Eminem discussed how his infamous anti-Trump freestyle at the 2017 BET Awards came together during an interview with Elton John on the latter’s Beats 1 radio show. The rapper said he was initially slated to perform the incendiary track at the actual ceremony, but because the show was being pre-taped, he and the producers were worried that surreptitious recordings might get out beforehand.
“They were worried about people in the audience with their cell phones,” Eminem said. “Then whatever I say gets out there in the wrong context or just pieces of it you know. So it kind of got switch at the last minute for them to come to Detroit. So I had to switch some things around.”
Eminem added that they chose to record the freestyle in a Detroit carpark for a very particular reason. “It was basically an homage to Public Enemy’s cover of ‘You’re Gonna Get Yours,’ which was a 12-inch single back in the day. But that was kind of what we were trying to play off of.”
Eminem and John also reflected on their famous performance of “Stan” at the 2001 Grammys, with John recalling, “When I saw you rehearsing, I got chills up my spine. I hadn’t seen anybody do that kind of thing to me since I saw Mick Jagger in the early days.”
The two talked about maintaining long careers in the music industry as well. “Listen, I’m blessed,” Eminem said.” I think that we both are in a sense of being able to have longevity you know. It only comes from hard work.”
“Hard work and passion too,” John added. “If you lose your passion, you’re dead, you know?”