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Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972) is an American rapper best known by the stage name

Eminem

. He is one of today's most popular and controversial rappers, and a Grammy and Oscar-winner. He is of mostly Scottish-American descent, and was raised in Warren, Michigan. Discovered by rapper/producer Dr. Dre, Eminem is known as one of the most skillful and controversial rappers in the industry, becoming a crossover sensation with his debut single "My Name Is" while simultaneously earning respect from the hip-hop community for his lyrical talent. He is noted for his ability to change his own pace and style multiple times within one song without losing the beat, and has been praised for his skill in alliteration and assonance. He is infamous for the controversy surrounding many of his lyrics. With the enormous success of his sophomore album The Marshall Mathers LP following its release in May 2000, and its subsequent nomination for four Grammy awards including Album of the Year, critics such as GLAAD denounced his lyrics as homophobic, while others protested that it was also extremely misogynistic and violent. He is, according to the Guinness book of World Records 2005, the highest selling rapper of all time, outselling the legendary Tupac Shakur, who has had several posthumous albums released. His latest release is Curtain Call: The Hits, a compilation which covers many of his past hit songs, and includes three new tracks. Mathers has stated that he is taking a break from solo work but is in no way retiring, as he continues to produce for and collaborate with Shady/Aftermath and G-Unit artists as well as rappers under his Shady Records label.

Biography

Early life

Mathers was born in St. Joseph, Missouri (near Kansas City) to parents Deborah "Debbie" Mathers-Briggs and Marshall Mathers Junior, and spent most of his childhood moving back and forth between Kansas City, and Metro Detroit. His father abandoned the family when Marshall was 15 months old, and the two have not had contact since, (attempts by his father to contact him after his rise to fame have been rejected.) Constantly moving from home to home, he frequently changed schools, often finding himself to be an outcast in the new communities, and frequently fell victim to bullying. On the song "Brain Damage," he recounted (in greatly exaggerated form) being assaulted in grade school by a classmate named D'Angelo Bailey. Bailey sued soon after the song was released, accusing Mathers of libel and privacy infringement; the suit was eventually dismissed in court.

By most accounts, the Mathers family was extremely poor, which was the primary reason for their constant moves, during which Marshall and his mother would often find themselves living in public housing, mobile homes, and under the care of relatives. During this time, Debbie Mathers was legally taking the prescription drugs Vicodin and Valium; Mathers later claimed in numerous interviews and songs that his mother was abusing the drugs, to which she retaliated with a lawsuit pressing defamation charges (see below). In the song "Cleaning Out My Closet" (The Eminem Show, 2002), Mathers also accuses his mother of having Munchausen syndrome by proxy, adding that "my whole life I was made to believe I was sick when I wasn't." This was not the first time someone had suggested she had the disorder; a social worker had made similar comments following a 1996 investigation of her mistreatment of her second child, Nathan Samra-Mathers.

Before dropping out of Lincoln High School in Warren at the age of 17 (after failing ninth grade three times), Mathers made a number of significant acquaintances at the school. This included fellow rapper Proof, who was to become one of his closest friends, and future wife Kimberly Ann "Kim" Scott, with whom he soon developed a long-term relationship. When she became pregnant, Mathers started working on getting a record deal to support his new family; He discusses this in "Never Far" (Infinite, 1996), saying "I got a baby on the way, I don't even got a car...I still stay with my moms...we gotta make some hit records or something [because] I'm tired of being broke..." When the Infinite album failed to generate the revenue and acclaim he had hoped for, she ended their relationship, preventing him from seeing his newborn child, a daughter named Hailie Jade Scott (born December 25, 1995); distraught, he attempted suicide with an overdose of Tylenol. After the attempt failed, he resumed his efforts to succeed in the music industry and reconcile with his ex-girlfriend. He ultimately succeeded in doing both, marrying her on June 14, 1999, in St. Joseph, Missouri. Mathers would go on to mention his daughter extensively in some of his songs, including "'97 Bonnie & Clyde" (The Slim Shady LP, 1999), which takes the form of a one-sided dialogue with Hailie, as well as "Hailie's Song" (The Eminem Show, 2002), "Mockingbird" (‘‘Encore’’, 2004), and "When I'm Gone" (Curtain Call: The Hits, 2005), all of which are proclamations of his love and dedication to her. In addition, he samples her voice in the track "My Dad's Gone Crazy" (The Eminem Show, 2002).

