Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), known professionally as Eminem, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, record executive, and actor. Eminem is the best-selling artist of the 2000s in the United States. Throughout his career, he has had 10 number-one albums on the Billboard 200 and five number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 With more than 47.4 million albums and 107.5 million singles sold in the U.S. and 220 million records globally, he is among the world's best-selling artists of all time and is consistently cited as one of the greatest and most influential artists in any genre. He is the only artist to have nine albums consecutively debut at number one on the Billboard 200. Rolling Stone ranked him 83rd on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, calling him the "King of Hip Hop".
Eminem's home life was seldom stable; he frequently fought with his mother, whom a social worker described as having a "very suspicious, almost paranoid personality". When her son became famous, Debbie was unimpressed by suggestions that she was a less-than-ideal mother, contending that she sheltered him and was responsible for his success. At age 14, Eminem began rapping with high-school friend Mike Ruby; they adopted the names "Manix" and "M&M", the latter of which evolved into "Eminem". Eminem snuck into neighboring Osborn High School with friend and fellow rapper Proof for lunchroom freestyle rap battles. On Saturdays, they attended open mic contests at the Hip-Hop Shop on West 7 Mile, considered "ground zero" for the Detroit rap scene.
As Eminem's reputation grew, he was recruited by several rap groups; the first was the New Jacks. After they disbanded he joined Soul Intent, who released a single on their 1995 self-titled EP featuring Proof. Eminem and Proof then teamed up with four other rappers to form The Dirty Dozen (D12), who released their first album Devil's Night in 2001. Eminem had his first run-in with the law at age 20, when he was arrested for his involvement in a drive-by shooting with a paintball gun. The case was dismissed when the victim did not appear in court. Eminem attracted more attention when he developed Slim Shady, a sadistic, violent alter ego. The character allowed him to express his anger with lyrics about drugs, rape, and murder. In the spring of 1997 he recorded his debut EP, the Slim Shady EP, which was released that winter by Web Entertainment. The EP, with frequent references to drug use, sexual acts, mental instability and violence, also explored the more-serious themes of dealing with poverty and marital and family difficulties and revealed his direct, self-deprecating response to criticism. Hip-hop magazine The Source featured Eminem in its "Unsigned Hype" column in March 1998.
After he was evicted from his home, Eminem went to Los Angeles to compete in the 1997 Rap Olympics, an annual, nationwide battle rap competition. He placed second, and Interscope Records staff in attendance sent a copy of the Slim Shady EP to company CEO Jimmy Lovine. Lovine played the tape for record producer Dr. Dre, founder of Aftermath Entertainment and founding member of hip-hop group N.W.A. Dre recalled, "In my entire career in the music industry, I have never found anything from a demo tape or a CD. When Jimmy played this, I said, 'Find him. Now.'" He would later state on the fourth & last episode of The Defiant Ones, "I was like: what the f**k!?, and who the f**k is that?" expressing his shock towards Mathers' rapping talent. Although his associates criticized him for hiring a white rapper, he was confident in his decision: "I don't give a f**k if you're purple; if you can kick it, I'm working with you." Eminem had idolized Dre since listening to N.W.A. as a teenager, and was nervous about working with him on an album: "I didn't want to be starstruck or kiss his ass too much…I'm just a little white boy from Detroit. I had never seen stars let alone Dr. Dre." He became more comfortable working with Dre after a series of productive recording sessions.
The Marshall Mathers LP was released in May 2000. It sold 1.76 million copies in its first week, breaking US records held by Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle for fastest-selling hip hop album and Britney Spears' ...Baby One More Time for fastest-selling solo album. The first single from the album, "The Real Slim Shady", was a success despite controversies about Eminem's insults and dubious claims about celebrities (for example, that Christina Aguilera had performed oral sex on Fred Durst and Carson Daly). In his second single, "The Way I Am", he reveals the pressure from his record company to top "My Name Is". Although Eminem parodied shock rocker Marilyn Manson in the music video for "My Name Is", they are reportedly on good terms; Manson is mentioned in "The Way I Am", appeared in its music video and has performed a live remix of the song with Eminem. In the third single, "Stan" (which samples Dido's "Thank You"), Eminem tries to deal with his new fame, assuming the persona of a deranged fan who kills himself and his pregnant girlfriend (mirroring "'97 Bonnie & Clyde" from The Slim Shady LP). Q called "Stan" the third-greatest rap song of all time, and it was ranked tenth in a Top40-Charts.com survey. The song has since been ranked 296th on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list. In July 2000, Eminem was the first white artist to appear on the cover of The Source. The Marshall Mathers LP was certified Diamond by the RIAA in March 2011 and sold 32 million copies worldwide.
The Eminem Show was released in May 2002. It was another success, reaching number one on the charts and selling over 1.332 million copies during its first full week. The album's single, "Without Me", denigrates boy bands, Limp Bizkit, Dick and Lynne Cheney, Moby and others. The Eminem Show certified Diamond by the RIAA examines the effects of Eminem's rise to fame, his relationship with his wife and daughter and his status in the hip-hop community, addressing an assault charge brought by a bouncer he saw kissing his wife in 2000. Although several tracks are clearly angry, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic found The Eminem Show less inflammatory than The Marshall Mathers LP. L. Brent Bozell III, who had criticized The Marshall Mathers LP for misogynistic lyrics, noted The Eminem Show's extensive use of obscenity and called Eminem "Eminef" for the prevalence of the word "motherf*****” on the album. The Eminem Show sold 30 million copies worldwide and was the best-selling album of 2002.
Encore, released in 2004, was another success. Its sales were partially driven by the first single, "Just Lose It", which contained slurs about Michael Jackson. On October 12, 2004, a week after the release of "Just Lose It", Jackson phoned the Los Angeles-based Steve Harvey radio show to report his displeasure with its video (which parodies Jackson's child molestation trial, plastic surgery and the 1984 incident when Jackson's hair caught fire during the filming of a commercial). In the song Eminem says, "That's not a stab at Michael / That's just a metaphor / I'm just psycho". Many of Jackson's friends and supporters spoke out against the video, including Stevie Wonder (who described it as "kicking a man while he's down" and "bullsh*t”) and Steve Harvey (who said, "Eminem has lost his ghetto pass. We want the pass back").
Eminem appeared on his Shade 45 Sirius channel in September 2008, saying: "Right now I'm kinda just concentrating on my own stuff, for right now and just banging out tracks and producing a lot of stuff. You know, the more I keep producing the better it seems like I get 'cause I just start knowing stuff." Interscope confirmed that a new album would be released in spring 2009. In December 2008, Eminem provided more details about the album, entitled Relapse: "Me and Dre are back in the lab like the old days, man. Dre will end up producing the majority of the tracks on 'Relapse'. We are up to our old mischievous ways ... let's just leave it at that."
According to a March 5, 2009 press release, Eminem would release two new albums that year. Relapse, the first, was released on May 19; its first single and music video, "We Made You", had been released on April 7. Although Relapse did not sell as well as Eminem's previous albums and received mixed reviews, it was a commercial success and re-established his presence in the hip-hop world. It sold more than five million copies worldwide. On October 30 he headlined at the Voodoo Experience in New Orleans, his first full performance of the year. Eminem's act included several songs from Relapse, many of his older hits and an appearance by D12. On November 19, he announced on his website that Relapse: Refill would be released on December 21. The album was a re-release of Relapse with seven bonus tracks, including "Forever" and "Taking My Ball".
His seventh album, Recovery, was released on June 18, 2010. In the US Recovery sold 741,000 copies during its first week, topping the Billboard 200 chart. Eminem's sixth consecutive US number-one album also topped the charts in several other countries. Recovery remained atop the Billboard 200 chart for five consecutive weeks of a seven-week total. Billboard reported that it was the bestselling album of 2010, making Eminem the first artist in Nielsen SoundScan history with two year-end bestselling albums. Recovery is the bestselling digital album in history. Its first single, "Not Afraid", was released on April 29 and debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100; its music video was released on June 4. "Not Afraid" was followed by "Love the Way You Lie", which debuted at number two before rising to the top. Although "Love the Way You Lie" was the bestselling 2010 single in the United Kingdom, it did not reach number one (the first time this has happened in the UK since 1969). Despite criticism of its inconsistency, Recovery received positive reviews from most critics. As of November 21, 2010, the album had US sales of three million copies. Recovery was the bestselling album worldwide in 2010, joining 2002's bestseller The Eminem Show to give Eminem two worldwide year-end number-one albums. With Recovery, Eminem broke the record for the most successive US number-one albums by a solo artist.
Eminem announced on May 24, 2012, that he was working on his next album, scheduled for release the following year. Without a title or release date, it was included on a number of "Most Anticipated Albums of 2013" lists (including MTV); Complex ranked it sixth, and XXL fifth. On August 14 "Survival", featuring Liz Rodrigues and produced by DJ Khalil, premiered in the multi-player trailer for the video game Call of Duty: Ghosts. According to a press release, the first single from Eminem's eighth album would be released soon. During the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, it was announced that the album would be entitled The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (following The Marshall Mathers LP) and was scheduled for release on November 5. Its lead single, "Berzerk", was released on August 25 and debuted at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Three more singles followed: "Survival" (appearing on the Call of Duty: Ghosts trailer), "Rap God" and "The Monster" (with Rihanna). The album was released on November 5, by Aftermath Entertainment, Shady Records and Interscope Records. Its standard version had 16 tracks, and the deluxe version included a second disc with five additional tracks. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 was Eminem's seventh album to debut atop the Billboard 200, and had the year's second-largest first-week sales. He was the first artist since the Beatles to have four singles in the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100.
