Eminem

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Eminem, (born Marshall Bruce Mathers III on October 17, 1972 in St. Joseph, Missouri, USA), a Grammy Award and Oscar-winning musician, is one of today's most popular and controversial rappers. He currently lives in suburban Detroit.

Brought to fame by rapper/producer Dr. Dre, Eminem is best known as one of the most skillful, successful, and controversial rappers in the industry. He is noted for his ability to change his own verbal pace ("flow") and style multiple times within one song without losing the beat. Eminem is also 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 complained that it was also extremely misogynistic and violent. However, he has received a great deal of praise within the hip-hop community for his lyrical ability.

While generally avoiding overtly political tones previously, in late 2004 before the presidential election, Eminem released the song "Mosh," which harshly criticizes President George W. Bush. Encore, Mathers' fourth album, was released later that year, but was considered by many critics to be a disappointment in comparison to his previous three albums. Though Eminem considers himself neither a militant nor a political artist, he did have his own Hip Hop Political Convention as a parody of the national political conventions held in 2004. His latest release is Curtain Call: The Hits, a compilation which covers many of his past hit-songs, and includes three new tracks.

Contents

Personal life

Early childhood

Marshall was born in St. Joseph, MO (near Kansas City) to parents Deborah "Debbie" Mathers-Briggs and Marshall Bruce Mathers II, and spent most of his childhood moving back and forth between Kansas City, Detroit and its suburbs, including Warren. His father had abandoned the family before Marshall turned 2 years old, and the two have not had contact since, save some rejected attempts by Marshall's father to contact Marshall after his rise to fame. Incessantly 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. An assault by schoolmate DeAngelo Bailey that left Marshall hospitalized was the most notable such incident, which Marshall would later recount in greatly exaggerated form on the track Brain Damage (The Slim Shady LP, 1999). The song prompted legal action by the assailant[1], with accusations of libel and privacy infringement, which were eventually dismissed in court[2].

His childhood was further marred by his family's meager financial status, which was the primary reason for the continuous moving, during which Marshall and his mother Debbie would often find themselves living in public housing, mobile homes, and under the care of relatives, such as Marshall's great-aunt Edna, whom he mentions in Evil Deeds (Encore, 2004). During this time, Debbie was legally taking the prescription drugs Vicodin and Valium, though Marshall later claimed in numerous interviews and songs that she was abusing the drugs [3], to which Debbie retaliated with a lawsuit pressing defamation charges (see below). In the song Cleanin' Out My Closet (The Eminem Show, 2002), Marshall also accuses Debbie 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 suggested Debbie had the disorder, as a social worker had made similar comments following a 1996 investigation of her mistreatment of Nathan Samra-Mathers, her second child, who is 14 years younger than Marshall [4].

Life before fame

Before dropping out of Lincoln High School in Warren at the age of 17, Marshall made a number of significant acquaintances at the school. This included fellow rapper Proof, who was to become one of his closest friends, the Runyan Avenue soldiers, and future wife Kimberly Ann "Kim" Scott, with whom he soon developed a long-term relationship. When Kim became pregnant in 1996, this further increased Marshall's drive to succeed through concern over the welfare of his new family. He discusses this in Never 2 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, and Kim ended their relationship, preventing him from seeing his newborn child, Marshall decided to take his own life. However, his suicide attempt using an overdose of Tylenol analgesics failed, and Marshall resumed his efforts to succeed in the music industry and reconcile with Kim[5]. He ultimately succeeded in doing both, marrying Kim on June 14, 1999 in St. Joseph, MO.

The couple's daughter, Hailie Jade Scott, born December 25, 1996 would grow to become an important part of Marshall's life, as he became dedicated to give her everything he himself was deprived of in his childhood, including a father figure and financial security. He would go on to mention her 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) and Mockingbird (Encore, 2004), both of which are proclamation of his love and dedication to her. In addition, he samples her voice in the less serious upbeat track My Dad's Gone Crazy (The Eminem Show, 2002).

