Eminem Becomes LL Cool J’s Stan In A Conversation Between Two GOATs (Audio)
Eminem tends to offer impassioned anecdotes when crediting his multiple Rap music influences. For the first episode of LL Cool J’s new show, The Influence Of Hip-Hop on Sirius XM’s Rock The Bells Radio channel, Eminem tells LL that he is one of the main reasons that he began rapping as a child.
“I wanted to be like you; I hope that doesn’t sound weird,” Eminem said. “I absolutely wanted to be like you. I wanted to be like Run-D.M.C. It was something about the energy to just say what you want to say, and you could talk about your life, and you could talk about sh*t that bothers you. I just gravitated towards it, and I never strayed from the first day that I heard a Rap song.”
When James Todd Smith asks Eminem about how he developed his no-holds-barred style of rapping, Em says he fervently studied LL’s songwriting ability and obsessed over his Grammy Award-winning 1990 single “Mama Said Knock You Out.” “It was interesting to watch you and see your range as a writer and see that you could make a love song, you could make a song for the dudes, and your range as a writer was so incredible,” Em says to one of his Rap idols. “Then, when you didn’t drop an album for a couple of years, Rap started advancing a little more. [That is when] you came out and advanced it again. It was so crazy to just watch it because you could do whatever anyone else was doing. You could do that and just do the sh*t better. Watching that, especially when you came back with ‘Mama Said Knock You Out,’ [mimics opening verse] I was like, ‘Yo! You wrote that?’ [Laughs] And the energy in the middle of the song was like…Goddamn! I wanted to f*ck my room up.”
Further in the interview, Eminem talks about his experience promoting his Slim Shady EP from 1997. He tells the story about how longtime producer Mark Bass told him the Slim Shady EP caught Dr. Dre’s attention before Eminem was scheduled for a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada to sell some of his EP cassette tapes to local record stores. “These two chicks were in the car playing ‘Phone Tap,’ and I was like ‘Yo, if I could just get with [Dr.] Dre, oh my God!’ Then, literally a week later, we had a meeting with Dre when we go out there. And then he walks in, and I’m like, ‘You gotta be f*cking kidding me.’ That was it, and then the next thing I know I’m in Foot Locker with Kiertis Tucker, and she’s getting outfits for the ‘I Just Don’t Give A F*ck’ video, and I see you. And I’m like, ‘Yo, he’s in here by himself.’ I was bugging the f*ck out. You quoted a lyric back to me; you said, ‘Yo, how could I be white? I don’t even exist.‘ And you quoting that lyric back to me, I think I sh*t myself.”
In several instances of the discussion, Eminem embodies the fanatic character “Stan” in LL’s presence and talks about the creative process for one of the staples from his diamond-selling Marshall Mathers LP.
The segments are all in this playlist:
“When I got that beat from Mark The 45 King, with the Dido hook on it, I was just like, ‘With your picture on my wall‘ I just pictured, you know, that’s what I did as a kid, like how I felt when [you] first came out, Run-D.M.C. first came out, like how I felt. My entire room walls were covered up to the ceiling with pictures — Word Up, [and] every Rap magazine there was. And I put myself in the shoes of like worshiping you and worshiping Run-D.M.C., and thought like, ‘How can somebody worship me, though?” So I basically put myself in the fan’s shoes.” The D12 and Bad Meets Evil member also praises Kool G Rap, Masta Ace, and others as primary influences.
In recent years, both Eminem and LL Cool J have been working with Dr. Dre. While Dre mixed REVIVAL, the good doctor and Uncle L are reportedly at least 10 songs deep on some collaborative material.
The interview will air September 1 at 3 pm EST on Rock The Bells Radio.