Famous rapper Eminem was born Marshall Bruce Mathers III on October 17, 1972 in Saint Joseph, Missouri, USA. He is the son of a fifteen-year-old mother at the time of his birth and a father who left six months later and never returned. Spending most of his childhood moving back and forth between Saint Joseph and suburban Detroit, Michigan, he finally settled on the Eastside of Detroit when he was 12.
Formerly studying at Lincoln High School in Warren from 1986 to 1989, Marshall often switched schools every two or three months. It made him difficult to make friends and stay out of trouble. Failing at the 9th grade three times until finally dropping out, he said he wasn't stupid. He said he was not interested in school because all he wanted to do was rap.
Marshall began rapping at the early age of 4 and started pursuing career seriously at the age of 14. That was the time when he began performing rap in the basement of his high school friend's home. At 17, he eventually made a name for himself, Eminem, which was taken from his initials M(arshall) M(athers). Hip-Hop community, used to black rapper, refused the white Eminem, who at the end found the easiest way to win underground hip-hop society by becoming a battle rapper performing in several clubs and forcing himself on radio shows.
He wasn't immediately accepted by public, but as time went by he proved himself as a qualified rapper. Getting some offers to join several other rappers to start a group, Em joined the New Jacks and then moved to Soul Intent and produced his first recorded single with them in 1995. It was a rapper named Proof who then asked Eminem to start a new group because he enjoyed working with him. With their 4 other friends, Proof and Eminem were both in one group named D12, each of whom ended up focusing more on their solo careers rather than their collaboration, leading to a career break.
It was the birth of Em's first child, Hailie Jade Scott on December 25, 1995 with longtime girlfriend Kim Scott, that encouraged him to work harder for the money his family needed. It was difficult for him who had nothing except the "sucks" life experiences he used as the topic of his rap lyrics. One year later that was in 1996, Eminem recorded his first album "Infinite", only to receive few reviews.
Learning from his previous failure, he soon introduced Slim Shady, an alter ego that wasn't afraid to say whatever he felt. Working on the song with all his heart and strength, Em poured his heart out and reflected his feelings toward his mother who was accused of physically and mentally abusing his younger brother.
In 1997, Kimberly Ann Scott left him and forbade him to see their child. The frustration sent Eminem to a frequent rate of drug abuse and alcohol that surely affected his composition. Once committing suicide, he finally realized the best and only way to escape from his unhappy life was his musical ambition. Such depression led him to release the brutal "The Slim Shady EP", which he actually filled with some of the composition he had written long time before. Due to his distinctly-exaggerated, nasal-voiced rapping style and his skin color, many people named him music's next "great white hope."
He finally signed a contract with Interscope and was taken under Dr. Dre's wing, allowing him to record a full-length CD. Both then started to record "My Name Is" before Dre finally agreeing to produce Em's first album, with "Just Don't Give A F*ck" single as the album preview. A reconciliation with Kimberly Ann Scott led them to a marriage held in the fall of 1998.
In early 1999, he released "The Slim Shady LP" that spawned hits "My Name Is" and "Guilty Conscience". Over the next years the album went triple platinum, leaving the pros and cons over the album's lyrics far behind. His success continued with "The Marshall Mathers LP" released in the summer of 2000. It sold 1.76 million copies in its first week of release in the U.S., a record for a solo artist, successfully won 3 Grammies and became the first rap album ever to be nominated Abum of the Year.
As the fame and popularity came, many more controversies arose due to some riots Eminem had caused, including a scuffle with the Insane Clown Posse's employees in a car stereo shop; a battle with pop singer Christina Aguilera; a lawsuit from his mother; and an attack on a Detroit club goers.
Those accusations inspired him to produce two other songs, entitled "Kill You" and "Kim." In the latter song, he rapped about violently murdering his own wife that in reality drew her to a suicide attempt before they finally got divorced. Kim was at first granted physical custody of their daughter, financial support, a personal driver, and reinstatement of her credit cards, but Eminem later got the joint custody of daughter, Hailie Jade.
In 2001, he met his Detroit old friends and re-formed D-12 who all together in that summer released an album and hit the road. This was followed by an acting debut in "8 Mile", a film loosely based on his life directed by Curtis Hanson. He won the 2003 Academy Award for the soundtrack titled "Lose Yourself". Then came "The Eminem Show" album, which despite its popular second single "Cleanin' My Closet" that revolved around his dysfunctional childhood and his hatred towards his mother, provoked many critics. Regardless, it was a huge success commercially.
Another well-received album "Encore", which reunited him with his old buddies in D12, soon followed in 2004. It was nominated for three Grammys and made digital history back then for becoming the first album to sell 10,000 digital copies in one week. Apparently to return the favor, he later hit recording booth with pals for a "D12 World" album in 2005.
While he was at the peak of his career, Em was rumored going to retire from music industry. But he denied it, "When I say I'm taking a break, I'm taking a break from my music to go in the studio and produce my other artists. Despite his self-defense, the rapper apparently got caught in worse situation as he once was sent under treatment to overcome his dependency on sleep medication. This obviously provoked public worldwide to have a worsening perception on both his personal and musical career.
Indeed, Em kept working on his music career. A greatest hits compilation "Curtain Call: The Hits" was released on December 6, 2005. Just like its predecessors, the new set scored great success, bowing atop of the Billboard album charts. Things also turned better in his love life as he revealed that he's back together with ex-wife, Kimberly. "We have reconciled and are probably going to remarry," he said back then. They finally remarried, but it only lasted less than three months. Kim cited Em's dependency to the sleep-medication as the reason behind their latest breakup.
