It was only a matter of time before the Vans Warped Tour strayed from the formula. The predominately punk and ska music festival -- which lands Friday, July 30, in Orlando -- has expanded its skater-bred menu to include hip-hop, hard rock, country and rock en español. Presiding over this year's festivities is headliner Eminem. The multiplatinum rapper has taken the world by storm with "The Slim Shady LP," the controversial, Dr. Dre-produced -- and very entertaining -- dose of head-thumping beats and cartoonish rhymes littered with drugs and violence. We tracked down the great white rapper (of the moment) -- born Marshall Mathers -- to ask a few questions.
Orlando Weekly: Have you gotten any negative feedback about your lyrics, which contain drug references and violent imagery?
Eminem: Yeah, I've got a little bit. But nothing that I really care to pay attention to. This shit always goes in one ear and out the next. This shit always ends up blowing over anyways. Nobody really has too much solid to stand on.
Have you been approached for any movie roles?
Yeah, a few. I haven't really taken any right now 'cuz I want to finish doing my thing with the music first. Or at least get established with the music. I want to put out another album before I start fuckin' around with movies and things like that.
You're playing a half-hour set on the Warped Tour. What will we hear?
I just do a lot of my songs, a couple of freestyle things. I do a couple of cover songs -- usually "`Nuthin' but` a 'G' Thang" by Dre and Snoop. My sets used to be like 45 to 50 minutes long when I was on my own tour. ... I do like half the amount of songs that I was doing -- just fuckin' with the crowd, talking with the crowd, talking to the people ... and shit like that.
Do you find that you relate better to the alternative-rock crowd or the hip-hop crowd?
I relate to 'em both. I'm just now starting to see that. I'm comfortable with both crowds now. Especially, this tour really let me see it, 'cuz the last tours I was doing was all hip-hop tours, but this one is like punk-rockers and shit like that. It's the same love everywhere. Shit is cool.
Now that you are famous, have your relationships with friends and family changed?
Yeah, friends and family are trying to get closer to me now. Not necessarily friends, just acquaintances -- people that I know that knew me but didn't really know me, you know what I'm saying? `Laughs.` I used to see `them` in the general public and shit and just slap hands with when I see 'em, and now they approach me like I owe 'em something. Like, "Yo -- what's up, I know you." Nah, you don't really know me. ... And like family members -- family members are funny because, you know, I got family members coming out of the woodwork. Like, "I always knew you'd make it, I always knew you'd be something," and this and that. You know, I haven't even spoken to 'em for like six years and shit. And now all of a sudden they want to speak to me. I knew that was gonna happen, I ain't shocked by it.
Have you hit the wall yet?
Um, I felt like I hit the ground the other night. `Laughs.` I flipped off the stage and fell. Yeah, I bruised some ribs and shit. I've been off for like the past couple of days. I haven't been able to perform.
Damn, that must've hurt.
Yeah, it really did, especially after the drugs wore off, boy.
Have women been throwing themselves at you?
It depends. Yeah, but that shit doesn't really impress me. ... It takes a lot for a girl to impress me, 'cuz I look at 'em pretty much the same. I get a lot of the little teen-age girls `breaks into a teen-age girl voice`: "Oh my god, oh my god." ... I sign an autograph for 'em and give 'em a hug and let 'em be on their way.
What's the next single and video?
In August, "Role Model" comes out. Then we'll probably do a video for "My Fault." That will probably be the last single off the album.