Eminem has a very big week ahead musically and he’s not even releasing a solo album. The soundtrack to Southpaw, the upcoming drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams and 50 Cent is being released via Shady Records and features two leadoff singles from the “Phenomenal” rapper.

While speaking to The New York Times, Eminem explained when he knew to keep one finger on the game’s pulse and when not to.

Are you plugged in with current rap music?

I try to stay up on everything that’s out. I love [Lil] Wayne, Drake, Big Sean, Schoolboy Q. I love Kendrick [Lamar]. I just try to pay attention to what’s out. Wayne puts out a new song, and my ears perk up. There are certain artists that make me do that just because of the caliber that they rhyme at — it’s like candy to me. Kendrick, the way he puts albums together — front to back, they’re like pieces of art. But hip-hop needs Drake, too. Hip-hop needs Big Sean. I feel like hip-hop is in a good place right now. There’s this balance of things going on, and it feels like some of the best rappers are the most successful. Sometimes that’s not the case.

Do you feel competitive with the Kanyes and Drakes and Kendricks of the world? You seem a little removed from that.

Kanye, as well — I forgot to mention Kanye. I’ll always be lyrically competitive.

Where do you hear new stuff?

Other people tell me about it and pull it up for me. I wait for other people to show it to me. I don’t particularly go on the Internet, because the experiences that I’ve had are not good. It’s not productive for me.

You don’t want to Google your own name?

Once I’m on the computer, it’s over, because I’m tempted to look at everything. I went on the computer recently and got on one site, read five comments and was like, “Man.” I have friends that do it — rapper friends. I’m like, “I don’t know how you do that.” Because you end up wanting to fight someone, kill them, or kill yourself — usually all three at once.

Do you think Twitter and Instagram have affected rap?

I know there are a lot of Twitter beefs. People used to just make songs. But it is what it is. The world’s forever changing, and you’ve just gotta adapt and evolve.

Southpaw (Music from and Inspired By the Motion Picture) drops on July 24. Read the rest of the interview over at The New York Times.

Photo: Ray Garbo/

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