“When I made the record ‘Talkin’ 2 Myself,’ what I was basically talking about [was] with the time period that I was away,” Eminem says. “I was kind of watching what was going on in the game and it was like anything that was hot at that moment or anybody who was really killing shit at that moment I felt like—I felt so bad about myself and the music that I was creating, that I felt like I started to turn into a hater. And it wasn’t just—you know, singling Kanye and Wayne out at that time period, I mean they were the one’s who were the killing it the most to me. And it hurt. I’d pop the CD in and be like, ‘Fuck man, I’m not doing this no more.’ I felt like I came very close to like, for me it would have been career suicide because I felt like, ‘I should make a song just dissing everybody who’s doing in it the game right now.’”
“Talkin’ 2 Myself,” which appeared on Em’s 2010 album Recovery, references both Lil Wayne and Kanye West specifically. “Hatred was flowing through my veins, on the verge of going insane,” he raps, “I almost made a song dissing Lil Wayne.”
Asked if he ever wrote any explicit dis lyrics against the rappers, Em said he didn’t. “I just had the thoughts, just walking around the studio,” he said. “I think that deep down I just wasn’t happy with myself, man. I knew that there were some really dark moments in there. When I think about how my thought process was when I was high a lot, it wasn’t good, man, and it certainly wasn’t me ‘cause I’m not even that kind of person.”
During the interview Eminem also answered a question about not feeling comfortable returning to music without the use of drugs. “That was another thing,” he said. “It was like, ‘Nah. I didn’t.’ During that time period, I couldn’t see myself even being able to do anything sober: talk to people, have a conversation, go to the studio, record, watch movies. I couldn’t do anything without being high. It was to the point that I was taking pills just not to feel sick.”
Speaking on different hiatus periods throughout his career, Eminem talked about never stepping fully away from music despite not releasing new material.
“I never really left the business,” he said. “Actually, I am the type of person that does [have] to do music. This is my passion, this is what I’m so passionate about. I don’t know how long I”m gonna keep doing it for, I’ll take that as it comes. But I do need music…It’s my therapy. It just feels good to get it out.”
Talking about how he spent those non-release years, the rapper said he was often still in the studio. “It depends on what timeframe it was,” he says. “I would say from Encore to Relapse I think everybody knows that story as far what I spent a lot of time doing. Basically just in the lab, spent a lot of time trying to reassess my career, what I wanna do, how I wanna sound I guess, and just, you know, in the lab.”
Seemingly referencing his years of substance abuse, Eminem also said “right now it feels good to me” before recalling, “there were times where it didn’t feel good to be me.”
Both segments of Eminem’s interview with Big Boy are available below.