Eminem's music through the years- viewed and reviewed like you'd not expect it…

Eminem’s comeback to the scene after 5 years of absence causes a massive explosion of chain reactions. Never has the press spilled as much ink on the artist as it does now. The mainstream public supports the artist more than ever.
But do you really know what made Eminem and what the recipe of his massive success is? Do you know the story and the culture behind the man?
Who would have thought that this little kid with an unstable life, bullied at Detroit Roseville Elementary, not taken seriously at Lincoln High by his school buddies and teachers would become one of the biggest stars the face of the earth ever carried?
This white kid influenced hip hop to a great extent, not because he was white, but because he was that kind of white kid lost in a black man’s world. Bouncing back from Missouri to Michigan with his mother, he eventually settled in Detroit, living on the black side of 8 Mile, because his mom couldn’t afford to live on the white side. He still carries the strong black accent from the Detroit hood and while the media would wrongly classify him as a part of “white America”, the white kid “who could be one of their kids” was strongly immersed into black music and culture that influenced him to do what he did best: being a rapper.
First influenced by his uncle Ronnie’s passion for the art of rap, Marshall Mathers’ determination to make it in this field grew as the years were passing by.
His skin color, later thought to be an advantage used to be a big disadvantage at the time he was unknown from the public. Bullied at school, experiencing racism on a daily basis, Marshall Mathers had to struggle hard to become who he is now.
His friendship with a cool guy from Osborn High called Deshaun Holton ( Big Proof) formerly known as Maximum would increase his will to do something in rap music. Both friends would meet after school and enjoy rhyming for fun, juggling with syllables like acrobats in a circus.
At the time Eminem was still M&M and Proof went by the stage name Maximum, the two young men shared their common passion for compound rhymes. Overshadowed by Eminem’s overwhelming success, Deshaun Holton happened to be Marshall’s mentor, his guide, his everlasting friend in good and bad times. Proof was the man behind the D12 group along with his fellow friend and emcee Rufus Johnson, better known to the world as Bizarre.
Proof was an expert in freestyling and shared this passion with his friend.
His first experiment with Bassmint productions, an association of white rappers, in which he was trying to emerge wasn’t really successful. Although he already carried some good lyrical skills the emcee needed to be introduced and musically rooted into the black community- which eventually happened thanks to one of his friends, an emcee called Shortcut.
Detroit rapper Champtown who noticed the emcee’s rhyming ability, gave Eminem the chance to be featured in one of his videos named Do Da Dipity that also featured local talent Jermaine Harbin aka Uncle ILL.
Do Da Dipity wasn’t really a great debut, but rather an introduction to the black scene of Detroit.
Champtown is pictured in 8 Mile as the “Wink” character. The story behind the scenes is that Marshall Mathers cut his ties with the local artist because he seemed too much interested in Kim.
Marshall Mathers’ rapping skills in the “pre Infinite” days were really impressing. Anybody who read the lyrics to the Biterphobia song would recognize his astute wordplay.
Discovered by the Bass Brothers who lead FBT productions, the young emcee was striving more and more towards his ultimate goal: be recognized for his talent.
Although the lyrically strong Infinite album that-obviously-lacked some technical means, was rejected by the mainstream public, you could envision some good, promising talent. It was like a demo tape that showed some strong hip hop influences like Nas, for instance. But Eminem had yet to define a more personal style. He also had to drop some of the positive light in which he exposed some of his themes, as it faced rejection from the public.
What did the public exactly want? It can be summarized in two words: shock value.
Influenced by Bizarre and the Outsidaz of New Jersey, Eminem gave birth to a scary alter ego, Slim Shady, who would open up the door to legions of admirers and allow him to stalk the face of the earth with no remorse.
The well constructed Slim Shady Ep would be followed by the Slim Shady LP. Another element, that can be considered as a weakness and a strength at the same time, surfaced in Eminem’s music: the personal dimension.
At the time he wrote his albums, Marshall Mathers was facing a lot of anger in his personal life with his manipulative baby’s mom Kim, who constantly used their common daughter Hailie as a weapon. Piss Eminem off and you’ll be sure to be featured in his songs. That’s how Kim became immortalized in his albums.
