“Started from the bottom” is a phrase many rappers and entertainers use when referring to their rise to fame. However, very few of them embody this as much as the Detroit rapper Eminem.
The Real Slim Shady
Born Marshall Bruce Mathers III (October 17th, 1972), and now called Eminem, he was formerly known as Slim Shady. The multi-award-winning MC has captured the hearts of millions of fans worldwide, rapping in a signature furious style about his life, personal relationships, and struggles. Although he repeatedly bares himself through his brutally honest lyrics, here are a few things you probably don't know about him.
1. He's Had His Share of Bullies
Shady may put up the tough guy persona right now, but it wasn't always the case. When he was nine years old, a bully knocked him out with a heavy object while cornered in the bathroom, and laid him out. The bully left him unconscious in the school bathroom until they found him a few hours later.
He was rushed to a hospital, where he was comatose for ten days. Eminem would have to relearn basic motor skills, and his mother sued his school. He mentions the ordeal several times in his songs, but it takes center stage as he tells a warped version of the events in the song “Brain Damage.”
A Helping Hand
Now, the Detroit rapper uses his songs as a medium to help other children who suffer from bullying or are experiencing some personal struggles. In 2001, his music helped bring a twelve-year-old girl out of a coma.
2. Like Thor, He's Lost Many People He Cares About
The angry blond is no stranger to loss, as he has been through some traumatic experiences in his early life. The death of his close childhood friend, Deshaun Holton, aka Proof, is known by every Stan. Eminem frequently raps about how the death of his best friend made him who he is. However, the demise of the D12 member was not the only time he had to don an all-black attire.
Eminem lost two of his uncles when their took their own lives. Ronnie Polkingharn, whom the rapper mentions in Cleaning out My Closet and Stan, shot himself in the head when he was just 19 years old. Todd Nelson, the man a young Eminem looked up to as a father figure, also took his own life in the same manner in 2004.
Only three years later, Eminem would come to death's door, as he nearly died from a fatal overdose, which resulted in his five-year music hiatus. In 2019, his estranged father suffered a heart attack and passed. While the rapper never met the man, it doesn't take away from the fact that Marshall Mathers has been through the wringer.
3. He Does a Lot More Than Rap
Undoubtedly, Eminem is one of the greatest rappers of all time, with many accolades and awards to his name. However, Shady does a lot more than rap. Before he got into the rap game, he worked as a cook at Gilbert's Lodge but was fired shortly before Christmas. This inspired him to write Rock Bottom. Before then, Em wanted to be a comic book artist.
While he never got around to that, XXL and Marvel comics produced a comic book that starred the rapper and The Punisher together.
Marshall has also worked as a producer and writer for several projects. He produced over a dozen tracks and worked with Dr. Dre, Ed Sheeran, 50 Cent, Jay Z, Yelawolf, and many others. Most Stans and fans are aware of his autobiographical 8 Mile movie. But he also produced the 2017 rap battle movie Bodied, cameoed in The Interview, Funny People, and the seventh season of Entourage.
4. Slim Shady Takes No Defeat
You don't get called the greatest rapper alive by accident. From sneaking into cafeterias to join in on rap battles to the rap Olympics, one thing no one can deny about Marshall is his lyrical prowess. He's gone toe to toe with so many rappers and performers in his two-decade-long career, from subliminal to full-fledged career-ending disses.
Eminem's only notable defeat came at the 2002 rap Olympics. And even that turned into a win for the MC, as his performance won him second place and called the attention of Dr. Dre. He's gotten involved with names like Ja Rule, Will Smith, and Mark Wahlberg, and then, his more recent beef with MGK, Joe Budden, and even Nick Cannon.
In both cases of Nick and The Game, Eminem didn't bother to respond with a track, and the court of public opinion still declared him the winner of both beefs.
5. An Even Greater Inspiration Than Everyone Thinks
There's no question about it, but when you have Eminem on a song, whether or not it's a feature, Eminem absolutely kills it. It's no surprise that this makes all the artists who decide to work with him be on their A game. Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, Big Sean, and many more have alluded that listening to Eminem inspired them into, or better at, their craft.
