Eminem is opening up about his past drug abuse. The Marshall Mathers rapper openly struggled with prescription pills combined with alcohol for many years in his career before achieving sobriety. He says things got so bad at one point that he fumbled an interview, and his friend 50 Cent saved him.
Eminem says his addiction didn’t begin until after he attained notoriety
Slim Shady was known throughout Detroit as a talented rapper, but despite his dreams of making it big, he never imagined he would become an icon. In fact, in his cover story for XXL’s 25th Anniversary issue, the rapper admits he didn’t even get a stable place until after he released his second album. His first album was a massive success, but he didn’t recognize such, and he lived with his ex-wife and her parents during that time.
But with fame and fortune, comes more temptation and problems. Eminem says his addiction to prescription drugs and alcohol didn’t start until after he hit it big.
“I was able to downplay my addiction and hide it for a while until it got really bad. And also, at that time, so much s–t was happening with the whole 50 [Cent] beef with Ja Rule,” he writes in his own cover story. “We started feuding, going back-and-forth, and I’m making all of these diss records and sh*t. So, I’m coming off The Marshall Mathers LP and going into Encore when my addiction started to get bad. I was taking Vicodin, Valium, and alcohol. I kinda fell off the map a little bit and didn’t explain why I went away.”
The rapper says 50 Cent had to cover for him during an interview because he was high
Most fans know that Eminem played a major part in 50’s career. He signed him to his record label after 50 was dropped by labels and other labels were afraid to sign him because of his street ties. Before the deal with Eminem, 50 had a deal at another label and was prepping his debut album when he was shot nine times. From there, he shopped around until landing with the 8-Mile star.
Their relationship surpassed their music bond, and the two became close friends. In his cover story, Eminem explains how 50 was aware of his growing addiction, and even came to his rescue during a major interview.
“I remember things started getting really, really bad when me, 50, and G-Unit did BET’s 106 & Park. We performed ‘You Don’t Know’ on the show, and then we did an interview afterward. That’s when the wheels started coming off,” he wrote. “One of the hosts was talking to me, and I could not understand a word she was saying. 50 had to cover for me and answer every question.”
His addiction worsened after the loss of a friend, but he later straightened up
Eminem revealed that his addiction worsened when his best friend was murdered. In 2006, his friend Proof died after being shot in the head at a club on Detroit’s Eight Mile Road. The two had been friends since they were kids. And three months before his death, Proof gave the best man toast at Eminem’s wedding.
Shortly before his death, Eminem did a drug rehab stint and filed for divorce from Kim Mathers. They’d later reconcile, but their relationship was contentious.
“Then the thing happened with Proof, and my addiction went through the f–kin’ roof. I remember just after Proof died, I was in my house by myself, and I was just laying in bed and I couldn’t move and I just kept staring at the ceiling fan. And I just kept taking more pills,” Eminem wrote.
Luckily, he sobered up on April 20, 2008, as he would reveal in a Tweet in 2020. He’s since focused more on his personal life and sobriety, versus his music career.