Early career

Interested in rap from a young age, Mathers began performing as early as 13, later gaining some popularity with a group, Soul Intent. In 1996, he released his first independent album, named Infinite (of which he sold about 500 copies out of the back of his car.) The album received no airplay and a mixed critical response, with people claiming Eminem's rapping style sounded too similar to Nas and AZ. Drawing on the negative experiences of his life, in 1997 he followed Infinite with The Slim Shady EP demo, which saw his lyrics take a decidedly darker turn, in songs like "No One's Iller" and "Murder Murder", the latter in which he talks about having to commit crimes to feed his daughter. He became famous in the hip-hop underground because of his distinctive, cartoonish style and the fact that he was white in a predominantly black genre. Fellow rapper Snoop Dogg referred to him as rap's "great white American hope" in the song "Bitch Please II."

It is said that rap artist and producer Dr. Dre found Mathers' demo on Interscope Records president Jimmy Iovine's garage floor. While this did not directly lead to a recording contract, Dr. Dre agreed to sign Mathers when he won second place versus Otherwize at the 1997 Rap Olympics freestyle battle. Other sources state that an executive at the offices of Interscope handed the demo to Iovine who passed it to Dre, which resulted in a contract.

Entering the mainstream

At Interscope, Mathers released The Slim Shady LP, which 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 enormous 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 him encouraging a man to murder his wife and her lover.

The Marshall Mathers LP was released in May 2000, quickly selling two million copies. The first single released from the album, The Real Slim Shady, was a huge hit, thanks in part to the catchy rhythm and chorus line, "Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?" (adapted from the catch phrase of the TV quiz show To Tell the Truth). It also created some buzz by insulting celebrities and making dubious claims about them; he implies, among other things, that Christina Aguilera performed oral sex on Fred Durst (of Limp Bizkit) and Carson Daly (of MTV's Total Request Live). 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, and dismisses the alleged controversial link between music such as that of Marilyn Manson and shootings such as at Columbine High School as absurd, instead blaming the parents. In the third single, "Stan" (which samples Dido's "Thank You"), Eminem attempts to deal with his new-found fame, taking on the perspective of a deranged fan who kills himself and his pregnant girlfriend, mirroring one of the songs on The Slim Shady LP.

Mathers has achieved six UK #1 singles, more than any other rapper, and has also had the most #1 singles in the UK in the 21st century by an American artist.

Legal troubles

Mathers' rise to celebrity ushered the beginning of his numerous legal troubles. The first of these was his mother's lawsuit against him in September of that year. The lawsuit was motivated by comments on her drug use made in song My Name Is, specifically the lyric "I just found out my mom does more dope than I do," and similar accusations in numerous interviews. She refuted the statements and demanded more than $10 million in damages for defamation in two lawsuits. After rumors of Debbie dropping the suit, she reached a settlement with her son in 2001 for $25,000, with over $23,000 of it going to her former attorney, Fred Gibson, by a court order. Debbie's request for reconsideration of the settlement was denied by a judge. Mathers' resentful reflections on the case can be heard on the song "Marshall Mathers" (The Marshall Mathers LP, 2000) in the lyrics "my f...in' bitch mom is suing for 10 million/ she must want a dollar for every pill I've been stealin'."

With Mathers' rise to stardom, new disputes arose between him and his wife, centered around her dissatisfaction over the graphic fictional account of her husband murdering her and dumping her body in a lake in the songs "'97 Bonnie & Clyde" and "Kim" (The Marshall Mathers LP, 2000). The tension between the couple came to a boiling point when he witnessed her kissing another man, one John Guerrera, outside the Hot Rocks Café in Warren on June 4, 2000. Mathers threatened Guerrera with an unloaded 9 mm semi-automatic firearm and allegedly proceeded to pistol-whip him. Guerrera is mentioned in "Sing For The Moment" on The Eminem Show, in the line "you're full of s... too, Guerrera, that was a fist that hit you!" On the previous day, Mathers was allegedly involved in a heated dispute in Royal Oak, Michigan with Douglas Dail, an associate of the rap group Insane Clown Posse, with whom Mathers had an ongoing rivalry. On The Marshall Mathers LP, on the track "Marshall Mathers," Eminem calls ICP's Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent Jay "Faggot 2 Dope," and "Silent Gay," as well "you two little flaming faggots." Furthermore, a skit on this album features Mathers' character "Ken Keniff" (a stereotypically mincing, predatory homosexual) receiving oral sex from the ICP pair. During the confrontation, Mathers was observed to be holding a gun, which he kept pointed at the ground. Being taken into police custody during the Hot Rocks Café incident, Mathers was charged with misdemeanor charges of brandishing a firearm in public, assault with a dangerous weapon, and two counts of concealed weapon possession, in two separate trials. After a plea bargain in the John Guerrera case, which concluded on April 10, 2001, Mathers pleaded guilty to weapon possession in exchange for the assault charges being dropped, receiving two years of probation, and was ordered to pay $100,000 in damages at the conclusion of the case evaluation in 2002. In the Dail case, he pleaded nolo contendere to the charges of firearm possession and brandishing, receiving one year of probation, enforced concurrently with the sentence from the first case. He would later recount the former incident in the song "Soldier" (The Eminem Show, 2002) and the preceding interlude "The Kiss".

