Eminem performing live at the DJ Hero Party in Los Angeles, June 1, 2009
Background information
Birth name Marshall Bruce Mathers III
Born October 17, 1972 (1972-10-17) (age 39)
Saint Joseph, Missouri, U.S.
Origin Warren, Michigan, U.S.
Genres Hip hop
Occupations Rapper, record producer, songwriter, actor
Years active 1992–present
Labels Interscope, Aftermath, Shady, Web
Associated acts D12, Bad Meets Evil, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent
Website eminem.com

Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972),[1] better known by his stage name Eminem or his alter ego Slim Shady, is an American rapper, record producer, songwriter and actor. Eminem's popularity brought his group project, D12, to mainstream recognition. As well as being a member of D12, Eminem is also one half of the Detroit hip hop duo Bad Meets Evil, with Royce da 5'9". Eminem is one of the best-selling artists in the world and is the best selling artist of the 2000s.[2] He has been listed and ranked as one of the greatest artists of all time by many magazines including the Rolling Stone magazine which has ranked him 82nd on its list of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.[3] The same magazine has declared him The King of Hip Hop.[4] Including his work with D12 and Bad Meets Evil, Eminem has achieved ten number one albums on the Billboard 200. He has also sold more than 33 million track downloads and 40.9 million albums in the United States alone,[5] and 86 million records worldwide to date.[6]

Eminem quickly gained popularity in 1999 with his major-label debut album, The Slim Shady LP. That first album, The Marshall Mathers LP and his third major album, The Eminem Show, all won Grammy Awards, making Eminem the first artist to win Best Rap Album for three consecutive LPs. The Marshall Mathers LP is also considered one of Eminem's best and most successful albums. Eminem then went on hiatus after touring in 2005. He released his first album since 2004's Encore, titled Relapse, on May 15, 2009. In 2010, Eminem released his seventh studio album Recovery, which was an international success. Recovery was also named the best selling album worldwide of 2010 joining The Eminem Show, which was the best seller of 2002. Eminem won Grammy Awards for both Relapse and Recovery, giving him a total of 13 Grammys in his career. Eminem has named Masta Ace, Big Daddy Kane, Newcleus, the Beastie Boys, Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur, AZ, Nas, and Ice-T amongst others as his influences.

Eminem has opened other ventures since the beginning of his success. He founded his own record label, Shady Records with his manager Paul Rosenberg. He also has his own radio channel, Shade 45. Eminem began an acting career in 2002, when he starred in the hip hop drama film 8 Mile in which he won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, becoming the first rap artist ever to win the award.[7] He is also set to star in the 2013 films Shady Talez and Have Gun, Will Travel. He has also made cameo appearances in The Wash (2001), Funny People (2009) and television series Entourage.


Life and career

1972–91: Early life and beginnings

Eminem was born Marshall Bruce Mathers III on October 17, 1972, in Saint Joseph, Missouri, the only child of Deborah R. Nelson Mathers-Briggs and Marshall Bruce Mathers, Jr.[8] He is of Scottish,[9] English, German, Swiss, Polish, and Luxembourgian ancestry.[10] His father abandoned the family when he was 18 months old, and he was raised solely by his mother. By the age of 12, Mathers and his mother had moved between various cities and towns in Missouri (including Saint Joseph, Savannah, and Kansas City)[11] before they settled in Warren, Michigan, and in Mathers' teenage years, Detroit.[12]

After procuring a copy of the Beastie Boys album Licensed to Ill as a teenager, Mathers became further interested in rap, performing amateur raps at age 14 under the pseudonym "M&M" and joining the group called "Bassmint Productions" and released their second EP, 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.[1] Although he was enrolled at Lincoln High School in Warren, he frequently participated in freestyle battles at the now-defunct Osborn High School on Detroit's east side.[13] Despite a well-documented struggle succeeding in a predominantly African-American industry, he gained the approval of underground hip hop audiences.[1][8][14] After repeating the ninth grade twice due to truancy and near-failing grades,[15] he dropped out of high school at age 17.

In 1991, Mathers' maternal uncle, Ronald "Ronnie" Nelson, committed suicide via shotgun wound to the head. Mathers was very close to his uncle, who first introduced him to hip hop music at age 11. He was devastated by his death; today, he sports a tattoo reading "Ronnie R.I.P." on his upper left arm.[16] Ronnie was mentioned in the songs "Stan", "Cleanin' Out My Closet" and "My Dad's Gone Crazy".

1992–96: Early career and Infinite

One of Mathers' early mentors as a rapper was local rapper Champtown, who got Mathers his first studio time; Mathers made his first music video appearance in Champtown's 1992 video "Do-Da-Dipity".[17] Mathers and Champtown later had a falling out.[17] 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.[18] 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.[19] 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."[20] Subjects covered in Infinite included his struggles with raising his newborn daughter Hailie Jade Mathers while on limited funds and his strong desire to get rich.[21] Early in his career, Eminem collaborated with fellow Detroit MC Royce da 5'9" under the stage name Bad Meets Evil.[22] After the release of Infinite, Eminem's personal struggles and abuse of drugs and alcohol culminated in an unsuccessful suicide attempt.[1]

Jimmy Iovine, CEO of Interscope Records, requested a demo tape of Eminem's after Eminem placed second at the 1997 Rap Olympics. Eminem had also won Wake Up Show's "Freestyle Performer of the Year" award, helping him acquire a record deal.[23] 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.[1] Hip-hop magazine The Source featured Eminem in its "Unsigned Hype" column in March 1998.[24]

