Eminem has spoken out about the drug addiction that ground his career to a halt for the last four years.
On the brink of releasing his comeback album Relapse, the rapper told of the problems he faced in the aftermath of friend and fellow D12 member Proof's death in 2006.
"I wasn't ready mentally. I wasn't ready to give up the drugs. I didn't really think I had a problem," Eminem told XXL magazine. "Basically, I went in, and I came out. I relapsed, and I spent the next three years struggling with it. Also, at that time, I felt like I wanted to pull back, because my drug problem had got so bad."
Taking a break
"I felt like, maybe if I take a break, maybe this will help. I started to get into the producer role more… I can still be out there with my music, like with the Re-Up album, but I don't have to be in the spotlight the whole time."
Slim Shady, who poses as comic book anti-superhero The Punisher for the magazine, also spoke candidly about losing his best friend Proof. He said: "Proof was the anchor. He was everything to D12. And not just the group - for me, personally, he was everything."
'I was a little bit selfish'
Eminem continued: "Everyone felt his loss, from his kids, to his wife, to everyone. But, for some reason, in hindsight, the way I felt was almost like it happened to just me… Maybe at the time I was a little bit selfish with it. I think it kind of hit me so hard. It just blindsided me."
Eminem releases his sixth album Relapse on 18 May.