Hear Eminem on SiriusXM’s ‘Town Hall’: ‘I Just Want to Rap’

Eminem, SiriusXM, Town Hall, Sway Calloway
(Photo by Photo by Jenny Risher)

Eminem sat down for one of SiriusXM’s “Town Hall” sessions to mark the release of his rhyme clinic of a new album The Marshall Mathers LP 2. The show aired on November 5 via SiriusXM channel Shade 45, moderated by Shade 45 host Sway Calloway, and will be rebroadcast throughout the week and weekend on the same Em-channel (see here for Em-times). SiriusXM has shared excerpts from the program — the audio of which has also surfaced online — and they reveal the Slim Shady you know and love, hate, or have a love-hate relationship with: a highly competitive rapper, a guy who might not exactly be a big social-media user, an artist who would rather “press buttons” than be taught in schools. Listen to the full 60-minute interview below, and scroll down to read the excerpts.

Eminem on the motivation behind MMLP2:

SWAY CALLOWAY: I’ve known you since the ’90s. When you were…trying to come up in the game, still proving yourself through battling and putting out…mix tapes. I was talking with somebody earlier and they said, ‘What do you think of this guy? Every year we used to see him in the news, every year, he’s a controversy. Every year, this is happening.’ I said, man, that dude was just a dude who wanted to be the best rapper that he can be. And listening to “Rap God” and listening to this album, reminded me of that same person I met in the late ’90s who was just trying to be the best rapper he can be. Is that what your motivation was for this album?

EMINEM: Absolutely. Not to sound cliché, that’s my goal every album. This album … at this point where I’m at, it’s all I want to do. Just rap. It’s really not that deep. Just rap. I wish there was a deeper, better answer, something philosophical that I can give you. But I’m not capable of that. I just want to rap.

Eminem on social media:

SWAY CALLOWAY: Congratulations on the YouTube award. ‘Artist of the Year.’ How Internet savvy are you? Are you on social media platforms?

EMINEM: I am on social media all day. In front of a computer, blogging constantly. Yo, does someone got my laptop?


EMINEM: I really try not to pay attention. Put it this way, I want to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s going on, so I don’t want to be ignorant in that sense. But at the same time, I can’t pay attention to what everyone is saying. I would never be able to make music, I don’t think, if I got caught up in that. Because I would probably get caught up in some ugly arguments with people. ‘Yo, drive to my house now.’ It would consume a lot of my time and it would be very counter-productive for me to do that. But I still do, and that’s what’s fucked up.

Eminem on a high school teacher referring to his lyrics in the classroom:

SIRIUSXM LISTENER: I’m a high school history teacher. I reference your work a lot in the classroom. I wonder what your feelings are as far as using lyrics that can be graphic at times, in a high school setting.

EMINEM: Well there’s your first mistake.


EMINEM: I don’t really gear my songs for that … But … I’m in this game to press buttons … and spark conversation and to get a reaction out of people. And that’s kind of how I’ve been from day one. You know just rapping in the hip hop shop, I want to say the lines that are going to get people’s attention. And I would rather have … even if it’s bad attention, then no attention at all. So I think it’s cool … if my records spark conversation, or a debate, or whatever. But as far as the high school thing, man if you can get away with that, then that’s cool. That’s dope.


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