Eminem, also known as Marshall Mathers III, is an American rapper, song writer, and record producer. He was born in October 1972 in Missouri but grew up in Detroit, Michigan. He is known as one of the bestselling artists in the U.S. in the 2000s.
His career can be traced back to high school when Eminem started rapping at the age of 14. He rapped with a friend, Mike Ruby, and they called their duo “Manix” or “M&M”. This nickname was essentially adopted by the rapper for his stage name, Eminem. He participated in freestyle rap battles and open mic contests, particularly in Detroit’s “ground zero” in West 7 Mile.
As his reputation in the underground rap community grew, he was recruited by various rap groups. He joined hip hop group Soul Intent in 1995 and they released an EP that same year. Eventually, he joined Proof and 4 more rappers to form the Dirty Dozen (also known as D12). Their first album was released in 2001. Eminem went on to sign with FBT Productions, which enabled him to release his debut album. However, it failed in terms of commercial success. His daughter Hailie was born during this time and they had little money to go around. In addition, they lived in a crime-ridden neighborhood and were robbed a few times.
This caused Eminem to develop his violent alter ego, which he called Slim Shady. This attracted people’s attention while also allowing him to talk about drugs, murder and sex in his lyrics. Eminem released Slim Shady EP, his debut album, in 1997. His record was introduced to Dr. Dre, who was the founding member of the hip hop group N.W.A.
Dr. Dre was instrumental in the release of The Slim Shady LP in 1999. It was certified platinum by the RIAA. In May 2000, he released The Marshall Mathers LP. During its first week, it sold more than 1.7 million copies, breaking the records previously set by Snoop Dogg and Britney Spears. The songs on this album were controversial — particularly his songs “The Real Slim Shady”, “My Name Is”, and “The Way I Am”. However, one of his biggest singles to date is “Stan”, which was a collaboration with Dido. The song was named by Q Magazine as one of the greatest rap songs of all time.
In 2002, he released the album The Eminem Show, and it was another commercial success. It sold more than 1.3 million copies during its first week. The single “Without Me” was the biggest hit off the record. He has since released the albums Encore (2004), Relapse (2009), Recovery (2010) and The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (2013).