|Born||October 17, 1972|
|Years Active||1992 - Present|
|Parents|| Deborah Mathers (Mother)
Marshall Bruce Mathers, Jr. (Father)
|Associated With||D12, Bad Meets Evil, Proof, Obie Trice, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Yelawolf, Lloyd Banks, Slaughterhouse, Nate Dogg|
|Label(s)||Shady Records, Interscope Records, Aftermath Records|
The Marshall Mathers LP and his third album, The Eminem Show also won Grammy Awards, making Eminem the first artist to win Best Rap Album for three consecutive LP's. He then won the award again in 2010 for his album Relapse, giving him a total of 11 Grammys in his career. In 2002, he won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Lose Yourself" from the film 8 Mile, in which he also played the lead. "Lose Yourself" would go on to become the longest running #1 hip-hop single. Eminem then went on hiatus after touring in 2005. He released his first album since 2004's Encore, titled Relapse, on May 15, 2009. Eminem is the best-selling artist of the decade, and has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide to date, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. Eminem was ranked 82nd on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All-Time. He was also named the Best Rapper Ever by Vibe magazine. Including his work with D12, Eminem has achieved eight #1 albums on the Billboard Top 200 and 12 number one singles worldwide. In December, 2009 Eminem was named the Artist of the Decade by Billboard Magazine. According to Billboard, Eminem has two of his albums among the top five highest selling albums of the 2000s.
Mathers was born in St. Joseph, Missouri the son of Deborah Mathers-Briggs (née Nelson) and Marshall Bruce Mathers, Jr. He is of Scottish, English and distant Swiss and German ancestry. Shortly after his birth, his father abandoned his family. Until he was twelve, Mathers and his mother moved between various cities and towns in Missouri (including St. Joseph, Savannah and Kansas City) before moving to Warren, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. After procuring a copy of the Beastie Boys album Licensed to Ill as a teenager, Mathers became interested in hip hop, performing amateur raps at age fourteen under the pseudonym "M&M" and joining the group called "Bassmint Productions" and released their first EP called "Steppin' Onto The Scene". They later changed their name to "Soul Intent" and around 1995 they released their first single called "Fuckin' Backstabber" under the record label Mashin' Duck Records. Although he was enrolled at Lincoln High School in Warren, he frequently participated in freestyle battles at Osborn High School across town, gaining the approval of underground hip hop audiences. After repeating the ninth grade twice due to truancy (not attending school without a good reason), he dropped out of high school at age 17.
1992–1998: Early career and Infinite
Mathers was initially signed to FBT Productions in 1992, run by brothers Jeff and Mark Bass. Mathers also held a minimum-wage job of cooking and dishwashing at the restaurant Gilbert's Lodge at St. Clair Shores for some time. In 1996, his debut album Infinite, which was recorded at the Bassmint, a recording studio owned by the Bass Brothers, was released under their independent label Web Entertainment. Eminem recalled, "Obviously, I was young and influenced by other artists, and I got a lot of feedback saying that I sounded like Nas and AZ. "Infinite" was me trying to figure out how I wanted my rap style to be, how I wanted to sound on the mic and present myself. It was a growing stage. I felt like 'Infinite' was like a demo that just got pressed up."Subjects covered in Infinite included his struggles with raising his newborn daughter Hailie Jade while on limited funds and his strong desire to get rich. Early in his career, Eminem collaborated with fellow Detroit MC Royce da 5'9" under the stage name Bad Meets Evil. After the release of Infinite, Eminem's personal struggles and abuse of drugs and alcohol culminated in his unsuccessful suicide attempt.
With the release of The Slim Shady EP, Mathers was accused of imitating the style and subject matter of underground rapper Cage. While promoting the EP, Mathers approached Insane Clown Posse member Joseph Bruce and handed him a flyer which implied that the group would make an appearance at the EP's release party. Bruce refused to appear because Mathers had not previously approached him for permission to use the group's name in this way. Taking Bruce's response as a personal offense, Mathers subsequently attacked the group in radio interviews.