In the summer of 2014, Eminem and Rosenberg began using the hashtag #SHADYXV on social networking sites, and Eminem wore a T-shirt with the hashtag onstage. This was later revealed to be the name of an upcoming Shady Records compilation. Shortly afterwards the first single from the album ("Guts Over Fear", featuring singer-songwriter Sia Furler) was released and the album's track list was released on October 29. Shady Records released a cypher to promote the album, in which Eminem did a seven-minute freestyle. "Detroit vs. Everybody" (the album's second single), with Eminem, Dej Loaf, Royce da 5'9", Danny Brown, Big Sean and Trick-Trick, was released on November 11. Shady XV, released on November 24 during Black Friday week, consists of one greatest-hits disc and one disc of new material by Shady Records artists such as D12, Slaughterhouse, Bad Meets Evil and Yelawolf. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 138,000 copies in the United States.
Eminem is the executive producer of the soundtrack on the sports drama Southpaw, with Shady Records. The first single from the soundtrack called 'Phenomenal' was released on June 2, 2015. Another single, "Kings Never Die" by Eminem featuring Gwen Stefani, was released on July 10, 2015 on YouTube via Eminem's Vevo account. Eminem was the first interview of Zane Lowe in Beats 1. The interview streamed online on the Beats 1 radio on July 1, 2015. Eminem appeared on the public access show Only in Monroe, produced in Monroe, Michigan, and was interviewed by guest host Stephen Colbert for an episode that aired July 1, 2015. In the episode Eminem sang snippets of Bob Seger songs at Colbert's prompting and briefly discussed Southpaw. In June 2015, it was revealed that he will serve as the executive producer and music supervisor on the TV series Motor City whose premise will be based upon the 2002 film Narc.
In September 2016, Eminem was featured on Skylar Grey's song, "Kill For You", which appears on her album, Natural Causes. On October 19, 2016, Eminem released a new song called "Campaign Speech", a political hip hop song, and announced he was working on a new album. On November 17, 2016, Eminem released a remastered version of 'Infinite' on his YouTube VEVO channel. On November 22, 2016, Eminem released a trailer for a 10-minute short documentary called Partners in Rhyme: The True Story of Infinite.
In February 2017, Eminem appeared on "No Favors", a track from Big Sean's album I Decided. In the song, Eminem calls the newly elected President Donald Trump a “b**ch”, and also raps about raping conservative social and political commentator Ann Coulter, who is a Trump supporter, with a variety of foreign objects. Coulter responded to the lyrics, stating, "I think it's unfortunate that the left, from Berkeley to Eminem with his rap songs, has normalized violence against women, as Eminem has done." Eminem participated in the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards' annual cypher, using his verse, a freestyle rap called "The Storm", to further criticize Trump and the administration for, among other things, Trump's focus on National Football League players' protests during "The Star Spangled Banner" over Hurricane Maria recovery efforts and lack of gun control reform in the wake of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. Eminem ended the cypher by giving an ultimatum saying that Trump supporters cannot be his fans. The verse received wide praise among other rappers following its release..
Starting in late October, Eminem and Paul Rosenberg began teasing what fans speculated was the title of a new album titled Revival, in the form of advertisements for a fake medication of the same name. On November 28, Dr. Dre posted a video confirming the album's release date as December 15, 2017. On December 8, Eminem released a promotional single titled "Untouchable" which featured a sample from the duo Cheech & Chong. Despite an online leak of the album two days prior, Revival was released as planned on December 15. On January 5, 2018, the second single "River" was released, which featured Ed Sheeran. It became Eminem's eighth consecutive album to top the US Billboard 200 upon release with 197,000 copies sold in its first week. As a result, he became the first musical act to have eight entries in a row debut atop the chart. The album was met with mixed reviews from music critics. In 2018, an extended edition of "Nowhere Fast" with Kehlani and a remix of "Chloraseptic" featuring 2 Chainz and Phresher were released from Revival. On August 31, 2018, Eminem released his previously unannounced tenth studio album Kamikaze, making it his second full-length studio album in 8 months. The album would top the Billboard 200, making it his ninth album in a row to do so, after selling 434,000 units in the first week.
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