Eminem at recovery meeting in When I’m Gone

Eminem‘s music video, ‘When I’m Gone’, was released in December 2005 by Interscope Records, to build a profile for his album, ‘Curtain Call – The Hits’ and give closure to the fans and media who have followed his work since the 1997 debut with ‘My Name Is”. The video was shot after Marshall Mathers had been hospitalized and subsequently entered rehab for abuse of sleep medication pills.

Eminem shares at recovery meeting

The video opens with Eminem in a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. A guy talks about his experience of the group. “I remember the first time I came here. It’s been a rought six years. And I’m just happy to not be that person anymore. And so is my wife. Thankyou for letting me do this. That’s all I have to share right now.” Members applaud. The group moderator asks if anyone else would like to share their story. Eminem steps up to the podium, choosing not to use the microphone. He introduces himself by saying “My name’s Marshal” to the group. “Hi Marshall!” Eminem then begins performing the lyrics to the song (see below). Shots of Eminem performing at the NA meeting are mixed with the story he’s telling about his estrangement from his family because of his need to pursue his rapping career. Click on the image below to play the video.

From the rOOm press release in early December:

The music video illustrates one of the dreams that Eminem says led to his revelation that he needed to leave behind his life as a rapper. In the dream, Eminem’s daughter Hailie stacks boxes up so that he can’t leave the house. Eminem tries to explain to her that he has to go perform and she gives him a locket with a picture of her inside. Eminem is then startled to find that he’s alone in a room looking into a mirror holding the locket. As he swears that from then on he’ll show his family that he loves them, he opens the door to leave his bedroom and finds himself dressed in a suit with a microphone in hand, back to performing in front of a crowd. Eminem then spots Hailie in the crowd and she accuses him of lying to her since he said he wouldn’t leave. Hailie throws on stage a “#1 Dad” coin that she got for him then says to stay on the stage since he obviously loves his fans more than his family. Eminem then walks backstage and looks into a mirror with his wife Kim and Hailie in it, only for the camera to rotate around and show the brunette Eminem staring back at the blonde Eminem in the suit. Eminem then wakes up from the dream and we see him go up to Kim and kiss her as Hailie finally seems to have what she wanted. The video closes with Eminem back at the NA meeting, thanking the group for allowing him to share his story with them, speaking to the rest of the NA group as much as he is to all of his fans viewing the video. Eminem then leaves the microphone behind and rejoins the rest of the crowd as they applaud.

Production Details

The music video was shot in Detroit by director Anthony Mandler via Box Fresh Pictures, Los Angeles, with executive producer Lou Miguel, producer Tracy Zuko and director of photography Eric Larson.

Postproduction and audio post was done at rOOm, Los Angeles, by editor Jeff Selis, assistant editors Gizmo Rivera & George Olivo, effects artist Bill Pollock, sound designer and mixer Brandon Toh, music producer Robin Nixon, producer Jason Barager and sound engineer/mixer Brandon Toh.

Visual Effects were done at Worlds Away, New York. Online editing was done at Company 3, Santa Monica, California.

The single, “When I’m Gone”, includes the video. When I’m Gone – Eminem Music Video on iTunes

Lyrics to When I’m Gone

Yeah…It’s my life…My own words I guess…

Verse 1
Have you ever loved someone so much, you’d give an arm for?
Not the expression, no, literally give an arm for?
When they know they’re your heart
And you know you were their armour
And you will destroy anyone who would try to harm her
But what happens when karma, turns right around and bites you?
And everything you stand for, turns on you to spite you?W
hat happens when you become the main source of her pain?

“Daddy look what I made”,
Dad’s gotta go catch a plane
“Daddy where’s Mommy? I can’t find Mommy where is she?
“I don’t know go play Hailie, baby, your Daddy’s busy

Eminem Curtain Call CD at Amazon.comDaddy’s writing a song, this song ain’t gonna write itself
I’ll give you one underdog then you gotta swing by yourself
Then turn right around on that song and tell her you love her
And put hands on her mother, who’s a spitting image of her

That’s Slim Shady, yeah baby, Slim Shady’s crazy
Shady made me, but tonight Shady’s rocka-by-baby…

And when I’m gone, just carry on, don’t mourn
Rejoice every time you hear the sound of my voice
Just know that I’m looking down on you smiling
And I didn’t feel a thing, So baby don’t feel my pain
Just smile backAnd when I’m gone, just carry on, don’t mourn
Rejoice every time you hear the sound of my voice
Just know that I’m looking down on you smiling
And I didn’t feel a thing, So baby don’t feel my pain
Just smile back…

Verse 2
I keep having this dream, I’m pushin’ Hailie on the swing
She keeps screaming, she don’t want me to sing
“You’re making Mommy cry, why? Why is Mommy crying?
“Baby, Daddy ain’t leaving no more,
“Daddy you’re lying”
You always say that, you always say this is the last time
“But you ain’t leaving no more, Daddy you’re mine”
She’s piling boxes in front of the door trying to block it
“Daddy please, Daddy don’t leave, Daddy – no stop it!”
Goes in her pocket, pulls out a tiny necklace locket
It’s got a picture,
“this’ll keep you safe Daddy, take it withcha'”
I look up, it’s just me standing in the mirror
These f**kin’ walls must be talking, cuz man I can hear ’em
They’re saying “You’ve got one more chance to do right” – and it’s tonight
Now go out there and show that you love ’em before it’s too late
And just as I go to walk out of my bedroom door
It’s turns to a stage, they’re gone, and this spotlight is on
And I’m singing…


Verse 3
Eminem When I'm Gone Single CD includes video Sixty thousand people,
all jumping out their seat
The curtain closes, they’re throwing roses at my feet
I take a bow and thank you all for coming out
They’re screaming so loud,
I take one last look at the crowd
I glance down, I don’t believe what I’m seeing
“Daddy it’s me, help Mommy, her wrists are bleeding,”
But baby we’re in Sweden, how did you get to Sweden?”
I followed you Daddy, you told me that you weren’t leavin’
“You lied to me Dad, and now you make Mommy sad”
And I bought you this coin, it says ‘Number One Dad’
“That’s all I wanted, I just want to give you this coin”
I get the point – fine, me and Mommy are going”
But baby wait, “it’s too late Dad, you made the choice”
Now go out there and show ’em that you love ’em more than us

“That’s what they want, they want you Marshall, they keep.. screamin’ your name
It’s no wonder you can’t go to sleep, just take another pill
Yeah, I bet you you will. You rap about it, yeah, word, k-keep it real
I hear applause, all this time I couldn’t see
How could it be, that the curtain is closing on me
I turn around, find a gun on the ground, cock it
Put it to my brain and scream “die Shady” and pop it
The sky darkens, my life flashes,
the plane that I was supposed to be on crashes and burns to ashes
That’s when I wake up, alarm clock’s ringin’, there’s birds singin’
It’s Spring and Hailie’s outside swinging,
I walk right up to Kim and kiss her
Tell her I miss her, Hailie just smiles and winks at her little sister
Almost as if to say..


Curtains closing and sounds of footsteps