Marshall Bruce Mathers III was born on October 17, 1972. He went from being an unknown lyrical rapper from the rough streets of Detroit, Michigan to being the best-selling music artist in the United States in the 2000s. Eminem’s success cannot be underscored. He has sold more than 172 million albums around the world putting him in elite company. Eminem is a dynamic rapper and even better lyricist.
Everything started for Eminem with his debut release Infinite in 1996. Then came The Slim Shady LP in 1999 which blew up and the rest is history. Eminem now sells out arenas around the world. He also has collaborated with many artists, including Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Kid Rock, Drake and others are a who’s-who of talented rappers and singers. In addition to his talents as a rapper/song writer, Eminem has branched out into music producing. The talented artist started Shady Records with his manager, Paul Rosenberg.
Despite his talents, Eminem has attracted a lot of scrutiny during his days. He even got the U.S. Government’s attention in 2008 with the song “We As Americans.” The lyrics, “Fu*k money, I don’t rap for dead presidents. I’d rather see the president dead, it’s never been said but I set precedents,” caused the Secret Service to get their panties in a bunch. Can’t imagine why. Love him or hate him, Eminem is a highly talented interesting force in the entertainment industry. Here are some facts about Eminem you may not know about him.
10. The Discovery – Evan “Kidd” Bogart
A lot has been made of Dr. Dre discovering Eminem and helping mold his career. Although it is true Dre has done wonders for Eminem and took the young rapper under his wing, it was a little known white rapper who discovered him. Evan “Kidd” Bogart, who was interning for Interscope at the time, first discovered Eminem. Bogart (son of legendary music producer, Neil Bogart) was at a rap competition and saw Eminem perform. He went back to Interscope and passed along Eminem’s tape which eventually found its way to Dre. The moment Dre heard the tape he demanded they find Eminem immediately and the rest is history.
9. Childhood – The Coma
Eminem grew up in rough neighborhoods. He was a “street kid” who lived in a predominately black neighborhood. He was regularly beaten up for being one of the lone white kids who lived there. When he was just 9 years old, Eminem was beaten so badly by a school bully, he ended up in coma for a week. The hospital stay was a scary one for the poor white kid, and wouldn’t be the last time he found trouble.
8. Young Aspirations – Comic Books
When Eminem was young, it wasn’t music and rapping he was focused on. He had other aspirations growing up. He harbored a desire to become a comic book artist. With trouble all around him, Eminem had dreams of being in other worlds. This fascination with comic books, in part, helped lead to the development of alter egos like Slim Shady and characters Eminem has comically portrayed in music videos.
7. The Opposite Sex – Marital Issues
Eminem is not the only person in the world who has had difficulty with marriage. A lot of his troubles have been well-document through lyrics in his music. Eminem raps regularly about his life’s struggles and his two marriages to Kimberly Anne Scott. He refers to “Kim” often in his songs along with their daughter, Hailie. It would be his grandmother Betty, however, who would take the cake in the marriage department. She headed down the aisle 5 different times. With only 2 marriages under his belt, Eminem has some work to do to catch up to grandma.
6. An Oscar Winner – 8 Mile
Not many people expected Eminem to appear in a feature film. Even less people expected him to do well. The movie, 8 Mile, loosely based on Eminem’s own past, was a dramatic success due to excellent performances by a great cast, which included Eminem himself. Eminem was extraordinary in the film which received a lot of positive reviews and had a solid box office draw. In addition, his song, “Lose Myself” was featured in the film and nominated for an Academy Award. Although Eminem didn’t attend the award ceremony (not his style), the world was shocked and excited when he took home an Oscar. Leonardo DiCaprio, Glenn Close and Robert Downey Jr., eat your hearts out!
5. What’s Daddy Warbucks?
Many people have heard about Eminem’s rough and troubled past. But did you know Eminem’s mother, Debbie Nelson, and father, Marshall Bruce Mathers Jr., were in a band called Daddy Warbucks together? The music-loving family was about to be broken apart when father, Bruce, took off for California, leaving Eminem and Debbie behind. Debbie was a huge music fan and took Eminem to see acts like the Talking Heads and Stevie Nicks in concert. It would be Eminem’s Uncle Ronnie, however, who turned the future superstar onto hip hop. Ronnie would play the-then 12-year-old Ice T’s “Reckless” in 1984 which got the ball rolling. The rest is history.
4. Shady Records – Want In? Beat The Master
Eminem started his record label, Shady Records, back in 1999 with his manager, Paul Rosenberg. The record company has signed 10 acts and is currently home to five. Eminem got his start on the streets of Detroit “Rap Battling” against other artists. In order to step up and have a shot at being signed to Shady Records, you have to go up against the master, himself. Up-and-coming artists have to rap battle Eminem as part of the process to be signed. I’d love to be a fly on the wall for those sessions! Awesome.
3. Charity Work – Eminem, The Giver
A lot of people see and hear Eminem and immediately judge the superstar as being angry and egocentric. And despite dealing with numerous personal issues, Eminem has made time to establish foundations and support numerous charities. Eight Mile Boulevard Association, Marshall Mathers Foundation, ninemillion.org and Small Steps Project are just a few of the charitable organization Eminem focuses on. The Marshall Mathers Foundation, in particular, is close to Eminem’s heart as it is geared toward working with at-risk youth in Michigan.
2. Sued – Yo Mama
Eminem is no stranger to aggressive and offensive lyrics. Some people love it while others hate it. Some of the lyrics go pretty far and can be descriptive and vulgar at times. Eminem’s raw style offended some people close to him, including his mother. The woman who spent 70 hours giving birth to Eminem and almost died, sued her son over lyrics in a song which she felt portrayed her in a negative light. Back in 2001she won $1,600 following a legal battle. Debbie Nelson wrote a biography due to so much backlash against her to explain her side of Eminem’s childhood. More recently, Eminem has apologized through his music to his mother so all seems to be water under the bridge.
1. Drugs – The Dark Side
Eminem is a fantastic creator who travels and works tirelessly. With that comes mental and emotional strains that can drive a person to almost anything. He has been addicted to prescription drugs, including Vicodin, Ambien and Valium. Eminem worked so hard during the film production of 8 Mile that he developed insomnia. That is when it all started. From there, he consumed tens of pills a day – as many as 40 to 60 valium pills or 30 Vicodin pills. With poor eating habits, the rapper ballooned to nearly 230 pounds. In December 2007, Eminem overdosed on methadone. He collapsed and was taken to the hospital. Doctors told him he had ingested the equivalent of 4 bags of heroin and was minutes from dying. After relapsing and having issues, Eminem finally got clean on April 20, 2008 with the aid of singer Elton John, who served as a mentor to Eminem. Thank you, ‘Music Man!’