Skylar Grey Talks About Eminem & “Natural Causes” with Rolling Stone and HipHopDx



On her latest album Natural Causes which drops tomorrow (9/23) the Midwest-bred songstress dropped a couple of rap verses and according to the exclusive interview with HipHopDX Eminem played a significant role in giving her the confidence to do so.


“The first time I wrote a rap was actually a song called ‘Lemonade.’ The rap version of the song isn’t coming out but the early version of it was my first real attempt at rap and of course I didn’t know if it was any good. I sent the verse to the one person I knew I could get great advice from – I sent it to Eminem, – and I was like ‘Tell me if I should ever rap again.’ And he actually called me and said that I should keep going and keep trying cause he didn’t hate it. So he kinda gave me a little confidence and a little boost to keep trying and keep going for it,”


“I really dove into rapping in the last two years. It was totally out of my comfort zone at first but I like to always push myself to the limit so I just said ‘Okay I’m gonna rap,’ and it worked out. I did “Wreak Havoc” for the Suicide Squad movie which was the first rap song I’ve ever released. All the rappers I’ve worked with have influenced me in a way. It’s always amazing to me how many words and punchlines they can fit into a verse. They can really tell a story. That’s why I wanted to rap in the first place. I don’t want my words to be confined by melodies all the time.”



“Kendrick Lamar is my dream collaboration and I feel like our voices would be really complementary. We could come up with some really crazy music for whatever we do. I love him and I like everything associated with his sound, Schoolboy Q is dope too.”


“With ‘Natural Causes’ I felt a little less pressure than last time. I think the expectation level that I had for myself and that people had for me was so high the first time around ‘cause it was coming off the songs I did with Eminem and Dre. This time I felt a little more relaxed coming into it so I think creatively I was able to do something that was more free and the result is a sound that I feel like I’ve really been striving for four years and I finally found it. ‘Picture Perfect’ is a good example of that sound. It’s my favorite song on the album. It combines my favorite elements of my favorite artists and puts it all into one. My favorite artists are Bon Iver, Kendrick Lamar, Radiohead and the song has that Bon Iver style vocal layering and harmonic structure but then a hip hop beat is underneath it, and I’m also rapping on it a little bit, so it’s kind of a cool genre-blending song but all my favorite aspects of these genres.”


Skylar Grey’s exclusively debuted her new single “Kill For You,” featuring Eminem, on Rolling Stone and said:


“Since the first day I started writing ‘Kill for You,’ I thought the Bonnie and Clyde message would be more powerful as a duet. I was stoked when Marshall put a verse on it.”


Natural Causes is now available on US iTunes stores: