Eminem’s former bodyguard asked fans question on Reddit and revealed a lot of unknown facts. Read the full Q&A below:
I was a bodyguard for Eminem from spring 2000 (right before The Marshall Mathers LP was released) up until about fall of 2004 (right around when Encore was released).
I can write a book about it. You never would have guessed Eminem was a celebrity. He was exceedingly humble, somewhat awkward and rarely a dick to people. He treated all of his staff, ranging from sound engineers to those who prepared food at the studio, very kindly and well. He never used his celebrity status to bully or throw contempt towards others, and actually shied away from it. Eminem’s younger half-brother Nate, though, was a different story and used his relationship with Eminem to get him passes everywhere and into a different girl’s pants every night.
Also, Eminem was a serious fan of pistols (always carrying one on him, even after his arrests :O) and was, at certain times, quite a heavy prescription drug user. You fans were the biggest issue. Eminem could barely go anywhere and concerts, tours and any public appearances (especially around late 2002 when both The Eminem Show and the film 8 Mile were totally dominating popular culture) were the most chaotic experiences I have ever had.
I do want to say, it is extremely important to never judge celebrities or make assumptions about them or what they do because they totally can (and many totally do) lose their minds with the exorbitant amount of fame and excess they are exposed to.
EDIT: I see this has generated quite a bit of attention. Feel free to AMA. Many of you have asked me to tell me stories and off the top of my head, there are hundreds. I spent many, many hours with him and his crew and it was truly an experience that I will forever cherish. I’d be happy to answer more specific questions.
Will you write the book?
I’ve been thinking about it. Sadly, one of his former bodyguards (around 1999 to 2000) had issues with Eminem and wrote a miserable “tell all” called Shady Bizness.
It was basically filled with sensationalism and lies as a result of him having a personal issue with Em, and I’m not sure how much I necessarily like the idea of “profiting” off of what I considered to be one of my most important and genuine friendships. The idea is good in theory but I don’t think I’d ever muster up the temerity to actually do it.
Given what you said earlier about Em being humble and whatnot, it might end up being a boring book…
Eh, don’t make assumptions. He was a hell of a guy but boy, did we have some wild events.
One night I’ll surely never forget is the 2002 Anger Management Tour at Ford Field in Detroit. Several fans tried to physically contact Em and had to be restrained, Proof (may that awesome soul forever RIP) slapped a woman who grabbed his dick (she basically tried to yank his pants off and blow him when he was walking offstage) and I drank more Remy Martin than I ever have in my life with Obie Trice.
How often was D12 around during those years? Did you ever experience any of the beef he had with other rappers?
Was there a lot of weed around in his crew?
- D12 was around incessantly. Because of the years I worked, I was around the entire time they were recordingDevil’s Night and D12 World. They accompanied Eminem on all the tours he went on during that period also, so I spent plenty of time with them. Honestly, each and every single one of those men is awesome. I have nothing but good things to say about them. Kon Artis (now known as Mr. Porter) is a great producer and humble guy, Kuniva and Swifty are so so down to earth and jovial, and Bizarre is a funny ass guy. As for Proof, man, it’s hard for me to write about him because his death still makes me choke up. That man was an icon in Detroit and I shit you not, Eminem wouldn’t have been who he is without Proof.
- I experienced all of the beef he had because security was especially beefed up during that time. His feuds with Benzino and 50’s with Ja Rule were the roughest, there were some times we were seriously concerned for his safety. The ICP beef also was pretty concerning because both Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope are pretty tough guys with some loyal ass fan. The only beef we never really gave a fuck about was the Everlast and Limp Bizkit beef.
- Yeah, weed was always big. Whenever he recorded with Dre there was weed around. The Bass Brothers liked to smoke too when they produced and some of the engineers and other production members enjoyed toking up. D12 members were all fond of weed and Eminem himself used it quite a bit. His favorite drug by far was certainly Vicodin though.
How did you get the position, and why did you leave it?
I knew Joel Martin (the owner of the studio in Ferndale, Michigan where Eminem recorded most of his albums) and he got me the position.
I had to leave due to some unexpected family issues. I still keep in touch with Eminem and sometimes tag along, but I no longer do security full time.
Did you ever see him fight? Even if just for a moment before you stepped in? How did he handle himself in that situation/could he throw a punch?
