Eminem (born Marshall Mathers 17.10.1972)
With over 70 million worldwide album sales, Academy Awards and Grammy Awards under his belt, Eminem is one of the best-selling musicians of the early 2000s and a best-selling rap artist of all time. Discovered by legendary producer Dr Dre. (formerly of N.W.A.), Eminem was later signed to Dre's Aftermath Entertainment record label.
Eminem's father deserted him and his mother shortly after his birth in St. Joseph, Missouri. They moved between St. Joseph and Warren, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Aged 14, he performed at amateur rap contests and later joined the group Soul Intent, billed as M&M.
Eminem's Musical Career
Eminem's first official tape release was Fuckin' Backstabber / Soul Intent, followed by an independent album named Infinite, which was influenced by Nas and AZ. This was followed by The Slim Shady EP (Slim Shady was another of Marshall Mathers' aliases), which brought about much attention and mixed reviews in the underground hip-hop scene, due to his distinctive rapping style.
The Slim Shady LP was his first release, once signed to Aftermath Entertainment / Interscope Records. The album went on to be one of the most popular albums of 1999 and was awarded triple platinum status. This time, it was his controversial lyricism that brought the media attention. Dr Dre, who has appeared on all of Eminem's mainstream albums, appeared on the track 'Guilty Conscience', which ends with a man being encouraged to kill his own wife and her lover.
The follow up to The Slim Shady LP, was even more successful, in terms of sales. Released in May 2000, it quickly sold two million copies and was Mathers' fastest selling album to date. Again, his lyrics brought attention to the album, by making offensive remarks about various celebrities, including Christina Aguilera, Blink 182's Fred Durst, as well as making a promotional video (for 'My Name Is') that mocked Marilyn Manson. Eminem also sampled Dido's song 'Thank You' for the UK number one single 'Stan'.
The third major album for Eminem was The Eminem Show. Released in 2002, it was yet another hit, selling over one million copies in its first week. This time around, electronic producer Moby, as well as the rock band Limp Bizkit and boy bands in general were the victims of Mathers' lyrical vitriol. His much-publicised relationship with his wife and daughter are also explored on this album, as are the charges he faced over an assault on a man he saw kissing his wife.
A song destined for the bonus track accompanying his fourth major album, Encore (2004), landed Eminem in more hot water; this time with the U.S. Secret Service. The song 'We As Americans' was leaked onto the internet and Mathers was investigated for allegations that he had threatened the President. The lyrics in question were: "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." Aside from the scandal, Encore was another chart-topper for Eminem A compilation album released in 20005, entitled Curtain Call: The Hits, sparked rumours that Eminem was about to end his rapping career. Eminem denied this on Detroit's WKQI radio station, but suggested that he may be taking a break as a recording artist. Summer 2005 saw Mathers embarking on his first US tour in three years (the Anger Management Tour, featuring 50 Cent and G-Unit, Obie Trice and Lil' John). In August, however, he cancelled the European tour in order to enter drug rehabilitation.
In 2006, Eminem launched Shady Records with the Eminem Presents the Re-Up mixtape.
Eminem is also a member of the rap group D12, whose 'Purple Pills' track was rewritten to remove the more obvious drug references, and renamed 'Purple Hills'.
Eminem's acting career. The semi-autobiographical film 8-mile was Eminem's official Hollywood acting debut. He recorded a number of new songs for the soundtrack, including 'Lose Yourself', which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.