Wasn't ready to be no millionaire, I was ill-prepared
I was prepared to be ill though, the skill was there
He spent his underground time honing his skills at rapping, not forming himself at monetary management, nor at getting used to the status of a millionaire. He was so to say ill-prepared for the latter, though prepared to be ill at rapping. A goal he did succeed in, on a very popular consensus.
Clever play on both literary and slang meanings of “ill”, in a way that might refer to Benjamin Franklin’s “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.
There is a famous 60 Minutes interview Eminem did with Anderson Cooper, where Eminem admits asking his manager, Paul Rosenberg, whether he was able to afford a Rolex shortly after the success of his first album. He wasn’t ready for any of the riches. In the same interview, Anderson Cooper states that Eminem had a hard time adjusting to the attention as he turned to prescription drugs for relief. The interview aired after the release of Recovery.
The song ends on the same “being ill” note.
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