Royce da 5’9”: “I was inspired, conceptually, by the hook that Mr. Porter had on this. When I recorded my verse I really wanted to pitch it to Em myself, because we had started mixing and he was in stressed-out OCD mode. But then I had to leave out of town the next day so Mr. Porter played it for him and Em was just like, ‘Yeah, that’s cool.... But we’re done though. We’re mixing.’ [Laughs.]
“So we traveled somewhere, and I might have just planted the seed. I think I gave him a copy like, ‘Yo man live with this. See what you think.’ After he wasn’t as stressed out anymore, or he was in a more upbeat mood because he had gotten a lot done mixing-wise, he called me a week later and said he might have an idea for it. So he ended up doing his [verse] a little bit later.
“For me the idea of ‘Take From Me’ was really about my personal relationships. People perceive you like you’re definitely making the money that they think you’re making in their minds. They’re never accurate. You’ve always got less than what they probably think you’ve got.
“I went through a time where I felt like I had to loan people money just to be their friend. I was just thinking to myself, ‘That shouldn’t be. I shouldn’t be obligated to give you something every time something goes wrong with your baby’s mother, or you get behind on something, because I have a family too.’
“So I kind of had to cut myself off from doing that. And I just felt like talking about it. I had never addressed it in a song. It’s something I’ve been going through for years, ever since day one when I signed to Tommy Boy. I had somebody around me who absolutely felt like I had to take care of him.”
Eminem: “Really? You’re gonna talk about me like I’m not sitting next to you on this couch? Should I even be in this interview? [Laughs.]”
Royce da 5’9”: “Sorry, man. [Laughs.] Right? Imagine that.”
Eminem: “Yeah. I mean, when I heard what he was talking about in those first few lines, when he gave me that track, we had some songs that were leaking. We weren’t sure where it was coming from. My take on it was like, ‘Fuck, man.’ People are going to get music.
Mr. Porter: “That’s my favorite joint on the whole album. This is the first time I was able to bring a concept to the table. I produced it and it’s co-produced by 56, he’s an upcoming producer from Detroit. The song is partially about people who release our music before it’s done and we don’t have an explanation for the fans, but then we have to sit and read their comments on how bad the song is.
“Somebody gets a hold of a song, they put it out, and there you are with an unfinished song. Now who cares? The song comes and goes. We wanted to address that. Some people can take it as, ‘Why are you trying to empower the people that are doing it?’ But nobody has stood up and said anything.
Eminem: “They’re going to download music from here, from there, and with me, my music—it’s never has been and never will be, a money issue. I don’t give a fuck about the money. But when you take shit that is not finished—and not only am I not done with it, but I’m not sure I’m ever going to release it—and put it out there, that shit hurts.
“I’m in the studio all the time experimenting and trying different shit. If I don’t have the freedom to do that—that’s how I make my music, by experimenting. Not every idea that I try and lay on tape works, believe it or not. And then it’s like to be criticized like, ‘This shit is garbage!’ Well it wasn’t even fucking finished! It was late that night, I wasn’t in my...A lot of that material that leaked, by the way, I wasn’t in my right state of mind for. I didn’t put it out there for a reason.”
Royce da 5’9”: “Yeah. We’d like to put the music out on our terms. I mean it’s just that when you put all that into it, you feel a certain way when someone just takes it. And they do it for shits and giggles, but they don’t realize how much time and effort gets put into it.”
Eminem: “If it’s your music you should have the right to present it to the public, if you want to present it to the public at all, how you want to present it to the public. Whatever happens after it’s out, that is what it is.”
Royce da 5’9”: “We don’t want people to think that we don’t appreciate them being that much of a fan of our music to want to take it, want to have it, or to want to get Internet props by saying, ‘I’m the one who spread it.’ We appreciate that. I just don’t think people take into consideration the cons of doing that, or take into consideration our feelings.
“It’s hard to express it without seeming ungrateful for people even being interested in it at the same time. It’s kind of like a double-edged sword. I think the way Em brought it across in his verse was beautiful. Everybody can get another perspective of how to look at it.”
Eminem: “As much as we fuck around, and we joke around, we take our art and our music very seriously. It’s our craft.”