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Eminem

To call Eminem hip-hop's Elvis is correct to a degree, but it's largely inaccurate. Certainly, Eminem was the first white rapper since the Beastie Boys to garner both sales and critical respect, but his impact exceeded this confining distinction. On sheer verbal skills, Eminem was one of the greatest MCs of his generation -- rapid, fluid, dexterous, and unpredictable, as capable of pulling off long-form narrative as he was delivering a withering aside -- and thanks to his mentor Dr. Dre, he had music to match: thick, muscular loops that evoked the terror and paranoia Em's music conjured. And, to be certain, a great deal of the controversy Eminem courted -- and during the turn of the millennium, there was no greater pop cultural bogeyman than Marshall Mathers -- came through in how his violent fantasias, often directed at his mother or his wife, intertwined with flights of absurdity that appealed to listeners too young to absorb the psychodramas Eminem explored on his hit albums, The Slim Shady LP and The Marshall Mathers LP. With hits "My Name Is" and "The Real Slim Shady," he ruled the airwaves, but it wasn’t long before some detractors acknowledged his depth, helped in part by singles like the mournful "Stan," written from the perspective of an obsessed fan. Eminem capitalized on this forward momentum by crossing over onto the big screen with 8 Mile, earning acclaim for his performance and an Oscar for the film’s anthem "Lose Yourself," but a number of demons led him to shut down for the second half of the decade, an absence that proved life is indeed empty without Em, before he returned in 2009 with Relapse.

Born Marshall Mathers in the Kansas City suburb St. Joseph, Eminem spent his childhood between Missouri and Michigan, settling in Detroit by his teens. At the age of 14, he began rapping with a high-school friend, the two adopting the names "Manix" and "M&M," which soon morphed into Eminem. Under this name, Mathers entered battle rapping, a struggle dramatized in the fictionalized 8 Mile. Initially, the predominantly African-American audience didn’t embrace Eminem, but soon his skills gained him a reputation, and he was recruited to join several rap groups. The first of these was the New Jacks, and after they disbanded, he joined Soul Intent, who released a single in 1995. This single also featured Proof, and the two rappers broke off on their own to form D-12, a six-member crew that functioned more as a Wu-Tang-styled collective than a regularly performing group.

As he was struggling to establish his career, he and his girlfriend Kim had a daughter, Hailey, forcing him to spend less time rapping and more time providing for his family. During this time, he assembled his first album, Infinite, which received some underground attention in 1996, not all of it positive. After its release, Eminem developed his Slim Shady alter ego, a persona that freed him to dig deep into his dark id, something he needed as he faced a number of personal upheavals, beginning with a bad split with Kim, which led him to move in with his mother and increase his use of drugs and alcohol, capped off with an unsuccessful suicide attempt. All this Sturm und Drang was channeled into The Slim Shady EP, which is where he first demonstrated many of the quirks that became his trademark, including his twitchy, nasal rhyming, and disturbingly violent imagery.

The Slim Shady EP opened many doors, the most notable of them being a contract with Interscope Records. After Eminem came in second at the 1997 Rap Olympics MC Battle in Los Angeles, Interscope head Jimmy Iovine sought out the rapper, giving the EP to Dr. Dre, who proved eager to work with Eminem. They quickly cut Em's Interscope debut in the fall of 1998 -- during which time Marshall reconciled with Kim and married her -- and The Slim Shady LP appeared early in 1999, preceded by the single "My Name Is." Both were instant blockbusters and Eminem turned into a lightning rod for attention, earning praise and disdain for his violent, satirical fantasias.

Eminem quickly followed The Slim Shady LP with The Marshall Mathers LP in the summer of 2000. By this point, there was little doubt that Eminem was one of the biggest stars in pop music: the album sold by the truckload, selling almost two million copies within the first two weeks of release, but Mathers felt compelled to tweak other celebrities, provoking pop stars in his lyrics, and Insane Clown Posse's entourage in person, providing endless fodder for tabloids. This gossip blended with growing criticism about his violent and homophobic lyrics, and under this fire, he reunited his old crew, D-12, releasing an album in 2001, then touring with the group.

During this furor, he had his biggest hit in the form of the moody ballad "Stan." Performed at the Grammys as a duet with Elton John, thereby undercutting some accusations of homophobia, the song helped Eminem to cross over to a middlebrow audience, setting the stage for the ultimate crossover of 2001’s 8 Mile. Directed by Curtis Hanson, best-known as the Oscar-nominated director of L.A. Confidential, the gritty drama fictionalized Eminem's pre-fame Detroit days and earned considerable praise, culminating in one of his biggest hits with the theme "Lose Yourself," which won Mathers an Oscar.

After all this, he retreated from the spotlight to record his third album, The Eminem Show. Preceded by the single "Without Me," the album turned into another huge hit, albeit not quite as strong as its predecessor, and there were some criticisms suggesting that Eminem wasn't expanding his horizons much. Encore, released late in 2004, did reach into more mature territory, notably on the anti-George W. Bush "Mosh," but most of the controversy generated by the album was for behind-the-scenes events: a bus crash followed by canceled dates and a stint in rehab. Rumors of retirement flew, and the 2005 appearance of Curtain Call: The Hits did nothing to dampen them, nor did the turmoil of 2006, a year that saw Mathers re-marrying and divorcing Kim within a matter of four months, as well as the shooting death of Proof at a Detroit club.