1997–99: The Slim Shady LP

The Slim Shady EP is a debut extended play by Eminem, published by Web Entertainment in 1997. The Slim Shady EP was released on cassette, vinyl, and CD. The vinyl and CD versions were released in 1998. Eminem first introduced his "Slim Shady" persona on this EP, and his lyrics are a marked departure from those found on Infinite, featuring constant references to drug use, sexual acts, mental instability, and over-the-top violence. Another departure was his exploration of more serious themes of dealing with poverty, his direct and self-deprecating response to criticism, and of marital and family difficulties. His flow is also noticeably different than on Infinite; whereas critics claimed he sounded too much like Nas and AZ on that album. Eminem also began utilizing story telling on this EP. The production value of the music on the tracks — from previous collaborators DJ Head, The Bass Brothers, and Mr. Porter — was also noticeably higher than on prior album efforts. According to Billboard, 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 his first major studio album, The Slim Shady LP, heavily based on the production by Dr. Dre, one year later in 1999. Billboard praised the album as "light years ahead of the material he had been writing beforehand".[25] It went on to be one of the most popular albums of 1999, going triple platinum by the end of the year.[26] 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 his wife's body. Another song, "Guilty Conscience", ends with his encouraging a man to murder his wife and her lover. "Guilty Conscience" marked the beginning of the 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.[27] The album has now been certified 4× platinum by the RIAA. With the release of it, Eminem was accused of imitating the style and subject matter of underground rapper Cage.[28][29]

2000–02: The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show

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.[30][31] 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.[32] 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.[33] 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.[8] 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,[34] and the song came tenth in a similar survey conducted by Top40-Charts.com.[35] The song has since become highly acclaimed and was ranked 290th in Rolling Stone magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list.[36] In July 2000, Eminem became the first white person to be featured on the cover of The Source magazine.[24] This album has been certified 10× Platinum by the RIAA.

Eminem performed with Elton John at the 43rd Grammy Awards ceremony in 2001;[37] the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), an organization that perceived Eminem's lyrics to be homophobic, condemned the openly gay John's decision to perform with Eminem.[38] 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."[39] On February 21, the day of the ceremony, GLAAD held a protest outside the Staples Center, the venue where the Grammy ceremony was held.[40] Music tours that he participated in for 2001 included the Up in Smoke Tour with rappers Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, and Ice Cube[41] and Family Values Tour with the band Limp Bizkit.[42]

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.[26] It featured the single "Without Me", in which he makes derogatory comments about boy bands, Limp Bizkit, Dick Cheney and Lynne Cheney, and Moby, among others. The Eminem Show has been certified 10× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). 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.[43] 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.[44] The Eminem Show was the best-selling album of 2002.[45]

2003–05: Encore

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.[46] 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.[47]

In 2004, Eminem released his fourth major album, Encore. 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",[48] and Steve Harvey, who declared, "Eminem has lost his ghetto pass. We want the pass back."[48] In the video, Eminem parodied Pee-wee Herman, MC Hammer, and "Blond Ambition"-era Madonna.[49] 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."[50] 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.[51] 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.[52]

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 US Presidential election, Eminem released the video for "Mosh" on the Internet.[53] 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".[54] 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 was re-elected, the video's ending was changed to Eminem and the protesters invading while Bush was giving a speech.[55]

2005–08: Musical hiatus

Eminem performing live on the Anger Management Tour in August 2005

In 2005, some industry insiders speculated that Eminem was considering ending his rapping career after six years and several multi-platinum albums. Speculation began in early 2005 about a double-disc album to be released late that year, rumored to be titled The Funeral.[56] The album later manifested itself as a greatest hits album under the name Curtain Call: The Hits in December. In July 2005, the Detroit Free Press broke news of a potential final bow for Eminem as a solo performer, quoting members of his inside circle who said that he will begin to fully embrace the role of producer and label executive. On the same day of the release of the compilation album, Eminem denied that he was retiring on Detroit-based WKQI's "Mojo in the Morning" radio show, but implied that he would at least be taking a break as an artist, saying "I'm at a point in my life right now where I feel like I don't know where my career is going ... This is the reason that we called it 'Curtain Call', because this could be the final thing. We don't know."[57] He released The Re-Up with the members of his record label, Shady Records. It was released in 2006.

In 2005, Eminem was a subject of Bernard Goldberg's book, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America; he ranked No. 58.[58] Goldberg cited a 2001 column by Bob Herbert of The New York Times claiming, "In Eminem's world, all women are whores and he is eager to rape and murder them."[59] Goldberg cited Eminem's song "No One's Iller" from The Slim Shady EP as an example of misogyny in his music.[60] In summer 2005, Eminem embarked on his first US concert run in three years, the Anger Management 3 Tour, featuring 50 Cent, G-Unit, Lil Jon, D12, Obie Trice, The Alchemist, and others. In August 2005, Eminem canceled the European leg of the tour and subsequently announced that he had entered drug rehabilitation for treatment for a "dependency on sleep medication".[61] Curtain Call: The Hits was released on December 6, 2005, under Aftermath Entertainment.[62] In its first week it sold nearly 441,000 copies in the US and was Eminem's fourth straight No. 1 album on the Billboard Hot 200.[63] The album has been certified 2× Platinum by the RIAA.[64]

In September 2007, Eminem called into New York radio station Hot 97 during an interview with 50 Cent 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."[65]

2008–09: Relapse and Relapse: Refill

Eminem, along with D12, performing in 2009

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."[66] It was around this time that Interscope finally confirmed the existence of a new Eminem album,[67] with Spring 2009 later being stated as the period span in which the album is due.[68] 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."[69]

On March 5, 2009, Eminem reported in a press release that he would be releasing two new albums that 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.[70] While Relapse did not manage to sell as well as Eminem's previous efforts, it was still a commercial success that received some critical acclaim, while also re-establishing his presence in the hip hop world. Relapse was named one of the top albums of 2009. Relapse has sold more than five million copies worldwide. During the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, Sacha Baron Cohen descended upon the audience wearing an angel's costume and landed on top of Eminem with his buttocks facing towards Eminem's face, resulting in Eminem storming out of the awards ceremony in disgust. Three days later, Eminem stated it was a staged act that they had planned together.[71] On October 30, Eminem performed at the Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans as a headliner in his first full performance in 2009.[72] The performance included several songs from Relapse, as well as many of Eminem's older hits and an appearance by D12. On November 19, Eminem announced on his website that Relapse: Refill would be released on December 21. The album was 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.[73]

