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Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), known professionally as Eminem (often stylized as EMINƎM), is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, record executive, and actor.
Eminem is the best-selling artist of the 2000s in the United States. Throughout his career, he has had 10 number-one albums on the Billboard 200 and five number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. With more than 47.4 million albums and 107.5 million singles sold in the US and 220 million records globally, he is among the world's best-selling artists of all time and is consistently cited as one of the greatest and most influential artists in any genre. He is the only artist to have eight albums consecutively debut at number one on the Billboard 200. Rolling Stone ranked him 83rd on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, calling him "King of Hip-Hop".
After his debut album Infinite (1996) and then Slim Shady EP (1997), Eminem signed with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment and subsequently achieved mainstream popularity in 1999 with [album artist= Eminem The Slim Shady LP[/album], which earned him his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. His next two releases, 2000's The Marshall Mathers LPand 2002's The Eminem Show, were worldwide successes, with each being certified diamond in U.S. sales and both winning Best Rap Album Grammy Awards—making Eminem the first artist to win the award for three consecutive LPs. They were followed by Encore in 2004, another critical and commercial success. Eminem went on hiatus after touring in 2005, releasing Relapse in 2009 and Recovery in 2010. Both won Grammy Awards and Recovery was the best-selling album of 2010 worldwide, the second time he had the international best-selling album of the year (after The Eminem Show). Eminem's eighth album, 2013's The Marshall Mathers LP 2, won two Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Album; it expanded his record for the most wins in that category and his Grammy total to 15. In 2017, he released his ninth studio album, Revival. On August 31, 2018, Eminem released his tenth studio album, Kamikaze, to streaming services Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon Music.
In addition to his solo career, Eminem is an original member of the Midwest hip hop groups Soul Intent and D12. He is also known for his collaborations with fellow Detroit-based rapper Royce da 5'9"; the two are collectively known as Bad Meets Evil. Eminem has developed other ventures, including Shady Records, with manager Paul Rosenberg, which helped launch the careers of artists such as 50 Cent. Eminem has also established his own channel, Shade 45, on Sirius XM Radio. In November 2002, he starred in the hip hop film 8 Mile, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Lose Yourself", becoming the first rap artist to ever win the award. Eminem has made cameo appearances in the films The Wash (2001), Funny People (2009), and The Interview (2014), and the television series Entourage (2010).
Marshall Bruce Mathers III was born on October 17, 1972, in St. Joseph, Missouri, the only child of Marshall Bruce Mathers Jr. and Deborah Rae "Debbie" Nelson. His mother nearly died during her 73-hour labor with him. Eminem's parents were in a band called Daddy Warbucks, playing in Ramada Inns along the Dakotas–Montana border before their separation. Bruce left the family, moving to California and having two other children: Michael and Sarah. Debbie later had son Nathan "Nate" Kane Samara. During his childhood, Eminem and Debbie shuttled between Michigan and Missouri, rarely staying in one house for more than a year or two and living primarily with family members. In Missouri, they lived in several places, including St. Joseph, Savannah, and Kansas City.
Eminem uses alter egos in his songs for different rapping styles and subject matter. His best-known alter ego, Slim Shady, first appeared on the Slim Shady EP. In this persona his songs are violent and dark, with a comic twist. Eminem downplayed Slim Shady on Recovery because he felt it did not fit the album's theme.
As a white performer prominent in a genre influenced by black artists, Eminem has been compared, much to his chagrin, to Elvis Presley, and as a lyricist and as aforementioned to Bob Dylan. Rapper Asher Roth has been compared to Eminem, and Roth devoted a song on his album ("As I Em") to him, which he took offense to. The accomplished trumpeter Nicholas Payton has called Eminem "the Bix Beiderbecke of hip hop".
Coming up from Detroit's rap battle scene, Eminem proved he could withstand the test of time to become one of the greatest and best-selling artists in hip-hop. The lackluster debut of Infinite in 1996 ignited his Slim Shady violent persona, whom Em debuted in Slim Shady EP in 1997. Somehow, Dr. Dre got a copy of the EP, and well, the rest is history. Since then, many other great rappers have listed Eminem as one of their influences while growing up. From Detroit's very own Big Sean to Compton's finest Kendrick Lamar, here's how Eminem influenced the style of some of these rappers.