Forever, one of the greatest songs of all time, featured Ye, Drake, Lil Wayne, and Eminem. Ye and Wayne had already put in their verses but quickly had to take them back for rewrites after hearing Eminem's part. Snoop Dogg also once stated that he couldn't work with Eminem because after hearing his verse on Jay-Z's Renegade, he was sure he would “out-rap” him on any track.
Aside from his direct influence on music, Ed Sheeran said that learning every word of the Marshall Mathers LP helped stop his stuttering as a ten-year-old.
6. He's Actually a Great Family Man – Not Just to Hailie
The chainsaw-swinging rapper often gives off gory vibes and raps on and off about gruesome homicides. Many people have fallen victim to his more violent raps, including his mother, ex-wife, and fans.
But behind the façade, Eminem is a loving family man who has been through his share of difficulties. His relationship with his mother, Debbie Mathers, is the definition of tumultuous, riddled with diss tracks and lawsuits. But alas, Em let go of the resentment and anger that fueled his early years, and now has a great relationship with her.
Kim, Oh Kim
7. He Has Really Weird Tendencies
Slim Shady might have set the stage for several rappers to follow suit, but he's done some crazy things. In The Interview, Eminem comes out to a bewildered James Franco, admitting that he was gay amidst his accusations of homophobia.
It was meant to be a cameo skit, but Eminem never cleared the air on the matter. He also sent diamond cock rings as a wedding gift to Elton John, his close friend, who helped him through his addiction. And he rarely takes perfect selfies with his fans.
Eminem also openly admits to not knowing how to use a computer. Especially with the fact that he often has to Google his own lyrics to double-check that he hasn't repeated a bar. But computers aren't his only bane; the rapper doesn't do much reading too. He confessed that the only book he's read from start to finish is LL Cool J's I Make My Own Rules. The same man, however, studies the dictionary to expand his vocabulary.
8. He Broke His Own Guinness World Record
He is called the rap god, and that's not just for show. Eminem has a lyrical prowess unmatched by anyone in the game, and all who listen to his content admire him. But it's not just the punchlines, delivery, and witty wordplay. His work goes far beyond that.
Eminem has appeared many times in the Guinness Book of World Records, with his first appearance in 2000. While that was for being the fastest-selling rap album, it's been one after the other, with one set in 2018. He set a Guinness world record on the Nicki Minaj song, Majesty, and went on ahead to break it with the 2020 single, Godzilla.
He delivers a monstrous two-hundred and twenty-four words in thirty seconds. But it's not just speed. Eminem is stated to have the highest vocabulary of any rapper, with over eight thousand unique words in his repertoire, besting the likes of Jay Z, Pac, and more. Indeed, all the hours he spends studying the dictionary pay off!
9. His Mind-blowing Improvisation on 8 Mile
The 2002 drama film 8 Mile is one highly critically acclaimed movie. And although lots of people have seen it, few are aware that Eminem wrote the Academy and Grammy Award-winning song, Lose Yourself, while on set. But more impressive is his ability to one-up himself, even when there is no competition.
During the final rap battle scene shoots with Papa Doc (Anthony Mackie), Eminem had to mime his words, so he wouldn't strain his voice. However, after getting a reaction from someone in the crowd, he improvised a new verse off the script. Then, he drew an even bigger reaction from the crowd.
10. He May Be a Murderer With His Rhymes, but He's a Philanthropist in Reality.
Slim Shady and Eminem are alter egos that often show the dark side of the rapper, but Marshall Mathers differs greatly from his onstage personas. While he likes to keep it quiet, Marshall does a lot of charity work, doing his best to give back to society.
He has a foundation called the Marshall Mathers Foundation that focuses on helping Youth in the Detroit area. He has also worked hand in hand with the Elton John's AIDS Foundation. As early as 2004, the foundation donated fifty thousand dollars to Rikers Island Prison for their Fresh Start program, which would allow prisoners to reintegrate into society.
But it's not just large donations he cares about. He does his best to keep in touch with his fans on a personal level, going as far as visiting a fan who was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer and had a week to live. Marshall tries to keep his philanthropic nature away from cameras because it's not about the public image for him. He genuinely wants to help people.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.