With Relapse: Refill due out later this month, Eminem has opened up to Complex about a variety of topics, including the addiction that threatened his life, Michael Jackson, Lil Wayne and Internet porn. The big news, however, is that Em’s planned Relapse 2 is still in the works despite the release of Refill, and that the reason the sequel to Eminem’s comeback LP was delayed was because the music just kept getting better as Em moved further away from his addiction.
“When I finished Relapse, I had a whole album of material that didn’t make it that I wasn’t ready to throw away, so that was going to be Relapse 2. But then I got with Dre in Hawaii and started recording more, and now the new material has knocked out all the old songs,” Eminem tells Complex. “Making Relapse, I was still working the drugs out of my system, so there was a lot of… just jokey shit. It was a lot of punchline-y, funny, shock value — kind of going back to The Slim Shady LP. And that was cool, but I’ve kind of flipped the page. Now I’m going for songs instead of one-liners.”
Eminem also found similarities between the depths of his own addiction and the death of Michael Jackson. Eminem’s reliance on prescription medicine is well-documented throughout Relapse — he blames his Vicodin addiction for his massive weight gain during the hiatus — and says being a celebrity with the amount of fame Jackson had could be fatal. “I definitely can relate, and it’s a shame if he didn’t have anybody there to just say, ‘Michael, you’re an addict, you need help,’ ” says Em, who famously poked fun of Jackson in his 2004 video for “Just Lose It.” “It’s one of the pitfalls of fame.”
Getting clean also led Eminem to change his appearance: After a decade of platinum blond, he returned to his brown haired roots. “Once I got sober I was like, ‘What the fuck am I doing? I’m like 35 years old, am I going to keep dying my hair fucking blond?’ Also it was just about letting go,” Em admits to Complex. “The hair reminded me of my addiction, and I hated myself when I was in my addiction. I hated myself worse than anyone could ever hate me.”
As for Lil Wayne, who rapped alongside Slim Shady on “Forever” and is rumored to have recruited Em for a track on the upcoming Rebirth, Eminem says that it took awhile for him to appreciate Weezy’s talent. “There was the hype about him, but I didn’t see what all the hype was about,” Em said. “I felt like he was good, certainly above average from his singles, but it was like, ‘Is he that dope? Then I listened to the whole album and was like, ‘Wow! My man is that dope — Lil Wayne is fucking dope!’ You’ve got to listen to a Lil Wayne song four, five, or six times to actually catch everything he’s saying.”
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