Eminem says things hoping to shock you and make you sick. If you are, as he would say, “you have just kissed his ass.” The first time I heard Kim I was…disturbed. But you know what? Many, many people in screwed up, miserable relationships have dark fantasies about such things. Eminem just has the guts to talk about it. At least he’s not doing it, and if he continues to talk about it, he’ll probably get over it without going to prison. I think he’s being honest about his dark side, which is prodigious, and his honesty hits the mark for a lot of people who are angry about similar things in their own lives, only to be told their anger is wrong and that they should not talk about “such things.”
As for Eminem growing up, here’s one example: I have seen his attitude towards gays change over time, that’s for sure. I suspect he didn’t know too many gay people well, but now that he’s actually met some gay people and liked them (like Elton John) he’s changing his opinions (witness his treatment and defense of a gay character in 8 Mile for proof).
Also, he seems genuinely bemused at the reactions he’s gotten: being blamed for Columbine, being accused by Bill Clinton of being everything that’s wrong with America, being blamed for kids committing suicide. He’s just talking on a CD; we’re the ones who are taking him seriously. He even admits that talk is cheap, and wonders about the caliber of parenting in America these days, which I agree is often sorely lacking.
As for how he behaves in real life, I honestly don’t give a damn. I’m sure he’s just as unpleasant as he claims to be in “What I Am” and that’s of no moment to me. What I care about is his music, which is incisive, funny, shocking, articulate, absurd, and gutsy by turns. I like him for what he is, bullshit and all.