Legal troubles

The year 1999 was marked by a rise to celebrity status for Marshall, but it also ushered the beginning of his numerous legal troubles. The first of these was his mother Debbie's lawsuit against him in September of that year. The lawsuit was motivated by comments on Debbie's drug use made by Marshall on the song My Name Is (The Slim Shady LP, 1999), specifically the lyric "my mom smokes more dope than I do", and similar accusations in numerous interviews. Debbie refuted the statements and demanded more than $10 million in for defamation damages in two lawsuits. After rumors of Debbie dropping the suit, she and Marshall reached a settlement in 2001 for $25,000, with over $23,000 of it going to Debbie's former attorney Fred Gibson by a court order[6]. A request for reconsideration of the settlement by Debbie was denied by a judge[7]. Marshall's resentful reflections on the case can be heard on the song Marshall Mathers (The Marshall Mathers LP, 2000) in the lyrics "my fuckin' bitch mom is suing for 10 million/ she must want a dollar for every pill I've been stealin'" and the self-censored line "your attorney Fred Gibson's a faggot".

With Marshall's rise to stardom, new disputes arose between him and his wife, centered around Kim's dissatisfaction over the graphic fictional account of Marshall murdering her and dumping her body in a lake in the songs '97 Bonnie & Clyde (The Slim Shady LP, 1999) and Kim (The Marshall Mathers LP, 2000). The tension between the couple came to a climax when Marshall witnessed Kim kissing another man, one John Guerra, outside the Hot Rocks Café in Warren on June 4, 2000. Highly disgruntled, Marshall threatened John with an unloaded 9 mm semi-automatic gun and proceeded to pistol-whip him[8]. In addition, it was soon revealed that the previous day, Marshall was involved in a heated dispute in Red Oak, Michigan with Dennis Dail, an associate of the rap group Insane Clown Posse, with whom Marshall 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." During the confrontation, Marshall was observed to be holding a gun, which he kept pointed at the ground[9]. Being taken into police custody during the hot Rocks Café incident, Marshall 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 for the two incidents. After a plea bargain in the Jose Guerra case, which concluded on April 10, 2001, Marshall pleaded guilty to weapon possession in exchange for the assault charges being dropped, receiving two years of probation [10], and was ordered to pay $100,000 in damages at the conclusion of the case evaluation in 2002 [11]. In the Dennis 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[12]. 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 Marshall, when on July 7, 2000, Kim attempted suicide in the couple's Sterling Heights, Michigan home by cutting her wrists [13]. This prompted Marshall to file for divorce a few months later[14], which was promptly countered by Kim with a lawsuit that sought to deny Marshall custody of their daughter and $10 million in defamation damages[15]. Within weeks, however, they settled the lawsuit, and agreed to joint custody of their daughter, with Kim gaining physical custody of Hailie, granting Marshall "liberal visitation rights"[16]. By the end of the year, the couple reconciled, agreeing to dismiss divorce claims and live together [17]. Marshall mentions [Kim's] suicide attempt and the Hot Rocks Café incident on the Xzibit song Don't Approach Me (Restless, 2000), criticizing the amount of media coverage of the events and the public attention to his life in general.

The reconciliation, however, would not last, as Kim 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 Marshall to make child support payments [18]. There was further turbulence in their relationship when Kim was sentenced to 2 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[19]. 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[20]. Marshall makes numerous references to Kim's cocaine use on the Encore album, including the quotes "you're a fucking cokehead slut" and "mama developed a habit" in the songs Puke and Mockingbird respectively. Their relationship since their divorce has been subject to many contradictive rumors and statements in Marshall's music and remained in an indecisive "on-again, off-again" state for a long time. More recently, Marshall has stated in an interview that the couple have fully reconciled and "are probably going to remarry" [21]. Indeed, according to at least one British news website on 29th December 2005, an American newspaper claimed to have proof that the couple are/were due to remarry on 14th January 2006.

The aftermath

Marshall himself was no stranger to drugs, as suggested by a large number of his songs, including Drug Ballad (The Marshall Mathers LP, 2000) and These Drugs (Devil's Night (bonus disc), 2001), which are dedicated to his drug use in their entirety. The song I'm Shady (The Slim Shady LP, 1999) even includes the explanatory line "well, I do take pills [ecstasy or prescription drugs], don't do speed [methamphetamine]/ don't do crack, don't do coke [cocaine]/ I do smoke weed/ don't do smack [heroin]/ I do do shrooms [psychedelic mushrooms], do drink beer/ I just wanna make a few things clear". Later tracks, including the aforementioned These Drugs and Kill You (The Marshall Mathers LP, 2000) additionally 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 Marshall "sobered up" [22]. However, with rising pressures and workload in his professional career, Marshall found it difficult to get the rest he wanted, and turned to Ambien sleeping pills for relief. His use of the drug eventually became so severe, that in August of 2005, he cancelled the European leg of his ongoing tour, and checked into a drug rehabilitation clinic for treatment [23].