While the trials were in the beginning stages, things were only getting worse for Mathers, when on July 7, 2000, Kim attempted suicide in the couple's Sterling Heights, Michigan home by cutting her wrists. (Mathers talks about this incident from Hailie's point of view in the song "When I'm Gone.") This prompted Marshall to file for divorce a few months later, which was promptly countered by Kim with a lawsuit that sought to deny him custody of their daughter and $10 million in defamation damages. Within weeks, however, they settled the lawsuit, and agreed to joint custody of their daughter, with Kim gaining physical child custody, granting him "liberal visitation rights." By the end of the year, the couple reconciled, agreeing to dismiss divorce claims and live together. Mathers mentions her suicide attempt and the Hot Rocks Café incident on the Xzibit song "Don't Approach Me" (Restless, 2000).

The reconciliation, however, would not last, as she filed for divorce in 2001, which was finalized in October of that year, granting joint physical and legal custody of Hailie to both parties, as well as requiring Mathers to make child support payments. There was further turbulence in their relationship when Kim was sentenced to two years of probation for felony cocaine possession in 2003. This was not her first such incident, as she had previously faced similar charges in 2001, although they were eventually dropped. The incident was not to be her last, however, as she was sentenced to 30 days in jail in 2004, after failing a drug test for cocaine while still on probation. Mathers makes numerous references to her cocaine use on the Encore album, including "you're a f...ing cokehead slut" and "mama developed a habit" in the songs "Puke" and "Mockingbird," respectively. Their relationship since their divorce remained in an indecisive "on-again, off-again" state for a long time.

The aftermath

Mathers was no stranger to drugs and alcohol, as suggested by a large number of his songs, including "Drug Ballad" and "Under the Influence." The song "I'm Shady" (The Slim Shady LP, 1999) includes the explanatory line "well, I do take pills (ecstasy or prescription drugs), don't do speed / don't do crack, don't do coke / I do smoke weed / don't do smack / I do do shrooms, do drink beer / I just wanna make a few things clear." Other tracks do suggest cocaine use, although he has never been in a law enforcement incident involving drugs. However, with the sentence of two years of probation taking effect in 2001, during which he was subject to mandatory regular drug testing, his recreational drug use was put to an end. This fact is supported with references to his drug use in his music, which all but disappeared after 2001, and comments by band mate Proof, who states that Mathers "sobered up". However, with rising pressures and workload in his professional career, he found it difficult to get the rest he wanted, and turned to Zolpidem sleeping pills for relief. His use of the drug eventually became so severe, that in August 2005, he cancelled the European leg of his ongoing tour, and checked into a drug rehabilitation clinic for treatment.

Remarriage and Second Divorce

Mathers remarried Kim on January 14, 2006 in Michigan. His best man was longtime friend and D12 member Proof, while Kim's maid of honor was their daughter Hailie. They walked down the aisle to Mathers' song "Mockingbird." Guests at the wedding included the other members of D12, as well as the members of G-Unit. Kim's mother attended the wedding, while Mathers' mother did not. However, less than 11 weeks after remarrying Kim, he filed for divorce at the Macomb County clerk's office., citing "a breakdown in the marriage relationship." On April 5, 2006, the news was leaked to the Detroit Free Press and MTV's Total Request Live.