Coming from the Motor City of Detroit, Big Sean grew up with Eminem's The Slim Shady LP tape. The two ended up collaborating several times, including in Detroit's posse cut "Detroit vs. Everybody" from Shady XV album.
"He’s the biggest rapper of all time," the rapper told Tim Westwood of Capital Xtra, citing the album as one of his childhood favorites. “If you just look at the numbers. You can imagine what that’s like coming up in Detroit and looking up to that."
North Carolina rapper B.o.B rose to stardom in the early 2010s after his Bruno Mars-supported single "Nothin' on You" scored a massive commercial success. He's also won an Eminem feature in "Airplanes" from The Adventures of Bobby Ray debut album.
"I grew up listening to Eminem, so to be able to work and get advice on your music from him is a dream come true," he told MTV.
Tyler, The Creator:
While the two had exchanged some not-so-nice words about each other between 2017 and 2018, one of Tyler the Creator's favorite albums of all time is Eminem's 2009 Relapse. The drug-fueled and heavy-accented album plays a serial killer role, which Tyler's early works were heavily influenced by. Some of his favorite songs from the horrorcore album were "Stay Wide Awake," "Deja Vu," "Underground," and "Hello."
Logic hailed Eminem as one of his all-time favorites, but it wasn't until 2019 that they finally linked up. The two collaborated for "Homicide" from Logic's Confession of a Dangerous Mind album.
"Em, if you’re reading this I want you to know how much I love and appreciate you. I’ll never forget the experience and I’m more than happy and ecstatic to now call you my homie!," the rapper took to social media to detail his encounter with the Rap God.
The late Mac Miller grew up with the angst and explosive anger of The Marshall Mathers LP, but it wasn't until he turned 15 or 16 that he finally realized the genius of Em.
"I think people assume that that was how I got into rap, by the way of like Marshall Mathers LP. Had some good moments with that when I was younger," The Divine Feminine rapper told Mass Appeal's Time Alone.
If there's something that Eminem and XXXTentacion have shared in common, is that the two are bravely candid about their struggle with substance abuse in their early works. In fact, when the train of hate started coming towards Em in 2017 for "Walk on Water" from Revival, X is one of the few people who defended the single.
Coming up from the rap battle scene, Eminem's freestyling ability should not be put in question. The late Juice WRLD did an hour non-stop freestyle over Eminem's classic beats at Tim Westwood. The two ended up collaborating for Juice's first-ever posthumous feature, "Godzilla," from Eminem's Music to Be Murdered By album in 2020.
"That kid was so talented," Eminem showed the late some love during a rare chat on King Crookxd's Crooked Corner interview series. "To be so young, he mastered that so f—ing quickly. His potential was so off the charts."
Over the years, Eminem and Nicki Minaj have shared a unique timeline of friendship and name-dropped each other in their respective crafts. Both are fans of each other's works, with Nicki Minaj listing Em as one of her all-time favorites.
"As a fan of rap, I think I would say the people that have influenced me the most with the way I rap, that would definitely be Lil Wayne, JAY-Z, Foxy Brown, Eminem," she told XXL.
J. Cole always shows love for Eminem. Interestingly, he also cited rap veteran Canibus, one of Eminem's early nemesis, as another inspiration. His favorite album was The Marshall Mathers LP.
"I have people's raps on my wall, but his raps and then Canibus' raps were the only ones that could get close to the bedspread," he told DJ Whoo Kid in an interview.
Just like Eminem back in the late 1990s, in the early 2010s, Kendrick Lamar also signed to Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment label. In fact, this trio link-up is what propelled "Kung Fu Kenny's" career to the next level.
The "King Kunta" rapper spoke highly of Eminem and often called him one of his favorites. Em's aggressiveness in The Marshall Mathers LP influenced Lamar's hard-hitting and determined approach in his early works, especially in his 2013 verse in Big Sean's cut "Control". Read more on Last.fm
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