"He's five years sober, so things are a lot different. But it's not as different now as it was when he first went into recovery. There was a time during that period where I felt like I was sort of meeting him again for the first time. He came out of this like horrible spell and he just wasn't himself. But then as I got to know him again as he is now. It's been really great. It was hard to connect with him when he wasn't present. And now [that] he's present, he's a much better partner. I think his art's a lot better and we have a lot more fun doing it. Our relationship both professionally and as friends is stronger than ever." (Billboard)Paul also detailed just how difficult it was to keep Shady Records going with Em being treated.
"It was horrible. It was difficult in a lot of ways. It was sad because of his condition and we were worried about his health first and foremost, but beyond that. Trying to keep everything running when you don't have a partner who is so important to the brand that you've built together and he's just not present and unable to contribute, it's just... very difficult. But we were definitely most worried about his health and wellbeing." (Billboard)A couple years ago, former Shady Records artist Cashis talked about Em extending a hand to help out with his own drug addiction problem.
"First time I met Em, in the studio in Detroit, I had a vial of like 80 Valiums and I popped em all in like a day and a half. He was like "D*mn, dog you might wanna get some help. Let me know, I can help you out, discretely,' " the rapper explained. "I was like 'Nah man. Where I'm from, what would I look like?' I got off it my own, and later on, I found out -- like the rest of the world -- Em was getting off of it. During that time, I just quit talking to everybody dog. I didn't talk to no friends, family." (Baller Status)Back in 2010, Slim Shady said his past drug woes had a damaging impact on his music-making abilities.
"I had to learn to write and rap again, and I had to do it sober and 100 percent clean. That didn't feel good at first...I mean it in the literal sense. I actually had to learn how to say my lyrics again -- how to phrase them, make them flow, how to use force so they sounded like I meant them. Rapping wasn't like riding a bike. It was [as much] physical as mental. I was relearning basic motor skills. I couldn't control my hand shakes. I'd get in the [recording] booth and tried to rap, and none of it was clever, none was witty and I wasn't saying it right...It was four or five months after I'd been clean when I started to get a glimmer of my writing skills back. I don't remember what song I was working on specifically, but I do remember getting feeling back in the music. I realized I wanted to do this again." (New York Post)