Sad Boy Image BiographySource (Google.com.pk)
Eminem, born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, 17 October 1973, Kansas City, Missouri, USA. This white rapper burst onto the US charts in 1999 with a controversial take on the horrorcore genre. Mathers endured an itinerant childhood, living with his mother in various states before eventually ending up in Detroit at the age of 12. He took up rapping in high school before dropping out in ninth grade, joining ad hoc groups Basement Productions, the New Jacks, and D12. The newly named Eminem released a raw debut album in 1997 through independent label FBT. Infinite was poorly received, however, with Eminem earning unfavourable comparisons to leading rappers such as Nas and AZ. His determination to succeed was given a boost by a prominent feature in Source's Unsigned Hype column, and he gained revenge on his former critics when he won the Wake Up Show's Freestyle Performer Of The Year award, and finished runner-up in Los Angeles' annual Rap Olympics. The following year's The Slim Shady EP, named after his sinister alter-ego, featured some vitriolic attacks on his detractors. The stand-out track, "Just Don't Give A fuck", became a highly popular underground hit, and led to guest appearances on MC Shabaam Sahddeq's "Five Star Generals" single and Kid Rock's Devil Without A Cause set. As a result, Eminem was signed to Aftermath Records by label boss Dr. Dre, who adopted the young rapper as his protege and acted as co-producer on Eminem's full-length debut. Dre's beats featured prominently on The Slim Shady LP, a provocative feast of violent, twisted lyrics, with a moral outlook partially redeemed by Eminem's claim to be only "voicing" the thoughts of the Slim Shady character. Parody or no parody, lyrics to tracks such as "97 Bonnie & Clyde" (which contained lines about killing the mother of his child) and frequent verbal outbursts about his mother were held by many, outside even the usual Christian moral majority, to be deeply irresponsible. The album was buoyed by the commercial success of the singles "My Name Is" and "Guilty Conscience" (the former helped by a striking, MTV-friendly video), and climbed to number 2 on the US album chart in March 1999.
Eminem subsequently made high profile appearances on Rawkus Records' Soundbombing Volume 2 compilation and Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott's Da Real World. He was also in the news when his mother filed a lawsuit claiming that comments made by the rapper during interviews and on The Slim Shady LP had caused, amongst other things, emotional distress, damage to her reputation and loss of self-esteem. None of which harmed the sales of Eminem's follow-up album, The Marshall Mathers LP, which debuted at number 1 on the US album chart in May 2000 and established him as the most successful rapper since the mid-90s heyday of 2Pac and Snoop Doggy Dogg. By the end of the year, however, his troubled personal life and a serious assault charge had removed the gloss from his phenomenal commercial success. Despite criticism from gay rights groups, the rapper swept up three Grammy Awards the following February. He also reunited with his D12 colleagues to record the transatlantic chart-topping Devil's Night.
Although he's only been in the public eye since 1999, Marshall Mathers (aka Eminem) has crammed at least a decade's worth of career highs and lows into those few short, high-profile years. The Detroit-based Dr. Dre protégé has invoked the wrath of women and homosexuals with his offensive lyrics; become enemies with Moby, Everlast, Fred Durst, and Christina Aguilera; provided tabloids with plenty of gossip fodder regarding his personal life...and in the process become just about the biggest rock star on the planet. This is because Eminem isn't just about controversy and shock value: This often misunderstood major talent has actually given white rappers genuine credibility in this post-Vanilla Ice age with his string of dynamic hits (both solo and with his side group, D12), his plethora of Grammy nominations, his critically acclaimed film 8 Mile, and his three multiplatinum studio albums, which--once one gets past the hype and hullabaloo that surround them--are some of the most creative, original, and exciting releases of the rap genre (or any musical genre) in the past decade.