Themes and topics

Eminem's songs typically feature anger, thoughts, questions, and statements about his life. Common topics are:

  • Drugs and self-abuse
  • His mother and childhood
  • Being white in a black business/culture and growing up in a black neighborhood
  • His on-again, off-again relationship with Kim Mathers
  • Disgust with groupies/dating
  • Growing up in poverty-ridden Detroit
  • Raising his daughter and niece
  • America and the government
  • Lawsuits and criminal cases
  • Poking fun at celebrities and American pop culture
  • Annoyance and/or amusement with people's literal interpretation of his lyrics.
  • His daughter Halie

Controversy

With the enormous popularity of The Marshall Mathers LP, the controversy surrounding him grew even larger, especially when it was nominated for a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Though Mathers had always claimed that his lyrics were not meant to be taken seriously, and that he had nothing against homosexuals or women, the gay rights group GLAAD organized a boycott of the Grammys. Mathers responded to this by singing "Stan" on-stage with openly gay singer Elton John, ending the performance by hugging John. This gesture failed to appease many of his critics. In later interviews, he said he did not know Elton John was gay, but that he respected him: "Of course I'd heard of Elton John," Eminem said, "but I didn't know he was gay. I didn't know anything about his personal life. I didn't really care, but being that he was gay and he had my back, I think it made a statement in itself saying that he understood where I was coming from." Mathers may have gotten the idea from Axl Rose of Guns n' Roses who had performed with John on two separate instances in the early 1990s to dispel criticism of homophobia in the song "One in a Million."

The two songs most often cited as examples in The Marshall Mathers LP of Mathers' supposed misogyny were "Kill You" and "Kim." Critics claimed the former portrayed extremely violent abuse against women in general and contained a line about him raping his own mother. The latter is not so much a song as it is a reenactment of a fictional fight between him and his wife, although his shouted, hoarse lines do rhyme. Despite his conflicting expressions of love and hate throughout the track, he ends up slitting Kim's throat at the end, accompanied by cries of "Bleed, bitch, bleed!" Several people objected to the graphic description of domestic violence. On the clean version of the CD, the track was removed and replaced with a song almost entirely devoid of profanity called "The Kids."

Since Mathers' rapid ascent to fame, tell-all biographies of varying quality have been published, including Shady Bizzness by his former bodyguard Byron Williams. Mathers himself has written a book called Angry Blonde, released in 2000, where he reveals the emotions and intent behind the lyrics in the Marshall Mathers LP, and describes his passion for and approach to rapping.

As one of members of the rap group D12, Mathers appeared on the album Devil's Night, released in 2001. The album was certified multi-platinum. The album contained the single "Purple Pills", renamed "Purple Hills" for radio play. Another song, "Blow My Buzz", was on the soundtrack for the film The Wash (2001), in which Mathers had a cameo appearance.

Mathers' third major album, The Eminem Show was released in summer 2002. It featured the single "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 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. While there is clear anger present on several tracks, this album was considerably less inflammatory than the previous, and as such did not face any protests of misogyny and homophobia that had plagued The Marshall Mathers LP.

On November 19, 2003, new controversy surrounded Mathers when a cassette tape was played during a press conference held by The Source magazine. The cassette featured Mathers performing a freestyle rap in which he made disparaging remarks about black women, calling them "dumb chicks" in comparison to white women and claimed they are only after money. Other racial slurs and remarks were on the tape, including the use of the word "nigger." Mathers claimed he made the recording after breaking up with his black girlfriend in 1988; however The Source claimed the tapes were recorded in 1994, and old friends of Eminem's claimed he never had a black girlfriend. Mathers later filed a lawsuit against The Source for alleged copyright infringement. He also publicly apologized for the tape.

On December 8, 2003, the United States Secret Service admitted it was "looking into" allegations that Mathers had threatened the President of the United States after the unreleased song "We As Americans" leaked onto the Internet. The lyrics in question: "f... 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 was being recorded to possibly be on Encore, but wound up on a bonus CD accompanying the album Encore. The second use of the word "dead" was edited out of that version.

Then, in 2004, Eminem made the music video "My Band" with D12. The song was the band's sarcastic response to the media's frequent portrayal of D12 as Eminem's band, giving little or no credit to its other members. The video contained various parodies, including that of the Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime controversy, and of 50 Cent's "In Da Club" video.

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" also refer to Jackson's legal troubles. 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 "bulls...", and Steve Harvey who declared, "Eminem has lost his ghetto pass. We want the pass back."  In the video, Eminem also parodied Pee Wee Herman, MC Hammer, and a Blonde-Ambition-touring Madonna.

Black Entertainment Television was the first channel to stop airing the video. MTV, however, announced it would continue airing the video, and "Just Lose It" became the #1 requested video on Total Request Live for the week ending October 22. 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 Mathers.

Others dismissed "Just Lose It" as a tame "Weird Al" Yankovic-style knockoff. Regarding Jackson's protest, Yankovic, who parodied the Eminem song "Lose Yourself" on a track titled "Couch Potato" on his 2003 album Poodle Hat, himself 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."