The decline of Marshall's drug use during his probation was in line with the growing demands for responsibility in his role as a parent to Hailie. In addition, he is also known to take care of the daughter of Kim's twin sister Dawn, Alaina "Laney", whom he mentions in the song Mockingbird (Encore, 2004), referring to himself as her "daddy" and stating "it's almost like [Laney and Hailie] are sisters now". He also cares for his younger half-brother Nathan, who makes appearances in the music videos for The Way I Am (The Marshall Mathers LP, 2000) and Without Me (The Eminem Show, 2002). Marshall currently resides with the aforementioned members of his extended family in Clinton Charter Township, Michigan in the outskirts of Detroit.

Early career

Interested in rap from a young age, Mathers began performing as early as thirteen, 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), which received a mixed critical response. Drawing on the negative experiences of his life, in 1997 Eminem followed Infinite up with The Slim Shady EP demo, which saw his lyrics take a decidedly darker turn. 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 Eminem's demo on the garage floor of Jimmy Iovine, the Interscope label chief. Though this did not directly lead to a recording contract, Dr. Dre agreed to sign him when Eminem won second place vs. Otherwize at the 1997 Rap Olympics MC 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

Once he joined Interscope, Eminem released The Slim Shady LP, which went on to be one of the most popular records 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", Eminem describes a trip with his infant daughter, disposing of the body of his wife. Another song, "Guilty Conscience," ends with Eminem encouraging a man to murder his wife and her lover.

File:MarshallMathersLP.jpg
Album cover of The Marshall Mathers LP

The Marshall Mathers LP was released in May 2000, quickly selling 2 million copies. The first single released from the album, The Real Slim Shady, was a smash -- thanks in part to the catchy rhythm and chorus line, "Won't the real Slim Shady please stand up, please stand up, please stand up?" (adapted from the catch phrase of the TV quiz show To Tell the Truth). It also created some buzz by trash-talking celebrities and making dubious claims about them. In the song, Eminem claims, among other things, that Christina Aguilera gave "head" (oral sex) to 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, telling the story of a fan so obsessed with Eminem that the fan winds up killing himself and his pregnant girlfriend, mirroring one of the songs on The Slim Shady LP.

Themes and topics

File:Eminem303.jpg
Eminem in one of his many music videos.
A large part of Eminem's popularity is his separation from the over-abundance of "pop-rap", in which rhymes rarely stray from bragging about money and jewelry ("bling"), fast cars ("whips") with massive rims ("24's"), huge parties, and constant casual sex. Instead, Eminem's songs typically explore deeper anger, thoughts, questions, and statements about his life and how he is treated. Common topics are:
  • Drugs and self-abuse (mostly in his early Slim Shady-era album and freestyles)
  • His mother and childhood
  • Being white in a black business/culture
  • His ex-wife Kim Mathers (Eminem may re-marry Kim sometime in 2006) [24]
  • Disgust with groupies/dating
  • Raising his daughter and niece
  • America and the government
  • Poking fun at celebrities and American pop culture

Controversy

With the enormous popularity of Eminem's second album, the controversy surrounding Eminem grew even larger, especially when The Marshall Mathers LP 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 to show that he didn't have anything against homosexuals. Though it shocked a lot of people, this gesture failed to appease many of his critics.

The two songs most often cited as examples in The Marshall Mathers LP of Eminem's misogyny were "Kill You" and "Kim." Critics claimed the former portrayed extremely violent abuse against women in general and contained a line about Eminem raping his own mother. The latter is not so much a song as it is a reenactment of a fictional fight between Eminem and his wife, although he does rhyme his shouted, hoarse lines. Despite his conflicting expressions of love and hate throughout the track, Eminem ends up slitting Kim's throat at the end (accompanied by cries of "Bleed, bitch, bleed!"); several people objected to the disturbingly detailed description of spousal abuse. 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 Eminem's rapid ascent to fame, tell-all biographies of varying quality have been published, including Shady Bizzness by his former bodyguard Byron Williams. Eminem 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 six members of the rap group D12, Eminem 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 Eminem had a cameo appearance.

File:Eminemshow.jpg
Album cover of The Eminem Show (2002).

Eminem's 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, *NSYNC's Chris Kirkpatrick, Limp Bizkit, Moby, and Lynne Cheney, among others. The album reflected on the impact of his rise to fame, his relationship with his ex-wife Kim and his daughter Hailie, 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 Eminem 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. Eminem later filed a lawsuit against The Source for alleged copyright infringement.

