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 â€œtendencies of dependencyâ€. 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 â€œthe packageâ€ 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 5’9â€ on stage, but that energy is magnified when I see Eminem rocking a crowd. Probably because he has been called the â€œGreatest Rapper Aliveâ€ a title that I dispute categorically as a staunch Jay-Z fan, but he is definitely number two, as in he is â€œthe shitâ€.
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, â€œI love you, Marshall.â€ He says, â€œI love you too.â€ 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.