17 Sep The Kamikaze Interview Highlights: Every major talking point from Eminem’s four-part discussion with Sway
Eminem sat down with Sway for The Kamikaze Interview, a four-part interview that runs for just under an hour in total.
Part 1 sees Em discuss Relapse, Recovery, Revival and Kamikaze and how each project influenced the next.In part 2, he addresses Slaughterhouse’s debut album, ‘Glasshouse’, Joe Budden and explains how his beef with MGK came about.
The third segment sees the Detroit native discuss how he found Jesse Reyez, being visited by social services after dissing Donald Trump, backlash towards Colin Kapernick’s Nike campaign and his fall-out with Tyler the Creator. In the final interview, Em explains how he began collaborating with Joyner Lucas, apparently dissing Drake on ‘Lucky You’, the Grammys and D-12 splitting up.
Below is a full-breakdown of all the key highlights and questions from each of the four-parts of The Kamikaze Interview featuring Eminem and Sway.
Part 1 – Relapse, Recovery, Revival, Kamikaze
Why Kamikaze was a surprise drop
“If you say you got an album coming in two months. You give people time to say ‘he better have a song like this or I aint fucking with it. He better not be rapping like this, he better not be rapping about this, or I’m not going to fuck with it. You can go into anything before hand with the mind-set of ‘this is gonna suck’. I feel like giving them no warning was the best thing to do. When the Revival track-list came down the pipe, it was like, overwhelmingly, ‘this shit is gonna be trash’. A lot of people had already formed their opinions.
Dealing with criticism from within the hip-hop community
“I felt a bunch of different ways. Maybe because it doesn’t sound like everything else and what most people are doing, maybe that was what tainted their ear. I remember a time in hip-hop where, you had to be so different from the next person, or you were trash. There’s a shift somewhere that happened. If it doesn’t sound like everything else, then it’s trash automatically. I feel like it went beyond constructive criticism.
Using too many accents on Relapse
“So I had to go back to it. And look, I’ve made albums that definitely would not be the top of my list. Encore, Relapse. I believe Encore is a better album that Relapse. Relapse is something I looked back on after a couple years, and I cringe at it. I didn’t know I was doing so many accents.
“I just got into it. I started on this weird serial killer vibe kinda thing and started wanting to talk crazy, bending words more. And the only way you could bend them was with this accent, trying to use this one. C
“Couple years later, in making Recovery and getting out of the accents, I made Recovery. I always say that if it wasn’t for Relapse, I wouldn’t have been able to make Recovery. And if it wasn’t for Revival, I wouldn’t have been able to make this album.”
Part 2 – Joe Budden, Slaughterhouse’s debut album, ‘Glasshouse’, How MGK beef started
Relationship with Joe Budden
“I mean listen, me and Joe Budden, we’re not friends like that. When I’m out here, flying around to different places, doing interviews and trying to use my platform to pump up Slaughterhouse at every chance I get, and you’re using your platform to fucking trash me. And I’m one of the things that keeps this ship moving. You’ve got a voice in hip-hop, so you actually could be affecting this ship a little bit.
“You don’t owe me nothing. But I’ve never got in a fucking interview and been like ‘Joe Budden’s shit is fucking trash. That last album he put out, is fucking trash. That’s kinda the attitude I took to this whole album, Kamikaze. What if I give everyone my opinion about them.”
Involvement in Slaughterhouse’s self-titled debut album
“You’re critiquing these guys who are fucking wordsmiths. There’s a certain type of person who only likes the beats. Some lean towards lyrics more. There’s a certain type of person who leans towards the voice more. Everyone leans to their own thing. But I was just like ‘holy shit’. To me, the beats were crazy on that album. The only thing I did was add my little touch of sprinkling music on these tracks to try and bring out the production a little bit. I don’t even know if I did any actual beats on there, on the first album. We left the ball in their court. I didn’t want to touch other than give my opinion on songs. I didn’t want to touch it with my production. What if that is the reason they don’t sell albums? I don’t want to hinder that. We gave them another album and next thing I know I hear Joe talking about ‘who got that money’. Who got what money?”
