Published Monday June 14, The New York Times asked Eminem about his June 21 release Recovery. The Detroit superstar’s latest album is led by empowering messages, heard in the Boi-1da-produced “Not Afraid” . However, writer Deborah Solomon wanted to asked Em how this theme stacked against his Slim Shady alter-ego, which endorsed drug use and misogyny.

“There was so much stuff like that off [Relapse] that I felt like I was starting to run it into the ground. I think consciously I went in a different direction with this record,” explained Eminem, noting that “Slim Shady” still exists.

On the subject of misogynistic lyrics within Eminem’s catalog, the rapper noted, “Anything I’ve ever said, I certainly was feeling at the time. But I think I’ve calmed down a bit. My overall look on things is a lot more mature than it used to be.” Further pressed about his previous gay-bashing or homophobic lyrics, Eminem said that at 37 years old, he considers himself tolerant.

Read the full New York Times Eminem interview here.