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SHADY SEES LIGHT; After leaving behind his on dark days hooked is set to drugs, Eminem shine at T In The Park.

Byline: John Dingwall

EMINEM will deliver a strong anti-drugs message when he headlines T in the Park next weekend, after revealing he was just two hours from death due to a crippling addiction to methadone.

The 37-yearold rap star, back at the top of the charts with his latest album Recovery, slipped into a coma before being rescued by friends. But even after the recovery from the drug dependency, which took a spell in rehab and gave him the title of his latest album release, Eminem admits he tried to keep the extent of his dependence from his closest allies because he did not want to be seen as a victim. Now he's clean and coming clean about the dangers of drugs. He says he is willing to tell anyone who wants to listen there is no substitute for living life - even as a recovering addict.

And he believes the experience has given him an insight into what his mum Deborah Nelson Mathers-Briggs, the butt of some of his earliest songs, went through as she was raising him.

Eminem - real name Marshall Mathers - said: "I certainly probably was a couple of hours away from death, not to make this too tense a moment, but yeah. I overdosed and almost died.

"It took me a while to admit I actually had a problem. In the hip-hop world I live in, it can be mistaken for weakness and the last thing you want to do in hip-hop is admit you're weak.

"Now I u nder s tand I 'm an addic t, I de nitely have compassion for my mother. I get it. But it'd be very hard to repair that relationship."

He admits he did not even know what he was taking half the time, squandering money on whatever drugs he could get his hands on, leading to the overdose that almost killed him.

He said: "I was recovering from vicodin, valium and ambien and, toward the end, methadone, which caused my overdose. I didn't know it was methadone. I used to get pills wherever I could. I was just taking anything anybody was giving to me."

Eminem's problems will strike a chord here, with Scotland topping charts for methadone prescriptions - currently 494,000 each year.

Eminem said: "The rst time I went into rehab was in Brighton, Michigan.

The second time, I didn't go to rehab. I just went to a regular hospital. I detoxed in hospital and then came home. I couldn't go back to rehab. I felt like I was Bugs Bunny in rehab. When Bugs Bunny walks into rehab, people are going to turn and look.

"People at rehab were stealing my hats and pens and notebooks and asking for autographs. I couldn't concentrate on my problem."

The first time I interviewed Eminem, weeks before the release of his first UK single, My Name Is, Irealised that, far from being the bone head many would make him out as, the Detro it rapper had a high intelligence and sensitivity which have s hone through ever since.

That was 11 years ag o and, in that time, he has enjoyed six stud io No 1 albums, including Recovery.

The previous album, Relapse, also topped the

charts, while his o t her UK No1 albums are Encore, The Eminem Show, The Marshall Mathers LP and the compilation album Curta in Call - The Hits.

He also has two top 10 singles i n this week's Official UK singles chart, Not Afraid and I Love The Way You Lie, featuring Rihanna.

But now, Eminem says his eventual recovery has made him determined to make the most of his success while he can. These days he is investing his royalties and fee.

"I save a lot of money by not buying drugs any more," he said. "I invest. I always try to be smart. I try to treat all the money I'm making like it's the last time I'm going to make it.

"I don't think I've actually stopped to think about it. I never thought that my life would amount to this. But to pi a n going crepian going 01cre be able to sit back and digest it is so strange to me because I still feel so regular. I don't understand what people think the big deal is about me. It's a very strange relationship that I have with fame.

"I was pretty much in full-blown addiction while creating Encore and as far as Relapse, when I first got sober, I got really happy because I wasn't a prisoner of addiction any more. Life was brand new to me. I was like, 'Man, trees are beautiful. What a nice day it is'.

a Balado Blac Dizzee a Balado Blac Dizzee addiction while creating Encore and as far as Relapse, when I first got sober, I got really happy because I wasn't a prisoner of addiction any more. Life was brand new to me. I was like, 'Man, trees are beautiful. What a nice day it is'.

I don't think I to what the I don't think I to what the was paying attention average listener might like or not like."

paying attention to those albums and songs that had helped him become the biggest rap star in the world.

was paying attention average listener might like or not like." This album began with Eminem paying attention to those albums and songs that had helped him become the biggest rap star in the world. He recorded most of Recovery in his basement studio in Detroit but found there were some bad trips and unhappy memories that made the sessions uncomfortable.

his basement studio in Detroit but found there were some bad trips and unhappy memories that made the sessions uncomfortable.

The Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show and some of Encore and ask, 'Why don't my music feel like this any more?' The Way I Am, Criminal and Toy Soldiers were songs that meant something.

He said: "I would listen to songs off The Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show and some of Encore and ask, 'Why don't my music feel like this any more?' The Way I Am, Criminal and Toy Soldiers were songs that meant something.

"I still have the studio at my house but it reminds me of when I was in a really dark place. As soon as all the but it reminds me of when I was in a really dark place. As soon as all the pills were flushed out my system pills were us he dout my system and I started seeing things clearer, and I started seeing things clearer, going downstairs and recording creeped me out a little bit."

The return of Eminem - who is creeped me out a little b it." The return of Eminem - who is part Scottish - sees him top the bill part Scottish - sees him top the bill at in the Park on Saturday.

He is part of a line-up which is arguably the best ever to grace arguably the best ever to grace Balado and includes Muse, Jay-Z, Black Eyed Peas, Prodigy and Black Eyed Peas, Prodigy and Dizzee Rascal.

And, while Eminem's set will give Scotland the first opportunity to see Scotland the first oppor tunity to see him per form his new and thoughtful him per form his new and thoughtful songs from the Recovery album in a songs from the Recovery album in alive setting, he admits that he is n't live

setting, he admits that he is n't ready to kill his ant agonistic ready to kill his antagonistic alterego Slim Shady just yet.

alterego Slim Shady just yet.

"Shady still exists," he said. "But I don't think the subjects on this record call for, you know, bring the record call for, you know, bring the chainsaws and axes out and murder everyone on this record. There was so much stuff like that off the last record that I felt like I was starting to run it into the ground. I think consciously I went in a different direction with this record.

"Anything I've ever said, I certainly was feeling at the time. But I think I've calmed down a bit. My overall look on things is a lot more mature than it used to be. I see a rehab counsellor once a week. I've been clean for two years. It's the new tolerant me."

CAPTION(S):

RAP IT UP: Eminem at the Gram my awards with Elton John, above, in Slim Shady persona, right, and on stage at Hampden, below, in 2003, his last appearance in Scotland
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 2, 2010
Words:1435
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