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: "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 was being recorded to possibly be on "Encore," but wound up on a bonus CD accompanying his new album. 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 Janet Jackson "incident", 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 video and 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 accusations, Jackson's plastic surgeries, and an incident in which Jackson's hair caught on fire while he was filming a Pepsi commercial in 1984. The lyrics to "Just Lose It" also refer to Jackson's troubles. Jackson even threatened to sue Eminem for defamation. In the video, Eminem also parodied Pee Wee Herman, MC Hammer, and a Blonde-Ambition-touring Madonna. Harvey himself declared, "Eminem has lost his ghetto pass. We want the pass back." [25]

File:Eminem - Encore.jpg
Album cover of Encore (2004).

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 magazine, through its CEO Raymond "Benzino" Scott, wanted not only the video pulled, but the song off the album, and a public apology to Jackson from Eminem [26].

Others dismissed "Just Lose It" as a tame "Weird Al" Yankovic-style knockoff [27]. 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 "fuck Bush" and "this weapon of mass destruction that we call our president". The video features Eminem 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. On October 31, Eminem performed the song on Saturday Night Live, but some thought that he appeared to be lip-syncing the chorus, only a week after Ashlee Simpson was caught lip-syncing her performance on the program. His management claimed he was merely rapping over a backing track so as not to lose the beat. 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.

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, D-12, 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". [28].

At the same time as he was entering rehab, his aunt and uncle, Jack and Betty Schmitt, sued Mathers, 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.

On November 8, 2005, it was revealed that Eminem was asked to perform at Live 8 but didn't respond to calls from Live 8 organizers Sir Bob Geldof and Bono.

Eminem has made many enemies in the music industry, including Ja Rule, Benzino, Everlast, the Insane Clown Posse, Canibus, and others.

Other works and ventures

File:8mile.jpg
Promotional poster for 8 Mile.

Eminem 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 Eminem an Academy Award for Best Song; it was not performed at the ceremony, reportedly because ABC wanted him to perform an edited version.

Eminem has 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.

Eminem 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 2004, he held a political convention of his own in New York City, in response to the National Republican Convention. In the song "Mosh", Eminem expresses his support for American troops, but speaks against the Iraq war and the Bush administration. The Raelians Religious Movement, a religious group whose beliefs are centered around communication with extraterrestrial life tried to appoint Eminem as an honorary priest . In addition, he has raised AIDS and other STD awareness in a number of songs portraying infected people having promiscuous sex with numerous partners.

Aftermath Entertainment

Although Eminem owns Shady Records, he himself is signed strictly to Dr. Dre's Aftermath Ent. The label also consists of 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, Stat Quo, Eve, The Game and newcomer Bishop Lamont.

Shady Records

Dr. Dre's leading protégé succeeded in multi-platinum record sales. Eminem was granted his own record label, a sublabel of Aftermath Entertainment. He and his manager Paul Rosenberg created Shady Records in late 2000. Eminem 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, Eminem and Dr. Dre signed on Atlanta rapper Stat Quo to the roster. DJ Green Lantern, the former deejay for Eminem, was signed to Shady Records until a dispute with 50 Cent forced him to depart from the label, and he is no longer associated with Eminem. The Alchemist is now officially Eminem's tour deejay. In 2005, Eminem officially signed another Atlanta rapper known as Bobby Creekwater to his label. There are also plans to sign a rapper by the name of Fizzy B to Shady Records.

Eminem 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

Eminem 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. Furthermore, his own records increasingly contain tracks produced by himself. He also produced several tracks on 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 devoted 2Pac fans.

Retiring Slim Shady

In 2005, some industry insiders speculated that Eminem is considering concluding his rapping career after five 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 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. The Free Press, Eminem's hometown paper, wrote that the aptly titled Encore album would now stand as his final solo album. [29]

Deep within Eminem's inner circle there is talk that the rapper is planning on retiring after he concludes his Anger Management Tour in Detroit. The reason for his retirement is to focus on acting, spending time with his daughter and niece, and more on his increasing popularity in production. Eminem and his manager Paul Rosenburg as well as their representatives will not comment on the situation. This may not mean his retirement from rapping completely, as he may well still contribute to many of his Shady Records & Aftermath artists projects as well as Dr. Dre's planned Detox album.

Eminem 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. However, as he entered rehab in 2005 for dependency on sleep medication, many are speculating that he will use this event to lay down his microphone. The star is continuing to work out of the spotlight, including producing the Redman album Red Gone Wild. One track to be released on that album which has a gained attention is "I C Dead People", which will feature raps from three deceased artists: Big Pun, Big L and the Notorious B.I.G.

