Eminem: ‘I still feel like America is the greatest country to live in’

Game of Thrones' Kit Harington walks the blue carpet at Giffoni Film Festival

Eminem is promoting his new album, Revival. He is 45 years old and, I have to admit, more woke than you would expect. Granted, Eminem has always been more of a liberal/progressive than anything else – he openly bashed George W. Bush, but Marshall has never seemed to go through the “angry white guy anarchist” phase, you know? Like, Marshall Mathers VOTES. He doesn’t want to burn the system to the ground. And yes, I’m sure there will be tons of people who canceled him long ago for his misogyny, and if that’s the case, I understand. But I guess I feel like Em is more than the sum of his worst moments and most misogynistic lyrics. He’s spent much of the past decade clean and sober and quietly raising his three daughters in Detroit.

Anyway, to promote this album, Eminem chatted with Elton John for Interview Magazine. I was surprised by how kind they are to each other. I knew they were friendly, obviously, but I guess I never realized how affectionate they are towards each other. They talked about sobriety, politics and more. Some highlights:

Getting clean: “Yeah, nine years. Getting clean made me grow up. I feel like all the years that I was using, I wasn’t growing as a person.

Looking back at his entire career: “There are ups and downs. I haven’t had a perfect career. I’ve put some albums out that, looking back, I’m not super proud of, but there’s also a lot of stuff that I am very proud of. You’re not going to hit it every single time, and that’s why, when I record an album, I do probably close to 50 songs. Each song I record has to get better. If it’s not better than the last song that I made, it’ll usually linger for a couple of months, and then it’ll be put on the backburner, and then there’ll be another song that I do, and then it often doesn’t make it on the album.

His taped performance of “The Storm” for the BET Awards: “I wrote it. The original idea was for me to go to the BET Awards and do it acapella onstage. I went home that same day and wrote it all, but then at the last minute, plans got switched around and we filmed it in Detroit. One of the things we were trying to mimic was Public Enemy’s “You’re Gonna Get Yours” cover. I don’t know if anybody got that, but that’s kind of the feel that we were going for. My main concern was trying to get the message out and also memorize all the words. I have a hard time memorizing stuff. I’m always in the process of writing a new song, so trying to learn a new one takes a minute.

The divided country: “It was about having the right to stand up to oppression. I mean, that’s exactly what the people in the military and the people who have given their lives for this country have fought for—for everybody to have a voice and to protest injustices and speak out against sh-t that’s wrong. We’re not trying to disrespect the military, we’re not trying to disrespect the flag, we’re not trying to disrespect our country. But sh-t is going on that we want to make you aware of. We have a president who does not care about everybody in our country; he is not the president for all of us, he is the president for some of us. He knows what he’s doing. As long as he’s got his base, he does not give a f–k about anybody else in America. But guess what? There’s more of us than there are of them. I still feel like America is the greatest country to live in. This is my opinion. But we have issues that we need to work on and we need to do better.

When Elton tells him “I love you from a long way away, okay?”: “Thank you, Elton. I love you, too.”

[From Interview]

Eminem could put that political speech onto a t-shirt and I would buy it. “We have a president who does not care about everybody in our country; he is not the president for all of us, he is the president for some of us… As long as he’s got his base, he does not give a f–k about anybody else in America. But guess what? There’s more of us than there are of them.” Yes. As for America “still” being the greatest country to live in… obviously, considering Em’s build-up, he’s saying that with his eyes wide open, knowing that America is still a pretty f–ked up place. Thus, he acknowledges “we have issues that we need to work on and we need to do better.” Amen to that.

Game of Thrones' Kit Harington walks the blue carpet at Giffoni Film Festival

Photos courtesy of Interview Magazine.

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71 Responses to “Eminem: ‘I still feel like America is the greatest country to live in’”

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  1. Jade says:

    Yeah nah mate…

    • MeowuiRose says:

      I used to date a guy who would get so mad when I told him that literally couldn’t be a fact b/c greatness is subjective. He was very Right leaning and I’m more moderate Left with some Right leaning. I didn’t realize how much his views were different from mine until Trump got the nomination and things started to get intense. I was madly in love with him and we agreed not to discuss politics but then he would make this snide remarks about the Left and I’d be like dude chill. Anywhos greatness is subjective and its totally fine to feel that way. I love the US. We have a lot of shit to work through but I love the US. I was not born here and my life would have been very different had I not been adopted (think City of God). I am so grateful for all the opportunity I’ve been brought into b/c I was adopted. That doesn’t mean you cant call out shit. But yeah….Merica’ Fuck Yeah *

      *some restrictions apply

    • AV says:

      Yeah, not even close. Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland….should I continue? The USA is awesome, even with its problems, but by literally no standard it is the best at *anything.*

      • Jessica says:

        All of those countries are extremely expensive to live in… especially Sweden and Switzerland. America (outside of the major cities) has a lower cost of living then most of the 1st world countries.