Eminem went so personal with his public that he shared his dysfunctional past, the name of his former workplace, friends, wife, daughter…anybody close enough to be part of his life would appear in his songs. Some of them would have to support the artist’s ire.
With his growing success, the release of his masterpiece, the Marshall Mathers LP, some justified fears invaded the artist’s mind. The fear of a mad stalker acting crazy, as it appears in the song Stan is always present, as a dark shadow. Because of his personal approach in his music, Eminem exposed himself to a bunch of mad stalkers who never seem to understand that his warnings are addressed to them personally.
The pressure of the music industry, his hectic life inspired him to write Saying Goodbye To Hollywood in the Eminem Show…some people just don’t realize what an artist’s life is like…many people wish for a big fortune, but do they realize how you must feel when you cannot step outside without wearing a mask and being followed by 150 people…
The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show carried some genius songs like Drug Ballad that is so complex lyrically and instrumentally that very few people will understand its subtle structure. Some directed and justified anger towards the media and even his own label, made The Way I Am’s
The Eminem Show went very analytical and political. It punched the Bush administration right in the face. Square Dance carried some Southern rap influences and Till I Collapse was marked by a strong personal determination, encouraging people to carry on strength, no matter what.
While Encore still had some very good songs like Mosh and Like Toy Soldiers, it seemed to show a little bit of artistic fatigue.
Eminem’s pill addiction forced him to stop touring in 2005. A second divorce with Kim and Proof ‘s death in April 2006, a few days later, increased Eminem’s addiction problems.
After five years of absence, we learn from the artist’s mouth that an overdose nearly killed him in December 2007. Pain and artistic creativity often work close together…walking through the dark tunnel of his own addiction, Eminem was inspired to release Relapse.
Although I am not so fond of Relapse, I still value the artist’s narrative skills and his very personal approach of this addiction history.
Addiction didn’t kill him and Marshall Mathers came out stronger out of all this. After all, I am glad he is still kicking and pretty much alive on stage. Shouldn’t we all be?
Copyright by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Eminem teaches Jimmy Kimmel how to rap…

A friend recently recorded and sent me The Jimmy Kimmel Show of May the 19th, featuring Eminem and Mike Tyson. I had a lot of fun watching it. It tends to prove that Eminem hasn’t lost an ounce of his sense of humor. He was in great spirits and in good physical shape too. Being clean suits him well and despite the fact I don’t like his recent album that much, I saw him performing and I do think that he is still a great performer. The show was bananas- for real. I also enjoyed Mike Tyson’s part. On a side note, my prayers go out to the Tyson family: Mike Tyson lost his 4 year old daughter in a tragic accident recently:(
Now I came accross something really funny on Jimmy Kimmel’s website: you gotta enjoy Jimmy Kimmel learning how to rap. Looks like he’s got the right teacher.
Enjoy, folks.
Due to a busy schedule I haven’t been able to write much personal stuff like reviews and articles, but an interesting interview ( with a mystery artist lol) should be in the works and a CD review is coming soon.

Exclusive Biba Adams interview!

When Biba Adams asked me for an interview, I truly felt honored. This skilled Detroit lady is not just anybody: she has made a name in Detroit for her work and engagement towards her City and Detroit hip hop. If you come accross her articles, she will manage to raise emotions and transport you into her universe…many thanks, Biba, you are a great writer and journalist:)
1. What motivated you at first to become a writer?
I have always been a writer. I wrote my first short story at 9, and I would write a lot of stories and little novels most of my early life. However, I happened to luck up on doing a hip-hop column for Real Detroit Weekly (a newspaper here in Detroit) in November of 2003. I was trying to get a job as an advertising sales person, but I got the job of a hip-hop columnist instead. My first article was a cover story on Jay-Z.
2. According to you what are your main strengths as a person and as a writer?
I think my main strengths as a writer are the same as my main strength as a person. I am a very emotional and sensitive woman. I think my emotion and sensitivity make me a great writer because it makes people feel my words. I think people feel what I am saying and the feeling with which I write. I have the ability to help people feel my passion. I think that is a great strength, of course, it can be a weakness too, I could probably never write about politics, or sports, I am not a numbers person, I am not cut and dried. Music is emotional, and so am I. So, that’s why I do so well with music/entertainment journalism.