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.

File:CurtainCall.jpg
Album cover of Curtain Call (2005).

Adding to the already feverish rumors from fans, Eminem released a track to be 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 Slim Shady 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." Whether or not this is an unsubtle hint at retirement is currently up for speculation. The lyrics also show feelings of guilt, Eminem feeling he should've spent more time with his daughter Hailie; "'Daddy, where's Mommy? I can't find Mommy, where is she?' 'I don't know, go play, Hailie, baby, your daddy's busy.'"

On December 6, 2005, the day of Curtain Call's release, Eminem told Detroit radio station WKQI-FM's "Mojo in the Morning" show that he and Kim had reconciled and were probably going to remarry. He denied that he was retiring, 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." [30]

Eminem in D12

In 2001, Eminem brought the rap group he was a member of, D12, to the popular music scene. In 2001, D12 released their hit debut album titled Devil's Night. The first single released off of the album was "Purple Pills," an ode to recreational drug use. The version of the song released on the radio and music television was heavily rewritten to remove much of the song's offensive nature, and retitled "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 3 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 Eminem's albums since The Marshall Mathers LP. D12's third album is tentatively scheduled for a 2006 release.

Music videos

  • 2001 (with Dr Dre):
    • Forgot About Dre
  • Significant Other (with Limp Bizkit):
    • Break Stuff
  • Devil's Night (with D12):
    • Shit On You
    • Purple Hills (or Purple Pills, the album version)
    • Fight Music
  • D12 World (with D12):
    • My Band
    • 40 Oz.
    • How Come
    • Git Up
    • U R The One

Discography

Eminem has sold more records than any other rapper worldwide, with over 65 million albums sold.

Albums and EPs

  • Infinite (1996) (Sold roughly 500 copies out of the trunk of his car. It went "copper," as Eminem calls it).
  • The Slim Shady EP (1997) (Demo Release)
  • 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 (6x Platinum) (18 million worldwide)
  • The Eminem Show (2002) #1 US (6 weeks) (9x Platinum); #1 UK (4x Platinum) (over 18 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) (over 11 million worldwide)
  • Curtain Call: The Hits (2005) #1 US (2 weeks) (US Sales: 1,196,272 Platinum) #1 UK

D12's Albums

  • Devil's Night (2001) (as member of D12, 4 million worldwide) (2X Platinum US) #1 US #1 UK (Platinum)
  • D12 World (2004) (as member of D12, 4 million worldwide) (Platinum US) #1 US #1 UK (Platinum)

Popular Bootleg Releases

  • Fucking Crazy
  • Off The Wall
  • Don't Call Me Marshall
  • The Return Of Slim Shady
  • Straight From The Lab

Underground remixes

  • Till I Collapse (feat. Nate Dogg) REMIX - [Vinyl / Single] Produced by Dave Jonsen
  • 'Just Lose It' REMIX - Produced by DJ Ayres

Singles

From The Slim Shady LP: (1999)

From The Marshall Mathers LP: (2000)

From The Eminem Show: (2002)

From 8 Mile Soundtrack: (2002)

  • "Lose Yourself" #1 (12 weeks) (over 1 million sold) US; #1 UK - Silver certification

From The Eminem Show: (2003)

From Encore: (2004)

From Curtain Call: (2005)

Guest appearances

From Shyhalude / 3hree6ix5ive (by OldWorlDisorder feat. Eminem)

From Attack of the Weirdos (by Bizarre) in 1998

  • "Trife Thieves" (Bizarre featuring Eminem & Fuzz)

From Devil Without A Cause (by Kid Rock) in 1998:

  • "Fuck Off" (Kid Rock featuring Eminem)

From 2001 (by Dr. Dre) in 1999:

  • "Forgot about Dre" (Dr. Dre featuring Eminem) #25 US; #7 UK
  • "What’s The Difference" (Dr. Dre featuring Eminem and Xzibit)

From Born Again (by Notorious B.I.G.) in 1999:

  • "Dead Wrong" (Notorious B.I.G. featuring Eminem)

From Restless (by Xzibit): in 2000:

  • "Don't Approach Me" (Xzibit featuring Eminem)

Non-album single in 2001:

From Black trash autobiography (by Sticky Fingaz) in 2001:

  • "What if I was White" (Sticky Fingaz featuring Eminem)

From Rock City 2.0 (by Royce Da 5'9") in 2002:

