According to Ed Sheeran, the cure to a speech impediment is Eminem’s “Rap God”.
Well not quite, but the “Shape of You” singer revealed that Eminem’s music did help cure a significant stammer Sheeran had as a kid. Sheeran, 26, opened up about his life-before-fame in an eye-opening interview with BBC Radio 4’s “Desert Island Discs”.
“I was bit of a weird kid. I had huge blue NHS specs, I had a huge port wine stain birthmark on my eye which has subsequently gone, and a really, really bad stammer,” the English singer-songwriter explained.
As a youth, Sheeran’s uncle purchased him a controversial Eminem album that changed Sheeran’s life forever: “My parents didn’t know what the content of the album was. When you are nine and someone is saying rude stuff, you want to learn it. He raps at such a fast pace that my stammer would go… that was the speech therapy that cured me.”
Sheeran also revealed how he almost gave up on his music career to work in a supermarket, just as he was teetering on super stardom.
“I got to this point in 2010 when I was going round in circles,” he expressed. “I thought I might as well go and work in a supermarket. They [the record companies] said specifically ‘don’t use a loop pedal and don’t rap because no one wants to see a ginger, white guy rapping’.”
His first real shot at fame came when actor Jamie Foxx spotted Sheeran doing open mics in Los Angeles and let the gifted musician use Foxx’s recording studio. What soon followed was the artist’s first big hit, “A Team”.
But even then Sheeran still had obstacles to overcome. Struggling to manage his newfound fame, Sheeran found solace in “girls, drugs and booze” before his cousin handed him an ultimatum. “‘It was my cousin who worked on the tour. He basically said he was leaving if it didn’t calm down.”
For those of you looking to cure a stammer, Ed Sheeran-style, here is an excerpt from Eminem’s aforementioned “Rap God”.
Lyrics comin’ at you at supersonic speed (J.J. Fad)
Uh, summa-lumma, dooma-lumma
You assumin’ I’m a human
What I gotta do to get it through to you? I’m superhuman
Innovative and I’m made of rubber
So that anything you say is ricocheting off of me
And it’ll glue to you and I’m devastating
More than ever demonstrating how to give a mothaf**kin’ audience a feelin’ like it’s levitating
Never fading, and I know the haters are forever waiting
For the day that they can say I fell off, they’ll be celebrating
‘Cause I know the way to get ’em motivated
I make elevating music, you make elevator music