3. Did the city of Detroit influence your writing style? If so, to what extent?
I think Detroit definitely influenced me in general. Except for a short time here and there, I have always lived here. Being in Detroit, from Detroit, is a really cool experience. Detroiters are definitely underdogs, we are not very well-respected in national and even international media. People have this misconception of my city that we are all being held hostage, surrounded by criminals, that Detroit is an extraordinarily violent place. It can be a dangerous place, but can all urban centers. I have had a very happy and peaceful life here. There are a lot of abandoned buildings, but there are also a lot of extraordinarily beautiful homes. There are mansions in Detroit, in the city limits. There is a lot of water, so we enjoy beautiful shore lines and the serenity of living off a large river. We are a border city, so we can stand and stare into Canada. Detroit has so much culture, so much history, it is a beautiful place to live. That is what influenced me. I live in a really wonderful city. Detroit has influenced me, specifically, Detroit hip-hop has influenced me because it’s hard to hear so much amazing music and know that the world may never hear it. That’s painful, it hurts, and so, I’m driven to get the word out about my friends.
4. Not only are you an excellent writer, but you are also pretty much involved into the Detroit hip hop scene. What do you like in particular with the Detroit scene?
What’s not to like?! Like I said in one of my posts, and I say all the time, it’s a great blessing to be friends with and fans of a musical artist. I get to do that with dozens of people. These are people that I truly love. This is my extended family. My love for many of Detroit’s music artists is beyond superficial, many of us have been friends for ten years. We love each other, we love each other’s families, and children. We have dated each other, had kids with each other, we are all so interwoven and interconnected, we have been having one long connected experience. What we have here in Detroit is very special. It’s something most people could probably never understand.
5. Who is your favorite local artist and why?
My favorite local artist is Royce Da 5’9”. I think Royce is the best that Detroit has to offer lyrically. Royce is a consummate artist. He can be a battle rapper, he can be a skilled lyricist, he can slice with his words like a surgeons scalpel or like a chainsaw. He can also be a storyteller and is just an incredible artist. I also love him dearly as a person. I value his friendship, he is very funny, and very genuine. He is just an incredible person. I think he will be huge very soon. I envision him being a Grammy award winner. I want that for him.
6. You have known Deshaun Holton aka Proof personally. You are also the author of a very moving article about RIP Proof.
A few words about the man and the artist?
Proof was a wonderful person. He was the funniest man I knew. He had such an inner light. When he would walk into a room, people would just light up being in his presence. He could make a boring party, a better party. He was very sweet and very affectionate. He loved to kiss. He would kiss everyone on their cheek. And he knew so much about everyone, he was a secret-keeper, and he was not judgmental at all, I loved that about him. He was very genuine and a very good person. He is very much missed. As an artist, Proof was an incredible wordsmith, he would rhyme any word and he was a freestyler the likes of which most people could never understand. I remember that he would rap for hours. He was great. He was a good person. He was good to everyone and he made everyone feel special. I miss that.
7. As a testimony to your presence to Eminem’s recent come back concert in Detroit, you have written a very moving article entitled “ Relapse” in which you are exploring Marshall Mathers’ emotional side at the concert. Would you mind sharing your emotions/ impressions about the show with all of us?
Marshall is a very interesting person. He is very shy, actually, very reserved when you are around him. Because of how huge he got in such a short time, it affected him a lot of different ways. I didn’t know him before he was famous, when I met him, it was just before his second album, he was still somewhat easy to get close to, but even then he wasn’t very trusting, but he respects people who respect him. As far as the show and the album, I think it’s a great project. I know that it had to be hard for him to write and record without drugs, because they were such a big part of his life. Now not only is he drug free, but he doesn’t have Proof to lean on, he is in the midst of a new life. I think that Relapse is less about going back to drugs, but relapsing into his musical life. Relapsing into being a rapper and everything that comes with it. He is a good person, and I care for him deeply. I would love to work with Shady Records in a larger capacity. I hope that we get the chance to work on some projects together soon.
8. Who would you consider a model in terms of writing? Do you have a local or national / foreign writer who is a great source of inspiration to you?
