By Amanda Wicks
When Eminem first caught wind of Kendrick Lamar’s writing talent, he didn’t fully believe it. It seemed like Lamar had to be working with a ghostwriters, so Eminem set out to put Lamar to the test. He invited him Lamar to contribute a verse for “Love Game,” which eventually appeared on his 2013 album The Marshall Mathers LP 2.
In an interview with The Zach Sang Show, Ed Sheeran—of all people—recounted a story Rick Rubin told him about the unwitting exam Lamar went through. “Eminem heard that Kendrick Lamar was the best rapper and he invited him to the studio to get him on a song,” Sheeran said. “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.”
Eminem left Lamar alone in the studio to work, and work he did. “Kendrick did it, wrote a sick verse, and then everyone came in to listen to it,” Sheeran explained. After that, Eminem not only realized Lamar didn’t use a ghostwriter, but he went on to call the rapper “the best.”