Known To His Parents As:
Born October 17, 1972 in Detroit, MI
- Prior to his multi-platinum major debut album, The Slim Shady LP, Eminem already had an underground album titled Infinite, and reportedly sold 500 copies out of the trunk.
- Eminem is the second highest selling rapper of all time, right behind the late Tupac Shakur.
In His Own Words:
"Why is it so hard for people to believe that white people are poor?! I wouldn't say I lived in a ghetto, I'd say I lived in the 'hood. The same friends I had back then are the same people on tour with me now."
An Early Fan of Hip-Hop:
Eminem fell in love with hip-hop as a teen, dipping in and out of various rap groups. From the defunct New Jacks crew to Soul Intent, Em constantly utilized every available platform to showcase his microphone skills early on. Along with a friend named Manix, then 14 year-old Marshall would often perform in the basement under the moniker Manix and M&M. Marshall Mathers later changed his stage name to Eminem, playing off his own initials.
Having conquered the local rap scene in Detroit through freestyle battles, Eminem had a buzz before he had a career. The obvious setback was gaining acceptance as a Caucasian rapper in a pre-dominantly Black neighborhood. Em would later drop the laudable, Infinite LP, in '96. Naturally, he was still struggling to discover his own style. As part of his quest for uniqueness, Eminem borrowed largely from the rhyme pattern of east coast veterans AZ, Masta Ace, Redman, and Nas, on Infinite.
My Name is Mr. Controversy:
Some argue that Eminem's career is hinged on shock raps and controversial dispositions. After being discovered by Dr. Dre, who allegedly found Em's demo tape on the garage floor, the Detroit MC said 'hi' to the world with his comedic single, "My Name Is." The song sniped at pop culture icons, but it was only a taste of several controversies that would later fill Eminem's rap sheet. An accompanying full length, The Slim Shady LP, would go on to win the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.
The Dirty Dozen:
Following Dre's advice, Em waited until after the multiple-platinum Marshall Mathers LP to bring his D-12 cronies along for the ride. D-12 was originally comprised of Bugz, Proof, Kon Artis, Kuniva, Swifty, Bizarre, and Eminem. The group witnessed a dark phase in their early days when Bugz (Karnail Pitts) was killed on May 21, 1999, following an altercation at a party on Detroit's Belle Isle Park. The dark days were relived on April 12, 2006, as Proof was gunned down at a Detroit club.
Encore and Curtain Call:
Eminem probably lost some fans with the release of his fourth solo album, Encore. The album, a sequel to The Eminem Show, was criticized for its cartoon-ish imagery and regurgitated concepts. Even though it spawned gems like the plodding political punch, "Mosh," and the introspective "Yellow Brick Road," it was still considered a disappointing hip-hop album by Eminem standards. In late 2005, he dropped the greatest hits set, Curtain Call, hinting at a possible retirement from rap.
Re-Divorce, Relapse, and Recovery:
On January 14, 2006, Eminem rekindled his relationship with Kim Mathers by taking her to the altar for the second time. D-12 member and longtime friend Proof served as the rapper's best man, while daughter Hailie played Kim's bride-of-honor. Three months after their second marriage, Eminem filed for divorce from Kim, stating that a wedding doesn't solve underlying marital problems.
Some of Eminem's business ventures include:
- Shady Records
- ShadE45 Sirius Satellite Radio
- Shady Ltd. Clothing
- 1996 - Infinite (Web Entertainment)
- 1997 - The Slim Shady EP (Web Entertainment)
- 1999 - The Slim Shady LP (Aftermath)
- 2000 - The Marshall Mathers LP (Aftermath)
- 2002 - The Eminem Show (Shady/Aftermath)
- 2002 - 8 Mile Soundtrack (Shady/Interscope)
- 2004 - Encore (Shady/Aftermath)
- 2005 - Curtain Call: The Hits (Shady/Aftermath)
- 2009 - Relapse (Shady/Aftermath)
- 2010 - Recovery (Shady/Aftermath)