Eminem’s ninth studio album Revival was highly anticipated before its
release leak this week. Officially released Dec. 15, the LP was preluded by two singles: “Walk on Water” featuring Beyonce and “Untouchable.” Both tracks gave fans a pretty good idea of the vibe Revival would offer: a combination of killer beats and blunt honesty.
Following that notion, Revival‘s closing track “Arose” gives details into the time Em almost overdosed. For about four minutes, the rapper imagines what the last moments of his life could have been like had he actually died. He raps figuratively, saying goodbye to his daughters and other loved ones.
Then, he spells out the end:
“Just heard that nurse say, my liver and kidneys aren’t functioning/
Been flirtatious with death, skirt-chasing, I guess/
It’s arrivederci, same nurse, just heard say they’re unplugging me.”
The 2007 close call was the icing on a cake filled with drug addiction and failed rehabilitation. For six years (2002 to 2008), the rapper was addicted to prescription pills Ambien, Valium, and extra-strength Vicodin. Though he tried rehab in 2005, the program seemed to only worsen his situation.
His near death experience shook his fans (and Eminem himself), but the rapper recovered. Four years later, Eminem addressed the incident during an interview with Rolling Stone.
“There are certain parts I have to leave out because they have to do with my kids,” the rapper began after being asked about that fateful 2007 night. “But I remember I got the methadone from somebody I’d gone to looking for Vicodin. This person said, ‘These are just like Vicodin, and they’re easier on your liver.'”
He went on to reveal that he’d never talked to anyone about the incident because he’d rather not know, before saying, “All I remember was hitting the bathroom floor and waking up in the hospital.”
Living Better Now
The Detroit rapper is doing better now, letting go of his darkest moments on Revival. With the release of his new work, fans have gotten to see Em in the media a lot more.
Alongside Elton John, the “Love the Way You Lie” rapper sat down with Interview to talk about life so far and the then yet-to-be-released Revival. The duo also rehashed their shocking Grammy collab from 17 years ago.
“You’re very good on collaborations. We first met through the Grammys, when you asked me to do ‘Stan’. It was an amazing event for me that I’ll never forget,” Elton said to Eminem. “I’ll never forget it either—and I was on drugs,” Em replied. “I was for sure on drugs when we met.”
After the countless times that Eminem shared his opposing stance on gay people (and the gay community as a whole) in his music, no one expected to find him sharing a stage with one of the most openly gay artist in the industry. Still, there they were, performing “Stan,” killing it.
“I couldn’t tell,” John continued. “I was just mesmerized by you and your performance; it made the hairs on the back of my arms stand up… And when that s**t was thrown at you — about you being homophobic — I just thought, ‘I’m not standing for this. It’s nonsense.'” The entertainer went on to tell Em that he “had to stand up,” before revealing that they’ve been good friends ever since.
“That Grammy performance was the start of a lovely friendship and I’m grateful for that,” John said.
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