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 â€” 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 â€” many of whom heard it when it leaked earlier this month â€” 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 â€” 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 â€” the date was April 20, 2008, he remembers clearly â€” 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 â€” 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.”