Eminem sat down with NY Times to promote ‘Southpaw’ movie, and talk about working on the soundtrack of the film, relationship with 50 Cent and his business sense, being a father, what artists he listens too, his approach to his next solo album and much more.
What’s your relationship like with 50 Cent these days? He’s on the soundtrack and in the movie.
Same as it’s always been, pretty much. I love Fif’, man.
Making albums has taken a back seat for him, and he’s become this celebrity personality and businessman. Dr. Dre is doing something similar. Do you ever think about moving into different worlds like them?
With 50, I could always see that coming, even from the start. He was always so business-minded. He’s always been so in tune with what the next move is, where I may be — I hate to say it — but I tend to be more narrow-minded. Just so tunnel vision with the music.
Are you plugged in with current rap music?
I try to stay up on everything that’s out. I love [Lil] Wayne, Drake, Big Sean, Schoolboy Q. I love Kendrick [Lamar]. I just try to pay attention to what’s out. Wayne puts out a new song, and my ears perk up. There are certain artists that make me do that just because of the caliber that they rhyme at — it’s like candy to me. Kendrick, the way he puts albums together — front to back, they’re like pieces of art. But hip-hop needs Drake, too. Hip-hop needs Big Sean. I feel like hip-hop is in a good place right now. There’s this balance of things going on, and it feels like some of the best rappers are the most successful. Sometimes that’s not the case.
Do you feel competitive with the Kanyes and Drakes and Kendricks of the world? You seem a little removed from that.
Kanye, as well — I forgot to mention Kanye. I’ll always be lyrically competitive.
Where do you hear new stuff?
Other people tell me about it and pull it up for me. I wait for other people to show it to me. I don’t particularly go on the Internet, because the experiences that I’ve had are not good. It’s not productive for me.
Are you working on a solo album?
Not as of yet. But I’m just trying to figure out what to do next musically. There’ll be a certain page that I get on, and I’m like, “O.K., I’ve done it this way.” Sometimes I think that if I get comfortable or set in my ways of doing something, maybe I should step back for a minute and figure out how to mix it up a little bit.
Do you feel like you’re still topping yourself?
I feel like I’m still trying to. And sometimes I don’t know if that’s always a good thing. I don’t want to make it so that by the time I’m done with a song, you didn’t even understand what just happened. That’s what I try not to do. I’m my own worst nightmare in that sense.
Because you’re so technically proficient that you can take it to a place where faster and more complicated isn’t always better?
Yeah, that’s what I mean. Sometimes that’s cool, if the song calls for it. But if I end up starting to record for another album, I want to make sure I approach it the right way.