Eminem speaks on "Rap God," his personal "Top 5" list of emcees, and his own presence in that discussion.
We didn't hear from Eminem for years, but with MMLPII dropping this week, his recent promo train has been inescapable. The Detroit rapper sat down with Shade 45's Sway for an in-depth interview to talk about the album, his presence in the "Top 5" discussion, as well as sharing his own personal list.
"I don't know because I kind of stopped counting bars," Em said of how long it took him to write MMLPII highlight, "Rap God". "The beat was so crazy when I first heard it. It just made me wanna write. For some reason that hook popped in my head, and it kind of took off from there."
Em then joked that the endlessly assonant and multisyllabic rhyme scheme in the track was actually the result of a freestyle. "[It took] 6 minutes. I freestyled it, that was off the top of the dome." he said, briefly cracking up. "Nah, I don't know how long it took to write it. It just happened."
Em then weighed in on his presence in the conversation of the greatest rappers of all time, which he revealed is extremely relative.
"It depends on who's conversation. If I'm in it, then I'm honored. If I'm not, then it is what it is." he said. "The thing about music is that everyone has a different opinion. Your top 5, top 10, may be completely different than mine. I think that everybody who competitively raps, which is probably most rappers, wants to be that. If you don't, then why are you rapping?" he argued, concluding, "even to be thrown in that conversation by anyone is an honor."
When asked to list his favorite rappers of all time, Em was a bit taken aback. "I don't know if I can put an order on it. I would probably say all time... LL would have to be in there." he began, having trouble limiting his list to 3. "There's too many I wanna throw up in there. Run DMC, Beastie Boys, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Treach..."
After weighing in on his collaboration with Kendrick, we also got to see a clip of Lamar talking about the collaborative process for "Love Game". "It's definitely reassurance that I need to keep approaching [music] the way I approach it," said K.Dot. "You're only good as your last song, your last verse, your last hook, your last show — and going in with that mind state already, I had to put that in my head times 10 because this is Eminem. This is one of the greatest guys to do it. So I had that mentality walking in there and I put my best foot forward."
Listen to the full interview below.