Mathers was born into a poor, working-class family on October 17, 1972 in St. Joseph, Missouri, though he spent much of his youth in Detroit, the city he would eventually put on the rap map. Originally taking on the stage name M&M (later changed to its current spelling), at age 14 he became a battle rapper, competing against other Detroit MCs in local clubs. After a short stint with a rap act called New Jacks, in 1995 he made his recording debut with a group called Soul Intent, which introduced him to a rapper named Proof, who appeared on that single's B-side. Eminem and Proof soon started a new group called D12 with four other MCs (Bizarre, Kon Artis, Swift, and Kuniva), while Eminem simultaneously launched his solo career with two independent releases, 1996's Infinite and 1997's The Slim Shady EP, which featured his trademark dark, disturbing, angry lyrics. Eminem drew from his troubled personal life when penning such bleak words: He had just had a daughter with his on/off girlfriend, Kim, with whom he had a very tumultuous relationship; he was estranged from his mother, with whom he also frequently butted heads; he was abusing alcohol and drugs with alarming frequency; and he had attempted suicide on at least one occasion. Though these harrowing experiences provided inspiration for some brilliant if nasty and offensive lyrics, Mathers was at such a low point in his life that it seemed there was nowhere to go but up.
Enter Interscope Records honcho Jimmy Iovine, who--impressed by Eminem's fresh and bold style--approached the struggling rapper after seeing him take second place in the freestyle category at 1997's Rap Olympics. Iovine later played Eminem's demo tape for super-producer and former Death Row Records chief/NWA member Dr. Dre, who immediately liked what he heard, contacted Eminem, and started a fruitful creative partnership with Eminem that exists to this day. (Legend has it that the two recorded Eminem's first big hit single, "My Name Is," within an hour after first meeting each other.) Interscope quickly signed Mathers, and Dre produced his major-label debut album, The Slim Shady LP, which was released in February 1999 to both massive acclaim and derision, eventually going triple-platinum.
Eminem's follow-up, 2000's Marshall Mathers LP, was an even bigger phenomenon, selling almost 2 million copies in its first week of release alone, thus becoming the fastest-selling hip-hop album of all time. However, the album stirred up even more of an uproar than its predecessor, making Mathers the target of much public hatred. Among other conflicts and controversies, the album created a feud with pop princess Christina Aguilera (the single "The Real Slim Shady" alleged that she had performed oral sex on both Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst and MTV's Carson Daly); led his mother to file a defamation lawsuit against him (a judge later dismissed the case); and generated accusations of homophobia and sexism mostly centering around the songs "Kill You" and "Kim" (the latter a rant about the mother of his child, whom he had recently married but would soon divorce, and later reconcile with yet again). But Eminem thrived on the controversy, becoming an even bigger superstar and racking up a surprising number of Grammy nominations in 2001, much to the chagrin of his many outspoken detractors. And he kept people guessing about how much of the Slim Shady "character" was really the real deal, when he performed a duet version of his single "Stan" with the openly gay Elton John at the Grammys ceremony, even warmly hugging Elton onstage. Mathers won three Grammys that night--Best Rap Solo Performance (for "The Real Slim Shady"), Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group (for his work on the Dr. Dre duet "Forgot About Dre"), and Best Rap Album (for The Marshall Mathers LP)--adding to the two statuettes he'd won the previous year for "My Name Is" (Best Rap Solo Performance) and The Slim Shady LP (Best Rap Album).
There seemed no stopping Eminem--not even convictions on weapons and assault charges (stemming from separate incidents involving his estranged wife with another man and rival Detroit rap act Insane Clown Posse). Eminem was sentenced to community service and kept on recording, releasing Devil's Night with old group D12 in 2001 and then The Eminem Show, one of the most critically heralded albums of 2002 and his most personal work yet. He also revealed more of his real-life persona in 8 Mile, a Rocky-style feelgood flick lensed by L.A. Confidential/Wonder Boys director Curtis Hanson that presented a sort of cleaned-up version of Eminem's rags-to-riches life story. Eminem put on such an impressive performance in the film that there was actually speculation that he would receive a Best Actor nomination at the Oscars in 2003.
While Eminem may have seemed like a novelty act at first--with his shocking, four-letter lyrics, cartoonish bad-boy image, and, of course, pale skin color (a real anomaly in hip-hop)--he has since established himself as one of the most important artists of his time and a true force to be reckoned with, continuing to cross both color boundaries and genre boundaries with his edgy, rock-tinged raps. With his turbulent personal life, powder-keg temper, and tendency to tangle with the law, it is still uncertain how long his career will last before he burns out, but it's already obvious that his music had made history and will long outlast any controversy that dogs him.