During all this, Em did some minor studio work, but soon he dropped off the radar completely, retreating to his Detroit home. He popped up here and there, most notably debuting the hip-hop channel Shade 45 for Sirius Satellite Radio in September 2008, but it wasn't until early 2009 that he mounted a comeback with Relapse, an album whose very title alluded to some of Mathers' struggles with prescription drugs, but it also announced that after an extended absence, Slim Shady was back. While not quite a blockbuster, the album went platinum, and Eminem followed it at the end of the year with an expanded version of Relapse (dubbed Relapse: Refill) that added outtakes and new recordings. Recovery, initially titled Relapse 2, was issued in June 2010. The album debuted on top of the Billboard 200 chart, where it remained for five consecutive weeks, while its leadoff single, "Not Afraid," debuted on top of the magazine's Hot 100 singles chart.

2010 also brought Eminem back together with Royce da 5'9" under the Bad Meets Evil moniker. In turn, June 2011's Hell: The Sequel marked the release of their first EP as a duo and -- barring the previous month's release of key EP track "Fastlane" as a single -- was their first batch of new material since a 1999 double A-side. After an intense period of recording, Eminem announced in August 2013 that his next solo album would be a nostalgically themed set of new material entitled The Marshall Mathers LP 2, which was expected in early November. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: 3am (Radio Single) (Explicit)

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Track List: Berzerk (Single)

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Track List: Hell Breaks Loose (Radio Single)

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Track List: Old Time's Sake (Radio Single)

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Track List: Rap God (Single)

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Track List: Survival (Single)

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Track List: The Monster (Single) (Explicit)

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Track List: The Warning (Radio Single)

Comments

Eminem you're the best rapper end the world am end love with you're music
Marshel your the Damn Man Oct. 20 Hey
Idk what kind of music is better look up BMTH there good so ya :p
I lick all you're songs em
I love when he came to receiving.
Also d12 is awsome mostly em
I think marshall is the best rapper ever he is amazing im listen to him now and I can rap most of his song and would like to say sorry to and wat he had to go through I had trouble to I would love to meet him so much stuff I would tell him marshall your that best
Dj In the house��
Yo eminen doubt your reading this but i just want to say that your song no love was inspiring. I was getting bullied in school not as bad as that kid but like I was trying to say your song helped me, it made me want to fight back not just for me but for my cousins that were getting picked in as well. I stuck up for myself and my mentally handicapped cousin and my other cousin that tried killing herself because of them bullying and harassing her. Thank you for making that song, and also please ke
I Needed this song
I am 11
Follow ��������
So what if I am ten . your retarded and 2
I am ten and I wish he was my dad and I have listens to him since I was like 5
richie.madri d 2 7
All these comments are made by like 10 year olds
Hes white??????? ? ? ? ? ?
Eminem is the best rapper ever you haters don't like nothing
Best rapper ever by far. No doubt about it.
sndd76
Are you sure she you hater
Sukiest rapper in history
Eminem is not gay alot of people are saying he is b t he is not
I'm your biggest fan and I'm only 11
When is this white boy gonna rap?
Im a huge fan Eminim!!
Eminems songs are real he speaks the truth in his raps about his daughter and Kim
Your songs are awesome
Love your song the monster under my bed omg!:)
follow for a follow
Eminem is my fav and mgk to they by cool
streetgeek7
Love all of ur music especially rap god and not afraid
That is good music
Screw it, I was gonna comment, but I got nothing to say. Eminem's great.
I LOVE YOU EMINEM BIG FAN HERE ��
Hay I am your cusin
Huge fan.
Love this song!!!!
Piz follow me and i will follow u back
angelycawhel c h e l 1 0 4
eminem is so cute in 8 mile
Eminem is my favorite rapper. His music is sick!
besutton23
Sup
Wow this guy is boss
Dr dree was the best soldier he recluit. And be he's mentor and eminen put everything he could no body believe and the hunky from the trailer park was going be legend
I wish dre em and 50 and snoop and others to make a final song together .
These days are getting longer, and it is getting tougher to keep my cool. Soon I'm going to snap
That's my uncle... I wish. xD
Yeah yeah
Eminem what makes you wont to rite not afraid
this was me every weekend you came out but I love the way you lie and I just fall right back into it who knew you were full of s*** the story she told or even believable much love I still love you and we were friends before anything see you soon hopefully
Hi
shannonp1998
LOVE!!!!!!! RAP GOD!!(:
DONT READ THIS CAUSE IT REALLY WORKS. wow you little renal. Read the caps. Anything that says that lies. It said I would die a month ago and guess what, I'm still here. Don't listen to those idiots. Don't freak if read one. Repost this for reassurance
Show more

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