlines. Each for very different reasons.
Eminem has kept the news desks full with his controversial
lyrics, arrests, weapons charges, lawsuits, marital disputes,
and, believe it or not, four Grammy nominations complete
with corresponding backlash from critics and activist groups
NYROCK: So how does it feel to be rich, famous and the idol
of countless teenagers?
EMINEM: I always wished for this, but it's almost turning
into more of a nightmare than a dream. I mean, everybody wants
to ride on my fuckin' coat tails. Everybody's trying to hang
on to, wants a piece of my ass. You gotta be careful what
you wish for; you just might get it.
NYROCK: What's so bad about being a star?
EMINEM: I can't go out anymore and play basketball, because
everybody knows my fuckin' face. All I really wanted was to
have a career in hip hop and now I got to deal with so much
shit! There are people coming to my house, knocking on the
door. Either they want autographs or they wanna fight. It's
NYROCK: Not to be smart, but I think you're getting quite
an ample compensation for it. Okay, the loss of privacy is
hard, but certainly you knew what was coming?
EMINEM: Nobody really understands the pressures put on me.
I'm under so much fuckin' pressure, pressure to always be
good, pressure to always be on point. There are so many pressures
that go with my job right now. It's crazy. Sometimes I think
I do a lot of fuckin' crazy shit but then I don't know what
the fuck is normal. My life certainly isn't. Maybe it never
NYROCK: What was your life like before you became famous?
EMINEM: Before I was famous, when I was just working in Gilbert's
Lodge, everything was moving in slow motion. Now it seems
like somebody has pressed the fuckin' fast forward button
and my life just seems to be rushing by. It sometimes feels
like a strange movie, you know, it's all so weird that sometimes
I wonder if it is really happening. But I tell you the fuckin'
shit feels a lot more real than the good things. That's fuckin'
NYROCK: There has been much controversy over your liberal
use of the word "faggot" and what people perceive
as gay bashing. It's put you right in the line of fire from
gay and lesbian groups the world over...
EMINEM: I'm not gay bashing. People just don't understand
where I come from. "Faggot" to me doesn't necessarily
mean gay people. "Faggot" to me just means... taking
away your manhood. You're a sissy. You're a coward. Just like
you might sit around in your living room and say, "Dude,
stop, you're being a fag, dude."
NYROCK: But you can see how it would insult homosexuals?
EMINEM: Yeah, but it does not necessarily mean you're being
a gay person. It just means you're being a fag. You're being
an asshole or whatever. That's the way that the word was always
taught to me. That's how I learned the word. Battling with
somebody, you do anything you can to strip their manhood away.
NYROCK: Sometimes it seems that you enjoy creating a bit
of ruckus. I wonder if "faggot" is really necessary
EMINEM: I come from Detroit where it's rough and I'm not
a smooth talker. I am who I am and I say what I think. I'm
not putting a face on for the record. When I started saying
"faggot" on record, I started getting people going,
"You have something against gay people," and I thought
it was funny. Because I don't; I really don't. I have something
against assholes, but I'm not into gay bashing. A lot of people
are too stupid to understand it.
NYROCK: Your mouth got you in quite a lot of trouble. Would
it be easier to bite back some remarks, to stop the misunderstandings?
It might keep people from coming to your door and trying to
EMINEM: I don't think it would stop them. They'd think I'm
a sissy and would really want to kick my ass. My thing is
this; if I'm sick enough to think it, then I'm sick enough
to say it. Why are these thoughts in my head? A lot of people
think a lot worse shit than I do. They just don't say it.
If I'm crazy enough to think it, then I'm crazy enough to
say it. So who's worse? Come on, I mean somebody who thinks
really weird fuckin' shit, shit I really don't want to think
about. But I got nailed for saying just mildly sick shit.
That's how I base my whole shit. I think there's a reason
why I think this way. I don't think I say the things I say
for no reason. I write it down and say it. You know, I call
it being honest, but some sick asshole who does sick things
on the sly and doesn't talk about it is cool?
NYROCK: I guess you're not aiming for a career in diplomatic
EMINEM: Fuck no! I say what I want to say and do what I want
to do. There's no in between. People will either love you
for it or hate you for it. That's what I've found just on
a street level fans, and people on the street. They
either can't stand me or love me for telling the truth and
saying what's on my mind.
NYROCK: You're a father; you have a little daughter. There
has been mention in the media of lawsuits. I just want to
know about your plans. Being a parent seems like a big responsibility...
EMINEM: I know and I want to be there for my daughter, whenever
she needs me. I want to be with her on every step of the way,
ya know. She's the best thing that happened to me. Fuck all
the fame and shit, Haley is far more important. She keeps
me from being too extreme. I realize that no matter how crazy
I act onstage or how wild I may get, there's got to be a limit.
I can't step out of a certain boundary. I have to be here
for her. Her father has to remain alive. I have to maintain.
She really helps me when I'm about to do something too stupid.
All I have to do is think about Haley. She keeps me in check,
definitely. What can I say? I love her and a lot of shit has
happened to me, but Haley makes up for everything. In a way,
she also makes up for all the fuckin' pressure and all the
shit. My daughter's not gonna need anything the rest of her
life and that makes me feel real good. Fuckin' good!
By NY Rock