2010–present: Recovery and Bad Meets Evil reunion

Eminem and Rihanna performing "Love the Way You Lie" at E3 Expo Party in 2010

On April 14, 2010, Eminem tweeted, "There is no Relapse 2", to his followers. This caused people to believe that he was not releasing an album at all, but it simply meant that the album title would be changed to Recovery. He confirmed this by tweeting, "RECOVERY", with a link to his website. Eminem said, "I had originally planned for Relapse 2 to come out last year. But as I kept recording and working with new producers, the idea of a sequel to Relapse started to make less and less sense to me, and I wanted to make a completely new album. The music on Recovery came out very different from Relapse, and I think it deserves its own title." His seventh studio album, Recovery, was released on June 18.[74] In the US, Recovery sold 741,000 in its first week to land atop the Billboard 200.[75][76] It became Eminem's sixth consecutive number-one album in the US and achieved international commercial success, charting at number one in several other countries. It stayed at number-one on the US Billboard 200 chart for five consecutive weeks and a total of seven weeks.[77][78] Recovery was reported by Billboard to be the best-selling album of 2010, making Eminem the first artist in Nielsen SoundScan history to have two year-end best-selling albums.[79] Recovery is the best selling digital album in history.[80] The first single, "Not Afraid", was released on April 29, and debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video was released on June 4.[81] "Not Afraid" was followed by a second single, "Love the Way You Lie," which debuted at number 2 and then rose to the top.[82] "Love the Way You Lie" was the best-selling single of 2010 in the United Kingdom even though it did not reach number 1 there, this is the first time this has happened in the UK since 1969.[83] Despite some criticism towards its consistency, Recovery received positive reviews from most music critics. As of November 21, 2010 (2010 -11-21), the album had sold three million copies in the US.[84] Recovery was also named the best selling album worldwide of 2010 joining The Eminem Show, which was the best seller of 2002 giving him two worldwide year end number one albums.[85][86] With Recovery, Eminem achieved the record for most successive US No.1 albums by a solo artist.[87]

Eminem appeared at the 2010 BET Awards,[88] performing "Not Afraid" and "Airplanes, Part II", with B.o.B. He also performed at the Activison E3 concert. In June 2010, Eminem and Jay-Z announced they would perform together in a pair of concerts in Detroit and New York. The event was dubbed The Home & Home Tour. The first two concerts rapidly sold out, prompting the scheduling of an additional show at each venue.[89] BET also named Eminem the number one rapper of the 21st century.[90] Eminem opened the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on September 12, 2010, by performing "Not Afraid" and "Love the Way You Lie", with Rihanna performing the chorus.[91] Due to the success of Recovery and the Home & Home Tour, he was named the 2010 Hottest MC in the Game by MTV[92] and "Emcee of the Year" by hip hop news website HipHopDX.[93] Eminem and Rihanna collaborated once again to make "Love the Way You Lie (Part II)", the sequel to their hit single "Love the Way You Lie". Rihanna is the lead singer, as opposed to Eminem being the main singer in the original "Love the Way You Lie". The song is said to be from the female perspective.[94] Nicki Minaj collaborated with rapper Eminem on a song titled "Roman's Revenge" that appears on her album Pink Friday.[95] The song references Minaj's alter-ego Roman Zolanski and features Eminem's alter-ego Slim Shady.[95] Eminem is featured on the track "That's All She Wrote" on T.I.'s album No Mercy.[96] He also featured on I Need a Doctor, the second single from Detox.[97] In December 2010, in Billboard's "The Top 25 Music Moments of 2010", The "Great Eminem Recovery" was named the number one music moment of 2010.[98] Eminem appeared at the 2011 Grammy Awards on February 13, 2011, by performing "Love the Way You Lie (Part II)" with Rihanna and Adam Levine, and "I Need a Doctor" with Dr. Dre and Skylar Grey.[99] In February 2011, it was announced that "Space Bound" would be released as the fourth single off of Recovery along with a music video for the song which was shot with former porn star Sasha Grey.[100][101] The long-awaited video was released on June 24 on the iTunes Store.[102]

Eminem performing at Lollapalooza 2011 on the second day of the festival

In 2010, Eminem started collaborating with Royce da 5'9" on their first EP as Bad Meets Evil. The duo was formed in 1999 and has reunited. The EP, entitled Hell: The Sequel, was released on June 14, 2011.[103] Eminem was featured on 'Writer's Block' with Royce Da 5'9", which was officially released on April 8, 2011.[104] On May 3, 2011, they released the lead single "Fast Lane" for the upcoming sequel,[105] for which a music video was shot.[106] In March 2011, within days of each other, both The Eminem Show and The Marshall Mathers LP were certified diamond by the RIAA. This makes Eminem the only rapper to have two diamond-certified albums.[107] Also, Eminem climbed to the top of the Facebook charts by being the most followed person with more than 40 million "likes", outscoring Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Michael Jackson.[108] Eminem is also the first artist in five years to have two number one albums in a 12-month period: Recovery and the collaborative Hell: The Sequel.[109] Early in 2011, Eminem leaked "2.0 Boys", for which Yelawolf and Slaughterhouse collaborated upon signing to Shady Records in January 2011 and performing it in April 2011.[110] Bad Meets Evil released their next single, "Lighters", on July 6, 2011 and premiered a music video in late August.[111][112] On August 6, 2011, Eminem took several of his songs throughout his music career to a live performance at the Lollapalooza 2011, performing with various artists featured in their respective songs.[113]

Other ventures

Shady Records and D12

D12 performing live at the Anger Management Tour in 2005

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.[15]

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.[114] 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.[115] 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.[116] 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.[117]

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".[116] In April 2006, D12 member (and Eminem's childhood friend) Deshaun "Proof" Holton was killed in a club brawl on 8 Mile Road in Detroit, Michigan, with US military veteran Keith Bender, Jr., who also died in the fray. 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.[118] D12 member Bizarre said that Eminem is not featured on his new album Blue Cheese & Coney Island because "he's busy doing his thing".[119] D12 released a mixtape in 2011 titled Return of the Dozen Volume 2 only featuring Eminem on one song, "Fame" unlike the groups previous mixtape Return of the Dozen where Eminem is not on any tracks.

