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24 Facts: Eminem

2009-06-01 16:38
Eminem aka Marshall Mathers
Eminem's just released Relapse, and Speakerbox says: "A lawsuit waiting to happen, Eminem’s latest Relapse will offend nearly everyone in Tinseltown, but does that translate into happy fans?"
Read the review and hear song clips

And now, let the facts begin

1. Eminem has three aliases: Eminem, The Slim Shady, and his original teenage stage name, which was M&M. HIs real name is Marshall Mathers. 

2. Shortly after his birth to mother Deborah Mathers-Briggs, Eminem's father abandoned his family. Bet he's sorry now...

3. Emimem and his mom struggled economically and moved a lot after leaving his birth town of St Joseph, Missouri, before settling in Detroit.

4. Marshall first became inspired to rap when he discovered fellow-wiggas The Beastie Boys' 1986 classic album, Licensed to Ill, and competed in freestyle rap battles at a high school nearby.

5. He may have been slim, but the soon to be Slim Shady wasn't a good student. He was made to repeat the ninth grade due to truancy, and dropped out of high school at age 17.

6. However unlike most school leavers, Mathers already had a job and was signed to a record label.

7. While still at school, Eminem also got together with Kim Scott, with whom he had a daughter called Hailie Jade and later married (for the first time).

8. Eminem drew criticism from the gay community (including musicians) for "homophobic" lyrics, and defended himself by saying he was speaking in character, not from his own perspective.

9. Eminem's name backwards very nearly spells (and is an anagram of) "MenInMe". At what point, we wonder, did he realise this?

10. Proudly gay megastar Elton John slammed the reaction to Eminem's work, saying that those who misunderstood it as his personal homophobia had missed the point, and performed with the Mathers at the 2001 Grammys to demonstrate his support.

11. Eminem has been sued by both his mother and by Kimberly Scott, for divorce (Kim), defamation (Kim) and slander (Mom). He's also been charged with assault by a bouncer he saw kissing his wife.

12. 1999's Slim Shady EP was partly co-produced with Dr Dre, who became Eminem's most regular collaborator and features as producer on Relapse (2009). The record went platinum and was one of the year's top sellers, and generated controversy because of its lyrics about femicide.

13. Eminem was the first whitey to make the cover of The Source magazine, after the release of The Marshall Mathers LP in 2000. He was also praised by Q and Rolling Stone. But in 2002, the new editor Benzino (a failed rapper, actually named Raymond Scott) called Eminem a "culture stealer".

The Marshall Mathers LP sold over 1.76 million in its first week, beating Britney Spears' ...Baby One More Time as the fastest-selling solo album in North America.

15. In 2002, Eminem released The Eminem Show, which reflected on life, fame and family. Although he didn't piss off gays and women as much this time round, he swore - a lot.

16. Leo Brent Bozell III (his real name!) - founder and president of the US Media Research Centre as well as the Conservative Communications Centre, nicknamed  Eminem "Eminef" because of all the foul language on The Eminem Show.

17. During a 2009 interview with a female Rolling Stone correspondent, Eminem claimed his favourite snacks were "Smarties, and whatever you got for me, Shorty".

18. The lyrics for a B-Side called "We As Americans" lead to an American SS investigation. To quote:
"Fuck money / I don't rap for dead presidents / I'd rather see the president dead / It's never been said, but I set precedents..." - sounds like them SS guys missed the wordplay.

19. The list of fellow-musicians that Eminem's pissed off by making fun of or insulting includes: Michael Jackson (various mockeries), Xtina (claimed she gave head to Fred Durst and Carson Daly), Limp Bizkit (because), and (early in his career), an outfit named Insane Clown Posse (it's complicated). Recently, Sasha Baron Cohen got him back, when he - accidentally or not - ended up with his ass in Eminem's face at the MTV Movie Awards.

20. Marilyn Manson, who's releasing at the same time as Eminem releases Relapse (2009), was the subject of parody in the Eminem Show  track "My Name Is", but Manson took the teasing well and the two remained friendly.

21. Marshall Mathers is not a fan of George W. Bush Jr. His 2004 video "Mosh", released a week before the U.S. Presidential election, featured the lyrics "fuck Bush" and "this weapon of mass destruction that we call our president".

22. 2004's Encore, which made fun of Michael Jacko's trial, bankruptcy and other misfortunes prompted standup comedian Steve Harvey to declare that Eminem had "lost his ghetto pass", and call for him to return it.

23. With the release of Curtain Call (a hits collection), Eminem fed rumours that he was ending his career, before entering rehab for dependency on "sleep medication". This was his second rehab - in 2002 he was treated for alcoholism and drug dependency.

24. Relapse (2009) has already generated two hits, "Crack a Bottle" and "We Made You".

(We will reveal which fact was false in Friday's Channel24 newsletter. Sign up for that here - it's free. No catch, no spam. Promise. Please feel free to post your guesses on the message board below.)


Wondering why Marshall matters? Read our 24 facts and see. And to help you concentrate, we've included one false fact. See if you can spot it, sports fans!
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