On October 26, 2004, a week before the U.S. presidential election, 2004, Eminem released the video for his song titled "Mosh" on the Internet. The song features a very strong anti-Bush message, with lyrics such as "f... Bush" and "this weapon of mass destruction that we call our president." The video features Mathers gathering up an army of people 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. None of the publicity helped the album however, which saw its sales stall at 4.7 million copies, a number dramatically lower than his past two albums. Critics panned the album's production and lyricism as subpar in comparison to his previous efforts.

In summer 2005, Mathers embarked on his first US concert run in three years, the Anger Management 3 Tour, featuring Lil' Jon, 50 Cent and G-Unit, D12, Obie Trice, The Alchemist, and others. In August 2005, Mathers canceled the European leg of the tour and subsequently announced that he had entered drug rehabilitation for treatment for a "dependency on sleep medication."

At the same time as he was entering rehab, his aunt and uncle, Jack and Betty Schmitt, sued him, charging that he had reneged on a promise to build a $350,000 house for them and supply them with money for the house's upkeep. The couple claimed that Mathers had kept the house in his name, and then issued them eviction orders.

Mathers has made many enemies in the music industry, including Ja Rule, Benzino, Everlast, Canibus, Vanilla Ice, Fred Durst, and others.

Other works and ventures

Mathers made his Hollywood acting debut with the semi-autobiographical 8 Mile, released in November 2002. He recorded several new songs for the soundtrack, including "Lose Yourself," which won an Academy Award for Best Song; it was not performed at the ceremony, reportedly because ABC wanted him to perform an edited version.

Mathers has also done some voice acting, both on Crank Yankers and a web cartoon called The Slim Shady Show, which has since been pulled offline and is instead sold on DVD.

Mathers has also been linked to "Songs of Hope" by U2 and supported the Boys and Girls Club of America and the Leary Fire Fighters Foundation with various proceeds donated to these causes. In "Mosh", he expressed support for American troops, but speaks against the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the Bush administration. The Raelians Religious Movement, a religious group whose beliefs are centered around communication with extraterrestrial life, tried to appoint him as an honorary priest. In addition, he has raised STD awareness in a number of songs portraying infected people having promiscuous sex with numerous partners.

Shady Records

Dr. Dre's leading protégé, Mathers succeeded in multi-platinum record sales. He was granted his own record label, a sub-label of Aftermath Entertainment. He and his manager Paul Rosenberg created Shady Records in late 2000. Mathers and Dr. Dre had signed 50 Cent on a joint venture between Aftermath & Shady Records. His own Detroit collective D12 and rapper Obie Trice were signed to the Shady Records label. In 2003, Mathers and Dr. Dre signed on Atlanta rapper Stat Quo to the roster. DJ Green Lantern, the former deejay for Mathers, was signed to Shady Records until a dispute with 50 Cent forced him to depart from the label; he is no longer associated with Mathers. The Alchemist is now officially Mathers' tour deejay. In 2005, Mathers officially signed another Atlanta rapper known as Bobby Creekwater to his label.

Shady Radio

Mathers signed a deal with Sirius Satellite Radio to program a rap-oriented station called Shade 45, which debuted on October 28, 2004. He also owns a clothing line called "Shady Ltd."

Eminem as a producer

Mathers is also active as a producer of rap records. Besides being the executive producer of D12's two albums, Devil's Night and D12 World, he has also produced numerous tracks on Obie Trice's Cheers as well as 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin' and The Massacre. In addition, Mathers has produced and appeared on several songs by other famous rappers, such as The Game's "We Ain't," Jadakiss' "Welcome To D-Block," Jay-Z's "Renegade," Lloyd Banks' "Warrior Part 2," Tony Yayo's "Drama Setter," Trick Trick's "Welcome 2 Detroit," and Xzibit's "My Name" and "Don't Approach Me." Most of The Eminem Show was produced by Mathers himself, with co-production from longtime collaborator Jeff Bass. He split the production with Dr. Dre on Encore. He also executive-produced 2Pac's posthumous album Loyal to the Game with 2Pac's mother Afeni Shakur. On certain tracks, 2Pac's voice was slowed down or sped up, and digitally altered to say things like "2005" and "G-Unit," angering some fans.

Retiring Slim Shady

In 2005, some industry insiders speculated that Mathers is considering ending his rapping career after six years and numerous 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. The album manifested itself under the name Curtain Call, and was released on December 6, 2005.