Jimmy Iovine, CEO of Interscope Records, requested a demo tape of Eminem's after Eminem won second place at the 1997 Rap Olympics. Iovine played the tape for record producer Dr. Dre, founder of Aftermath Entertainment. The two began recording tracks for Eminem's upcoming major-label debut The Slim Shady LP, and Eminem made a guest performance on the album Devil Without a Cause by Kid Rock. Hip-hop magazine The Source featured Eminem in its "Unsigned Hype" column in March 1998.
1998–1999: The Slim Shady LP
According to Billboard Magazine, at this point in his life Eminem had "realized his musical ambitions were the only way to escape his unhappy life". After being signed to Aftermath Entertainment/Interscope Records in 1998, Eminem released in 1999 his first major studio album, The Slim Shady LP, heavily based on the production by Dr. Dre. The album was, according to Billboard, "light years ahead of the material he had been writing beforehand". It went on to be one of the most popular albums of 1999, going triple platinum by the end of the year. With the album's popularity came controversy surrounding many of the album's lyrics. In "97 Bonnie and Clyde", he describes a trip with his infant daughter, disposing of the body of his wife. Another song, "Guilty Conscience", ends with his encouraging a man to murder his wife and her lover. "Guilty Conscience" marked the beginning of the powerful friendship and musical bond that Dr. Dre and Eminem would share. The two label-mates would later collaborate on a line of hit songs, including "Forgot About Dre" and "What's the Difference" from Dr. Dre's album 2001, "Bitch Please II" from The Marshall Mathers LP, "Say What You Say" from The Eminem Show, "Encore/Curtains Down" from Encore and "Old Time's Sake" and "Crack a Bottle" from Relapse. Dr. Dre would go on to make at least one guest appearance on all of Eminem's studio albums under the label Aftermath.
2000–2001: The Marshall Mathers LP
The Marshall Mathers LP was released in May 2000. It went on to sell 1.76 million copies in its first week, breaking the records set by Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle as the fastest-selling hip hop album and Britney Spears' ...Baby One More Time as the fastest-selling solo album in United States history. The first single released from the album, "The Real Slim Shady", was a success and created some controversy by insulting celebrities and making dubious claims about them; he states, among other things, that Christina Aguilera performed oral sex on Fred Durst and Carson Daly. In his second single, "The Way I Am", he reveals to his fans the pressures from his record company to top "My Name Is" and sell more records. Although Eminem had parodied shock rocker Marilyn Manson in the video "My Name Is", the artists are reportedly on good terms. They performed a remix of the song "The Way I Am" together in concert. In the third single, "Stan" (which samples Dido's "Thank You"), Eminem attempts to deal with his new-found fame, taking on the
persona of a deranged fan who kills himself and his pregnant girlfriend, mirroring "'97 Bonnie & Clyde" on The Slim Shady LP. In the music video of "Stan", Eminem was shown writing with his left hand, ending the fan debate over his dominant hand. Q magazine named "Stan" the third-greatest rap song of all time, and the song came tenth in a similar survey conducted by Top40-Charts.com. The song has since become highly acclaimed and was ranked 290th in Rolling Stone magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list. In July 2000, Eminem became the first white person to be featured on the cover of The Source magazine. This album has been certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of Ameri ca (RIAA), with sales of over 10 million in the United States alone and more than 20 million worldwide.
Eminem performed with Elton John at the 43rd Grammy Awards ceremony in 2001; the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), an organization that perceived Eminem's lyrics to be homophobic, condemned the openly bisexual John's decision to perform with Eminem. Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade, "best-of" list, saying, "It was the hug heard 'round the world. Eminem, under fire for homophobic lyrics, shared the stage with a gay icon for a performance of "Stan" that would have been memorable in any context." On February 21, the day of the ceremony, GLAAD held a protest outside the Staples Center, the venue where the Grammy ceremony was held. Music tours that he participated in for 2001 included the Up In Smoke Tour with rappers Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, and Ice Cube and Family Values Tour with the band Limp Bizkit.
