10 Interesting Facts About Eminem That You (Probably) Didn't Know
The American rapper celebrated his 50th birthday on Monday, October 17.
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You may know him under the nicknames Rap God or Slim Shady. A thin, short blond with a sharp vocabulary who can spit out an incredible 225 words in half a minute. Thanks to his talent, he was able to establish himself among the tough African-American rappers and earn their respect. He collaborated with the most famous and critically acclaimed artists, influencing dozens of others.
Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Bruce Mathers III, is a living example of a musician who worked hard for what he has in life and built everything from the ground up. Yes, it's a cliché, but his life's story can't be written any more succinctly. He made his debut in 1996 with the record Infinite and since then managed to record ten more solo studios. He was also a member of the rap group D12.
He won 15 Grammy awards and was nominated a total of 44 times. Even if you may not be a fan of rap, you certainly know his best-known hits such as Lose Yourself, Not Afraid, Beautiful or Like Toy Soldiers. The American rapper celebrated his 50th birthday on Monday, October 17, so we have prepared an article for you in which you will find some interesting facts that you (perhaps) didn't know about until now.
1. He failed repeatedly and finished school at seventeen
Like most rappers, Eminem was a troubled rebel who didn't enjoy sitting in a school desk, going through textbooks and listening to teachers' orders. He was far from an exemplary student, preferring to read comics. According to the Hiphop24x7 portal, he couldn't fit into the collective due to frequent moves, was bullied and constantly missed school.
When he repeatedly failed the ninth grade due to numerous absences, at the age of 17 he finally decided to leave school. Subsequently, his mother threw him out of the house. However, at that time he was already writing his first lyrics, learning to rhyme and dreaming of becoming a famous rapper one day. He had no idea that one day he would be among the most successful and richest musicians on the planet.
2. $5.50 an hour and sleeping on the floor
Eminem's problems with school and authorities went hand in hand with a difficult family situation. His father left the family and, as we already indicated, he did not have the best relationship with his mother. Arguments, shouting and swearing were the order of the day.
He grew up in the poverty and inhospitable environment of Detroit, yet he did not drown in depression and tried to make money wherever he could. As Ranker writes, before he became famous, the rapper worked as a cook or dishwasher, making only $5.50 an hour.
Financial problems drove him to the point where he once even broke into the house he was evicted from because he had nowhere to go. He slept on the floor, in winter without water or electricity. The day after that, however, he found out that his mixtape, which he sent to record companies, got into the hands of producer Dr. Dre and that he completely fell in love with him. The pair later recorded several successful songs together.
3. His mother sued him for $10 million
The rapper's complicated relationship with his mother is also evidenced by her lawsuit from 1999. According to LadBible, Debbie Mathers-Briggs demanded up to 10 million dollars from her son for defaming her on the album The Slim Shady and in various interviews. Eminem did not really refer to his mother as a role model in his songs.
In the song My Name Is, he raps about her drug use. According to ABC News, a settlement was reached in 2001, but the court significantly reduced the required amount from $10 million to $25,000. Later, however, a judge ruled that Debbie Mathers-Briggs was only entitled to $1,600 of the above amount, with the rest going to her attorney's pocket.
4. Two weddings, two divorces and a lonely upbringing
Eminem became a father at the age of 23 in 1995. He and Kimberly Anne Scott have a daughter, Hailie Jade. The couple started dating back in 1989 and got married exactly ten years later. However, their turbulent relationship ended in divorce after two years. Although they tried again, they married a second time in 2006 in a private ceremony, divorced again and even just a few months later.
The Things portal reports that Kimberly went through a severe addiction to drugs and alcohol and even ended up in prison. The rapper took care of his daughter. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Eminem revealed that when his ex-wife got out of jail and was supposed to be under house arrest, she cut off her tracking bracelet and ran from the police.
He added that explaining the absence of her mother to his daughter was one of the hardest things he ever had to go through. To make matters worse, Kimberly Anne Scott attempted suicide in 2021. Hailie Jade Scott is currently a successful influencer with almost three million followers on Instagram.
5. Rap God vs. Rap Devil
Sometimes it can happen that your idol becomes an enemy. Rapper Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) is 18 years younger than Eminem and was once one of his fans. But in 2012, everything changed with one Twitter status. MGK shared a photo of Eminem's daughter Hailie with the caption "Hot as Fuck", although she was only 16 at the time. This courtship did not seem entirely appropriate to her father.
