Eminem sat down with Anderson Cooper for a rare television interview on this weekend’s episode of 60 Minutes. The rapper talked about his tumultuous childhood, his years of drug use, Recovery and the accusations that he is homophobic. Eminem took Cooper on a tour of the tough Detroit streets where he grew up — “I would change schools two or three times a year, so that was the roughest part,” Eminem said — to the underground clubs where, as shown in the biopic 8 Mile, Eminem built up his hip-hop cred. In the interview’s most introspective moment, Eminem details his 2007 drug overdose and how it forced him to reevaluate his life.
Eminem also revealed his boxes filled with lyric sheets — “stacked ammo,” as he called it — and tells Cooper that he used to read the dictionary when he was younger. “I just felt like I want to have all these words at my disposal, in my vocabulary at all times, whenever I need to pull them out,” Eminem said. As for the accusations that Eminem’s lyrics are homophobic, Eminem said the derogatory words threaded throughout his songs was just the products of the rap battles he was involved in. “I don’t have any problem with nobody, I’m just whatever,” Em said. The rapper also took aim at the parents who say his music has a negative effect on the youth. “I feel like it’s your job to parent them. If you’re the parent, be a parent,” Eminem told Cooper. “I’m a parent, I have daughters. How would I really sound as a person walking around my house, ‘Bitch pick this up.’ Profanity around my house, no. But this is music, this is my art, this is what I do.”