2002–2003: The Eminem Show
Eminem's third major album, The Eminem Show, was released in summer 2002 and proved to be another hit for the rapper reaching number one on the charts and selling well over 1 million copies in its first week of release. It featured thesingle "Without Me", an apparent sequel to "The Real Slim Shady", in which he makes derogatory comments about boy bands, Limp Bizkit, Moby, and Lynne Cheney, among others. The Eminem Show is a hip hop classic and has been certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Selling over 10 million in the United States and well over 20 million worldwide. Making Eminem one of the only artists to ever have two diamond albums both of which selling over 20 million worldwide. The album reflected on the impact of his rise to fame, his relationship with his wife and daughter, and his status in the hip-hop community. He also addresses the charges he faced over assaulting a bouncer he saw kissing his wife in 2000. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic felt that while there was clear anger present on several tracks, this album was considerably less inflammatory than The Marshall Mathers LP. However, L. Brent Bozell III, who previously criticized The Marshall Mathers LP for perceived misogynistic lyrics in the album, noted The Eminem Show for its extensive use of obscene language, giving Eminem the nickname "Eminef" for the bowdlerization of motherfucker, an obscenity prevalent in the album.
The Media Research Center, which was founded by a conservative activist and is funded by conservative foundations, claims that on December 8, 2003, the United States Secret Service admitted it was "looking into" allegations that Eminem had threatened the President of the United States. The lyrics in question: "Fuck money/I don't rap for dead presidents/I'd rather see the president dead/It's never been said, but I set precedents ...". The song in question, "We As Americans", wound up on a bonus CD accompanying the album.
The year 2004 saw the release of Eminem's fourth major album, Encore. It sold over 700,000 copies in its first week of release. Now being certified 7 times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Selling over 15 million worldwide. With 7.8 million being sold in the United States. The album was another chart-topper, as it was driven by the single "Just Lose It", notable for being disrespectful towards Michael Jackson. On October 12, 2004, a week after the release of "Just Lose It", Eminem's first single off Encore, Michael Jackson called into the Los Angeles-based Steve Harvey radio show to report his displeasure with the video, which parodies Jackson's child molestation trial, plastic surgery, and an incident in which Jackson's hair caught on fire while filming a Pepsi commercial in 1984. The lyrics to "Just Lose It" refer to Jackson's legal troubles, however he does state in his song "... and that's not a stab at Michael/That's just a metaphor/I'm just psycho...." Many of Jackson's supporters and friends spoke out about the video, including Stevie Wonder, who called the video "kicking a man while he's down" and "bullshit", and Steve Harvey who declared, "Eminem has lost his ghetto pass. We want the pass back." In the video, Eminem parodied Pee Wee Herman, MC Hammer, and a Blonde-Ambition-touring Madonna.
Regarding Jackson's protest, "Weird Al" Yankovic, who parodied the Eminem song "Lose Yourself" on a track titled "Couch Potato" on his 2003 album Poodle Hat, told the Chicago Sun-Times, "Last year, Eminem forced me to halt production on the video for my "Lose Yourself" parody because he somehow thought that it would be harmful to his image or career. So the irony of this situation with Michael is not lost on me." Black Entertainment Television was the first channel to stop airing the video. MTV, however, announced it would continue airing the video. The Source, through its CEO Raymond "Benzino" Scott, wanted not only the video to be pulled, but the song off the album, and a public apology to Jackson from Eminem. In 2007 Jackson and Sony bought Famous Music LLC from Viacom. This deal gave him the rights to songs by Eminem, Shakira and Beck, among others. Despite the comedic theme of the lead single, Encore had its fair share of serious subject matter, including the anti-war track "Mosh". On October 25, 2004, a week before the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, Eminem released the video for "Mosh" on the Internet. The song featured a very strong anti-Bush message, with lyrics such as "fuck Bush" and "this weapon of mass destruction that we call our president". The video features Eminem gathering up an army of people, including rapper Lloyd Banks, presented as victims of the Bush administration and leading them to the White House. However, once the army breaks in, it is revealed that they are there to simply register to vote, and the video ends with the words "VOTE Tuesday November 2" on the screen. After Bush won the election, the video's ending was changed to Eminem and the protesters invading while Bush was giving a speech.