It was then that the long-standing dispute between these two rappers, presenting different rap schools, began. As XXL Mag writes, three years later, MGK accused Eminem of banning him from appearing on the Hot 97 morning show on Shade 45, a radio station owned by Slim Shady. Not without response, Kelly recorded No Reason with Tech N9ne, on which he questioned Eminem's status as a rap god.
Three years later, a direct diss came from Eminem in collaboration with Royce Da 5'9". It was the song Not Alike from the Kamikaze album, to which MGK responded with the song Rap Devil. He really laid into the legend. He hit back with another song, Killshot, to which Kelly hasn't responded yet, but the bad blood between the two continues, according to mutual slurs in multiple interviews.
6. Addiction and overdose
A number of famous musicians across various genres have hit rock bottom at some point in their careers due to drugs. The American rapper was no exception. As NME writes, at first Eminem only experimented with drugs, as drugs were given to him for free during the tour. However, he reportedly did not take any hard drugs until he became famous.
He eventually became addicted to several prescription drugs such as Diazepam, Vicodin, and Xanax, unable to admit that he had a problem. His addiction worsened after his good friend DeShaun Dupree Holton, better known as the rapper Proof, was shot.
Everything culminated when in December 2007 Eminem overdosed on methadone and ended up in the hospital on the verge of death. Doctors told him he had ingested the equivalent of four bags of heroin. That was a clear turning point and a signal to put an end to it for good, which luckily he did. He reflected on the dark period in drug intoxication on the album Relapse from 2009.
7. Hugely overweight and difficult weight-loss
After the overdose, the rapper had to recover not only mentally, but also physically. During this period, according to MLive, he weighed around one hundred kilograms, which was hugely overweight by his standards (he is 173 centimeters tall). It is said that he got into this state thanks to taking a lot of pills and constantly eating unhealthy food.
After returning from rehabilitation, he began to lose weight, and as he revealed, he was especially helped by running, which he became literally addicted to. "I switched from one addiction to another, but this one was good for me... but I really let myself get carried away a bit. I ran more than 27 kilometers a day on the treadmill."
"Half in the morning when I got up, before I went to the studio, the other half after I got home," he added. Eminem eventually managed to lose tens of kilograms. After he stopped running due to an injury, he weighed less than 68 kilograms.
8. Great actor and Oscar winner
We learned that Eminem can also be a good actor thanks to his imaginative and original video clips, in which he portrayed countless characters. However, he fully showed his acting talent only in the partially autobiographical feature film 8 Mile (2002). He played the lead character, up-and-coming rapper Jimmy "Rabbit" Smith, in the gritty drama and gave a fantastic performance.
He also wrote arguably his best-known song Lose Yourself for the film, which eventually won him another prestigious award, Oscar for Best Original Song. In one scene of the film, the actual scrap of paper on which Eminem wrote the lyrics to this award-winning song can be seen. As Happy Mag writes, the described paper with the text was later sold on eBay for $10,000.
9. Shooting at a police car
In the movie 8 Mile, you can also find a scene in which Eminem and a group of friends shoot a parked police car with a paintball gun while driving and paint it. According to Clash magazine, the rapper has really done it in the past. While in the film a group of delinquents escaped the police, Eminem was arrested for this incident at the age of twenty. The charges were later dropped, so luckily the provocateur did not go to jail.
10. Homophobic Eminem?
Eminem has never put a napkin in front of his mouth, but in 2018 he overstepped a little, and a wave of criticism rolled on him for the term "faggot", which he used to describe the rapper Tyler Gregory Okonma, who performs under the pseudonym Tyler, the Creator, in the song Fall from the Kamikaze album. According to E! Online, however, Eminem subsequently apologised for the derogatory label.
"In trying to hurt him, I didn't realize that I was going to hurt other people a lot with that expression," Eminem said. According to Zach Stafford, a journalist and former editor-in-chief of The Advocate magazine, the rapper tried to defend the inappropriately chosen term also by saying that he was not alluding to the artist's sexual orientation, but meant it as a classic slur of the type "villain" or "moron", since exactly in this sense was the word used during his teenage years in Detroit.
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