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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.

The year 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 landed in early November. The album featured the singles "Berzerk," "Rap God," and "Survival," plus the chart-topping hit "The Monster" with Rihanna. In 2014, new tracks landed on the double-disc set Shady XV, which celebrated the Shady label's 15th birthday. The singles "Phenomenal" and "Kings Never Die" featuring Gwen Stefani arrived a year later, both of them sourced from the Southpaw soundtrack. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: The Marshall Mathers LP2 (Deluxe Edition) (Explicit)

Disc 1

1. Bad Guy

2. Parking Lot (Skit)

3. Rhyme Or Reason

4. So Much Better

5. Survival

6. Legacy

8. Berzerk

9. Rap God

10. Brainless

11. Stronger Than I Was

12. The Monster (Feat. Rihanna)

13. So Far...

16. Evil Twin

Disc 2

1. Baby

3. Groundhog Day


Track List: Recovery (Explicit)

1. Cold Wind Blows

3. On Fire

5. W.T.P.

6. Going Through Changes

7. Seduction

8. Not Afraid

10. Space Bound

11. Cinderella Man

12. 25 To Life

13. So Bad

14. Almost Famous

16. You're Never Over


Track List: Relapse (Explicit)

2. 3 A.M.

3. My Mom

4. Insane

5. Bagpipes From Baghdad

6. Hello

8. Same Song & Dance

9. We Made You

10. Medicine Ball

11. Paul (Skit)

12. Stay Wide Awake

13. Old Time's Sake

14. Must Be The Ganja

16. Deja Vu

17. Beautiful

18. Crack A Bottle

19. Steve Berman (Skit)

20. Underground


Track List: Curtain Call - The Hits (Explicit)

1. Intro

2. Fack

3. The Way I Am

4. My Name Is

5. Stan

6. Lose Yourself

7. Shake That

8. Sing For The Moment

9. Without Me

10. Like Toy Soldiers

11. The Real Slim Shady

12. Mockingbird

13. Guilty Conscience

14. Cleanin' Out My Closet

15. Just Lose It

16. When I'm Gone


Track List: A** Like That (Explicit)


Track List: Encore (Explicit)

Disc 1

1. Curtains Up

2. Evil Deeds

3. Never Enough

4. Yellow Brick Road

5. Like Toy Soldiers

6. Mosh

7. Puke

8. My 1st Single

9. Paul (Skit)

10. Rain Man

11. Big Weenie

12. Em Calls Paul (Skit)

13. Just Lose It

14. A** Like That

15. Spend Some Time

16. Mockingbird

17. Crazy In Love

18. One Shot 2 Shot

19. Final Thought (Skit)

20. Encore (Curtains Down)

Disc 2

1. We As Americans

2. Love You More

3. Ricky Ticky Toc


Track List: The Eminem Show (Explicit)

1. Curtains Up (Skit)

2. White America

3. Business

4. Cleanin Out My Closet

5. Square Dance

6. The Kiss (Skit)

7. Soldier

8. Say Goodbye Hollywood

9. Drips

10. Without Me

11. Paul Rosenberg (Skit)

12. Sing For The Moment

13. Superman

14. Hailie's Song

15. Steve Berman (Skit)

16. When The Music Stops

18. 'Till I Collapse

19. My Dad's Gone Crazy

20. Curtains Close (Skit)


Track List: The Marshall Mathers LP (Explicit)

1. Public Service Announcement 2000

2. Kill You

3. Stan

4. Paul (Skit)

5. Who Knew

6. Steve Berman (Skit)

7. The Way I Am

8. The Real Slim Shady

9. Remember Me?

10. I'm Back

11. Marshall Mathers

12. Ken Kaniff (Skit)

13. Drug Ballad

14. Amityville

15. B**ch Please II

16. Kim

17. Under The Influence

18. Criminal


Track List: The Slim Shady LP (Explicit)

1. Public Service Announcement

2. My Name Is

3. Guilty Conscience

4. Brain Damage

5. Paul (Skit)

6. If I Had

7. 97' Bonnie & Clyde

9. Role Model

11. My Fault

12. Ken Kaniff (Skit)

13. C*m On Everybody

14. Rock Bottom

15. Just Don't Give A F**k

17. As The World Turns

18. I'm Shady

20. Still Don't Give A F**k


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

1. 3 A.M.


