Eminem has written in-depth about his battle with drug addiction from when he first started blowing up in a highly personal feature he wrote for XXL Magazine this week.
Titled ‘Road to Riches’, the piece starts with what life was like before the Detroit-born rapper became one of the most popular artists on the planet.
“I’m 24 years old and I got a baby to take care of and all I want to do is rap,” he wrote. “But it didn’t look good. I was super depressed.”
Eventually, as we all know, Em got his big break, teaming up with Dr Dre and releasing ‘The Slim Shady LP’ in 1999.
“That was a fun album to make,” Mathers wrote. “But it’s also where everything suddenly changed.”
“One of those changes was that the drugs became a part of the way I was living life once I got signed.”
Marshall talks about how he would travel to Tijuana heaps just to get some Vicodin. One time, the last time, the guy in front of him got caught for carrying drugs while Em’s “pants were frickin’ stuffed with pills… I would’ve been done right then,” he said.
The success that he always dreamed of is actually what kickstarted Eminem’s drug habits.
“I didn’t take anything hard until I got famous,” the now 49-year-old wrote. “I was experimenting. I hadn’t found a drug of choice.”
“Back then you went on tour and people were just giving you free drugs. I managed it for a little while. And then, it just became, I like this shit too much and I don’t know how to stop.”
Eminem also wrote about how the drugs started affecting the music he put out.
“When I look back at my catalogue, the first three albums, I'm definitely proud of them…But then I think, Man, I could've done those vocals so much better. I could've connected this word with this word.”
“The problem was, in the recording process as I was getting more addicted to drugs, I was in more of a goofy mood. So now, I go make "Ass Like That," "Big Weenie," "Rain Man," all those silly songs, which I'm writing in f**kin' seconds at that point in time.
“I was just writing high and feeling good about what I'm doing because I got f**kin' 20 Vicodin in me and this is fun to do, and I'm having fun, so f**k it.”
“The album [Encore] comes out and it was definitely a wake-up call, a slap in the face, a sobering moment, because I was on a roll and then somehow, I got off this roll.”
It's a really brave move from Eminem to open up about his addiction. It’s crazy to think he was releasing such high-end music while dealing with such a battle.
You can read the full piece here. He also covers where he thinks he stands in the current rap game and what his goals are for the rest of his career.
If you or anyone you know struggles with drug addiction, please use the resources below:
NZ Drug and Alcohol Helpline: Call 0800 787 797 or text 8681, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to speak with a trained counsellor. All calls are free and confidential.
Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.
Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP).
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO).
Healthline – 0800 611 116
Samaritans – 0800 726 666