Eminem is one of those legacy rappers whose co-sign will always hold weight, even as hip-hop music evolves. Although Kendrick Lamar has found himself now rising to such an iconic level, he once didn't have an easy time convincing Em that he was worthy of a mere compliment. In fact, according to English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, Eminem once thought that K. Dot was using a ghostwriter and chose to check him on it.
During an episode of the Zach Sang Show, Sheeran relayed the story, which was told to him by Rick Rubin, of how Eminem, when told that Kendrick was one of the best rappers out, had suspicions that he had a ghostwriter. “Eminem heard that Kendrick Lamar was the best rapper and he invited him to the studio to get him on a song,” Sheeran began at around the 8:00 mark in the episode. He continued:
“He arrived and Kendrick came with all his mates and Eminem said, ‘I just want you in the studio, just you on your own and then my engineer is gonna come in and then record you doing it, but your mates aren’t allowed in.’ And then, Kendrick did it and wrote a sick verse. And then everyone came in to listen to it and Eminem said that he did it to test Kendrick because he thought he had a ghostwriter. And, he then realized that he didn’t, and then claimed he was the best, which is kinda cool I think.”
Rick Rubin presumably heard this story directly from Eminem, rather than having been there himself. Lamar and Rubin met for the first time just a few months ago for a GQ cover story.
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