Eminem is arguably the most successful rapper of his generation, he’s achieved it all, by selling millions of records and reaching worldwide fame.
Almost every inch of his life has been played out in the media since his arrival in 1999 with The Real Slim Shady LP, so we have taken a look into what has made Eminem the man he is today.
It is fair to say that Eminem won’t be proud of some of the things he has done, but you could argue without these events in his life, he wouldn’t be the ‘RapGod’ he is.
Eight Mile Road
Born Marshall Mathers, Eminem grew up with his mother in Detroit in ‘Eight Mile Road’, in an impoverished neighbourhood, an experience that would shape his personality and make him the success he is today. He once said when asked about his childhood there:
“We lived on the black side. Most of the time it was relatively cool, but I would get beat up sometimes when I’d walk around the neighbourhood and kids didn’t know me.”
Born on October 17, 1972 in St. Joseph, Missouri, Marshall’s mother Debbie nearly died during a 73-hour labor. She was only 17-years-old and the length of the labour almost caused a tragic start to the future star’s life.
School Drop Out
Marshall struggled at school and actually repeated the same class three times at Lincoln High School and failed the ninth grade. Because of his failing grades and low attendance he was left with no choice but to drop out at just 17.
Bullied As A Child
When at school Marshall was regularly bullied by fellow student DeAngelo Bailey. In his song titled ‘Brain Damage’, Eminem raps about his bully which Bailey didn’t take kindly to. He filed a lawsuit against Eminem for ‘publicly humiliating him’ and wanted damages of $1 million. The case went to court but was dismissed by the judge.
Eminem won’t of remembered his biological father as he left him when he was just 18 months old. Incredibly Eminem and his father share the same name ‘Marshall Bruce Mathers’, but despite this bond, his father left his mother Debbie to raise him. For this Eminem held a huge grudge and it seems will never forgive him, even after a public letter from his father was published in 2002 asking for forgiveness.
In The Family
Despite never really meeting his father, it seems Eminem got his love of music from his parents. Before he was born, the pair were in a band called the Daddy Warbucks together and his mother would regularly take him along to rock shows when he was growing up.
Uncle Ronnie’s Hip-Hop
It was his Uncle Ronnie that introduced Eminem to hip-hop/rap music when he was just 12 years old. The first song he hear was Ice T’s ‘Reckless’ and he immediately fell in love with the genre.
Little Brother Nate
Eminem’s half brother Nathan ‘Nate’ Samara was born in the 1986, when Eminem was 14. When Eminem started to become successful, he actually took full custody of Nate and would take him on tour with him. Nate wants to follow in his older brother’s footsteps and even has a stage name of ‘Nate Kane’, but his attempts are as yet unsuccessful. He has however been involved in conflicts with the law and was arrested for a DUI.
Relationship With Mom
In his teenage years Eminem worked a number of jobs to help pay his and his mother’s bills, something not many teenagers would have experienced that early in life. In many of his songs he mentions Debbie his Mom as not being able to take care of her son and references that she used to use illegal substances.
His First Album
Eminem released his first ever studio album titled ‘Infinite’ in 1996 but was actually a flop. The album was only recorded on cassettes and vinyl and there actually no digital copies of the album. By his own admission, the album was ‘a growing stage’ for Eminem. In the lyrics to his 2004 song ‘The Way I Am’, he refers to the album as only selling ‘maybe 70 copies’.
Sued By Mom
Eminem and his Mother’s relationship was so thwart that in 1999 she filed a lawsuit against him for slander. She claimed his comments about her in interviews on TV had caused her humiliation and emotional distress. This time the case was settled by Eminem paying his Mom $1,600 in damages.
Marriage To Kim (First Time)
In 1999, the same year he released his Slim Shady LP (second studio album), Eminem married long time girlfriend Kimberly Scott. The pair met in 1987 when Eminem’s mother had allowed Kim and her sister Dawn to stay in the family home after they had runaway from home at just 12 years old.
D-12 And Slim Shady
Most celebrities have just one name they are referred to as but Eminem has three. He was born Marshall Mathers, he has Eminem but many fans refer to him as the ‘Slim Shady’. The name was born during his time with hip-hop group D-12. All members had to have their own alter ego and therefore Eminem created Slim Shady.