Acting career

Although he had a cameo in the 2001 film, The Wash, Eminem made his official Hollywood acting debut with the semi-autobiographical 8 Mile, released in November 2002. He has said the movie is not an account of his life, but a representation of growing up in Detroit. He recorded several new songs for the soundtrack, including "Lose Yourself," which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2003. "Lose Yourself" would go on to become the longest running No. 1 hip hop single.[120] However, the song was not performed at the ceremony, due to Eminem's absence at the ceremony. His collaborator, Luis Resto, who co-wrote the song, accepted the award.[121]

Eminem has participated in various voice acting roles. Some of these include the video game 50 Cent: Bulletproof, where he voices an aging corrupt police officer who speaks in Ebonics and guest spots on the Comedy Central television show Crank Yankers, and a web cartoon called The Slim Shady Show, which has since been pulled off-line and is instead sold on DVD.[122] He will be involved in either the soundtrack or scoring.[123] He was also in the running for the part of David Rice in 2008's film Jumper after Tom Sturridge was dropped just two weeks before filming. Concerns over not having a more prominent actor prompted the director, Doug Liman, to consider other actors for the role. He eventually selected Hayden Christensen over Eminem.[124] He also had a cameo appearance in the 2009 movie Funny People, in which he is involved in an argument with Ray Romano.

It was reported on November 8, 2009, that Eminem will star in the upcoming 3D horror anthology, Shady Talez, to be produced by John Davis.[125][126] A four-issue comic book series based on the film was expected to be published sometime in 2010.[127]

Eminem appeared alongside Christina Aguilera on the Entourage Season 7 finale titled 'Lose Yourself' as himself.[128]

Eminem is set to play a boxer in the upcoming film Southpaw. David Schiff will executive produce the film,[129] and Antoine Fuqua was confirmed to direct the film.[130] In January 2011, a report surfaced that Eminem will star in the upcoming thriller, Random Acts of Violence.[131]


On October 21, 2008, Eminem released a tell-all autobiography entitled The Way I Am, which details his struggles with poverty, drugs, fame, heartbreak and depression, along with stories about his rise to fame and commentary on past controversies. This book also contains some of the original lyric sheets from songs such as "Stan" and "The Real Slim Shady."[132]


Eminem was featured in two commercials that aired during Super Bowl XLV. The first, for Lipton's Brisk Iced Tea, was a one-minute spot that featured him as a claymation figure.[133] The other was a two-minute ad, the longest in Super Bowl history, for the Chrysler 200. It featured Eminem driving through Detroit and ended with him taking the stage at the Fox Theatre with "Lose Yourself" playing as the soundtrack.[134][135]


Eminem has also founded his own charity named The Marshall Mathers Foundation, assisting disadvantaged youth.[136]


Influences and rapping technique

Eminem has named several MCs who influenced his rapping style, in-addition to his mentor, Dr. Dre, who share the same type of music: thick, muscular loops that evoked the terror and paranoia that his music conjured,[137] these influences included Esham,[138] Kool G Rap,[139] Masta Ace,[140] Big Daddy Kane,[139] Newcleus,[140] Ice-T,[140] Mantronix,[140] Melle Mel (specifically the track "The Message"),[140] LL Cool J,[140] Beastie Boys,[140] Run-DMC,[140] Rakim,[140] and Boogie Down Productions.[140]

In the book How to Rap, Guerilla Black notes that Eminem studied other MCs to create his rapping technique: "Eminem listened to everything and that's what made him one of the greats".[141] In the same book, Eminem is praised for various aspects of his rapping technique by numerous other MCs; these techniques include his varied and humorous subject matter,[142] connecting with his audience,[143] carrying a concept over a series of albums,[144] complex rhyme schemes,[145] his ability to bend words so that they rhyme,[146] his use of multisyllabic rhymes,[139] fitting many rhymes in each bar,[147] complex rhythms,[148] clear enunciation,[149] use of melody,[150] and syncopation.[151] He is also known to write the majority of his lyrics down on paper, as documented in his book The Way I Am, as well as taking a few days or a week to craft lyrics,[152] being a "workaholic",[153] and "stacking" vocals.[154]

Alter egos

Eminem uses alter egos in his song to use different styles of rapping and subject matters. His most famous and popular alter ego, "Slim Shady" originated from The Slim Shady EP. While under this personality, Eminem makes violent and dark songs with a comical twist.[155] Though his Slim Shady persona has remained, Eminem did not include it in Recovery as much because he did not feel it fit the theme.[156] Eminem is considered to be an alter-ego itself, with his true self being Marshall Mathers. Another character Eminem has portrayed is Ken Kaniff.

Ken was originally played by fellow Detroit rapper Aristotle in the Slim Shady LP, who appeared in a prank call skit towards Eminem. After the Slim Shady LP, an argument led to Eminem taking the character of Ken Kaniff and playing him in several skits starting in the Marshall Mathers LP and onwards (except for Recovery and Encore). In his Ken Kaniff personality, Ken is a homosexual who pokes fun at Eminem's songs. Aristotle, the original creator of Ken Kaniff, became angry over Eminem taking his character and created a mixtape in which he raps in his Ken persona dissing Eminem.[157]

Featurings and productions

Although he typically collaborates with various rappers under Aftermath Entertainment and Shady Records, such as Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, D12, and Obie Trice, Eminem has collaborated with many other artists, including Redman, Kid Rock, DMX, Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, Method Man, Jadakiss, Fat Joe, Sticky Fingaz, T.I. and others. Eminem rapped a verse in a live performance of Busta Rhymes' "Touch It" remix at the 2006 BET Music Awards on June 27, 2006. Eminem was featured on Akon's single "Smack That" which appeared on his album Konvicted. He was featured on Lil Wayne's hit song Drop the World.