I don’t really have a model in terms of writing. I am an avid reader. I read a lot. I love fiction, and I am a huge Stephen King fan. I love Harry Potter, I think those books changed my life. The visual quality of the work, made me want to raise the bar. I like to read music biographies about all different kinds of artists. I think that in terms of Journalists that I look up to, I would have to say, Nelson George, Bakari Kitwana, Anselm Samuel, Dream Hampton, Aliya S. King, and Kim Osorio, would have to be some that I really admire because they write about black music and they were very influential at a time when we, as fans, needed them the most.
9. Which publications/ books do you currently have at your active?
I am currently reading a lot of spiritual books because I am trying to be a better person. I read a lot of Deepak Chopra, I love his work and his teaching, I would love to spend time with him. His work taught me a lot. I am planning to start a new Stephen King, and I just pick up stuff. I am kinda reading a book called The Tipping Point, planning to revisit The Celestine Prophecy, and planning to read Conversations with God, and all of Paulo Coehlo books. That’s a goal. This summer, I will be teaching reading and writing to high schoolers, after that, I plan to build my business and travel. I hope to go to Brazil for three weeks, and plan to read a lot then.
10. What are your future writing projects for 2009/2010?
I am hoping that I get a grant to write a book documenting Detroit’s hip-hop history. This has been a goal of mine for about five years. Hopefully, I will get enough money to take a year off work and just focus on getting the book done. I am also working on some historical projects. Trying to have St. Andrews Hall declared a historic landmark, and get a mural done on the side of the building. I am trying to do a Detroit photojournalism exhibit. Just focus on preserving, promoting, and protecting Detroit hip-hop, that’s my life’s goal.
11. What would be your advice to aspiring journalists/ writers?
My advice to aspiring writers would just be…write. There are so many outlets for writers now with the internet. You can be a successful blogger, you can get in with a good site. I say just read a lot and work on your craft. I’ve been as successful as I have because I chose a niche, I focus on Detroit and because of that specialty, I get a lot of opportunity.
12. Where would you envision yourself-professionally speaking- within the next 5 years?
I would have to answer the question from the personal side first, I hope to marry the man I love and have his children, I hope we can build his business, and make that the center of our family life. Meanwhile, I would continue to work on my writing career and my music publicity career. In five years, I hope to have published my Detroit hip-hop music book, a novel or two, I would like to have been featured in all the major music publications as a writer and or interview subject. I hope to lecture about Detroit hip-hop history and enlighten people all over the world about the rich musical legacy of my hometown. Detroit, there is no place like my home. Peace, Isabelle, thank you.
Copyright by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Eminem: Inside the comeback ( Ew Dot Com)

Wow…I never thought I’d post so many articles on the “Eminem theme”…but the artist’s comeback has changed a lot of things, there are loads of news and infos circulating on the net…but the most important articles are, of course, the most accurate- like the following one that contains the inside story of what Marshall Mathers really went through since the cancellation of his European tour in 2005…have a look…feel free to comment:)

Read the original article here.
He vanished. He nearly died. Now, after years of drug addiction and a scary overdose, ”Relapse” arrives, and one of rap’s master lyricist’s is back in the game. Will this revealing new album put him on top again?
By Simon Vozick-Levinson
Eminem is running late: 1,200 fans are packed in front of an outdoor L.A. stage for the taping of the rapper’s May 15 Jimmy Kimmel Live appearance, waiting for a set that should have started 45 minutes ago. It’s Eminem’s first major U.S. music performance after a mysterious four-year absence from public view — or at least it’s supposed to be. But hey, what’s a few more minutes when fans have been waiting for this comeback for so long, wondering where the world’s most famous rapper had disappeared to?
At last, Eminem bounds onto the stage, joined by his touring DJ, the Alchemist, and rapper (and longtime pal) Denaun Porter. The crowd chants along as he tears through a few tunes from his long-promised album, Relapse (which will hit stores four days later, on May 19). When Eminem finishes, they plead in vain for ”one more song!”
They’re not the only ones hungry for more. In the weeks leading up to its release, Relapse has been hailed by critics and fans — many of whom heard it when it leaked earlier this month — as a landmark in the 36-year-old rapper’s career, a stunning return to form from the man who is arguably contemporary rap’s most talented lyricist. Even the competition is impressed. ”I think that the ‘Insane’ song is genius,” Kanye West tells EW, referring to one of Relapse’s most outrageous tracks.
