In a past interview, Detroit rapper Eminem revealed that there was an “intimidation factor” when it concerned Rick Rubin serving as one of the executive producers on his latest album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2. And during an interview with Zane Lowe of BBC Radio 1, the rapper revealed that he initially had reservations about recruiting the Def Jam Records co-founder.
“I had my reservations just because I felt like I would probably be—I’m a super fan of Rick, so I’d probably be a little nervous and I don’t know what the vibe would be because I would be wanting to impress him,” said Em. “You know what I’m saying? So, it was very much kinda like the feeling that I got early on with Dre…So, I was nervous to meet him and even more nervous to work with.”
Prior to speaking on Rubin, Eminem compared his newly-released album to its predecessor, The Marshall Mathers LP. According to the rapper, some of the topics addressed on his debut are revisited and even reflected on on The Marshall Mathers LP 2.
“Yeah, I mean, some of the themes and topics and things like that are revisited on this album,” said Em. “But at the same time I feel like it’s kind of a 2013 version. All my albums I think for the most part pretty much tell where I’m at on each one at that time period or whatever. So, this is kind of like—there’s a lot of reflecting and things like that back on everything that was happening during that time, you know? And it’s kind of like me reflecting on it and getting to the point where I am now with it.”
Eminem also spoke on coming up with a theme for his eighth studio album early on in the recording process.
“I mean some stuff, yeah. But for the most part I just felt like it might be fun to just revisit that [The Marshall Mathers LP],” he said. “Just the overall vibe of that album. Just because it kinda started to go there early on a little bit in the recording process…The tones of the records kinda were heading towards that way. And once I got—figured out where—what direction it should go in, kinda started gearing everything that way. And a lot of times making an album I don’t always have the direction or concept early on. You know what I’m saying? Sometimes it doesn’t come til like the middle, towards the end of a record. To figure out where I’m actually going with that and that’s just usually the culmination of songs depending on what the vibe is, but sometimes I do songs that are so maybe so left field, one or two of ‘em, that it’s like ‘Oh shit, where am I gonna put these songs and now what am I gonna call it?’”
In an interview at the top of the month, Rick Rubin offered his thoughts on Eminem, referring to the rapper as an artist who is extremely focused on his craft.
“I would say Em is unusual in that he’s a grown-up who is as dedicated and focused on music as…I can’t imagine he was ever more so at any other time because it’s full-on all the time, 24 hours a day. Whether he’s working on a record, not working on a record, he’s writing all the time. Full time,” said Rubin during an interview with Complex.