Addressing Joe Budden’s money claim about Slaughterhouse
“I hate to say this, because I think the guys are super fucking talented, but the album didn’t do much to even recoup the first budget. Then, we spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the second album that never came out. What money didn’t you get? I don’t know if I made a fucking dime off slaughterhouse. I don’t care if I made nothing. I believed in them. I wanted them to be huge man, I really did. I wanted a group that lyrical to fucking just do everything. It definitely hurt my feelings a lot when the first album didn’t do good.”
Joe Budden’s strong critique of ‘Untouchable’
“There’s a fine line between saying, ‘you know what, this guy has really been cool with me. he’s helped me out and tried to help out on many occasions. so i’m not gonna go in on ‘Untouchable’, like that. I’m gonna say ‘it ain’t for me. Not crazy about it, whatever. To be the ‘worst song you’ve ever heard in you’re life’… have you listened to your own shit? Do you not listen back? because if that’s the worst fucking song you’ve ever heard in you’re life… I don’t know.”
Will Slaughterhouse’s ‘Glasshouse’ album ever be released?
“I don’t know. I don’t have the answer to that. I wanna just make it clear though, aside from the Joe shit, i think that Slaughterhouse is one of the best rap groups to ever happen. But that being said, I wished their first album would’ve connected to more people than it did. To this day, me and Paul, we’re like ‘what the fuck happened?!’. Everybody’s not going to like everything you put out all the time.”
How MGK beef came about
Just for the record, when he’s speaking about my daughter, I didn’t even know about that, until literally a year-and-a-half later. It just never hit my radar. And then, one day, you go down the fucking wormhole of YouTube and I see ‘Machine Gun Kelly talks about Eminem’s daughter’. Then he starts doing a press run, about Hayley. I was like ‘what the fuck? My man better chill’. But that’s not why I dissed him. The reason that I dissed him is a lot more petty than that.
“The reason that I dissed him is because, first he said, ‘I’m the greatest rapper alive since my favourite rapper banned me from Shade 45’ or whatever, right. Like I’m trying to hinder his career… I don’t give a fuck about your career. You know how many fucking rappers that are better than you? You’re not even in the conversation. I don’t care if you blow or fucking don’t blow.
“But when you get on Tech 9’s album and you start sending shots. On the song he said ‘ya’ll just raps you not Gods’. And on Twitter he said ‘you just rap, you not God. Had some shit to get off my chest.’ This was on the heels of the freestyle he just did about Shade 45. Now I’m in this weird thing where I gotta answer this motherfucker.
“As irrelevant as people say I am in hip-hop, I make them bigger by getting into this thing where I’m like ‘I wanna destroy him but I also don’t wanna make him bigger’. Because now, you’re a fucking enemy. I’ll leave it at that.”
Part 3 – How he found Jesse Reyez, secret service visit, Colin Kaepernick, Tyler the Creator
How Eminem found Jesse Reyez
“I got home one night from a video shoot actually, and she was on TV, it was the Seth Myers show. She was doing that song, ‘Gatekeeper’, and I was like ‘who the fuck is this?!’. Her voice to me was so crazy, so I rewound it. And I was like ‘oh shit, I gotta check her out’. So I went down the wormhole of looking up shit and I was like ‘yo I really want to fuck with this chick’. Right now, my personal opinion, I think she’s going to really blow up. That’s my personal opinion. I’ve seen very talented people not do that. I would put my money on her that she will absolutely be huge.
“I feel like she comes from a real place and she writes her own shit. First time I got in the studio with her, I played her a couple beats and she just started writing to one right there. Laid a hook, ‘Good Guy’.