Eminem is also an active rap producer. Besides being the executive producer of D12's first two albums, Devil's Night and D12 World, he has executive produced Obie Trice's Cheers and Second Round's on Me as well as 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin' and The Massacre.[158] In addition, Eminem has produced songs by other famous rappers, such as Jadakiss' "Welcome To D-Block", Jay-Z's "Renegade" and "Moment of Clarity" Lloyd Banks' "On Fire", "Warrior Part 2", and "Hands Up", Tony Yayo's "Drama Setter", Trick-Trick's "Welcome 2 Detroit", and Xzibit's "My Name" and "Don't Approach Me".[159] Most of The Eminem Show was produced by Eminem himself, with co-production from longtime collaborator Jeff Bass.[160] He split the production with Dr. Dre on Encore. In 2004, Eminem was the Executive Producer of 2Pac's posthumous album Loyal to the Game with 2Pac's mother Afeni Shakur.[161] He produced the UK No. 1 single "Ghetto Gospel" which featured Elton John.[162] He has produced "The Cross" off Nas's album God's Son.[163] On August 15, 2006, Obie Trice released Second Round's on Me. Eminem produced 8 tracks on the album. He was featured in the song "There They Go".[164] Eminem produced some tracks on the new Trick-Trick album, The Villain. He is also featured in "Who Want It".[165]

With regard to the productions on his own records, Eminem is seen as having an unusual style in that rather than write to beats he typically starts with an idea of how he wants his song to be structured based on the lyrics and then creates music according to that.[166] A notable exception to this was the song "Stan", which came from an idea and scratch track produced by Mark the 45 King.[166]

Comparisons to other artists

As Asher Roth gained prominence being a white performer in a predominantly black musical genre, Roth has earned many comparisons to Eminem, so much so that he devoted a track on his album to the famed rapper, entitled "As I Em."[167]

In an interview with XXL Magazine, Eminem cosigned Asher Roth, saying when asked about the comparison:

"I haven't had a chance to, like, really get into everything, like, really get into what he's about, because I've only heard a couple songs. There was talk about people saying he sounded like me, and he was doing this and that and, you know, trying to take what I do and do it. You know, shit like that. I've heard things. But the stuff that I've heard from him honestly, which certainly isn't enough for me to make my own opinion and say, ‘Yeah, he does sound like me' or ‘No, he doesn't.' But the couple of songs I've heard, I don't really think he does. You know what I mean? He's doing his own thing. I can respect it, too, because at the end of the day, I think he's dope."[168]

Eminem and Christian hip hop artist KJ-52 were often compared to each other, as many called KJ-52 the "Christian counterpart" of Eminem.[169] One of the most notable mainstream reactions to Gospel rap was to KJ-52 and his single "Dear Slim", which was written to Eminem in an attempt reach him with the message of Christianity, though Eminem claims to be a Christian.[citation needed] The song became famous and controversial among Eminem fans when it was featured on the hit show Total Request Live. KJ-52 began to receive hate mail (including death threats) from Eminem's fans, though KJ-52 claimed that the song was not a "diss".[170] This also led to the single being disparaged by VH1 as No. 26 on their "Top 40 Worst Moments in Hip Hop",[171] an issue the artist addressed in a follow-up song titled "Dear Slim Pt. 2".[citation needed]

Personal life


Marshall Mathers has been the subject of much scrutiny, both as a rapper as well as in his personal life.[31] He was married twice to Kimberley Anne Scott, whom he met in high school. Kimberly had run away from her home as a teenager, along with her sister Dawn. They moved in with Marshall and his mother when he was 15. Kim and Marshall began their on-and-off relationship in 1989, and were married on June 14th, 1999. In 2000, they filed for divorce shortly after Kim's second drunk driving conviction. [172]The couple first divorced in 2001[173] but remarried in January 2006. Their second divorce was finalized in December of the same year, with the couple agreeing to share custody of their daughter, Hailie Jade Mathers (born December 25, 1995).[173][174][175] Hailie Mathers has often been referenced or featured on various songs by Mathers[176] including "'97 Bonnie & Clyde", "Hailie's Song", "My Dad's Gone Crazy", "Mockingbird", "When I'm Gone" and "Beautiful".

In early 2010, Mathers responded publicly to tabloid reports of his pending reunion with Kim with a firm denial.[177]

Mathers adopted two other daughters: Alaina "Lainie" Mathers, the child of Kimberley Scott's sister,[173] who has been referenced by name in some songs including "Mockingbird", "Airplanes Part II" and "Going Through Changes"; and Whitney, Scott's child from a previous relationship. Whitney is mentioned in the song "Deja Vu" as well as "Going Through Changes". Mathers is also the legal guardian of his younger half-brother, Nathan who has been mentioned in "Cleanin' Out My Closet" and "My Mom".

Legal troubles

In 1999, Mathers' mother sued him for around US$10 million over alleged slander about her in his lyrics regarding The Slim Shady LP; she won only about US$1,600 in damages in 2001.[178]

Mathers was arrested on June 3, 2000 during an altercation at a car audio store in Royal Oak, Michigan, with Douglas Dail, where he pulled out an unloaded gun and kept it pointed at the ground.[179] The following day, in Warren, Michigan, he allegedly saw his then wife, Kim, kiss bouncer John Guerrera in the parking lot of the Hot Rock Café, and he assaulted him and was then arrested.[173][174][179] Eminem recreated the Guerrera assault in a skit on his junior album The Eminem Show on a track called "The Kiss (Skit)." Mathers was charged with possession of a concealed weapon and assault. Mathers plead guilty to the charges and was given two years probation for both episodes.[180]

On July 7, 2000, Eminem's then-wife, Kimberly Scott attempted suicide by slashing her wrists.[181] Scott sued Eminem for defamation after he depicted her violent death in his song "Kim".[173][174]

On October 26, 2000, Eminem was to perform at a concert in Toronto's Skydome.[182] However, Ontario Attorney General Jim Flaherty argued that Canada should stop Eminem at the border. "I personally don't want anyone coming to Canada who will come here and advocate violence against women," he said.[182] Flaherty claims to have been "disgusted" when reading transcriptions of Eminem's song "Kill You", which includes lines like "Slut, you think I won't choke no whore/till the vocal cords don't work in her throat no more?"[182] The opinion of the general public to the requests made by the province were negative. Others said the issue was one of free speech. Liberal MPP Michael Bryant suggested that the government lay hate crime charges against Eminem for the advocation of violence against women found in his lyrics.[182] In a Globe and Mail editorial, author Robert Everett-Green wrote, "Being offensive is Eminem's job description."[183] Eminem's Toronto concert went on as planned that night.[184]

