Eminem Speaks On Lil Wayne, T.I. & Proofs Death In XXL

2009-04-14-eminemAlthough Lil Wayne dissed him in the past, saying he was scared to collaborate with him, Eminem thinks Weezy’s latest album Tha Carter III helped make hip-hop “look a lot better” right now.

In a Em’s cover story with XXL, the great white hype revealed that while on his musical hiatus — his last solo album came in 2004 with Encore — he felt as though hip-hop was on a downhill slope. But, with new albums from T.I. and Lil Wayne, it’s helped the genre stay afloat.

“I stayed up on the music, and obviously I watch TV and saw what was going on. And without naming any names, it just felt like hip-hop was going downhill,” the rapper explained. “It seemed like kinda fast. You know, in them three years, it was like everybody just cares about the hook and the beat; nobody really cares about substance. But with this new T.I. album, with this new Lil Wayne album of recent, it seems like things are looking a lot better now.

“You can appreciate Lil Wayne using different words to rhyme and actually rhyming words that you know. Or T.I., where you hear sh** and you’re like ‘Whoa, ah, I wish I would have thought of that!’ You know what I mean? Or you hear all the compound-syllable rhyming and all that. It just seems like now the craft is getting cared about more,” Em continued.

Eminem, who is currently gearing up for the release of his highly-anticipated Relapse, album also touches on some of the things he was dealing with while away, which included drug addiction, and coping with the loss of his best friend and D12 brother Proof.

According to the rapper, he took Proof’s death so hard, he fell into a self-loathing, drug-laced depression, and finally, he’s just now starting to get over it.

“Everyone felt his loss, from his kids, to his wife, to everyone. But, for some reason, in hindsight, the way I felt was almost like it happened to just me,” Em admits. “Maybe at the time I was a little bit selfish with it. I think it kind of hit me so hard. It just blindsided me. I just went into such a dark place that, with everything, the drugs, my thoughts, everything.

“The more drugs I consumed, and it was all depressants I was taking, the more depressed I became, the more self-loathing I became… By the way, I’m just now at the point where I’m better talking about it. It took me so long to get out of that place where I couldn’t even speak about it without crying or wanting to cry. Proof was the anchor. He was everything to D12. And not just the group — for me, personally, he was everything,” Eminem continued.

Em’s XXL cover hits newsstands May 5, two weeks before his fifth solo album, Relapse, hits stores May 19.

The issue also will be a special collector’s edition, showcasing the rapper as Marvel Comics’ notorious vigilante The Punisher. It includes an exclusive collaboration between XXL, Em’s Shady Records and Marvel Comics: a special edition Punisher comic book entitled Eminem/Punisher: Kill You, starring the rapper and created by Marvel Comics. That is only part 1 though.

Part 2 of the comic will be made available on Marvel.com/Eminem, beginning May 5.

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