Relapse is already shaping up to be one of summer’s most talked-about albums — and, quite likely, one of its biggest. Two early singles have made digital history. In February, ”Crack a Bottle” sold a record 418,000 downloads in its first week. It was Eminem’s first No. 1 since 2002’s ”Lose Yourself.” Two months later, another song, ”We Made You,” racked up 758,000 views on MTV.com in its first 24 hours alone, the highest single-day total by far in the site’s history. The weekend before its release, Relapse was streamed more than 7 million times on MySpace Music.
Yet for all that, the album almost didn’t get made. As Eminem launches into his big comeback, he’s finally opening up about the past four years, when he shunned the spotlight amid dark rumors of drug abuse and depression. The scariest part is how many of those tales turned out to be true. Tonight, Eminem is back. But he had to go through a personal hell to get here.
In August 2005, Eminem was in trouble. Just over a month into the massively successful Anger Management 3 tour, he abruptly canceled all 10 remaining dates. ”Exhaustion,” he claimed at first. But the truth was far more worrisome: Eminem was headed to rehab. All through the tour, he’d been popping dozens of powerful prescription pills every day. ”I was taking Valium, Ambien, and Vicodin,” he writes in a remarkably revealing first-person essay recently published in Vibe magazine. ”And I was taking a lot. If I was to give you a number of Vicodin I would actually take in a day? Anywhere between 10 and 20. Valium, Ambien, the numbers got so high I don’t even know what I was taking.” Alan ”The Alchemist” Maman, a pre-fame acquaintance who started working as Eminem’s DJ on that ill-fated tour, was surprised at the time to learn of Em’s drug abuse. ”That was one of the worst parts of his addiction,” he says now. ”He knew how to disguise it.” Eminem lasted only about two weeks in rehab, ditching the program and diving right back into drugs.
That’s when things got really bad. In the spring of 2006, Eminem’s life seemed to fall apart all at once. First he split up with his wife, Kim, filing for divorce on April 5, just 82 days after their second wedding (they had previously divorced in 2001). Theirs had been a notoriously troubled union, marked by public disputes, lawsuits, and Eminem’s lyrical fantasies about gruesomely murdering her. Eminem agreed to share custody of their daughter, Hailie Jade, then 10 years old.
The very next week, Eminem’s best friend was gunned down during a bar fight on Detroit’s 8 Mile Road. DeShaun ”Proof” Holton was the skilled rapper who’d provided the basis for Mekhi Phifer’s character in 8 Mile. He had been Eminem’s closest confidant since the age of 14. ”I have never felt so much pain in my life,” Eminem wrote in his 2008 memoir, The Way I Am. ”His death brought me to my knees.”
How do you cope with a loss like that? Where do you go after that moment of extraordinary pain? Eminem just hid. More Valium, more Vicodin, more, more, more: Behind the scenes, Eminem’s life had become one long medication binge.
One afternoon around Christmas of 2007, Eminem overdosed on methadone pills, collapsing in the bathroom of his Detroit mansion. Days after leaving the hospital, he underwent knee surgery (for an old injury) and started gobbling painkillers again. ”I thought it was a sign of weakness to have an addiction,” he writes in Vibe. ”I didn’t even want to believe it was a disease. But I realized it when I f—ing almost died and then I still went back to using. I literally almost died.”
In the spring of 2008, Eminem dragged himself to rehab again. With the help of a doctor, a treatment program, and advice from his friend Elton John, who knows a thing or two about recovery, he got clean for good. ”There’s something that triggers in my brain that will not allow me to stop when I take one of whatever it may be,” he said in an interview on his Sirius XM channel, Shade 45, last week. ”I am taking every step every day, which is a lifelong process…. You have to say, ‘I’m an addict. I’m powerless over this s—.”’
Even during his lowest points, Eminem had been working on music constantly. But once he got sober — the date was April 20, 2008, he remembers clearly — the rapper discarded almost all the unreleased tracks he’d made on drugs. In the months that followed, he redoubled his efforts to craft a suitable comeback record. While Eminem had handled the bulk of his last few albums’ production, this time he handed beatmaking duties to his longtime mentor Dr. Dre, giving himself room to focus on honing his lyrics.