D'Angelo Bailey, a sanitation worker, sued Mathers in 2001 and accused him of invading his privacy by publicizing unreasonable information that put him in a false light. Bailey admitted that he picked on Mathers but said he merely "bumped" him at school and threw a "little shove." On October 20, 2003, the charges were dismissed in court.[8]

On June 28, 2001, Mathers was sentenced to one year probation on weapons charges that stemmed from an argument with an employee of Psychopathic Records, assessing him a fine around $2,000 as well as several hours of community service.[185]

On March 31, 2002, French jazz pianist Jacques Loussier filed a $10 million lawsuit against Eminem and Dr. Dre, claiming the beat for "Kill You" was stolen from his song.[186] Loussier demanded that all sales of the album be halted and any remaining copies destroyed. A trial date was set to begin in June 2004. The case was later settled.[187]

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, George W. Bush,[188] after the song "We as Americans", as an unreleased bootleg, circulated with the lyrics "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 incident was later referenced in the video for his song "Mosh" as one several news clips on a wall, along with other newspaper articles about other unfortunate incidents in Bush's career. The song eventually appeared on the album's bonus disc, where the lyrics were extensively censored.

In 2005, Eminem's aunt and uncle, Jack and Betty Schmitt, sued him, alleging that he has promised them a $350,000 house and the money to keep it up, and instead has kept it in his name and tried to evict them.[8]

In 2007, his music publishing company, Eight Mile Style LLC, together with Martin Affiliated LLC, filed suit against Apple Inc. and Aftermath Entertainment claiming Aftermath did not have the appropriate authority to negotiate a deal with Apple for digital downloads of 93 Eminem songs on Apple's iTunes service.[189][190] The case against Apple was settled shortly after trial began in late September 2009.[191]

In July 2010 the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in F.B.T. Productions, LLC v. Aftermath Records that F.B.T. Productions and Eminem were owed a royalty of 50% of the net revenue Aftermath obtained by licensing Eminem's recordings to companies like Apple Inc., Sprint, Nextel, Cingular, and T-Mobile. In March 2011 the Supreme Court of the United States upheld this ruling.[192]

Drug issues

Eminem has spoken openly about his addiction to prescription drugs, including Vicodin, Ambien, Valium and Methadone.[193] His group-mate Proof from D12 stated that Mathers "sobered up" in 2002 from drug and alcohol dependence.[194] However, he did turn to zolpidem (Ambien) sleeping pills for relief from sleeping troubles. This caused Mathers to cancel the European leg of the Anger Management Tour in August 2005 and eventually go into rehab for treatment for a "dependency on sleep medication".[61][195] In a 2009 interview with British talk-show host Jonathan Ross, Mathers admitted that at the height of his addiction, he considered suicide, saying that, "I just wasn't taking care of myself, at times I wanted to just give it up."[196] He also confirmed that he is now sober, commenting that, "[R]ap was my drug ... Then I had to resort to other things to make me feel that. Now rap's getting me high again."[196]

Proof's death

On April 11, 2006, Eminem’s best friend and fellow D12 member, Proof was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest at the CCC Club by club bouncer Mario Etheridge on 8 Mile Road in Detroit, Michigan after fatally shooting Keith Bender, Jr. On April 19, 2006, Eminem, D12, 50 Cent, and thousands of others attended the funeral of Proof at The Fellowship Chapel, Detroit.[197] Eminem made two songs about Proof's death on his album Recovery titled "Going Through Changes" and "You're Never Over", and mentions him in songs on Relapse and Recovery ("Deja Vu", "Beautiful", and "Cinderella Man")


Insane Clown Posse

The feud began in 1997, when Eminem was throwing a party to promote his debut EP, The Slim Shady EP. He gave Violent J a flyer which stated "Featuring appearances by Esham, Kid Rock, and ICP (maybe)."[198] Bruce asked why Eminem was promoting a possible Insane Clown Posse appearance without first contacting the group. Eminem explained, "It says 'maybe.' Maybe you will be there; I don't know. That's why I'm asking you right now. You guys comin' to my release party, or what?"[198] Bruce, upset over not being consulted, responded, "Fuck no, I ain't coming to your party. We might have, if you would've asked us first, before putting us on the fuckin' flyer like this."[198] Eminem took Bruce's response as a personal offense, subsequently attacking the group in radio interviews. Bruce and Utsler responded later in 1999 by releasing a parody of Eminem's "My Name Is" entitled "Slim Anus".[198] Eminem continued to insult Insane Clown Posse on various tracks from his album The Marshall Mathers LP (2000), including the songs "Marshall Mathers" and "Ken Kaniff". In 2002, Eminem also briefly dissed them on his single "Business" from his album The Eminem Show.

Insane Clown Posse talked about the feud being squashed in an interview with MTV, saying that Proof squashed the conflict in 2005, which was followed by a bowling game between members of D12 and Psychopathic Records.[199] Violent J stated that, "He contacted us and we had a bowling game – it was really cool. We're something different. They could have skipped over us and said forget them, but they included us and said let's squash it."[199]

In an interview with MTV, Violent J stated that they no longer had problems and used the example "If you had beef with someone in high school and you see him ten years later at the reunion, are you still going to have problems with the kid? It's just foolish."

Everlast & Limp Bizkit

In the early 2000s, Eminem was notified while on the Anger Management Tour that former House of Pain member Everlast had mocked him on a song. Everlast claimed that while passing by Mathers in a hotel lobby, Mathers gave him a "weird look."[200] Everlast's verse from the Dilated Peoples all star track "Ear Drums Pop (Remix)" contained a thinly veiled reference to Eminem ("Cock my hammer, spit a comet like Haley/I buck a .380 on ones that act shady"), and went on to warn "You might catch a beatdown out where I come from" in his recounting of the incident.[201] Taking offense to this, Eminem and D12 quickly began work on a retaliatory song, "I Remember", which ripped Everlast several times in public and with the song.

