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Eminem offers insight into "Revival" on SiriusXM

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Eminem dropped in on his Mom's Spaghetti Pop Up store at the Shelter in Detroit on Friday, Dec. 15, spending about an hour with fans celebrating the release of his ninth album, "Revival."

Then he spent nearly another hour talking about it on air.

The Detroit rapper held a "Fireside Chat" on his SiriusXM Shady 45 channel, joined by manager Paul Rosenberg, frequent collaborator Denaun Porter and fellow Detroit MC Royce da 5'9" his partner in the duo Bad Meets Evil. He answered questions from journalists and fans and played several songs from the album, cracking jokes with all concerned. A few of the highlights from the session...

It's been four years since Eminem's last album, "The Marshall Mathers LP 2," but he wasn't slacking. "I was making songs but I don't know if I was really serious about it a couple years ago,," he said. "We had some side projects we were working on. I did the 'Southpaw' soundtrack and the 'Shady 15' (anniversary) thing. I always was active as far as writing and recording and putting out songs. I was still busy."

For "Revival," Eminem said he "probably recorded 40 or 50 songs" and also "had to let off the gas" at one point. "I had released a couple songs a couple years ago, 'Phenomenal' and 'Kings Never Die,'" he noted. "Going back to them now I realize, 'Damn, I never took a breath. I didn't leave no space.' I had to figure out how to let off the gas but not too much. It took me about six months to really figure out, 'OK, now I got the pacing right,' 'cause I didn't want to let off the gas too much. As I got along and the songs get better, than the last one, the last one gets scrapped and it just keeps going until I feel like we have the right ones."

"Revival" is the third part of a trilogy that also includes 2010's "Recovery" and 2013's "The Marshall Mathers EP." "(The title) is kind of like a double entedre in the sense it's a revival for myself and it's kind of the theme of the album, but there's also hopefully the revival of America."

Despite harshly political tracks such as "Like Home," "Offended" and "Untouchable," he's not too worried about becoming a Donald Trump tweet target. "Man, that guy...It makes no sense. He's not gonna answer me -- what, 'Washed-up rapper. Failing career. Over the hill rapper who sunk his fan base in half, now wants to attack me.' If he does (answer), I've got ideas."

Beyonce's guest appearance on the single"Walk on Water" was "incredible," according to Eminem. "I didn't think it ever could happen. It was one of my things on my wish list but I wasn't sure if it ever could happen, and I also I never really had the right song to bring her, to present, so I'm super grateful that came together."

Ed Sheeran's contribution was key to the track "Rivers." "One of the producers I work with, Emile (Haynie) did the track," Eminem said. "He did the beat and I think he sent it to Ed and they worked on it in the studio and came up with that hook, and I just heard the hook and what it was talking about and wrote the song."

Eminem was also particularly happy to work with P!nk on the song "Need Me." "I've always looked at P!nk as kind of a rebel, and I've told her that," he said. "I super respect her art and her music and we worked together in the past, too. It only made sense for me to have her on that song."

Will he perform live to support the album? "I don't know," he said. "Possibly. Who knows. It's something that's being thought about. It's not a 'no' right now let's just say that. It is possible."

The Mom's Spaghetti at the pop-up shop -- which will be open through Sunday at 431 E. Congress St., -- is "good," although he said "we're gonna make some minor changes." "It's a work in progress," manager Rosenberg added, "but it's only gonna get better."

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