Rapper reveals all

One of America's most controversial and best-selling artists Eminem has given a revealing new interview in which he talks about the death of his close friend Proof.

Eminem is set to release his new album 'Relapse' later this year. His first album in five years, it is hugely anticipated and will surely stand as one of the defining albums of 2009.

Not much has been heard of the record, apart from the new celebrity baiting single 'We Made You', and information has been thin on the ground. Eminem makes few public appearances now, but did break his silence in order to induct Run DMC into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

In a new interview with stateside magazine XXL the rapper talks about his feelings after the death of his friend Proof. Eminem is thought to have plunged into a deep depression after losing his friend, which triggered a creative block that lasted some time.

The rapper said "I think it kind of hit me so hard. It just blindsided me. I just went into such a dark place that, with everything, the drugs, my thoughts, everything. And the more drugs I consumed, and it was all depressants I was taking, the more depressed I became, the more self-loathing I became…"

Asked about his spell in rehab and the star was extremely open. "Basically, I went in, and I came out. I relapsed, and I spent the next three years struggling with it. Also, at that time, I felt like I wanted to pull back, because my drug problem had got so bad. I felt like, Maybe if I take a break, maybe this will help. I started to get into the producer role more…"

"I can still be out there with my music, like with the Re-Up album, but I don’t have to be in the spotlight the whole time.”

Eminem did, however, remain in touch with the hip hop scene but he was sadly unimpressed with what he saw. "It just felt like hip-hop was going downhill. And it seemed like kinda fast. You know, in them three years, it was like everybody just cares about the hook and the beat; nobody really cares about substance."

Eminem is due to release his new album 'Relapse' later this year.

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