Shady Records and D12
As Eminem succeeded in multi-platinum record sales, Interscope granted him his own record label. He and his manager Paul Rosenberg created Shady Records in late 1999. He followed this by signing his own Detroit collective D12 and rapper Obie Trice to the label. In 2002, Eminem signed 50 Cent through a joint venture between Shady and Dr. Dre's Aftermath label. In 2003, Eminem and Dr. Dre signed Atlanta rapper Stat Quo to the Shady/Aftermath roster. DJ Green Lantern, the former DJ for Eminem, was signed to Shady Records until a dispute related to the 50 Cent and Jadakiss feud forced him to depart from the label; he is no longer associated with Eminem. The Alchemist is now officially Eminem's tour DJ. In 2005, Eminem signed another Atlanta rapper, Bobby Creekwater, to his label along with West Coast rapper Cashis. 0 On December 5, 2006, Shady Records released compilation album, Eminem Presents: The Re-Up. It started out as a mixtape but Eminem found that the material was better than expected and released it as a full album. It was meant to help launch the new artists under the roster, like Stat Quo, Cashis and Bobby Creekwater.
Around the time of recording Infinite, Eminem and rappers Proof and Kon Artis gathered the group of rappers now collectively in the group D12, short for "Detroit Twelve" or "Dirty Dozen", performing in the manner of the multi-man group Wu-Tang Clan. In 2001, Eminem brought his rap group, D12, to the popular music scene, and the group's debut album Devil's Night came out that year. The first single released off of the album was "Shit on You", followed by "Purple Pills", an ode to recreational drug use. For radio and television, the censored version "Pills" was heavily rewritten to remove many of the song's references to drugs and sex and was renamed "Purple Hills". While that single was a hit, the album's second single, "Fight Music", was not as successful.
After their debut, D12 took a three-year break from the studio, later regrouping to release their second album, D12 World, in 2004, which featured the popular hit single release "My Band". In April 2006 D12 member Deshaun "Proof" Holton was killed in a club brawl on 8 Mile Road in Detroit, Michigan, involving U.S. military veteran Keith Bender Jr., who was killed by Proof. The eruption is suspected to have been due to an argument over a game of pool. Proof was then allegedly shot by the bouncer Mario Etheridge, Bender's cousin. He was taken by private vehicle to St. John Health's Conner Creek Campus, an outpatient emergency treatment site, but pronounced dead on arrival. Eminem and former Detroit Shady Records artist Obie Trice spoke at the funeral.
D12 member Bizarre said that Eminem is not featured on his new album Blue Cheese & Coney Island because "he's busy doing his thing".
In September 2007, Eminem called into New York radio station Hot 97 during a 50 Cent interview and said he was "in limbo" and "debating" about when and if he would release another album. He said, "I'm always working – I'm always in the studio. It feels good right now, the energy of the label. For a while, I didn't want to go back to the studio ... I went through some personal things. I'm coming out of those personal things [and] it feels good."
Eminem made an appearance on his Sirius channel Shade 45 in September 2008 in which he said, "Right now I'm kinda just concentrating on my own stuff, for right now and just banging out tracks and producing a lot of stuff. You know, the more I keep producing the better it seems like I get 'cause I just start knowing stuff." It was around this time that Interscope finally confirmed the existence of a new Eminem album, with Spring 2009 later being stated as the period span in which the album is due. In December 2008, he gave more details on the album, which he recently reported was being titled Relapse. He said, "Me and Dre are back in the lab like the old days, man. Dre will end up producing the majority of the tracks on 'Relapse'. We are up to our old mischievous ways ... let's just leave it at that."