      • Sal says:

        America has a lower cost of living because they pay slave wages like Asian sweatshops. There isn’t really even a minimum wage in America. People can be paid as little as 3 dollars an hour. Hence lower cost of living due to less money to spend. Those countries – like Australia, also have universal health care and no one is out of pocket to the tune of thousands of dollars for health care, so that means people in these countries don’t have to spend their income on health care. Unfortunately, America is quite backward and more like a third world country when it comes to minimum wage and health care expenditure.

      • magnoliarose says:

        Not really. The right is on the rise in those countries, and Switzerland stole my families’ money, art and antiques and tried to profit off the Holocaust so they get no breaks from me until my grandmother’s family is whole for a start along with all the other assets they refuse to return to others. They are trying to wait it out until they all die. 50 billion dollars they stole and decided to give my grandmother some embarrassing settlement. It isn’t enough she lost so much but now want to keep what they took, but the fight isn’t over. Switzerland is even hostile to Jews now.
        At least some Russians and Ukrainians helped some people escape and connected my grandfather and others to relatives who were established elsewhere. France and the UK have been helpful, and the British froze all accounts for those in other countries who had holdings there or had been nervous enough to move their assets. So…
        No Thanks. I will take America over that. Nice to visit and it is beautiful but Nopity Nope Nope.
        For white Christians those countries are fine, but for the rest of us, I don’t think so.

      • Sara says:

        Meh I’m from Sweden and I think it’s a pretty tough place to live. People have a different perspective on the country from the outside because they’re great at whitewashing their societal issues. The US is great- but I think Australia was my favorite!

  2. Clare says:

    But where else has he lived, really lived, that qualifies him to make that assessment?

    I mean, I do agree with him – America with all its problems, IS a fantastic place to live, if you aren’t poor. And I say this having grown up in the US and living in Canada/UK/UAE/Italy

    There is nowhere like it.

    • African Sun says:

      The comment always seems kind of imperialistic to me whenever I hear it but I realise some people who say it don’t mean to be hurtful, more he is trying to reassure himself that his country is good.

      • Slowsnow says:

        Agreed. But even if you use it to reassure yourself, it sounds so ignorant. Especially if you’re talking to a non-American person.
        The other day I was watching a documentary with my husband and there was (beloved) Obama doing a speech starting with the same crap “USA is the greatest country of all”… my husband was so annoyed. Especially because we have such love for Obama. It’s an American cliché that actually says a lot about the USA and it’s foreign policies.

      • African Sun says:

        @Slowsnow, love Obama as well but yes the ‘US is the greatest country in the world’ line can get a bit tiring to hear over and over again.

        I will give Em a pass today. I am still shocked to see him doing press.

      • Slowsnow says:

        @African Sun Yes a thousand times. Em is so talented and can grow as person. He gets a pass indeed. My point is that it says more about the mentality than Eminem himself who was caught in a complicated feeling about the current politics.

      • savu says:

        @Africansun yep, agreed. I get that it’s pride and love of country. Still, greatest gets old. Who cares? It feels like you’re trying to state an objective fact when you really mean “I believe in the American mission and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.” And that’s your opinion, you’re framing it as such. Fine by me.

      • African Sun says:

        @Slowsnow, Em is trying to make his female fans bald today. You seen the new interview in Vulture? *gasp* he even says he dates lol.

        @savu Right exactly.

      • slowsnow says:

        @African Sun, how cute is the header photo of that interview? Thanks for that by the way, it was a good read and the interviewer finally gets out of him the difference between then and now at the end. Good effing read.

      • African Sun says:

        @Slowsnow, ugh I know he is so cute. There was a lot to unpack in that interview. I think the Vulture interview is better than Elton’s line of questioning.

        IDGAF what anyone says Em is aging like wine, he looks so good. I was shocked to see how much he is opening up this era – maybe he has listened to some of the gentle criticism of him being locked away in his own world too much.

        Re women – I thought it was interesting that he said nothing of note has happened to the point where he would want to make it public, very interesting if you read between the lines.

        Re his passion – it’s still tere.

        Slowsnow, I need Em to stop working with RR. I would like to see him and Dre back together.

