Rapper says: 'I was so trapped in my own head'
Gaby Whitehill

10:11 21st November 2013

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Eminem has admitted he struggled with performing sober following his stint in rehab to overcome drugs and alcohol addiction.

In his candid interview with Radio 1's Zane Lowe, the rapper, who became sober in 2008, revealed his substance abuse had left him unable to interact properly with his audience. "I was so trapped in my own head. I think that back then it was so big in my head, it was like, 'f**k man' let me take this and drink this and get through it as opposed to going out there and actually being able to see the people and connect with the crowd and have fun with it," he said.

Eminem said he had to downsize to smaller shows so he could get used to performing with a clear head. "I don't think on the 'Relapse' record or on that whole album run - I don't think that it was something that I jumped right back into," he said. "It was like smaller shows here and there, let me get my feet wet again. It took a minute but the more you do it, it just becomes second nature. Now I can look out and I can see the crowd and I can actually see the people. I can see what people look like."

Watch part 1 of Em's interview with Zane Lowe below: 

Eminem and Lowe also discussed the making of the Marshall Mathers LP 2, as well as what's in store for the rapper, who seems to have no imminent plans to quit music. "I don't know what the plan is for the near future but I do know there'll be other things coming up, other projects things like that that I'll probably get into working on. I always write and I probably always will," he said.

Below: Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 2 reviews - what the critics say:

  • Rolling Stone, 5/5: "He's playing his best character: the demon spawn of trailer hell America, hitting middle age with his middle finger up his nose while he cleans off the Kool-Aid his kids spilled on the couch"

  • Consequence of Sound, 3.5/5: "This one's nostalgic in all the right ways, a worthy look back at the LP that made him the world's most popular cult figure"

  • The Noisey: "We're never going to get another Slim Shady LP, another 'My Name Is' or another 'Kim' and once we get over that, the Marshall Mathers LP 2 is the best thing Eminem could've put out. This is his legacy"

  • Spin, 8/10:"Can we just marvel for a second at what a weird unlikely album this is? Where the internal rhymes get so berserk that he's rapping about flying out of his ass in a flying saucer full of Italian sausage"

  • Digital Spy, 4/5: "The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is just as offensive, funny, bleak as its forebear, but - aside from the questionable guest stars and the derogatory comments - Eminem is brooding, in form and the rest should start taking notes again."

  • Stereogum: "Em was once rap's giddiest, most inventive stylist, and now he's a sad echo of a long dead self. So listen to MMLP 2, in its 80 minute endlessness, as endurance-test noise music or better yet, don't listen to it at all."

  • Chicago Tribune, 2/4: "For any popstar, the past is a final refuge. On The Marshall Mathers LP 2, Eminem tries to cover up his retreat by doing cartwheels and back-flips with his rhymes."

  • LA Times: "Even in his rare clunky moments, Eminem burns with purpose on the Marshall Mathers LP2. And if you don't like what he (still) has to say, there's a chance he doesn't either."

  • Slant 3/4: "He remains secure in his role as provocateur nonpareil. The residual misogyny and "faggot" bashing is off-putting and its self-awareness doesn't win any points, but mainly it indicates a worriesome lack of imagination."

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