Eminem explains his five year absence from the music scene before his comeback last year. He was strung out on the prescription sleep aid Ambien.
After his 2004 album "Encore," his battle with drug addiction was so bad that he had to take off five years from music before making a comeback. Now you feel bad when you complained that Eminem wasn't making new music. Not only did he need to get clean, he said the drugs were causing him a severe case of writers block.
"I try to stay recording, because if I don't, I get rusty. I'm very paranoid about writer's block – I had it for four years, and it drove me f-cking crazy. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't think of sh-t" the rapper tells Rolling Stone magazine.
He says he literally has no recollection for those five years of his life.
"The pills had a lot to do with it. Just wiping out brain cells. I don't know if it sounds like I'm making excuses, but the absolute truth is a lot of my memory is gone. I don't know if you've ever taken Ambien, but it's kind of a memory-eraser. That sh-t wiped out five years of my life."
You know when you black out from drinking too much and have no recollection of the night before, but then you laugh about it later when someone tells stories of how you vomited in the McDonald's drive-thru after demanding they sell you 1000 McNuggets? Yah, well imagine that lasting for five years and it's not so funny anymore.
"People will tell me stories, and it's like, 'I did that?' I saw myself doing this thing on BET recently, and I was like, 'When was that?'" says Eminem.
He attributes the start of the addiction to when he was filming the semi-autobiographical film "8 mile" in 2002.
"We were doing 16 hours on the set of '8 Mile', and you had a certain window where you had to sleep. One day somebody gave me an Ambien, and it knocked me the f-ck out. I was like, 'I need this all the time'" he reveals.
After that movie he went on tour and ended his probation in 2003 so he had nothing forcing him to stay clean anymore.
"Then, when I got off probation for my felonies [in 2003], and I didn't have to drop urine anymore, the reins came off. On the 'Anger Management 3' tour [in 2005], I was f***ed up every night."
He's been sober since 2007, but what keeps him from relapsing and going back to his addictions? He says all the writing he did do during those years was so intense it scares him to even look at those writings.
"It fu--ing creeps me out. Letters all down the page – it was like my hand weighed 400 pounds. I have all that sh-t in a box in my closet. As a reminder that I don't ever want to go back."