      • Milla says:


        But those comments also made this mess USA is in now. Medical care, homophobia, rasicm, religion, those are just some of the issues and i don’t see when and how is that gonna change. Let’s not forget gun control… and the fact that Americans work approximately 30hrs more than average worker in Europe, per week that would be.

        Let’s be realistic. There’s no perfect country. There’s no system that works for regular people. That whole concept of best country in the world is what caused the 45.

    • FLORC says:

      He’s at the very least well traveled.
      As another poster said in reference. Greatness is subjective. I agree. It is. Many things are lovely about the states. Many horrific. And many shades of gray. We have potential and can access and apply it more easily than other countries.

  3. African Sun says:

    He still looks great, such a change from the bottle blonde hair.

    Well there are many other countries in the world, so I am always puzzled when people say the US or any country is the greatest but I understand he is just giving his opinion.

    I wonder how Revival will do when the final sales numbers are out this week. Fans seem divided.

  4. Slowsnow says:

    Love Eminem, flaws and all.
    Cannot understand patriotism. How can you say to a foreigner that your country is the greatest of all? Borders are perhaps necesssary, but the subsequent territorialism is a big misunderstanding of human relationships and the variety of emotional attachment imo.

  5. littlemissnaughty says:

    I never understood that “greatest country” bs. Why is that important? You love your country no matter what would be a much stronger statement. By what measure is it so great? Statistics on things like infant mortality, health care, violent crime, and education do not suggest that it’s the “greatest”. But at the end of the day, it always depends on who you are in that country. For a wealthy Sheik, Saudi Arabia is awesome. For a women? Not so much. For rich people who don’t care about others that much, a LOT of countries can be the greatest.

    If you love your country, you recognize the potential, no matter how great is already is. And you want to improve it. I hope he’s saying that for him it’s still the greatest country to live in.

    • Sixer says:

      I’m allergic to patriotism.

      But I do think the current superpower – whichever country it is, whatever period of history it is/was in – always has some kind of exceptionalist narrative. Britain’s was “the mission to civilise” – and the majority of the population was sufficiently propagandised to genuinely believe it, by and large. The narrative is, of course, nonsense, but I think it’s a kinda necessary one – it’s generally used to wallpaper over the unpleasant things that countries do to a) achieve superpower status and b) maintain it. It’s like um… an international form of virtue signalling!

    • Pinetree13 says:

      I think it’s rude for anyone to say their country is the greatest. I love where I live but if I was forced to move the US would not be in my top five places to move to. The gun laws alone keep me away followed closely by water quality issues and the culture itself of not valuing education, jobs giving way less vacation then here, etc.

  6. FishBeard says:

    It’s far better than other countries where basic human rights are being violated daily, or bombs are being dropped on innocent civilians. That shouldn’t be the measuring rod by which we determine a country’s prosperity. We should never take for granted our rights, because they can easily be taken away by powerful people.

    • courtney says:

      well said

    • jayem says:

      Exactly! Maybe America isn’t perfect – and is *really* struggling right now – but the ideals remain something that everyone aspires to.

      And for everyone using teeny, tiny little European countries as examples, they have like 1/10th (or less) of the population and definitely a single digit percentage of land mass, so it’s really, really easy to run, compared to GIANT America and it’s HUGE, multi-cultural population. If most of your country is the same ethnicity, religion and culture, it’s a lot easier to get them on the same page.

      • Tina says:

        Not that Canada is perfect or anything, but it manages to give its people health care and not have them shot to death too much whilst still having a multicultural (albeit small) population. I’d rather live there than the US.

      • magnoliarose says:

        They aren’t as populated which is part of the charm in my view. Lots of land and space and fewer people.

      • Tina says:

        I think this is one of the important differences between North Americans and Europeans. For a lot of North Americans, having a large garden, big car, big refrigerator, etc are important to them. It’s what they grew up with, it’s one of the things that matters to them. I had those things when I lived in Canada and the USA and enjoyed them, but I didn’t miss them when I came back to the UK. I missed the BBC, proper tea, Hobnobs, pubs, football etc. much more. It really is what you grow up with, and that’s why it’s so subjective.

    • eto says:

      “basic human rights are being violated daily, or bombs are being dropped on innocent civilians” – LOL you know that it sometimes us that are dropping those bombs or aiding those dictators, right?

    • QueenB says:

      Uhm who do you think is dropping those bombs and who put the tyrants into power?

  7. INeedANap says:

    I have often disagreed with him but he seems to grow his opinions organically from his own knowledge and experience. He’s somebody who’s thought about his convictions, he’s not just blindly parroting what gets fed to him by others. I’ll respect him for that, and hope a steely-eyed feminist influences him in his life.

