But so much of his daughter-related lyrics reflect his fear of not being there for them, whether because he’s on the road or, more often, because he’s gone for good, a scenario he alludes to in 2017’s “Arose”: “Smile pretty for pictures, always cherish each other / I’ll always love ya / And I’ll be in the back of your memory / And I know you’ll never forget me / Just don’t get sad when remembering.”
It makes sense then, that back in 2011, he told Rolling Stone that, to him, being a good father meant “just being there. Not missing things. If there’s anything important going on, regardless of what it is, I’m there. Helping them with homework when you can. At the grades my older ones are in, it’s hard.” He added with a laugh, “I never even passed ninth grade. They’re already way smarter than me.” (He had since completed his GED.)
And it broke his heart whenever they couldn’t be together, such as when he was hospitalized in 2007 following a methadone overdose.
“I think I’d been out for two days, and when I woke up, I didn’t realize it was Christmas,” Eminem told Rolling Stone. “So the first thing I wanted to do was call my kids. I wanted to get home, and show them that Dad’s OK.” It was “definitely” hard to miss the holiday, not to mention Hailie’s Dec. 25 birthday. “Being a father, wanting to be there with your kids. It’s not a fun thing to deal with.”