Eminem finds Jay-Z “super interesting”.
The ‘Walk on Water’ hitmaker is impressed with the way the 48-year-old rapper has maintained his fan base over the years and is able to stay “relevant” without having to change himself or his music to fit in.
He said: “I get the part about not liking what your parents like, but we’re also in this weird place where 40-somethings can listen to music with their kids who might be 20-somethings and they can all like the same thing.
“This is making me think about Jay-Z. What I love about him is that he’s figured out a way to stay relevant without conforming. He’s so good at what he does that he makes people follow him, which is super interesting because one of the things that’s great about hip-hop is that it hasn’t been around so long that we know what a full career is supposed to look like.”
While the 45-year-old rapper admits rap is “very youth-driven”, he thinks it is “passion” that keeps himself and Jay making music.
He told Vulture: “Rap is still very youth-driven, and it has this rebellious edge. I think it’s more about passion for me now than rebellion. Passion is what you need to still do music. It’s cool that a younger generation can look to me and Jay and say, ‘Holy s**t, a career doesn’t have to be a five-year run.’
“I know I look at Jay to see what he’s passionate about. I’m right there when he puts out something new. I want to see where he’s at, then I use it to see where I’m at.”
Though the ‘Real Slim Shady’ hitmaker used to be known for mocking pop stars in his lyrics, he insists he has no interest in taking a swipe at current chart successes such as Ed Sheeran because he only did it in the first place to make a point about his own work.
He said: “He’s not a boy band, he’s an artist whose craft I respect. The reason that I went at pop stars back then is that people were calling me a pop rapper. What’s bugged out to me is that — I don’t know if everybody understands this — if everybody could do what I did, they’d just do it wouldn’t they? I’m not this manufactured pop thing and I never was. A way people used to dismiss me was to call me pop. I got mad about that, and I lashed out.”