In July 2005, the Detroit Free Press broke news of a potential final bow for Mathers 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. The Free Press, Mathers' hometown paper, wrote that the aptly titled Encore album would now stand as his final solo album.

Mathers recently announced via MTV News that he does not plan on retiring soon, though he is planning on taking a break to produce music. He is still uncertain whether another album will be released, but his career has not come to a full stop. He is continuing to work out of the spotlight, including producing the Redman album Red Gone Wild.

At "Anger Management" in Madison Square Garden and Atlanta's HiFi Buys Amphitheater, he openly announced that he is not retiring and indicates this is all just gossip by saying the moon exploding is a more credible rumor. However, many still speculate that he will be retiring and the announcement at Madison Square Garden was only a ploy to distract the fans.

Adding to the already feverish rumors from fans, Mathers released a track on Curtain Call entitled "When I'm Gone." The lyrics feature the topic of Slim Shady's destructive power over Marshall Mathers' life, and talks of laying his alter ego to rest, one line featuring the lyrics "Find a gun on the ground / cock it, put it to my brain / scream 'Die Shady!' and pop it."

On December 6, 2005, the day of Curtain Call's release, Mathers denied that he was retiring on Detroit-based WKQI's "Mojo in the Mornin'" 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."  However, DJ Whoo Kid announced on his website that he was to be releasing a new Eminem mixtape, entitled, "The ReUp."

Eminem in D12

In 2001, Mathers brought his rap group, D12, to the popular music scene. In 2001, D12 released their hit debut album Devil's Night. The first single released off of the album was "Purple Pills," an ode to recreational drug use (although this was preceded in the UK by a song called "s... On You", which was included on the Special Edition version of the album). The version of the song released on the radio and music television was heavily rewritten to remove many of the song's obscenity-laden lyrics, and renamed "Purple Hills." While the first single was a massive hit, the album's second single, "Fight Music," was not as successful. Some have attributed this to the emotional change caused in American society due to the September 11, 2001 attacks. After their debut, D12 took three years in hiatus from the studio, later regrouping to releasing their sophomore album, D12 World, in 2004, which featured the popular hit single release "My Band." The other members of D12 have also appeared as guests on all of Mathers' albums since The Marshall Mathers LP. D12's third album was tentatively scheduled for a 2006 release, D12 member Bizarre had said that the crew had spent time in the studio. However, it can be expected that the album will be postponed due to the untimely death of one of D12's biggest stars (and Mathers' closest friend) Proof, on April 11, 2006.

Grammy Award History

Grammy Stats

  • Career Wins: 9
  • Career Nominations: 21

Album of the Year

  • The Eminem Show Nominated 2003
  • The Marshall Mathers LP Nominated 2001

Song of the Year

  • "Lose Yourself" w/ L. Restro & J. Bass Nominated 2004

Record of the Year

  • "Lose Yourself" Nominated 2004
  • "Without Me" Nominated 2003

Best Rap Solo Performance

  • "Mockingbird" Nominated 2006
  • "Just Lose It" Nominated 2005
  • "The Real Slim Shady" WON 2001
  • "My Name Is" WON 2000

Best Male Rap Solo Performance

  • "Lose Yourself" WON 2004
  • "Without Me" Nominated 2003

Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group

  • "Encore" w/ 50 Cent & Dr. Dre Nominated 2006
  • "Forgot About Dre" w/ Dr. Dre WON 2001
  • "Guilty Conscience" w/ Dr. Dre Nominated 2000

Best Rap Song

  • "Lose Yourself" w/ L. Restro & J. Bass WON 2004

Best Rap Album

  • Encore Nominated 2006
  • The Eminem Show WON 2003
  • The Marshall Mathers LP WON 2001
  • Slim Shady LP WON 2000

Best Short-Form Music Video

  • "Without Me" WON 2004

Best Song Written For a Motion Picture, Television Special or Other Media

  • "Lose Yourself" w/ L. Restro & J. Bass Nominated 2004

Discography

Albums and EPs

  • Infinite (1996) (Sold roughly 500 copies out of the trunk of his car)
  • The Slim Shady EP (1997) (Precursor to The Slim Shady LP, sharing many of its songs)
  • The Slim Shady LP (1999) #2 US (4x Platinum); #12 UK (Platinum) (9 million worldwide)
  • The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) #1 US (8 weeks) (9x Platinum); #1 UK(5x Platinum) (21 million worldwide)
  • The Eminem Show (2002) #1 US (6 weeks) (8x Platinum); #1 UK (19 million worldwide)
  • 8 Mile Soundtrack (album production, and rapping on five of the tracks - 2002) #1 US (4 weeks) (4x Platinum); #1 UK (compilation chart) (Gold) (9 million worldwide)
  • Encore (2004) #1 US (4 weeks) (4x Platinum); #1 UK (3x Platinum) (11 million worldwide)
  • Curtain Call: The Hits (2005) #1 US (2 weeks) (2x Platinum) #1 UK (5 weeks) (6 million worldwide)

For a more detailed list of works, see Eminem discography.