Sobriety also made Eminem easier to be around. Gone was the erratic temper of his drug years. Instead, those who worked with him on Relapse describe a total pro. ”He was very focused,” says actor Mathew St. Patrick (Six Feet Under), who voiced the role of an EMT in the skit ”Mr. Mathers” (one of many tracks that dramatize Eminem’s journey to rock bottom). ”He knew what he wanted, and he’s really articulate about how to go about getting it.”
His friends say Eminem is totally changed. ”I can’t even explain how in the zone he is,” says the Alchemist. ”I think some of the drugs make you introverted and antisocial. Maybe everybody got accustomed to that with Em, because that became part of his personality. But now that’s all gone. The funny guy and the creativity are all still there. Maybe he had to almost die for it to happen, but man, he’s on point.”
Finally, on April 4 of this year, Eminem returned to public view. Downtown Cleveland was humming with anticipation that evening, gearing up for his comeback moment: inducting his childhood heroes Run-DMC into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Darryl ”DMC” McDaniels recalls that night as ”a crazed scene. He’s such a large star that the whole buzz is ‘Is Em in the building? Anybody seen him?’ He was trying to be so secretive. After he did the induction, we went backstage and posed for press pictures. The first thing out of his mouth was ‘Yo, I’ve never been so scared in my life.”’
He needn’t have worried. Eminem delivered a moving tribute to Run-DMC that night, and since then he’s wasted no time reminding the world of what they’d been missing in his absence. Three days after the Hall of Fame ceremony, he released a video for first single ”We Made You,” which pokes fun at celebrities from Jessica Simpson to Sarah Palin. The message was clear: The potty-mouthed pop culture satirist par excellence was back. Yet anyone expecting a fun party album is in for a shock. Relapse is Eminem’s darkest work yet, delving deep into visions of violence and mental disturbance. The second single, ”3 a.m.,” finds him rapping maniacally about a drug-fueled killing spree. ”He wanted a performance in a bloody bathtub,” says James Larese of Syndrome, the team that directed the gory ”3 a.m.” clip. ”He’s on a serial-killer vibe, and he wanted to play that up.”
The rest of Relapse is even more grim. Many of Eminem’s new songs depict his drug years in terms that seem to alternate between raw honesty and wild hyperbole. And though rumors have spread that his estranged and reportedly ailing mother, Debbie Nelson, is eager for a reconciliation, a song titled ”My Mom” takes aim at her as viciously as ever. (”Don’t get me wrong,” he said during last week’s Sirius XM interview. ”At the end of the day, she is my mother and I do love her.”) It all adds up to a level of violence, misogyny, and homophobia that can feel as numbing as any of the prescription meds Eminem incessantly raps about consuming.
Yet Eminem’s colleagues believe that Relapse’s shocking subject matter is a key part of his healing process. ”His music is his therapy,” says DMC, who lost a friend of his own to gun violence (Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay was murdered in 2002) and subsequently went to rehab for alcoholism. ”I can relate to everything he’s saying. [Expressing] those dark, depressing times, that’s what rock ‘n’ roll is supposed to do.” ”3 a.m.” codirector Larese agrees: ”He went through a lot of s—, and he’s just now ready to deal with it. This is how it’s manifesting. You can look at this as ‘Man, he’s really dark.’ But in person, he’s such a cool, calm, relaxed guy. This is a catharsis for him.” It might even be helping his recovery. ”I think it’s very healthy,” says Harold Owens, senior director of the MusiCares addiction program. ”That is so far away from being in denial.”
Of course, it’s also pretty distant from typical pop-chart fare, and despite early positive indications, it’s unclear just how huge Relapse will end up being. Though ”Crack a Bottle” hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, it was bumped off the next week by Flo Rida’s ”Right Round.” Relapse’s other singles, meanwhile, have mostly faded at radio. ”Five years ago, if an Eminem record came out, putting it on was a no-brainer,” says Lee Cagle, program director at Atlanta’s 95.5 The Beat. ”Now? Not so much.”