  8. Michel says:

    As a fellow Detroiter I LOVE Eminem!! As for his past, who hasn’t done or said crap in their twenties they aren’t proud of? He has grown up a lot and does a lot for Detroit.

  9. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Love Em. Always have. He has been someone who has continually grown and matured over the years. And I respect the fact that he has never had a problem admitting when he was wrong or when his opinion has changed due to age and experience.

  10. LT says:

    I don’t understand the outrage at all – so now patriotism is shameful? I completely get what he’s saying – despite all of its flaws, he loves this country. I agree with him 100%. I have traveled extensively, lived overseas, always worked for international companies and have many colleagues and friends who are citizens of other nations (so my opinion is not born out of ignorance) and I believe the US is the greatest country on the planet – which is why the current situation in the US is so deeply painful. We are so much better than this – and I do believe we will fix our problems, but it’s going to be a tough road ahead. Love of country is one of the things that drives me to improve life in the US for my fellow Americans.

    • Slowsnow says:

      @LT Please, by all means love your country. But love should not diminish other people’s love, i.e. other countries. If you travelled that much and have friends from other countries it should at least have inspired you, if not to see the inevitable flaws of your own place, at least to add a very reasonable expression, that denotes an opinion (which is all it is, after all, as greatness cannot be measured unless we’re talking square meters)… “for me”. The USA is the greatest country of all for you. Certainly not for those who cannot have health care for instance and need it for cancer treatments.
      Yes, actually, I loathe patriotism and any form of territorialism, to answer your question.

      • African Sun says:

        @Slowsnow This! +1

      • Redgrl says:

        @slowsnow – exactly. This type of incessant jingoistic chest-thumping is a big part of why so many people from other countries find so many Americans annoying.

      • Bridget says:

        Last I checked, making blanket, all encompassing statements about how one giant group of people “are” based on a stereotype was considered quite rude.

    • lexie says:

      agree! having pride in one’s country is not telling everyone else that their country doesn’t matter or isn’t important. like good grief, please stop with the oversensitivity! some people just have to find fault in absolutely everything.

      • Tina says:

        There’s a difference between having pride in one’s country and saying it is the greatest in the world.

    • magnoliarose says:

      LT loves America, and that is their experience. I have traveled a lot too, and there is no perfect country. It is subjective to the individual.

      • Tina says:

        Absolutely. I just think saying that any country is the “greatest in the world” is a bit silly. I’d rather live in the UK than anywhere else because it’s the greatest for me, but I’d never claim that it’s the greatest in the world.

  11. Umyeah says:

    I am so surprised at ampunt of love this man gets despite his horrible history of mysogyny

  12. Kiki says:

    I have lived in the US, France, Germany and Luxembourg. The US is good, but if he hasn’t lived anywhere else then there is really no point in making comparisons.

    • Pinetree13 says:

      Not to mention people are typically biased to where they grew up regardless of where they move to later. Childhood nostalgia makes objectivity difficult.

  13. Odette says:

    Sorry, nope. America may be great for some, for a lot of us it’s a crazy-making pit.

  14. Monsy says:

    Yeah, America is a vast, diverse continent to live in.

    • Pamela says:

      I hear you, I hate when people from US call their country America, that’s a continent, not a country. We’re all Americans, not only people born in USA.

  15. Monsy says:

    Yeah, America is great and a vast, diverse continent to live in.

  16. Amanda says:

    So which country would be better?

  17. Amaria says:

    Maybe should try living anywhere else before saying that. Especially, to know if a country is truly great, see how it treats its poorest, most vulnerable citizens. That is how I see greatness – protecting those who cannot protect themselves. And USA, well…

    • Bridget says:

      Do you know anything about Eminem at all? He most definitely knows how the poorest, most vulnerable Americans live.

      • Tina says:

        But I’d wager that he doesn’t know how the poorest Swedes, Danes, Japanese, etc live (much better than the poorest Americans).

    • Peanut Gallery says:

      There’s nothing wrong with loving the country you were born and raised in. You obviously don’t know anything about him–he grew up DIRT POOR and was poor until his first album got big. He knows very well what that’s like and he’s, quite frankly, living proof of the American Dream.

  18. savu says:

    I listened to his new album yesterday and was pretty impressed with some songs, meh to others. “Like Home” should be a protest anthem of a generation, if you ask me. I played it three times in a row. I am always game for someone openly calling Trump a nazi. If you haven’t heard it, I’d highly recommend it. Best song on the album, hands down. It’s about how awful things are right now, but full of hope and determination. I just loved it.