I did see him fight and it was usually at a shit ton of the strip clubs (Cheetah was one of his favorites) that he liked to frequent. He would rarely start the fight but was quick to go off on a fan or something who got smart with him, especially if he had some liquor in him. He could actually handle himself pretty well and it’s because of how many times he got beat and bullied when growing up.
Did you ever meet Kim? Any opinions of her?
I met Kim many times. All in all, I liked her. Sure, she had a pretty serious cocaine habit of her own and was a pretty wild girl, but at heart she was a good person. She stayed with Em through most of the bullshit and was a hell of a supporter before he hit it big (though I wasn’t around for that, obviously). The transition to the fame was as taxing and troubling for her as it was for him. One night forever etched into my memory was in July 2000 when she slit her wrists after her performed the track “Kim” live. I felt awful hearing about that and rushing to the hospital. Kim’s mom was a mess and Em was shook up. He didn’t intend to perform it live that night and ended up doing so because he thought she wasn’t in the audience. Em vented through his tracks, he wasn’t ever the type to lay hands on her.
Wouldn’t you have to sign an NDA when working in a position like that?
Surprisingly, no. I was introduced to Eminem through Joel Martin (he owned the studio in Ferndale, Michigan where Eminem recorded much of his albums) and Paul Rosenberg (another great guy) handled most of the legal end. There are certain things I actually am forbidden from saying, others I won’t mention because it would be too much of a violation, but I can pretty much say most of it. All the people around Eminem did and do. You’d be surprised how many people he interacted with. Celebrities and their lawyers aren’t dumb, they know they can’t reasonably expect all these people to be completely quiet.
I watched an interview of Kim saying that he cheated on her on a daily basis. Does this resemble reality in any way you have noticed?
At times, he did sleep with plenty of the groupies but it was usually when they weren’t together. They’d break up and be back together in a week. It was typically during those five days in between that he was cheating on her, but unfortunately, he did cheat on her and at times, it was when they were together.
Bear in mind he was a corny kid who couldn’t really get girls, and he was suddenly granted access to pretty much anyone he wanted. Kim had her spouts of infidelity too, though.
My question is, do you know the full story with Mariah Carey? And also, were there times when the media actually got to him about his “hateful rhymes”? Did he ever feel bad about rapping about something like raping his mom and things like that?
Ahhh, haha. I won’t go into the Mariah ordeal, sorry to disappoint.
The media certainly got to him. I remember one time, right after MMLP came out and after his arrest (so mid June 2000) he was hearing so much shit about himself in the media that he just threw the bowl of grapes he was eating at the TV. It pissed him off a lot because he felt he was being judged without people understanding his background.
He never cared much about his mom (at the time), as he truly felt she had fucked him over in life, but I remember when when he was performing “Without Me” during the Anger Management Tour, he’d always get stunned at the “Fuck you, Debbie!” line. He said to me, “I never though I’d have this much power through rap. I literally have thousands of people across dozens of states cussing my mom out just because I wrote it into a record.”
He did feel bad about the hate Kim got though. No matter how much he (seemingly) loathed her, she is the only woman who’s really fit for him and he did have many good periods with her. During those times, he felt like shit about some of the stuff he wrote about her, but then they’d go and have another fight about something stupid and he’d be right back to writing hateful lyrics about her.
Can you tell us anything about scrapped albums/projects?
Plenty of them. He recorded so many songs, not to mention bars or verses that he got rid of. He is writing and rhyming all day, it’s a constant thing for him. If he asked for a glass of water he’d just pop off “Bring me the cup/fill it with stuff/it’s never enough/I don’t give a fuck, etc.” so he tossed out a shit ton of material.
Was there any rapper (or person in the music industry ) that he disliked/hated?
The ones he beefed with and almost all pop stars. He fucking hated Christina Aguilera especially.
Does he think that he is one of the best rappers ? Or does he see himself as overrated?
He recognized his talent even back then but never really felt he was the best. Nowthat he’s more comfortable with it he’s made tracks like “GOAT” and “Rap God” but at the time I worked with him, he still felt he wasn’t shit and that there were many others far better than him. To this day, he doesn’t feel that he’s the “best rapper ever.”
Which of his albums does he love the most?
All of them, I truly mean that. The Eminem Show and Encore especially though, because I was around during 95% of those tracks being recorded.
Was he ever scared of something?
Becoming his father. He never wanted to abandon his kids and never, even as an adult, understood how his father could abandon an innocent child for any reason. Proof had a bunch of kids and I have seen Em lecture him a number of times about being sure to be involved in their life. Em was absolutely terrified at the prospect of losing his kids, either through his own will (like his own father did) or through the courts. He wasn’t even worried about going to jail when all that gun bullshit happened with the bouncer, he was just worried about not being able to care for and have access to Hailie and Lainie (Whitney hadn’t been born yet).
How did he change, if at all, from MMLP to 8 mile?
He became much more mature, but he also became a bit more reclusive. For one, he started doing more drugs in the fall of 2001 (when he was shooting the 8 Mile film) and his fame was booming even more.
The fame he experienced from SSLP to MMLP was a big jump, but nothing touched the fame explosion induced The Eminem Show and 8 Mile. The entire year of 2002 was nuts and he became more sheltered, used more drugs and a bit more unaware of how to respond to the burst of attention.
Did you get to party with them?
I attended all the parties but had to remain sober most of the time. Usually, I’d indulge only when Eminem’s safety was guaranteed (i.e., we are backstage, we are at the studio, we are at his house or Trick Trick’s house, etc.) or when Eminem himself forced me to lol. He always wanted to make sure the people around him were relaxed. Obviously, he made sure his security team was cognizant and aware but if it was ascertained that there wasn’t a threat, we got pretty high and/or drunk.
I’ve recently started listening to his music and reading a little bit about his life. I know (it’s quite obvious) that he has problems with his mom. Did you ever meet her in person? If so, how did it go?
Met Debbie a few times. The public doesn’t really know this, but they did reconcile a bit in 2000 but it didn’t last long. She was, for lack of a better term, pretty white trash. Didn’t really care for some of her antics and attitude, but the woman lived a miserable life too. No money, husband abandoned her, hooked on drugs and drinking, living in rough neighborhoods, etc. I can’t totally fault her.
I’ve heard he wrote most of his songs rather high…
Yeah, he did write while high. He performed high and there were periods where he was just high all the time. There were, though, many prolonged instances of sobriety.
He admitted to me that he never really did anything outside of weed until he got into the rap industry and it was so abundant and he had more money for everything.
Did you ever get a glimpse into his writing style, and what he does when he’s making music? Is he secluded when he writes or is it a bit more collaborative?
I was alongside him for almost the entire writing process. It all depended on the record and on his mood when recording. Sometimes he was secluded, other times it was collaborative.
The process did have multiple takes. Many times, he’d write or record shit and then completely discard it. Some of those records and verses he never used were astounding. His studio and home are also filled with his notorious lyrics sheets. Even after four years of trying to read them, I never could really decipher them lol.
I know you don’t necessarily want to talk out of school, but can you tell us a little more about Nate, the half-brother? It’s weird how just being related to a celebrity seems to give you access to willing women. How would he proposition them? Was he like a groupie consolation prize?
Nate tagged along on many of the tours and he was around Em when Em often went out. When it comes to groupies, they don’t really care who it is that they are actually fucking. They’ll fuck Drake’s sound engineer’s brother if it means they can brag to their friends that they hooked up with someone in Drake’s camp, even if it wasn’t Drake himself.
It’s very common for all those around a celebrity, be they family or friends, to enjoy the perks of the celebrity even if they don’t actively seek for it. Nate didn’t necessarily have to do the work himself, it was often the girls throwing themselves at him once they realized he was Em’s brother.
One thing I’ve often wondered is what Hailie’s upbringing was like… She has a father who’s morality was constantly (and unfairly) scrutinized in the media and a mother who’s own “dirty laundry” was often aired in Em’s work.
I was always pissed off by how badly Eminem (and even Kim) were portrayed in the media but how well they raised their daughters.
I was around all the girls during the time I worked and both Eminem and Kim swore that no matter what they went through personally, the kids would be loved. Eminem is the type of guy who truly would step in front of a barrage of bullets for his daughters. He has a massive amount of love for them and both he and Kim did a marvelous job of keeping their kids protected. That’s why the Ja line about Hailie drove him crazy, because he swore to never let her get affected by his fame insofar as he could. The girls are all older now and yes, none are in the tabloids or doing anything questionable. It’s funny, because I saw the crazy side of Em and it’s nuts to think his daughters don’t act wild or do drugs at all.