Eminem has been candid about his struggles with drug addiction. After a near-fatal overdose in 2007, the Detroit-bred “rap god” eventually pulled himself together and got on the road to recovery. But according to a recent conversation with SiriusXM host Gray Rizzy, he had an incredibly difficult time getting back into top form.
While discussing the Music To Be Murdered By: Side B song “Zeus” — in which he apologizes to Rihanna for a leaked verse referencing the infamous Chris Brown assault — he claimed to have “zero recollection” of penning the verse, explaining he was just rapping whatever rhymed because he was learning how to rap again.
“Like the rhyme schemes didn’t even sound like familiar to me,” he said. “So I was caught off guard too. I was like, ‘What the fuck, I said that?’ I said it and I was wrong for saying that. It was fucking stupid. You know, a lot of times, especially with the Relapse record, when I first started learning how to rap again, because of the drug situation that I went through and having to relearn a lot of things, that was one of those things that it was like, ‘Well, if it rhyme, say it.’”
Slim Shady wrote the song for his 2009 album Relapse, but the verse in question ended up getting scraped. The song then leaked online in November 2019 and found Shady rapping, “Of course I side with Chris Brown/I’d beat a bitch down too/If she gave my dick an itch, now.”
He remains remorseful to this day, telling Rizzy, “I should have thought better of it. You know, it was one of those things that, like I said, I don’t even remember recording, but record a lot of songs. So it was like, it’s, it’s tough sometimes.”
Like Shady has done numerous times in the past, he used music to issue an apology to Rihanna on the aforementioned “Zeus.”
“But, me, long as I re-promise to be honest,” he raps. “And wholeheartedly, apologies, Rihanna/For that song that leaked, I’m sorry, Ri/It wasn’t meant to cause you grief/Regardless, it was wrong of me.”
Rihanna and Eminem have teamed up on several songs over the years, including the 2010 smash hit “Love The Way You Lie,” 2012’s “Numb” and 2013’s “Monster.” Their collaborative relationship morphed into a full-fledged tour in 2014.