Eminem recently sat down with the New York Times to talk about the upcoming Southpaw movie and Soundtrack which is executive produced by him. The D rapper talks about putting the soundtrack together, Gwen Stefani, being a father, his relationship with 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, current rap music, if he got a new solo album coming and more.
How did you approach putting together a soundtrack for a film that wasn’t your own?
A. We wanted to make sure that the songs would remind you of the movie years down the road. When you think of “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” you think of “The Breakfast Club.” When you think of “Eye of the Tiger,” you think of Rocky.
The energy of the film is pretty masculine, and the soundtrack is almost all male. How did Gwen Stefani get in the mix on “Kings Never Die”? You’ve poked some fun at her in music before.
I don’t think it was ever anything that was disrespectful. I mean, maybe I said she could pee-pee on me, but I don’t care who you are — that’s funny regardless. But I’ve always respected Gwen Stefani. She’s an incredible talent, but also her longevity is one of the reasons she was perfect for that song.
Has being a father to teenagers changed how you think about your music?
Not really. I think as you get older, you start — I don’t know how to answer that. I don’t really change. I guess I get more mature, but I don’t feel like I’ve changed much. I’m still a dad. You just go with the flow. But work is still work, and when I’m working, I’m focused on that.
Do you show your kids your music?
I’ve been trying to not focus as much on them, because I’ve done that and I don’t want to hinder their lives. I feel like the more that I talk about that, the harder their lives are.
What’s your relationship like with 50 Cent these days? He’s on the soundtrack and in the movie.
Same as it’s always been, pretty much. I love Fif’, man.
Making albums has taken a back seat for him, and he’s become this celebrity personality and businessman. Dr. Dre is doing something similar. Do you ever think about moving into different worlds like them?
With 50, I could always see that coming, even from the start. He was always so business-minded. He’s always been so in tune with what the next move is, where I may be — I hate to say it — but I tend to be more narrow-minded. Just so tunnel vision with the music.
Are you plugged in with current rap music?
I try to stay up on everything that’s out. I love [Lil] Wayne, Drake, Big Sean, Schoolboy Q. I love Kendrick [Lamar]. I just try to pay attention to what’s out. Wayne puts out a new song, and my ears perk up. There are certain artists that make me do that just because of the caliber that they rhyme at — it’s like candy to me. Kendrick, the way he puts albums together — front to back, they’re like pieces of art. But hip-hop needs Drake, too. Hip-hop needs Big Sean. I feel like hip-hop is in a good place right now. There’s this balance of things going on, and it feels like some of the best rappers are the most successful. Sometimes that’s not the case.
Do you feel competitive with the Kanyes and Drakes and Kendricks of the world? You seem a little removed from that.
Kanye, as well — I forgot to mention Kanye. I’ll always be lyrically competitive.
Are you working on a solo album?
Not as of yet. But I’m just trying to figure out what to do next musically. There’ll be a certain page that I get on, and I’m like, “O.K., I’ve done it this way.” Sometimes I think that if I get comfortable or set in my ways of doing something, maybe I should step back for a minute and figure out how to mix it up a little bit.
You can read the full interview over at NY Times