Biography - Eminem
Eminem is the stage name of Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17,1972), one of today's most controversial and popular hip hop musicians.
He is perhaps best known for being one of the few successful white rappers in the industry, not to mention one of the most critically acclaimed. He is also infamous for the controversy surrounding many of his lyrics, which are said by critics to be homophobic, misogynistic and excessively violent.
Early Life and Career
Mathers was born in Saint Joseph, Missouri and spent most of his childhood moving back and forth between Saint Joseph and Detroit, Michigan.
Interested in rap from a young age, Mathers began performing as early as fourteen, later gaming some popularity with a group. Soul Intent. His wife Kim gave birth to his daughter, Hailie Jade, on 2.5 December 1995. In the same year, he released his first independent album, named Infinite, following it up with The Slim Shady EP in 1997. He became famous in the hip-hop underground because of his distinctive, cartoonish style and the fact that he is white (a rarity in all rap, especially mainstream gangsta rap). Some people called him rap's "great white hope".
It is said that Dr. Dre found Eminem's demo on the garage floor of Jimmy lovine, the Interscope label chief. Though this did not directly lead to a recording contract, once Eminem won second place vs. Otherwize at the 1997 Rap Olympics MC battle, Dr. Dre agreed to sign him.
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 the year, going triple platinum. 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 bodies of his wife, her lover and his son. Another song, "Guilty Conscience" ends with Eminem and Dr. Dre encouraging a man to murder his wife and her lover.
The Marshall Mathers LP was released in May 2000, quickly selling 2 million copies. The album's first single, "The Real Slim Shady", created some buzz by trash-talking celebrities and spilling dubious gossip 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 the third single, "Stan" (which samples Dido's "Thank You"), Eminem attempts to deal with his new fame status, telling the story of a fan so obsessed with him that he winds up killing himself and his pregnant girlfriend, mirroring one of the songs on The Slim Shady LP.
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 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 Grainmys against Eminem. Mathers responded to this by singing "Stan" on-stage with gay singer Elton John, ending the performance by hugging John to show that he didn't have anything against homosexuals. Though shocking a lot of people, this gesture failed to appease all of his critics.
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 (2001), where lie reveais the emotions and intent behind the lyrics in the Marshall Mathers LP, and describes his passion and approach to rapping.
As one of six members of the rap group Di2, Eminem appeared on the album Devil's Night, released in 2001. The album was certified multi-platinum. The album contained the single "Purple Pills". Another song, "Blow My Buzz", was on the soundtrack for the film The Wash (2001), in which Eminem had a cameo.
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, Moby, and Lynne Cheney, among others.
On November igth, 2003 new controversy surrounded Eminem when a cassette tape was played during a press conference held by The Source magazine. The 1988 cassette featured a younger Mathers performing a freestyle rap in which he made disparaging remarks about black women, calling them "stupid" in comparison to white women.
Mathers reportedly made the recording after breaking up with his black girlfriend.
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.
Then, in 2004, Eminem made the video "My Band" with Di2. The controversial song was the band's sarcastic response to the media's frequent portrayal of Di2 as Eminem's band, giving little to 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, his rhinoplasty, 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