Their talk began as you would expect, with Eminem greeting John, “How are you doing, cunt?” and John responding, “I’m very well, you old bastard.” The pair goes on to discuss a handful of topics, including the current landscape of hip-hop.
The inevitable question of ‘Who are the old heads listening to?’ comes up as John asks Eminem if he listens to a lot of current hip-hop (“I listen to pretty much everything that comes out.”) and more specifically, who is “doing great stuff at the moment?”
Em’s answer is mostly predictable: “J. Cole. Travis Scott. Kendrick is great. My friend Royce da 5’9″ is incredible. Joyner Lucas is really good. Tech N9ne, too.”
For the most part, this list of artists makes sense for Eminem. Joyner Lucas and Royce both specialize and dominate the double-time flow that has drawn fans to Eminem since the start of his career. Lucas, however misguided, also fits in with J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar as agents of social change. Eminem has been outspoken about politics long before his controversial “The Storm” freestyle, so these nods also make sense.
As for indie vet Tech, Elton John similarly considers himself a fan (“I love his stuff, too.”).
The “odd man” out here would have to be Travis Scott. No disrespect to Travis, but it’s hard to imagine Eminem vibing out to his Auto-Tuned crooning, no matter how talented Travis may be. That said, it’s always reaffirming to see rap’s old guard taking to and shouting out the leaders of the new generation. While his last single was not a hit, maybe listening to some of rap’s newer artists will help Eminem escape the artistic no man’s land he’s been trapped in for several LPs.
In fact, with the help of Travis Scott, Em’s forthcoming studio album might have been met with more applause from the hip-hop community.