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How a near-death experience inspired an Eminem album

One of the greatest rappers of his generation, the work of Eminem has gone through several changes during his time at the top. Whether it’s fame or fortune, there is always an undercurrent to Em’s work that confirms it is not only authentic but born directly from his personal experiences.

Following on from his debut album and the subsequent shock rap records he released, Eminem’s music took a turn for the vulnerable with 2010’s Recovery, a record that directly addressed his growing reliance on alcohol and other substances. Speaking in that same year, the rapper revealed it was a near-death experience that finally shook him out of his stupor.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Em revealed that he had nearly died in 2007 following a near-fatal overdose. “I had overdosed in 2007, like, right around Christmas in 2007…I pretty much almost died.” It’s a shock to the system that would give most people the impetus to stop their behaviour. But it wasn’t enough for Em.

Of course, initially, Eminem tried to stop taking the prescription pills which had seen him nearly die: “I pulled through and went home and relapsed less than a month later and I literally shot back up to the amount of pills I was taking, shot right back up to where I overdosed.”

Eventually, the daily dose would prove too much and Eminem realised that it was only him that could save himself. He said he finally understood that he had to “take responsibility for the way I’m living and stop blaming other people.” The rapper would find some solace and, soon enough, find his way back into the studio to write and record Recovery.

The album is dedicated “to anyone who’s in a dark place tryin’ to get out. Keep your head up… It does get better!” Within the album, Eminem explores countless themes surrounding his “full-blown addiction” and is one of his most persona LPs to date.

Listen below to the album born out of a near-death experience, Eminem’s Recovery.