Eminem says it took ‘a long time’ for his brain to work again after a 2007 overdose
Eminem’s manager was so concerned about his star client’s health after a near-fatal overdose in 2007 that he feared Slim Shady would never be the same again. “It took a long time to get my brain working again,” Em told longtime executive Paul Rosenberg on this week’s episode of the Paul Pod podcast on SiriusXM’s Shade45.
“You were literally coming off an overdose and they had to stabilize you with some drugs. And some of them took a minute to adjust to you — let’s just leave it at that,” Rosenberg recalled. “So, you’re literally learning how to rap again, right? Because this is the first time, probably, that you haven’t put substances in your body… in years, right?”
It was so bad, Mathers said, that he remembers Rosenberg asking the medical team a very important question. “When I first started rapping again and sent it to you, didn’t you ask the doctor, ‘I just want to make sure he doesn’t get brain damage,’ didn’t you?” Shady asked. Rosenberg said he was definitely concerned about M’s ability to rap again at the time.
And then, when the song “Detroit Basketball” came out, Rosenberg said his fears were revealed because, “It wasn’t good.” Em said he thinks it was literally the first song he ever wrote. “And it was weird, because my brain was turned on again… I started going through lines, like, ‘Wait, that’s not good.'”
The good news is that Rosenberg said it didn’t take long for his star client to bounce back. “It happens quickly. It was certainly relevant, but we’re only talking about a period of five or six months,” he said. The first session back was in Florida, where Sheedy recalled that his “skin was itching,” which he didn’t realize at the time was a sign that the drugs were getting out of his system while he was still actively withdrawing.
“I was taking 75-80 Valium a night,” Eminem said, adding that both men were amazed that he survived such a potentially fatal night’s dose. Florida Dr. The sessions with Dre took a while to click, but once they did the blackout murder song “3 A.M. Things started coming together. “I just started watching f–king serial killer documentaries,” Marshall gushes on the song about wanting to sound like a “stupid” serial killer.
The rhyme partners agreed that the best song Em ever made was Curtain Call: The Hits bonus track “Fak,” though Rosenberg admitted it wasn’t that good. Rosenberg also recalled that Marshall left after releasing that album to deal with his recovery and returned with “an album with a bunch of f–king accents on it,” as the rapper described his 2009 relapse.
Of that collection’s infamous parade of funky sounds, Eminem said it just “built up” and got “thicker and thicker” and to this day he can’t even figure out what it was. “I didn’t really notice it and was just so excited that you’re making music and having a good time with it,” Rosenberg said. “Eventually I went to play some music for some people and they were like, ‘Yeah, he’s rapping well again but what about the accents?'”
“I remember being really happy when it first calmed down and everything was out of my system. Everything was new to me again,” M said of that time. “It [Relapse] was the first album and the first time I had fun recording in a long time.” During this good time, the MC said, he had to relearn how to really rap, and Rosenberg revealed that enough songs had been recorded that it could have been a double album, which instead became a series of Relapse: Refills and Leaks.
But contrary to popular belief, there still aren’t enough unheard songs left to make another Relapse album, Rosenberg assured fans. Em disagrees, saying that might be enough, but they are “terrible songs” that won’t see the light of day.
“He was sick, and I’m so glad you’re not brain damaged… permanently disabled from rapping again,” Rosenberg said of the chills these days when he hears a relapse song like “Underground.” At some point after recording Relapse, Eminem went back to listen to the old album and realized his new work “doesn’t feel the same right now.” Looking back now, he has no problem with rhyming or stanzas, but “they’re just syllables… I felt like I was so warped in that s–t, that I was cemented in that s–t, and then I bent back and then I went to scratch,” he said, freeing his emotions.
That’s why during the first session of 2010’s Recovery with Dre with Hawaii, Em was looking for that feel of the early Slim Shady LP days.