Movies

  • Da Hip-Hop Witch (2000) (Appearance)
  • The Wash (2001) (Cameo)
  • 8 Mile (2002) (Starring)

Trivia

  • The name "Eminem" comes from Marshall Mathers' initials: M & M, which he likely would have chosen, had it not been for fear of a lawsuit from Mars Incorporated.
  • Eminem is a friend of fellow Detroit rap/rock star Kid Rock, and guested on Rock's "Devil Without a Cause" on the track "f... Off". Rock has made appearances scratching on some of Eminem's tracks, but is only credited on "Just Don't Give a f..." from The Slim Shady LP.
  • Eminem parodied shock rocker Marilyn Manson in the video for "My Name Is," but the artists have met since then and are on good terms. Eminem referenced Manson as being unfairly blamed for the Columbine High School massacre in "The Way I Am," a song which Manson remixed and recorded a version of the chorus for. They have also performed the song together in concert.
  • The second "E" in his stage name has been reversed on his records since his second album The Marshall Mathers LP. The backwards “E” has become a logo for him, appearing prominently in his videos and stage set.
  • Several songs were released in response to the track "Stan" off of The Marshall Mathers LP. Enemy rapper Canibus released the track "U Didn't Care," rapping as the Stan character and implying that Eminem doesn't care about his fans. The Pet Shop Boys released "The Night I Fell in Love," in which a male fan goes backstage at an Eminem concert and has a one-night stand with him. Christian rapper KJ-52 released "Dear Slim" and "Dear Slim pt. 2," open letters to Eminem in a similar style to "Stan."
  • When Dr. Dre first heard his tape, he thought Eminem was black.
  • Several of his songs have been parodied. The most famous incident was "Weird Al" Yankovic's parody of "Lose Yourself," entitled "Couch Potato" and featuring new lyrics about television programming. He has also been parodied twice by the Christian parody band ApologetiX, with "Lose Yourself" ("Look Yourself") and "The Real Slim Shady" ("The Real Sin Savior"). Also Insane Clown Posse has parodied Eminem's song Slim Shady and renamed it "Slim Anus".
  • Eminem is left-handed. This can be seen in a scene in 8 Mile where he is sitting on a bus with a pencil in his left hand, as well as in several of the promotional posters for the film, which depict him writing lyrics with his left hand.
  • Eminem's height: 5'8" (1.73m).
  • His real hair color is in fact a dark brown, he bleaches his hair with peroxide (as stated in "White America"); he did not bleach his hair in 8 Mile, and so his natural hair color can be seen in the movie.
  • Eminem made a guest appearance in 50 Cent's video game "50 Cent: Bulletproof" as a corrupt cop.
  • Eminem wears glasses, which can be seen in some of his interviews, as well as on the music videos for "Mockingbird" and "Stan".
  • In March 2003, Spin Magazine named him The Most Important Artist Making Music Right Now.
  • Eminem's rap group D12, short for "Dirty Dozen," has only five members. Many people were often confused by the number. It is "12" because, before the death of Proof, each of the six members of the group had two pseudonyms or "personas." (For example, "Eminem" and "Slim Shady").
  • Some of Eminem's freestyle lyrics in 8 Mile are ones he found in his old house from when he was in his teens; he altered them before the movie. A lot of those lyrics got turned down by director Curtis Hanson, however.
  • Eminem was number 6 on VH1's 50 greatest hip hop artists of all time.
  • Eminem is a famous fan for the NBA's Detroit Pistons.
  • Eminem has been awarded nine Grammy awards. He also received nominations for Album of the Year for both The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show.
  • The Marshall Mathers LP was the first rap album to be nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards and "Lose Yourself" was the first rap song to be nominated for Song of the Year.
  • Eminem won a Best Song Oscar for his song "Lose Yourself" from the movie 8 Mile.
  • In November 2002, Eminem had the #1 album (8 Mile Soundtrack), movie (8 Mile), and song ("Lose Yourself") all at the same time, becoming the first artist/entertainer ever to do so.
  • Eminem listed his favorite rappers as Redman, Jay-Z, Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., André 3000 from OutKast, Jadakiss, Kurupt, and Nas in the song "'Till I Collapse" from his 2002 release, The Eminem Show.
  • In acceptance of his Grammy for Best Rap Album (for The Eminem Show) in 2003, he credited his rap influences, saying, "I made me a little list of MCs that I wanted to name off that inspired me to, to bring me where I am today - cause honestly, I wouldn't be here without them. So the list goes like this, and it's not in this order, but the list is this: Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Kool G. Rap, Master Ace, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Dr. Dre, all of N.W.A., KRS-One, Treach from Naughty by Nature, Nas, Tupac, Biggie, Jay-Z. Thank you, 'cause I learned from all of you. Thank you."
  • Eminem's manager, Paul Rosenberg (who is featured prominently in several skits on Eminem's solo releases), was once a rapper himself, known as "Paul Bunyan".
  • Marshall and his wife first met at one of his friends' houses, when Eminem was fifteen and Kim was thirteen. She came over while he was lip synching to LL Cool J songs and jumping on the furniture.
  • He is a fan of the TV show "Crank Yankers"; puppets from the show were included in the video for "Ass Like That". He has also lent his voice to the show numerous times, and had one of the puppets, Special Ed, host "Eminem's Special Hits".
  • He loves South Park, and referred to himself as a "twenty-six-year-old skinny Cartman" in the song "Marshall Mathers".