Track List: Berzerk (Single)

1. Berzerk


Track List: Hell Breaks Loose (Radio Single)


Track List: Kings Never Die (Single) (Explicit)

2. Kings Never Die (Feat. Gwen Stefani)


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

1. Old Time's Sake


Track List: Phenomenal (From "Southpaw") (Single) (Explicit)


Track List: Rap God (Single)

1. Rap God

2. Rap God


Track List: Survival (Single)

1. Survival

2. Survival


Track List: The Monster (Single) (Explicit)

12. The Monster (Feat. Rihanna)


Track List: The Warning (Radio Single)


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You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. Don't stop this is freaky! But if you read and ignore it you will get bad luck. Put this on 15 other songs in 143 minutes. When you are done press the spacebar and your crushes name will appear in big letters on the screen. This is so creepy because it actually works!!!
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Top notch man I can relate to tyis
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I love eminem
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Dam Eminem is the best singer I love him alot����❤️
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Amazing man
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I straight love the music
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I love Eminem ����❤️��‍❤️‍
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I love your songs eminem
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Best and my favorite rapper
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mollyjmontgo m e r y
My favorite rapper
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From the heart
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Love rap god
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I like these songs
So bad
Cinderella man
Loose your self
Without me
Mocking bird
When I'm gone
A** like that
Marshall Mathers
Like toy soliders
Not afraid
I need a doctor
Rap god
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That ��popo eniemiem
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I like all of your songs
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10 Best eminem songs

10. Without Me
9. When Im Gone
8. A** like that
7. Like Toy Soldiers
6. Not Afraid
5. Marshall Mathers
4. Berzerk
3. Lose Yourself
2. Mockingbird
1. Stan
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Your music is so much better than rap these days. Your raps make sense instead of talking about smoking weed and a glock in your car
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Em, Hop, Tech, and K-dot are the best rappers
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He can f**k tha world and g-unit n**ga
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Ni Yuku
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I love you Eminem You rock�� your music talks to my heart and I love it
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L9plllljn I'mopppl mvlko pl ln y m9 km mo
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Reverbenatio n . c o m / s k n e m a j o r z
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Yay my band
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I love echo
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Eminem is my life!
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Say iPhone 5 times. Pick a color. Post this on 5 different songs. Look under your pillow.
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Omg... ↓↓↓
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How's your mom's spaghetti? Has it improved?
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I love brezek
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How ��
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Bro you are the best raper I I ever herd the first time I heard you was in my friends car and I think you are the best raper in the world
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If Nick cannon was serious about rap battle Eminem. Nick will get his life fitnessed
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We all love you
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we all go threw changes
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Don't read this. you will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Now you started reading this Don't stop this is so freaky but if you ignore this Don't you will have very bad luck. Post this on 15 songs in 143 minutes when you are doen press space bar and your crushes name will appear in your screen this is so creepy because it actually works.
Report as inappropriate
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Say your crushes name five times
Kiss your hand
Post this two more times
Look at your jand
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lindsie.alem a n
The Monster
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cheyenne4163 0
Don't read this. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Now you started reading this don't stop this is so freaky but if you ignore this don't you will have very bad luck. Post this on 15 songs in 143 minutes when you are done press space bar and your crushes name will appear in your screen this is so creepy because it actually works.
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I love this guy and I love his song the real slim shady he's the king of rap he can beat any guy or girl who challenge him in a freestyle��
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My nigka
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Stupid a** b**ch i ain't fuckinwithyo u got a millionfucki n this i would ratherfuckin do
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Eminem, em= Marshall, in= and, Em=Mathers
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A** like that motherfuckin g b i t c h
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I love all of or most of his songs they tell the story of his life and on of them make me feel sad ��it is sad how he explained his life
Show more

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