    Elton John called him once a week to check on him while he was getting sober. It doesn’t surprise me that this was a great interview.

    There are other songs that feel like juvenile Eminem. But meh that’s who he is.

    • African Sun says:

      I love the fun and energetic Em. Haven’t had the chance to hear Revival yet.

      Are there songs like Berzerk on there from MMLP2? God I LOVED that song!

  19. Bridget says:

    It says more about commenters who need to parse Eminem’s love of the US, which he literally stated was his opinion. He is allowed to love his country. He is allowed to think it’s great. And frankly, it’s not something that is unique to the US AT ALL.

  20. Ozogirl says:

    Sure, for him America is still great. He’s white, male and filthy rich. I never co-signed with the notion that America was “the greatest country in the world” anyway. I think it’s arrogant to say and there are many great countries (who also have their fair share of issues). But he is spot on that Trump is not the president for “all”. He’s president to the rich and to his voters.

    Now can we talk about that awful beard and what work he’s had done? He looks younger now than he did 5 years ago!

    • savu says:

      Girl, listen to his song “Like Home”. He straight up calls Trump a Nazi, says something like “we will rise up against this train wreck and take a stand, Even if it means sittin’ when they raise the flag”… It’s AWESOME. I think those lyrics more accurately say what he’s trying to get across in this interview… that the USA is fucked up right now but this is his home and he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, and the theme of this nation has always been progress.

  21. Aren says:

    “I mean, that’s exactly what the people in the military and the people who have given their lives for this country have fought for—for everybody to have a voice and to protest injustices and speak out against sh-t that’s wrong. ”
    I loved that part. Corrupt presidents often try to manipulate the military on their side, and they sell the narrative that the military is there to put order in a society that is getting “out of hand” or that ‘threatens the stability’. They begin with ‘you should respect the institutions’ and next thing you know, the military is out arresting people they feel are a threat.
    So yes, I’m just glad Eminem said that.

  22. CeeCee says:

    Still and always have mad love for this guy. Sorry not sorry. 🙂 I can respect others disliking/hating him for his misogyny don’t read me wrong.

  23. Peanut Gallery says:

    There is NOTHING wrong with being patriotic and loving the country you live in. Americans don’t expect Europeans or Canadians or whoever to agree but America IS a beautiful country and it is the best, or one of the best, in the world to live in. It depends on what you want for yourself and your lifestyle. There’s a reason so many people want to come to America. That being said, I don’t think Eminem is really relevant anymore. Not sure who he thinks his audience is but it seems like with each album he has LESS to say.

    • Tina says:

      If all you care about is yourself and your own lifestyle, the US is definitely the best country in the world to live in, especially with that new tax cut.

  24. Sal says:

    Yeah, NAH. America has given the world many outstanding people of stage and screen, and music. Good things have come out of America. But there is no minimum wage, no real health system, mass shootings; it is easier to get a gun than get health care. Sorry, but as an Australian, I am biased. I add something a former Prime Minister said the day after Trump was elected;

    “PAUL KEATING: Well, I think, this whole question about our subordination to the United States in a sort of broad policy terms, this society of ours is a better society than the United States, than the society of the United States.

    I mean, it’s more even, it’s more fair, we’ve had a 50 per cent increase in real incomes in the last 20 years, median America has had zero, zero.

    We’ve had universal health protection – from the cradle to the grave.

    We have a retirement income system, with superannuation.

    We have high participation rates in schools. We don’t shoot our children in schools and if they were to be shot, we’d take the guns off the people who shot them. The Americans do not do this.

    This is a better society than the United States. “

    • Jessa Blessa says:

      As an American living in Australia, I think that quote is leaving somethings out. From my personal experience I have been a victim of crime 3 times while I’ve lived in south coast rural New South Wales. I’m originally from Detroit where I never experienced crime for 28 years. The dependence on an unsustainable welfare system is shocking. Racism is blatant and rampant and don’t get me started on the misogyny. I was a bartender in Detroit for 8 years and can count the number of fights I had to break up on one hand. I made it 6 months down here after being punched in the face after trying to break up just one of the many fights that occurred nearly every weekend. I’m not saying Australia is not beautiful because it is and I enjoy living here. I’m just saying glass houses and such.

    • magnoliarose says:

      Definitely not Australia. YOU love it, and that is cool but plenty of similar problems and the men in my experience, in general, are seriously aggro and the racism is possibly worse. If you rid the world of the Murdochs then perhaps… 😛

  25. serena says:

    I know he did a lot of mistakes but I still like him and hope he is a better man now (he seems to be).