Dr Dre’s involvement on Kamikaze
“Me and him had a couple discussions about the last album. He hit me up one day like ‘I don’t like how motherfuckers are talking about your album’. Based off that reaction, I think Dre was a little confused to, when that happened with Revival. We had a conversation earlier in the year, and I think I only had one song at that time. I was thinking about releasing it, then made another song when I got back to Detroit. I was like ‘now I got two songs, I might as well do a fucking album. I don’t know how that came about, but Dre also… there was a couple songs that he kinda deaded, because he didn’t have a good reaction to. He felt one of the songs were going too far.
Secret service visiting him after anti-Trump lyrics
“They came to my studio, yeah. They were just basically asking me questions about my lyrics to see what the intent was behind them. To see if I was making an actual threat or just expressing myself.
Addressing backlash to Colin Kaepernick’s 30th anniversary Nike campaign
“Its infuriating. Like really? ‘Nike supports people who kneel for the anthem’. At this fucking point, come on. Seriously?! You gotta be a fucking moron to think that that’s just what it is about, and that it’s that fucking cut and dry. There’s a meaning behind this shit and there’s real pain behind this shit. And you’re burning a fucking pair of shoes? People aint gonna stop watching football. They’re just not. Football to me is the best sport there is. You need to realise that this is America, and people have died for these rights to be able to protest. To be able to take a knee (during the anthem). Stop making it about yourself. You have nothing to do with this.”
Tyler the Creator fall-out
“I really did like them [Odd Future]. I thought their movement was really cool to. We didn’t make music but I just thought there was a mutual respect. The tweet he put out about talking about Shady 15 ‘why can’t people that close to him tell him that his shit sucks’. Okay listen man, ‘you don’t have to like it, and it can really suck’. But seeing that someone really was cool to you, you’d expect some kind of reciprocation. just don’t go public with it and publicly express your opinion about how much you think my shit is trash.
“I chalked it up to them just being young, whatever, I’ve been there. Then Earl Sweatshirt gets in an interview after Tyler trashes me and says ‘anybody that listens to Eminem is drinking too much Mountain Dew’. I was like ‘really?!’. What the fuck?! You guys were just on tour with us. We kicked it, hung out. The last straw was like ‘I can come across being very petty, but at a certain point in time, someone has their breaking point.
“So when Tyler tweeted out that thing about ‘Walk On Water’, saying the song was fucking horrible, I was like ‘alright, I need to say something now, because this is fucking stupid. But at the same time, I’m not gonna be America’s punching bag and motherfuckers think it’s cool and safe to say whatever they fuck they want about me.”
“I picked and chose who I wanted to say my peace with, because a lot of those things were personal. But then there’s a lot of things that aren’t personal on Kamikaze. With the Tyler the Creator thing, I realise now and I realised when I said it, but I was I angry when I said that shit about Tyler. Every time I saw this kid, he was always so cool with me. I loved his energy. He’s a super funny dude. Super charismatic and shit. But at what point do I have to say something just to defend myself.
“The word that I called him on that song, was one of the things I felt like ‘this might be too far’. In my quest to hurt him, I realised I was hurting a lot of people by saying it. At the time, I was just so mad. In the midst of everything else that was going on with this album, the things that it took to bring out the album, it was one of the things I kept going back to and saying ‘I don’t feel right with this’. The whole time, I Before the album came out, I had a conversation with Paul and we spun the word back. But now I realise, people can hear what I’m saying anyways.”
Part 4 – Joyner Lucas, clearing up Drake diss rumours, Grammys, D-12 splitting up
Collaborating with Joyner Lucas
“The first time I saw him was like five years ago at one of the BET cyphers. He was saying a lot of lines and, I saw some of me in that, but at the same time, it was different. Earlier on in my career, whenever I got a BET cypher, I want to write so my shit stands out. And he stood out so much to me. He was talking pop stars and doing this kinda thing, but I was like ‘yo people I gonna remember that’. I remember it. When he made Ross Capicchoni, the way he did it from the two perspectives, it was genius and it stood out so much to me.
