Eminem has set himself some seriously big targets with his new album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, setting up his 2013 release as the sequel to the biggest album of his career - and has now explained his reason for doing so.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone magazine, the 'Berzerk' rapper claims that titling the album was more than just to generate hype, and put maximum effort into ensuring he was at his best on the new album.
"I wouldn't want to call it that just for the sake of calling it that," he tells the magazine. "I had to make sure that I had the right songs – and just when you think you got it, you listen and you're like, 'Fuck, man! I feel like it needs this or that,' to paint the whole picture."
Eminem even references his Marshall Mathers LP in his new album artwork
He also adds that working on The Marshall Mathers LP 2 has pushed him harder than ever before in his career, even more so than when working on multiple projects at once.
"Right now, I'm probably working harder than I've ever worked in my life," says the rapper. "Aside from around the time of The Eminem Show, when I was also doing the 8 Mile movie and soundtrack and score and shit like that. This is probably the equivalent of that, but all focused on the record."
Listen to Eminem's latest track, 'Rap God', below
The rapper has worked with iconic producer Rick Rubin on his new album, and likens the music legend to Star Wars' Yoda. With more beard and less lightsaber, presumably.
"Getting with him was like, 'Holy shit!'" Eminem adds. "As many genres of music that he is able to fuck with, he's like Yoda. I couldn't do it. You sit me there with a rock group, I don't know the first fucking thing about banging on the drums."
Below: 13 live shots of Eminem in New York City, 2013