Eminem opened up about his near-fatal overdose 15 years ago in a new interview, revealing his grueling detox and recovery process. The rapper joined his longtime manager, Paul Rosenberg, for the latest episode of Paul Pod: Curtain Call 2 where the two discussed the making of 2009's Relapse.
"I remember when I first got sober and all the shit was out of my system, I remember just being, like, really happy and everything was f***ing new to me again," Eminem said about the album. "It was the first album and the first time that I had fun recording in a long time."
Relapse was Eminem's first time in the studio since his 2007 overdose on pills. The rapper almost died due to his addiction to Vicodin and Valium.
"It was like the first time I started having fun with music again, and re-learning how to rap, you remember that whole process," Eminem added on the SiriusXM podcast. "It took a long time for my brain to start working again."
"It did," Rosenberg confirmed. "You literally were coming off of an overdose and, you know, they had to sort of stabilize you with a few medications and some of them took you a minute to adjust to, let's just leave it at that."
"Didn't you ask the doctors when I started recording new shit, when I first started rapping again and sent it to you, didn't you say, like, 'I just wanted to make sure he doesn't have brain damage?'" Eminem asked.
Rosenberg admitted he thought the rapper might have "permanent problems," adding, "I was concerned, for sure."
Despite initial concern — especially after Rosenberg heard the track "Detroit Basketball" — Eminem got back into the groove.
"It was quick," Rosenberg said, "but we’re only talking about over the course of five or six months total."
Eminem worked on Relapse in Florida and remembered those uncomfortable early recording sessions.
"I was itching constantly like my f***ing skin was crawling and what I didn't realize at the time was that was the barbiturates coming completely out of my system," Eminem shared, noting how he had been "taking f***ing 75 to 80 Valium a night."
"I don't know how you survived that," Rosenberg shared.
"I don't either," Eminem agreed.
The Grammy-winner has been sober now for 14 years.