“When I’m listening to a rapper, I’m listening to what you’re bringing to the table as far as a skillset. But he’s not compromising bars to sell the story. He’s still got complexity in there. The rhyme went like he’s taking me on this journey and I never snapped out of that journey until it was over. I was like ‘yo this kid is fucking incredible’.
Addressing rumours about apparently dissed Drake on ‘Lucky You’
‘”You see here’s the thing. I saw that too. Drake is always going to be in my good graces because he did something for one of my daughters that I’ll never forget and he will always be in my graces with that. I like Drake. What I’m telling you with these lines is, I don’t know what’s real and what’s not at this point. I’m telling you that, I don’t do it. Never have. Never will. If I ever need a ghostwriter, then I need to fucking put the mic down. Anybody out here that does use ghostwriters, that’s fine. If that’s what you do, that’s fine. I’m telling you I don’t do it. Hip-hop was the most important thing that empowered me as a kid.
“It made me feel powerful. It was like my dad, hip-hop. It was the only thing that made me feel empowered and make me feel good about myself. That’s where the feeling comes from to me. The excitement is being able to come up with this shit. Since its beginning, I was always under the impression that every rapper wrote their rhymes.
“Then years later, fast forward, you hear Eazy E saying Ice Cube writes the rhymes that I say. I remember being a kid, hearing a line, I just didn’t really care. It didn’t really affect the way I felt about Eazy E or NWA. On this Kamikaze album, I was pretty direct with who I’m going at. I wouldn’t send subliminals to Drake, there would be no reason to do that.
On feeling like he had to ‘sell his soul’ to win Grammys
“For whatever reason, it’s like they’re always pitching this hint that you might win Album of the Year, which used to be a big deal. I don’t think it’s a big deal now. Sat at home this year for the Grammys and watched Jay and Kendrick not get it. I feel like one of them should’ve got it. Joyner Lucas should’ve won a Grammy for ‘I’m Not Racist’. Every year we went, I’d be up for Album of the Year, but the winner is Norah Jones. Who?
“I’m not even trying to say anything bad about her music. At that point, I had never heard of her. None of my friends did either. And then Steely Dan. More than the Marshall Mathers LP impact? Okay fine. I watched 50. Same shit. 50 did not win Best New Artist at the Grammys. Nothing bigger and nobody since Snoop came out the gate like that. My first album didn’t do it. I never saw someone’s first album and the wave, happened like he had. And then he doesn’t get it. I get up there another year. What was it, The Eminem Show.
“If I lose to Kanye, I’m fine. I respect that. Kanye has a huge following and he’s made a massive impact on music. Fine, I’m good with that. But don’t fucking get us all here to use your selling point for your fucking show, and stiff everybody, every single fucking time. After that point in time I was like ‘don’t ever ask me to fucking come here again. Please do not ask me. My answer is no for one hundred million years’. Never again will I fucking go to the Grammys.”
Would Eminem ever join the Grammy voting board?
“First all, that vote is fake as fuck. That’s not a real vote. They give it to who they want to give it to. They give it to their darlings. Oh this guy, critical-acclaim, but sold two records. I don’t know who won over Kendrick and fucking Jay. It’s like they’re so fucking tone death to what’s actually going on, but they’re not in the sense of, ‘we can get Beyonce here, we’ll get Jay here. We’ll get all these people fucking here. I guarantee you the people from the Grammys are on the phone to Beyonce and Jay Z’s people every year, hinting they’re going to win.
On D-12 splitting up
“Proof was the glue that binded us all together. He did so much shit behind the scenes that I didn’t even realise, and did things to keep us a group and motivate us. I think the conversation is now, moving forward is, how can we help their solo careers. We’ll always be friends man, we’ve always been friends. I want to help them to do the next thing that is on their agenda.”