  • "Rock City" (Royce Da 5'9" featuring Eminem)

From Skilligan's Island (by Thirstin Howl III) in 2002:

  • "Watch Deez" (Thirstin Howl III featuring Eminem)

From Man Vs. Machine (by Xzibit) in 2002:

  • "My Name" (Xzibit featuring Eminem and Nate Dogg)

From the Cradle 2 the Grave soundtrack in 2003:

From Get Rich or Die Tryin' (by 50 Cent) in 2003:

  • Patiently Waiting (50 Cent featuring Eminem)
  • "Don't Push Me" (50 Cent featuring Eminem and Lloyd Banks)

From Cheers (by Obie Trice) in 2003:

  • "We All Die One Day" (Obie Trice featuring 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and Eminem)
  • "Shit Hits The Fan" (Obie Trice featuring Dr. Dre and Eminem)
  • "Hey Lady" (Obie Trice featuring Eminem)
  • "Hands On You" (Obie Trice featuring Eminem)
  • "Outro" (Obie Trice featuring Eminem & D12)

From Tupac: Resurrection (OST) (by 2Pac) in 2004:

  • "One Day at a Time" (Tupac featuring Eminem and Tha Outlawz) #80 US

From Loyal To The Game (by 2Pac) in 2004:

  • "Soldier Like Me" (2Pac featuring Eminem)
  • "Black Cotton" (2Pac featuring Eminem and Kastro and Noble of the Outlawz)

From The Documentary (by The Game):

  • 2005 "We Ain't" (The Game featuring Eminem)

From The Massacre (by 50 Cent) in 2005:

  • "Gatman And Robbin" (50 Cent featuring Eminem)

From Bulletproof (by MC Hush) in 2005:

  • "Off To Tijuana" (MC Hush featuring Eminem, Swift, and Kuniva)

From Thoughts of a Predicate Felon (by Tony Yayo) in 2005:

  • "Drama Setter" (Tony Yayo featuring Eminem and Obie Trice)

(other appearances: "The Anthem" by Sway & Tech, and "Welcome To Detroit" by Trick Trick.)

Movies

Children

Hailie Jade Scott is the daughter of Eminem and his ex-wife Kimberly Ann Scott. She was born on December 25, 1995. The songs "Mockingbird" on Eminem's album Encore and "Hailie's Song" on The Eminem Show are dedicated to her. Hailie joins her father in the hook for "My Dad's Gone Crazy." She also features prominently in a number of his other songs, most notably in "'97 Bonnie & Clyde" on The Slim Shady LP, which is a fictional account of Eminem dumping the dead body of his wife into the ocean, accompanied by Hailie. She is also referenced in Eminem's 2005 single "When I'm Gone."

Alaina Mathers is Eminem's eleven-year-old adopted daughter. The daughter of his ex-wife Kim's twin sister, Eminem has custody of his niece and is raising her as Hailie's sister. She is also referenced in the song "Mockingbird" on Encore, as "Laney".

Nathan Mathers is Eminem's younger half-brother by 14 years. He is Nathan's legal guardian.

Eminem is also determined to get custody of Whitney, Kim's child by another man, in order to become the girl's father. Eminem is quoted as saying about Whitney: "I'm in love with that girl, man. She's so sweet and funny." He plans to change Whitney's last name to Mathers.

Trivia

  • 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. 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."
  • 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").
  • His real hair color is in fact a dark brown, he bleaches his hair with peroxide to keep up his "blonde-haired" image (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 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 rap group D12, short for "Dirty Dozen," has only 6 members. Many people are often confused by the number. It is "12" because each of the 6 members of the group has two rap names or "personas." (For example, "Eminem" and "Slim Shady").
  • Eminem has been awarded nine Grammy awards.
  • Eminem was number 6 on VH1's 50 greatest hip hop artists of all time.
  • Eminem wears glasses. This can be seen in some of his interviews, as well as on the music video for "Mockingbird" and the music video for "Stan".
  • 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".
  • Eminem's height: 5'8" (1.73 m)
  • Eminem 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".
  • Eminem and his wife Kim 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.

Awards

Academy Awards

Grammy Awards

MTV Movie Awards

  • 2002 - Best male performance, for 8 Mile
  • 2002 - Best breakthrough male performace, 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 - Favourite pop/rock male artist
  • 2003 - Favourite pop/rock album, for The Eminem Show
  • 2003 - Favourite hip-hop/R&B male artist
  • 2003 - Favourite hip-hop/R&B album, for The Eminem Show

See also

External links

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