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Eminem is an American rapper, record producer and actor known as one of the most controversial and best-selling artists of the early 21st century.
Eminem - Interscope Records (2:37)
Eminem - Slim Shady (2:31)
Eminem - Getting Into Rap (2:42)
Eminem - Childhood (2:29)
In 1997 at the Rap Olympics a mysterious fan approached Eminem and asked for his demo tape. This fan turned out to be an intern at Interscope records who would later get the tape into the hands of legendary rapper Dr. Dre.
Despite becoming a fixture in the Detroit music scene, Eminem’s recording career was off to a slow start. From this challenge the hip-hop alter ego Slim Shady was born.
After facing a rough childhood, teenager Marshall Mathers found a voice in the world of rap and hip-hop. Here he would also find his first real friend, a fellow rapper named Proof.
As a child, rapper Eminem faced a troubled family life and a transient one as he and his mother, Debbie Nelson, moved from place to place across the Midwest.
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While Eminem attempted to mitigate such criticism by maintaining that his raps simply use the rough language he has been surrounded by since childhood, and later by performing a duet with Elton John at the Grammy Awards to demonstrate his openness to the gay community, Eminem nevertheless remains widely reviled in some quarters for his offensive lyrical content.
Eminem reconnected with several of his friends from the Detroit underground rap scene to form the group D12, recording an album called Devil's Night featuring the popular single "Purple Pills." A year later, Eminem released a new solo album, The Eminem Show, another popular and critically acclaimed album highlighted by the tracks "Without Me," "Cleaning Out my Closet" and "Sing for the Moment." His next album, 2004's Encore, was less successful than his previous efforts, but still featured popular songs such as "Like Toy Soldiers" and "Mockingbird."
For the next several years, Eminem recorded very little music and was largely consumed by personal problems. Eminem and Kim Mathers divorced in 2000 but continued to maintain a tumultuous off-and-on relationship until remarrying in 2006. Nevertheless, they divorced again several months later and began a protracted, ugly and highly public custody dispute over their daughter Hailie. Meanwhile, Eminem slipped further into alcoholism and addiction to sleeping pills and prescription painkillers. In December 2007, he overdosed and nearly died. "If I would have got to the hospital two hours later, that would have been it," he said.
By early 2008, Eminem had managed to kick his addictions to drugs and alcohol and returned to recording music. He released his first album of new music in five years, Relapse, in 2009, featuring the singles "Crack a Bottle" and "Beautiful." In 2010, Eminem released another album, Recovery, a highly autobiographical attempt to come to terms with his struggles with addiction and experience with rehabilitation. His most acclaimed album in years, Recovery struck a somewhat gentler and more inspirational tone than his previous music. Eminem said, "I don't want to go overboard with it but I do feel like that if I can help people that have been through a similar situation, then, you know, why not?" The revealing album won Eminem a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.
Eminem is doubtlessly one of the most acclaimed rappers in the genre's brief history. As much as any other individual artist, he is responsible for rap's transformation into a mainstream music genre over the past decade. And after 10 years and seven albums, the rapper who shocked, appalled and fascinated the music world with the unbridled rage of his youthful music is reinventing himself as a mature artist.
"I started learning how to not be so angry about things, learning how to count my f---ing blessings instead. By doing that, I've become a happier person, instead of all this self-loathing I was doing for a while," Eminem said. "The music, I wouldn't say it's gotten happier, but it's definitely more upbeat.
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