The Story Behind the Lyrics: Eminem’s Experience with Addiction and Recovery


Rap and hip-hop music has had a huge influence on American society, and began in the 1970’s, according to Stanford University. Marshall Mathers, otherwise known as Eminem, has had a prominent place in the rap and hip-hop world as he has won 11 Grammys and an Academy Award. As a celebrity and artist, Eminem has helped fans all over the world connect to his messages and stories of abuse, addiction, violence, and more. His experiences are real, and he’s had ups and downs in terms of recovery.

In 2010, the rapper explained in an interview with Guy Raz, the host of Weekend All Things Considered that he struggled with addiction throughout his career and ultimately had an overdose in December of 2007. Eminem stated,

I don’t think I realized the totality of what happened, so I after I got out of the hospital…when I got home, I went right back to using again”.

Eminem has gone through a lot – from his father leaving him when he was 6 months old, to his mother with Munchausen syndrome struggling with addiction, and then later to his unhealthy marriage with Kim. Eminem released a song titled “Not Afraid” in which he eluded to the struggles he’s gone through and the recovery he’d been working towards:

It was my decision to get clean, I did it for me

Admittedly, I probably did it subliminally for you

So I could come back a brand new me

You helped see me through

And don’t even realize what you did, believe me you

Since 2010, Eminem has worked hard to overcome addiction and has found exercise as a motivational tool. In 2015, Eminem explained to Men’s Journal that he was running 8.5 miles each morning and 8.5 miles each night. This ultimately led to him injuring himself, but he lost a lot of weight and he began working out at home. Eminem has mentioned several times in his songs his love for his daughters and how he wants to be better for them.

Eminem’s recovery has been a long time making, but nobody can truly put a time stamp on recovery because life has so many ups and downs. If you’re struggling with an addiction, begin your journey to recovery today.

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