Awards and nominations

Academy Awards

  • 2003 - Best song, for "Lose Yourself" from 8 Mile

Golden Globe Awards

  • 2003 - Best Original Song in a Motion Picture (Nominee), for "Lose Yourself" from 8 Mile

Grammy Awards

  • 2000 - Best rap solo performance for "My Name Is" from The Slim Shady LP
  • 2000 - Best rap album for The Slim Shady LP
  • 2001 - Best rap solo performance for "The Real Slim Shady" from The Marshall Mathers LP
  • 2001 - Best rap performance by a duo or group (with Dr. Dre) for "Forgot About Dre" from Dr Dre 2001
  • 2001 - Best rap album for The Marshall Mathers LP
  • 2003 - Best short form music video, for "Without Me" from The Eminem Show (directed by Joseph Kahn)
  • 2003 - Best rap album for The Eminem Show
  • 2004 - Best male rap solo performance for "Lose Yourself" from the 8 Mile O.S.T.
  • 2004 - Best rap song for "Lose Yourself" from the 8 Mile O.S.T.

Grammy Award nominations

  • 2006 - Best rap song for "Mockingbird" from Encore (Nominee)
  • 2006 - Best rap performance by a duo or group for "Encore/Curtains Down" (featuring Dr. Dre & 50 Cent) from Encore (Nominee)
  • 2006 - Best rap album for Encore (Nominee)

MTV Movie Awards

  • 2002 - Best male performance, for 8 Mile
  • 2002 - Best breakthrough male performance, for 8 Mile

MTV Video Music Awards

  • 1999 - Best new artist for "My Name Is" from The Slim Shady LP
  • 2000 - Best video for "The Real Slim Shady" from The Marshall Mathers LP
  • 2000 - Best male video for "The Real Slim Shady" from The Marshall Mathers LP
  • 2000 - Best rap video (with Dr. Dre) for "Forgot About Dre" from Dr Dre 2001
  • 2002 - Best video for "Without Me", from The Eminem Show
  • 2002 - Best male video, for "Without Me", from The Eminem Show
  • 2002 - Best rap video for "Without Me", from The Eminem Show
  • 2002 - Best direction, for "Without Me", from The Eminem Show
  • 2003 - Best video from a film, for "Lose Yourself" from the 8 Mile O.S.T.

MTV Europe Music Awards

  • 1999 - Best hip-hop act
  • 2000 - Best hip-hop act
  • 2000 - Best album, for The Marshall Mathers LP
  • 2001 - Best hip-hop act
  • 2002 - Best male act
  • 2002 - Best hip-hop act
  • 2002 - Best album, for The Eminem Show
  • 2003 - Best hip-hop act
  • 2004 - Best hip-hop act (with D12)

American Music Awards

  • 2003 - Favorite pop/rock male artist
  • 2003 - Favorite pop/rock album, for The Eminem Show
  • 2003 - Favorite hip-hop/R&B male artist
  • 2003 - Favorite hip-hop/R&B album, for The Eminem Show
  • 2005 - Favorite hip-hop/R&B male artist

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The best rapper in this world and a necessity to the world of hip hop


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