On March 5, 2009, Eminem reported in a press release that he would be releasing two new albums this year. Relapse, the first album, was released on May 19, while "We Made You", the first official single and its music video, were released on April 7. On October 3, 2009, Eminem appeared once again on Shade 45 with DJ Whoo Kid and announced that Denaun Porter and Just Blaze were very busy working on Relapse 2. On October 30, Eminem performed at the Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans as a headliner in his first full performance in 2009. The performance included several songs from Relapse, as well as many of Eminem's older hits and an appearance by D12. The album didn't manage to sell near Eminem's previous efforts but was still both a commercial success and brought him more critical acclaim. While also re establishing his presence in the hip hop world. Relapse was named one of the top albums of 2009. Being now certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Selling more than 5 million worldwide.
On November 19, 2009, Eminem announced on his website that Relapse: Refill will be released on December 21. The album will be a re-release of the Relapse album with seven bonus tracks, including "Forever" and "Taking My Ball". In a statement he described the forthcoming CD:
"I want to deliver more material for the fans this year like I originally planned ... Hopefully these tracks on The Refill will tide the fans over until we put out Relapse 2 next year ... I got back in with Dre and then a few more producers, including Just Blaze, and went in a completely different direction which made me start from scratch. The new tracks started to sound very different than the tracks I originally intended to be on Relapse 2, but I still want the other stuff to be heard."
2013 - Present: The Marshall Mathers LP 2
On May 24, 2012, Eminem announced he is working on his next studio album. It is set to be released in 2013. Even without a title or release the album was included in multiple "Most Anticipated Albums of 2013" lists; including MTV, Complex Magazine where it was listed in sixth position; and XXL Magazine, where it was listed in fifth.
On June 30, 2012, Eminem talked about the album with DJ Whoo Kid, on his own radio station, Shade 45. He stated that the material is taking shape, and that Dr. Dre will be involved in some way. On August 30, 2012, Slaughterhouse member Royce da 5'9" gave his thoughts on the album, stating "I'm not so sure how the world is going to respond from some of the things that I've heard from him." Close friend and fellow rapper 50 Cent is also confirmed to feature on the album. Eminem also was featured on Pink's album The Truth About Love on the track "Here Comes The Weekend".
On February 11, 2013, Shady Records President and Eminem manager Paul Rosenberg announced that Eminem's eighth studio album would be released after Memorial Day, 2013. "We fully expect to be releasing a new Eminem album in 2013. He's been working on it for some time," said Rosenberg. "It's safe to say that it will be post-Memorial Day at some point, but we're not exactly sure when. We've got some dates locked in for him to perform live in Europe in August, so we're trying to see what else lines up." The album remained untitled. On March 22, 2013 Dr. Dre said that Eminem was close to finishing the album and that he worked together with Eminem on it. Producer No I.D. has been confirmed to produce on the album. On August 14, 2013, a song titled "Survival" featuring Liz Rodrigues, with production by DJ Khalil was premiered in the multiplayer trailer for the video game Call of Duty: Ghosts. A following press release revealed the first single from his eighth studio album would be released soon. During the 2013 VMAs, it was revealed that Eminem's next album would be titled The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (a sequel to his previously released album The Marshall Mathers LP), which will be released on November 5, 2013.
The first single from the Marshall Mathers LP 2 was released on August 26th 2013. The audio video was released on VEVO, and later the music video was released on VEVO.
Eminem released The Marshall Mathers LP 2 on November 5, 2013. It quickly got to platinum status within the first two weeks of its release. Upon release it was met with mixed reviews from critics and Eminem fans, some arguing that he just recycled his old material from his earlier work.
Eminem's ninth studio album Shady XV, was released on November 28, 2014.
Eminem's Celebrity Fans
Eminem has a lot celebrity fans like Kim Kardashian, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, N-Dubz, Jessie J, Jason Derulo, Tinchy Stryder, Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, Victoria Justice, Dizzee Rascal, Far East Movement and Nicole Roberts.