Before they were married, Kim gave birth to the couple’s first child on Christmas Day 1995. Eminem kept two jobs while also working on his music career in order to support his young family. But Hailee wouldn’t be the couples only child.
Just before his big breakthrough in 1999, his girlfriend was preventing Slim Shady from seeing Hailie and it hit him hard. The emotion of the situation triggered the trauma of his own abandonment and he attempted suicide. He took an overdose of Tylenol but luckily for him and his millions of fans he survived.
Grammy Award Winner
The Slim Shady LP received worldwide commercial fame after it’s release in 1999. Despite it’s controversial content, the album which involved Dr.Dre won a Grammy Award that year for ‘Best Rap Album’.
Kim Attempted Suicide
In 2000, after many complications at home with her husband and an onstage incident in which Eminem made many negative references about his wife, Kim attempted to take her own life. After she recovered, Eminem filed for divorce and it was finalised in 2001. But this wouldn’t be the end of their story.
It wasn’t just his marriage that was going down the pan in 2000, Eminem had some dealings with the law that year that gave him a reputation. In June he pulled out a gun during an argument in a car stereo shop in Michigan. He didn’t fire the gun but was arrested, a day after his release he was back under arrest after attacking a man who was kissing Kim.
Comic Book Obsession
As well as a collection of awards for his music, Eminem boasts an incredible array of comic books and it is believed is the owner of collector’s items that many comic nerds would love to own. As we saw in the music video ‘Without Me’ he loves his Super Heroes.
He may have dropped out from school but Marshall knows his stuff. In order to help him with his verbal skills when he started rapping, he read and memorized the dictionary A-Z. In 2017, his version of the word ‘Stan’ made it’s way into the Oxford Dictionary- an over zealous fan of a particular celebrity.
Mega-producer Dr.Dre was introduced to Eminem’s ‘The Slim Shady EP’ by CEO of Interscope Records and instantly liked it, so much so that he requested to meet the creator as soon as possible. He actually didn’t know that Eminem was a white man until he met him. When he did he said: “I don’t give a … if you’re purple; if you can kick it, I’m working with you.”.
In 2006, Eminem and Kim re-married in the January but the rapper quickly filed for divorce in April, just three months after the wedding. According to rumours, Eminem didn’t take kindly to Kim arguing with his little brother Nate.
False Death Claims
During the 2000’s there were many false claims that Eminem had actually died. In 2007 after an overdose on Methadone, the media were quick to announce his death and also according to the media he died in a car crash on four separate occasions.
As mentioned, Eminem’s life has been surrounded by substance abuse and addiction. Personally he has had issues and at his lowest point could take 30 Vicodin pills and 60 Valiums a day. His close friend and fellow musician Elton John actually helped him get clean and assisted him for 18 months.
In 2014, Eminem released a song titled ‘Headlights’ where he apologizes to his mother and expressed his regret for them being estranged threw the years of his success.
Eminem seems to have a love-hate relationship with media, but social media is something that seems to be thriving on. On Facebook he has over 90 million followers, 21 million on Twitter and 14 million on Instagram. People can’t get enough of the rapper.
Kim Attempted Suicide No.2
In October 2015, Kim was involved in a crash in Detroit in which she ended up colliding with a pole on the side of the road. It later was discovered that the crash was another attempted suicide by Kim as she claimed: ‘I sat at the end of a road where I knew no one else but myself would get hurt, I drank, I took pills and I aimed for a pole.’ She was sentenced to a year’s probation and ordered to pay $900 in fines.
Despite her rather unconventional upbringing Hailie Jade has grown up with a fairly ordinary life. Like other celebrity offspring she is trying to forge her own career but goes to college and has a boyfriend just like any girl her age.
The Other Daughters
Many people associate Eminem as having one daughter, but the rapper actually has three. He adopted daughter Alaina when Kim’s sister Dawn couldn’t take care of her anymore. He also adopted Whitney who was Kim’s daughter from a previous relationship and has taken full custody of her. So if you are following that, Alaina is actually biological cousins to her two ‘sisters’.