Everlast responded with the track "Whitey's Revenge," released only on his official website. While the song contained references to Eminem's strained relationships with his wife and mother, it was "Better run and check your kid for your DNA", again referring to Eminem's daughter, Hailie Jade Mathers, that set Eminem off.[202][203]

Eminem & D12 responded with "Quitter," the second half of which is a take off on 2Pac's "Hit 'Em Up" (a diss song aimed at The Notorious B.I.G.).[204] The track ends with the spoken words, "Fuck him, that’s it, I'm done, I promise, I'm done, that's it." It was reported that long-time friends of Eminem, Limp Bizkit, were meant to be featured on the song, but Fred Durst canceled at the last moment. In a TRL interview, Limp Bizkit member DJ Lethal made a statement that if Mathers and Everlast were to fight in real life, Everlast would win. This enraged Eminem, and an insulting track aimed at both Everlast and Limp Bizkit (namely Durst and Lethal) named "Girls" appeared on D12's mainstream debut, Devil's Night. Recently, things seem to have settled, and Eminem has no longer been heard insulting Everlast or Limp Bizkit. It is currently unknown if the dispute is resolved.[205]


The animosity between Canibus and Eminem started when Canibus and Wyclef Jean confronted Eminem and asked him if he ghost-wrote the track "The Ripper Strikes Back" by LL Cool J.[206] Eminem denied that he wrote the track, and later said Canibus was "rude" to him.[206] Two years later, Canibus went to see Eminem on the Warped Tour and apologized to him for his reactions and asked him if he still wanted the track. Eminem agreed, but when he heard the track "Phuck U" from Canibus' album 2000 B.C., he thought the track was directed at him and LL Cool J.[206] Shortly afterwards, Eminem released his 2nd album The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) and Canibus decided to continue the "story" of Eminem's single "Stan". He titled the track "U Didn't Care", and it continued to take shots at Eminem.[207] Eminem decided to take more shots at Canibus on his album The Eminem Show (2002) on tracks such as "Say What You Say", "When The Music Stops" and "Square Dance".[206] Even though Canibus did not immediately respond to the tracks, Eminem continued to take shots at him, including a track Eminem was featured on with Xzibit, titled "My Name" from Xzibit's album Man vs. Machine. On November 19, 2002 Canibus responded with the track titled" Dr.C PhD". Over a year later Eminem released the track "Can-I-Bitch". He attacked Canibus in a humorous matter. Since then the hostilities have cooled down, but Canibus tried to provoke a re-ignition of it when he leaked a track titled "Air Strike (Pop Killer)", that featured vocal parts of D12, where Canibus takes shots at Eminem and his deceased friend Proof. D12 member Swift responded to the record publicly, and had the following to say about DZK (another rapper featured on the track). "[He] asked us to do a track with him when he already was teamed up with Canibus without us knowing. They dissed Em, took our verses and added them to the song, so they can bring traffic and make it seem like we were turning on Em... as a desperate attempt to be heard after ducking and dodging Em for 7 years. It was a straight hoe move."[208]

Ja Rule

Eminem's conflict with Ja Rule started after 50 Cent signed to Shady Records and Aftermath. Ja Rule stated that he had a problem with Eminem and Dr. Dre of signing someone he had conflict with.[209] On November 19, Ja Rule and Irv Gotti were special guests on Star and Bucwild's morning show on Hot 97 NYC. Irv Gotti had some 'legal documents' stating the order of protection 50 'has on him'.[210] Ja Rule threatened that if 50 Cent released any diss track, he would take action towards his two producers.[209][210] However, Dr. Dre was the one who produced 50 Cent's vicious track "Back Down" in 2003 from the album Get Rich Or Die Tryin', which not only called out Murder Inc., but 50 Cent was extremely disrespectful towards Ja Rule's mother, wife and kids. In the song 50 rhymes: "Your Mami, your Papi, that bitch you chasin' your lil dirty ass kids, I'll fuckin' erase them."[211]

Busta Rhymes decided to join the conflict when he was featured on the track "Hail Mary 2003", with Eminem and 50 Cent.

The feud intensified when Ja Rule released a diss called "Loose Change" in which he took shots at 50 Cent and as well Eminem calling him "Feminem" and Dr. Dre as "bisexual" and claimed that Suge Knight knew of Dre "bringing transvestites home".[211] It includes also the lyrics insulting Eminem's mother Debbie, his ex-wife Kim and went on to reference his then 8-year-old daughter Hailie: "Em you claim your mother's a crack head and Kim is a known slut, so what's Hailie gonna be when she grows up?"[209] This angered Eminem greatly, causing him to immediately get his rap group D12 involved, as well as the major part of his label, Shady Records, including Obie Trice, his close friend.[211] They responded together on the track titled "Doe Rae Me" (aka "Hailie's Revenge"). Since then the rift has cooled down.[209]

Michael Jackson

The music video for "Just Lose It" generated controversy by parodying singer Michael 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.[212] It was banned on the BET channel, after complaints from Benzino and others (but was later reinstated, as critics of the ban argued that Nelly's "Tip Drill" video could be seen). Both were only seen on BET: Uncut. However MTV did not drop it, and the video became one of the most requested on the channel. A week after the release of "Just Lose It", Jackson called into the radio show of Steve Harvey to report his displeasure with the video. "I am very angry at Eminem's depiction of me in his video," Jackson said in the interview. "I feel that it is outrageous and disrespectful. It is one thing to spoof, but it is another to be demeaning and insensitive." The singer continued: "I've admired Eminem as an artist, and was shocked by this. The video was inappropriate and disrespectful to me, my children, my family and the community at large."[213] 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",[48] and Steve Harvey, who declared, "Eminem has lost his ghetto pass. We want the pass back."[48]

Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon

Eminem has written several songs referring to a relationship with singer Mariah Carey, although she denies the claim.[214] She says that they hung out but nothing sexual or intimate occurred. Eminem has referenced her on many songs that include "Superman", "Jimmy Crack Corn", "Bagpipes From Baghdad", and "The Warning". While "Superman" was released in 2003, Carey released a song entitled "Clown" on her Charmbracelet album, released in 2002, which makes similar references in line with her 2009 hit "Obsessed".

