Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is set to be released November 5. The album was also made available for streaming through iTunes Radio yesterday (November 1).
"I feel like right now I'm probably working harder than I've ever worked in my life," Eminem says in the interview. "And I've probably worked harder on this record than any other record aside from maybe the time period during The Eminem Show, which is a little hazy 'cause just so much shit was going on at that time. Just being so busy with The Eminem Show and doing the 8 Mile movie, and the soundtrack and the score to the movie. This is probably the equivalent of that but all focused on the record mostly."
Eminem also says that focus was particularly heightened by the title of this project.
"Once I had the direction that I wanted to go, and you know calling it The Marshall Mathers LP 2, obviously I knew that there might be certain expectations," Eminem says. "Like, I wouldn't want to just call it that just for the sake of calling it that. So I wanted to make sure that I had the right songs to be able to call it that. So, a lot of recording. A lot of songs that people probably will never hear. We hit a couple of road blocks. There were songs where the beat leaked or a producer sold the beat to someone else or whatever. And just when you think you got it or you got the right amount of songs you go back and you listen and you're like, 'Fuck man! I feel like it needs this or this' to paint the whole picture."
During the interview, Eminem is asked if he's proud of the album.
"That's a tough question," he says. "For the most part, yeah. But I don't know if I ever feel totally great about a record when I put it out. With every record that I put out, someone has literally got to come pry it from me because when I listen to my own music, I just hear flaws in it. Like I hear 'Oh fuck! I could have done this better or that better!' And I'll work it to death. Obviously if I wasn't comfortable with it, I wouldn't put it out. But from the beginning, ever since my career started, I don't know if I've ever been totally like, this is completely it."
Eminem Discusses The Marshall Mathers LP, Relapse & Recovery
Beyond his discussion about his upcoming release, Eminem also speaks about The Marshall Mathers LP, his diamond-certified album released in 2000.
"It's probably my favorite," Eminem says. "I think some of them are my favorites for different reasons. Hate to even say that about my own record, but I mean the first three records, I think they may have captured a time period. And then I think I pretty much probably have publicly said, you know, Encore and Relapse wasn't – it was just a different time."
Eminem notes that Tyler, The Creator continues to say he is a big fan of Relapse.
"Yeah, he tells me that every time I see him," Eminem says. "I don't hate the record. I want to rap and be able to always try to do my best lyrically, but at the same time find the right balance between that and making the right songs. And you know, I don't know if I necessarily found that balance yet, because I was just getting sober and just kind of finding my feet again and so there was a lot of songs that were just like, 'Ha ha, this is funny.' You know, walking around and joking around with your friends and shit and it ends up on the record and you're laughing about it. Because when I got sober it was like – I've said this before – but it just was like, 'Oh shit! I can think straight again.' So I don't know if that record was particularly my best work as far as songs, writing songs that felt like something, that brought some kind of emotion. I ran accents into the ground. I got stuck on that kind of serial killer, crazy vibe and just kind of went with it."
During the Rolling Stone interview, Eminem also explains how he feels about his most recent release, Recovery.
"I feel like that record I finally got back to where I was at maybe during The Eminem Show," he says. "Like, creatively and songwriting, I guess. I mean obviously Recovery was the first time I had ever worked with that many producers outside of our camp. Aside from working with Dre, it was like I always wanted to produce my own records, because producing is fun to me too. One of the things that was cool for me about that record was getting beats that already had choruses on them. It's kind of like a challenge to myself to be able to hear somebody else's hook and kind of interpret the words. Because my own hooks, I already know what I mean when I write them. The way that I do music is, like, regardless of what the beat is and whatever kind of appeal it may or may not have, I always want to try to go as hard lyrically as I can. So regardless if the beat feels like, 'Wow maybe this could be played on the radio,' I'm not like, 'Maybe radio would play this so I'll just wing it.' Like, I always have looked at it like I want to approach every record from an emcee's aspect."