The story is vastly different when it comes to other media. ”He continues to be a staple here,” says MTV executive vice president Amy Doyle, who oversees music strategy for all MTV networks. ”Everything we do with him gets a huge reaction.” And MySpace Music president Courtney Holt says interest in Relapse is even higher online: ”Regardless of where he is in terms of radio chart position, I can tell you that his audience is looking for this record.”
Either way, Eminem may have already scored his most meaningful success with Relapse just by finishing it — and by finally turning his life around and emerging from those desperate few years. ”There’s an enthusiasm in his music that I think he’s been missing, and I think he knows that,” says journalist Sacha Jenkins, who did the interviews that became The Way I Am. ”I get the sense that for Em, he’s happy to be alive.”

Relapse, by Biba Adams

Before I get my interview with Biba Adams ready for you all, I would like to share with you her very emotional article about Eminem’s show yesterday in Detroit…Enjoy the way she words everything:)
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
I know the prayer by heart. I’ve been to a couple meetings. I’ve declined certain medications because of “tendencies of dependency”. Hey, I work in the music industry, the only job in the world where drinking on the job is rewarded.
However, Marshall Mathers III is drug free. After years of being high (remember the Rolling Stone cover?), my friend, Marshall is sober and he wears it well. He’s lost a ton of weight and he looks better than he did years ago. After emerging from darkness the likes of which no normal person has ever seen, or would ever survive. He made it out and lived to tell the tale.
I attended the Relapse release party as a guest of the Shady one himself. Plus one. I rolled through with one of my closest friends, one who keeps a good eye on “the package” as I have often heard celebrity handlers refer to their charges. My homeboy keeps me sober(ish), sane and on my toes and it works, it’s a good relationship.
Tonight I partied with Detroit music industry elite and realized that I can count myself in that equation. I watched Eminem on stage and thought about the ten long years that have gone by since he became a part of my life.
It’s a great blessing to be a fan and a friend of a music artist. I get to do it all the time. I feel this incredible energy and excitement when I see Black Milk, Slum Village, Royce Da 5’9” on stage, but that energy is magnified when I see Eminem rocking a crowd. Probably because he has been called the “Greatest Rapper Alive” a title that I dispute categorically as a staunch Jay-Z fan, but he is definitely number two, as in he is “the shit”.
He is also someone that I call a friend. Now, we don’t hang out. We don’t send each other Christmas cards, and a year may go by before I see him. But, when I see him, its hugs and smiles, and a level of respect that comes from mutual admiration. When I say, “I love you, Marshall.” He says, “I love you too.” Which is kind of a big deal.
When Em took the stage tonight, I was nervous. It’s been a while since I’ve seen him perform, and I hadn’t ever seen him without Proof, (God Bless the Dead). I was looking at his face from my perch on the second level of the Motor City Casino Sound Stage, a venue that I have never been in, but hope to return to. I found that I was more comfortable standing at the bar sipping expensive beer and watching the monitors with an eagle eye.
I was looking at his face. His newfound gauntness which looks good on him, I was looking in his blue eyes trying to gauge his true emotions. I saw nervousness; I even saw a little fear, which also looked good on him. He was hungry again, and that made me feel good. His unease reminded me that despite the fact that he is worth almost half a billion dollars, he’s human and he worries like a human being does. In a way that only a man does.
I also saw triumph. The kind of triumph that an athlete has who has suffered a devastating loss, but returned to champion level performance has. I saw him rock a crowd minus his right arm, and he did well. He inspired me with his winning spirit. He made me want to write. He made me want to save the world starting with my little corner of it. He made me believe in Detroit, in myself, in hip-hop, again.
So, I hope he sells a million copies this week. I feel confident about it. I hope he smiles more often. I hope he realizes that like I said in an article 5 years ago that he could fall backwards into the arms of Detroit, Michigan and we will always catch him, there is a level of trust there that is unmatched by any other artist in any other city.
I have an allegiance to this white boy. He told me once that an article I wrote was one of the best he ever read about himself. Me a fledgling journalist and him a diamond selling superstar, he thanked me for my work and he has consistently rewarded me. And now, as he takes this new step forward into a life post-Proof, I walk the line with him. And from the turnout at tonight’s concert, we are not alone.
We have all relapsed. We are Detroit. May God have mercy on us all.