Eminem's "Bagpipes From Baghdad" from his album Relapse may be his most well-known reference to Carey due to the controversy it caused. The song disparages Carey and husband Nick Cannon's relationship.[215] Cannon responded to Eminem by saying his career is based on "racist bigotry", and that he would get revenge on Eminem, joking that he may return to rapping.[216] Eminem later stated that the couple misinterpreted the track and it was wishing the two the best.[215] Cannon also stated that there were no hard feelings, and that he just had to express his feelings about the song.[217]

In 2009, Carey released "Obsessed" in which she sings about an obsessed man who claims to be having a relationship with her.[218] Cannon claimed that the song was not an insult directed at Eminem.[219] However, Eminem responded in late July 2009 by releasing a track titled "The Warning". It contained samples of voice mail recordings which Eminem claimed were left by Mariah Carey when the two were together.[220] Eminem also hinted that he had other evidence of their relationship in his possession. A little over a year later in September 2010 Nick Cannon responded with the song "I'm a Slick Rick" which in Slick Rick's flow he takes shots at Eminem.[221]


After the release of The Marshall Mathers LP, popular electronic music artist Moby began speaking out against the album's lyrics, citing references to misogyny and homophobia as unacceptable.[222] Eminem responded back with several disprespectful lines about Moby in "Without Me", the lead single off his next album The Eminem Show. Moby kept quiet until 2004, when he praised Eminem for his courage in bashing then-U.S. President George W. Bush in the song "Mosh", a track from Encore.[223] The feud has since died.[224]

Gay-rights activists

Eminem was involved in many controversies over lyrics which have been perceived as being homophobic; an Autralian politician attempted to ban entry for Eminem because of these lyrics.[225] However, Eminem is a friend of gay singer Elton John,[226] and publicly supports gay rights.[227]


Eminem is the best-selling artist of the decade on the US Nielsen SoundScan,[228] and has sold more than 86.5 million albums worldwide to date, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world.[229] He has totaled over 1 billion views on his music videos on his official Vevo page on YouTube.[230] Eminem was ranked 82nd on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.[231] He was also named the Best Rapper Alive by Vibe magazine in 2008.[232] In December 2009, Eminem was named the Artist of the Decade by Billboard magazine.[233] In 2010, MTV Portugal ranked Eminem as the seventh biggest icon in pop music history.[234] During 2010, Eminem's music generated 94 million streams, more than any other music artist.[235] Also according to Billboard, Eminem has two of his albums among the top five highest selling albums of the 2000s. In the UK, Eminem has sold over 12.5 million records.[236] Eminem has also sold more than 33 million track downloads and 40.9 million albums in the United States alone.[235][237] Including his work with D12, Eminem has achieved ten No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200, seven solo (six studio albums, one compilation), two with D12 and one with Bad Meets Evil.[238] Eminem has had 13 number one singles worldwide. His albums The Eminem Show, The Marshall Mathers LP, and Encore ranked as the 3rd, 7th, and 40th best-selling albums of the 2000–2009 decade respectively by Billboard magazine.[239][240] In August 2011 Eminem was named "The King of Hip-Hop" by Rolling Stone.[4] The magazine looked at solo rappers who released music between 2009 and the first half of 2011 by analizing their album sales, rankings on the R&B/hip-hop and rap charts, YouTube views, social media, concert grosses, industry awards and critics' ratings,[4] and the data accumulated named Eminem the king of the time period.

Eminem's second major label studio album, The Marshall Mathers LP, became the fastest-selling solo album in United States history.[30] The album has been ranked as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time by such magazines as Rolling Stone, Time, and XXL.[241] Rolling Stone placed the album at number seven on its list of the best albums of the 2000s.[242] The album's third single, "Stan", is one of Eminem's most critically acclaimed songs, having been ranked by About.com as Eminem's best song and referred to by Pitchfork Media as "a cultural milestone".[243] In 2005, Eminem was ranked 79th on the VH1 100 Greatest Artists of All-Time.[244]



Year Film Role Notes
2000 Da Hip Hop Witch Himself
Up in Smoke Tour
The Slim Shady Show Various
2001 The Wash Chris Uncredited
2002 8 Mile Jimmy "B-Rabbit" Smith, Jr. Academy Award for Best Original Song
MTV Movie Award for Best Video from a FilmLose Yourself
MTV Movie Award for Best Male Performance
MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Male Performance
ASCAP Award for Most Performed Song from a Motion Picture – Lose Yourself
Critics Choice Award for Best Song – Lose Yourself
Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor – Drama/Action Adventure
Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Breakout Star – Male
BMI Film Award for Music
BMI Film Award for Most Performed Song from a Film – Lose Yourself
Nominated – Golden Globe for Best Original Song from a Motion PictureLose Yourself
Nominated – CFCA Award for Most Promising Performer
Nominated – Golden Satellite for Best Original Song – Lose Yourself
Nominated – OFCS for Best Breakthrough Performance
Nominated – PFCS for Best Original Song – Lose Yourself
Nominated – Grammy for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual MediaLose Yourself
2003 50 Cent: The New Breed Himself
2004 Crank Yankers Billy Fletcher TV guest role; voice
2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Himself Inducted Run-D.M.C.
Funny People Cameo[245]
Friday Night with Jonathan Ross Interview. Also performed "We Made You".
2010 Entourage TV guest spot
Saturday Night Live Performed alongside Lil Wayne a medley of songs including "No Love"
Friday Night with Jonathan Ross Interview. Also performed "Not Afraid".

Awards and nominations

Eminem has thirteen Grammy Awards. He has been praised for having "verbal energy", high quality of lyricism and has been ranked number nine on MTV's list of The Greatest MCs of All Time.[246][247] In 2003 he was listed as number thirteen on MTV's 22 Greatest Voices in Music[248] and number 82 on Rolling Stone's "The Immortals".[3] In 2008, the readers of Vibe Magazine voted him "The Best Rapper Alive".[249] He was also named "Best Rapper Ever" in a poll conducted by music fans on the Vibe website.

Ironically, "The Real Slim Shady", one of the songs from his second Grammy-winning album, The Marshall Mathers LP, slammed the Grammy Awards in its second verse, and stated the opinion that negative feelings about his material would keep him from ever winning one.

Business ventures

See also


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