Pop Culture
Sep 24, 2016, 08:00AM

My Theory Is the Same

A 2014 Chicago magazine interview with author Rick Perlstein vs. a 2002 Rolling Stone interview with rapper Eminem.

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Brave Lemming

Eminem: Take a break.

Rick Perlstein: And suddenly, no more problem.

Eminem: I'm on probation now, so I don't have a choice.

Perlstein: I think we can do better. But whenever those old white men were on your television set for half an hour every night, you could just expect to be sad.

Eminem: Yeah. It’s got a parental advisory sticker.


Perlstein: Most people who cover up their inner wounds with this hard shell of fantasy, once that shell faces adult reality, it cracks, and the result is often trauma and neurosis.

Eminem: Oh, definitely. My theory is the same.

Perlstein: This is what you see in the media.

Eminem: [Starts picking left nostril]  I am a walking spectacle. I realized it wasn't my fault and there's nothing I could have done. It was inevitable.

Perlstein: And the results were, all around us, smoking ruins.


Eminem: There I was, in the fucking precinct getting booked, and the cops were asking me for autographs while they were fucking booking me, and I'm doing it, I'm giving them the autographs.

Perlstein: That’s the ability to project this blithe aspect in the midst of chaos. It’s astonishing.

Eminem: Don’t believe the hype.

Perlstein: What if we had really taken to heart the idea that getting into a counterinsurgency war thousands of miles away was a dangerous thing to do?

Eminem: I’m cool. I’m chilling now. I actually know how to program a drum machine now.


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