In a first-person story written for the 25th anniversary of XXL, Eminem detailed his rise to fame, addiction battle, and his past and current inspirations. As he regularly does, Em pointed to the rappers who laid the foundation in Hip-Hop, pinpointing them as the reason why he wanted to rap in the first place.
"All the MCs who inspired me coming up. It took me a long time to get over meeting Dre," Em wrote. "When he walked into the room at Interscope, I was like, What the fuckin' fuck? This is really happening? And then getting to meet people like Treach, Redman, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Masta Ace, Rakim. I wouldn't be here without all of them. That's where I got my whole inspiration from. Just studying them."
Em went on to break down Kool G Rap's style, which has been highly influential for years, inspiring countless emcees, especially those with complex wordplay and visceral street tales.
"Kool G Rap would put fuckin' 10 words in two lines and it would rhyme, and they would fall right into each other," Em wrote, before referencing G Rap's verse on "Jive Talk". "I studied that. He said, "A letter to you suckers, each and every one of you duck muthafuckas/Your girl puckers her lips, so I stuck her." He just said a sentence, but five things rhymed in there. And to this day, I still get really fuckin' weird and freaked out inside when I talk to LL COOL J. I listened to it, studied it, but also loved it, loved the music. Rappers like D.O.C., Tupac Shakur, and Biggie. Those were all my influences. I would never be anywhere near where I am today if it wasn't for them."
Eminem has recently been riding high since the release of his second greatest hits album, Curtain Call 2. In addition to winning an Emmy for his Super Bowl performance with Dr. Dre, his 2009 song with 50 Cent and Dre, "Crack a Bottle," just surpassed 200 million streams on Spotify. Still making music, he was also spotted in the studio with Dre and Snoop Dogg, who are working on a new project.