But Em denied it as saying, "Her allegations regarding my status post-rehab are both untrue and unfortunate.... she was aware that I was filing for divorce. We both tried to give our marriage another chance and quickly realized that a wedding doesn't fix the underlying problems."
After "Encore", he took a break from recording. He said he was "in limbo" and "debating" about when and if he would release another album. He said, "I'm always working a** I'm always in the studio. It feels good right now, the energy of the label. For a while, I didn't want to go back to the studio ... I went through some personal things. I'm coming out of those personal things [and] it feels good."
In May 2009, his fans rejoiced as a comeback album "Relapse" was rolled out that year. Featuring hits like "Crack a Bottle", "We Made You" and "Beautiful", it topped Hot 200, marking the umpteenth time he sat at the top spot of the U.S. album chart. As one of the most-awaited album of the year, the record became the best-selling rap CD by the end of December.
New music kept coming from the rapper as he dropped another album "Recovery" in the following year. Not only did it produce smash hit singles like "Not Afraid" and "Love the Way You Lie" but it also became his ticket to collect more Grammy Awards. He even scored his best-selling single to date with 10.25 million sold worldwide for the Rihanna-assisted track.
Despite being one of the best-selling rapper in the world, Em never forgot his roots. Besides his reunion with D12, he also got back together with another of his Bad Meets Evil homie, Royce 5'9'' for "Hell: The Sequel" album. The CD was released a year after his "Recovery".
Fans' demand for new music after two years of absence was answered by Eminem in 2013. He announced "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" with "Berzerk" as a lead single. Although it was only previewed with one single, the album was already lauded by critics. It was named one of the most anticipated albums of 2013 by multiple music magazines.
Another controversy involving him arose in the same year. A Chicago-based group, Hotstylz, accused Eminem of using the beat of their hit song "Lookin' Boy" for Eminem's "Rap God", leading the group to release a diss track entitled "Rap Fraud", against him.
The controversy aside, on November 3, Eminem was named the first YouTube Music Awards' Artist of the Year and a week later, he received the Global Icon Award at the 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards. His achievement didn't stop there. At the 57th Grammy Awards, the rapper received Best Rap Album Award for "The Marshall Mathers LP 2 " as well as Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Award for "The Monster" featuring Rihanna.
In 2014, Eminem released "ShadyXV" after unveiling a seven-minute cypher entitled "Detroit Vs. Everybody" along with other rappers such as Danny Brown, Big Sean and Trick Trick. The album debuted at No. 3 on Billboard chart with 138,000 units. Not only releasing an album, but Eminem also made a cameo appearance in "The Interview", where he played a homosexual character.
While Eminem did not release any album in 2015, the rapper unveiled several songs including "Kings Never Die" featuring Gwen Stefani and "Phenomenal", which was the soundtrack for sports drama "Southpaw". The rapper did not release any album in 2016 too, but he was featured in Skylar Grey's track "Kill for You" off her album "Natural Causes". He also released a song entitled "Campaign Speech" as well as announced that he was working on a new album.
Eminem was known for hating Donald Trump and he showed his hatred towards Donald even more when he participated in the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards' annual cypher. The Detroit rapper criticized Trump in a freestyle rap called "The Storm". In November, Eminem released the first track off his upcoming album, "Walk on Water", which featured Beyonce Knowles. The rapper first performed the song at the 2017 MTV Europe Music Awards.
Later in December, Em put out his album "Revival". Even though it received polarized reviews from music critics, the album still did well in music charts and debuted at No. 1 on Billboard 200. It became his eighth consecutive album to top the chart. Despite its commercial success, Em was bothered by the critics surrounding "Revival" to the point where he released a remix of "Chloraseptic" to mock critics of the album.
He also crushed the album package in the music video for his "Venom (2018)" soundtrack. Titled "Venom", the song was released in September 2018 and performed quite well in several music charts around the world. Besides serving as the soundtrack to the Marvel movie, "Venom" was included in Em's tenth studio album "Kamikaze". The album opened at No. 1 on Billboard 200 and music charts in several other countries.
The success of the album aside, it sparked controversy due to some songs off the effort. "Not Alike" successfully ignited his beef with Machine Gun Kelly, who responded with his own diss track titled "Rap Devil". Eminem then hit back by releasing "Killshot" that debuted at No. 3 on Billboard's Hot 100. However, that was the last time Em had ever responded to Kelly's diss.
Another song that stirred controversy was "Fall", which found Em using a homophobic slur to describe Tyler, the Creator. Following the backlash, Em apologized in his "Kamikaze Interview" with Sway Calloway. "In my quest to hurt him, I realize I was hurting a lot of other people," he said at the time.
Em kept quite a low profile after that, collaborating with several artists such as Ed Sheeran and Logic throughout early 2019. He started making headlines again in December, when he dissed both Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey on a Fat Joe collaboration "Lord Above". Nick was quick to hit back and released "The Invitation", on which he claimed Em let his chauffeur perform oral sex on him. Em immediately denied the claim and urged Nick to apologize. Rather than apologizing, Nick released several other diss tracks, though Em never responded to any of them.
Instead of responding to Nick, Em surprised many people with the release of his eleventh album "Music to Be Murdered By" on January 17, 2020. Receiving mixed to positive reviews from critics, the album arrived at No. 1 on Billboard 200 and helped him become the first artist to have ten consecutive albums debut atop the U.S. music charts.
His new album wasn't the only surprise that Em had for his fans that year. Later on, he once again shocked many people by hitting Oscars stage for the first time at the 92nd annual Academy Awards to perform his award-winning song "Lose Yourself". His performance quickly became a hot topic among social media users and spurred a big sales gain for the song. It topped the iTunes U.S. chart following the surprise set.