In keeping with his recent trend of expansive interviews, Eminem sat down with Rolling Stone magazine to discuss a myriad of topics, among them his 2004 release, Encore.

“Around the tail end of Encore, the songs started getting really goofy,” said Em of the album, which was his first solo release to garner anything less than near-universal acclaim. “‘Rain Man,’ ‘Big Weenie,’ ‘Ass Like That’ – that’s when the wheels were coming off. Every day I had a pocketful of pills, and I would just go into the studio and goof off.”

Shady, revealed he is currently working on Dr. Dre’s long-awaited Detox, also broached the difficult topic of his best friend Proof, who was gunned down in 2006. “The best way to describe Proof would be a rock. Somebody to confide in, somebody who always had your back. At this point, it’s difficult to find people I know I can trust. I still have certain friends like that, but when you lose one, man… it hit me pretty hard.”

Em admitted selfishness on his part in the grieving process. “I wasn’t the only person grieving – he left a wife and kids. But I was very much in my own grief. I was so high at his funeral. It disgusts me to say it, but I felt like it was about me. I hate myself for even thinking that.”

The interview centers on the rapper’s heavy drug abuse, which nearly ended his life in 2007. When asked whether he is ever tempted to use drugs, Eminem replied, “Honestly, no. For one thing, I try not to be in a position where I could be tempted. I’ve performed in a few clubs where there is drinking and shit, but I think even if I’d never had a drug problem, at the age I’m at, I wouldn’t want to [use] anyway. I feel like this is the time in your life where you stop doing that stuff. Time to grow up.”

As for Eminem’s sober date? “4/20. Ironically.”

The Rolling Stone issue with the exclusive Eminem interview is available for purchase now.