Eminem opened up about detoxing after a near-fatal overdose 15 years ago in an interview joined by his longtime manager Paul Rosenberg.
The pair reunited on a SiriusXM podcast to discuss what went on behind the scenes during the recording of the rapper's 2009 album, Relapse.
On the latest episode of Paul Pod: Curtain Call 2, Eminem first recalled the positive experience of making Relapse–which was his first studio album of original material since 2004's Encore.
His four-year hiatus from the recording studio was attributed to writer's block and his addiction to Vicodin and Valium.
Said Eminem about the creative process going into making Relapse:
"I remember when I first got sober and all the sh*t was out of my system, I remember just being, like, really happy and everything was f'king new to me again."
"It was the first album and the first time that I had fun recording in a long time."
"It was like the first time I started having fun with music again, and re-learning how to rap, you remember that whole process."
"It took a long time for my brain to start working again."
During the grueling production of his starring role in his 2002 film 8 Mile, Eminem developed insomnia.
His first experience with drug addiction started around this time when an associate gave him an Ambien tablet which "knocked [him] out" after which he continued encouraging Eminem to obtain a prescription.
Towards the end of recording Encore, the rapper said he habitually began taking the drugs to "feel normal," and that it was a "ridiculous amount."
"I could consume anywhere from 40 to 60 Valium [in a day]. Vicodin, maybe 30," he said in a 2010 Rolling Stone interview.
As his addiction spiraled out of control, he was hospitalized for a methadone overdose in December 2007. A dealer once convinced him the drug was "just like Vicodin, and easier on [your] liver."
Eminem continued to buy and take more until he eventually collapsed in his bathroom one night.
He was rushed to the hospital where doctors told him he had ingested the equivalent of four bags of heroin and was "about two hours from dying."
Rosenberg confirmed the rapper's memory of the experience, adding:
"You literally were coming off of an overdose and, you know, they had to sort of stabilize you with a few medications and some of them took you a minute to adjust to, let's just leave it at that."
"Didn't you ask the doctors when I started recording new sh*t, when I first started rapping again and sent it to you, didn't you say, like, 'I just wanted to make sure he doesn't have brain damage?'"
Rosenberg admitted to being concerned about the rapper potentially having "permanent problems."
"I was concerned, for sure," he told Eminem.
Relapse was considered a concept album, which according to the artist, was more reminiscent of The Slim Shady LP (1999) and TheMarshall Mathers LP (2000)–with themes centered around drug rehabilitation and relapse.
He recalled the uncomfortable, early recording sessions for the album which took place in Florida.
"I was itching constantly like my f'king skin was crawling and what I didn't realize at the time was that was the barbiturates coming completely out of my system."
Eminem noted how he had been "taking f'king 75 to 80 Valium a night."
Rosenberg told him:
"I don't know how you survived that."
To which the rapper replied:
"I don't either."
Relapse debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, with 608,000 copies sold in its first week, making it the biggest sales week of the year for any album at the time.
It also went on to earn the rapper a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, while the album's single, "Crack a Bottle," won for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.
The 49-year-old artist has been sober since April 20, 2008.