Eminem is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, and actor. In addition to his solo career, he is a member of D12, and with Royce da 5’9″ is one half of the hip-hop duo Bad Meets Evil. Eminem is the best-selling artist of the 2000s in the United States.
Let’s find out some interesting facts about him!
1. Marshall Bruce Mathers III was born October 17, 1972 in St. Joseph, Missouri.
2. He is the only child of Marshall Bruce Mathers, Jr. and Deborah Rae “Debbie” Nelson.
3. He is of English, German, Scottish, and Swiss descent.
4. Debbie was 14 when she met 18-year-old Bruce.
5. At age 17, she nearly died during her 73-hour labor.
6. Eminem’s parents were in a band called Daddy Warbucks, playing in Ramada Inns along the Dakotas-Montana border before their separation
7. Bruce left the family, moving to California and having two other children: Michael and Sarah.
8. Debbie later had a son, Nathan Kane Samara, born February 3, 1986 also known as Nate.
9. During his childhood Eminem and Debbie shuttled between Missouri and Michigan, rarely staying in one house for more than a year or two and living primarily with family members.
10. In Missouri, they lived in several places, including Saint Joseph, Savannah, and Kansas City.
11. As a teenager, Eminem wrote letters to his father; according to Debbie, all came back marked “return to sender”.
12. Friends and family remember Eminem as a happy child, but “a bit of a loner” who was often bullied.
13. One bully, De’Angelo Bailey, severely injured Eminem in the head.
14. Debbie Nelson filed a lawsuit against the school in 1982, which was dismissed the following year.
16. Eminem spent much of his youth in a lower-middle-class, primarily black Detroit neighborhood.
17. He and Debbie were one of three white households on their block, and Eminem was beaten by black youths several times.
18. As a child he was interested in storytelling, aspiring to be a comic-book artist before discovering hip hop.
19. Eminem heard his first rap song (“Reckless”, featuring Ice-T) on the Breakin’ soundtrack, a gift from Debbie’s half-brother Ronnie Polkinghorn, who later became a music mentor to him.
20. When Polkinghorn committed suicide in 1991, Eminem stopped speaking for days and did not attend his funeral.
21. Eminem’s home life was seldom stable.
22. He frequently fought with his mother, whom a social worker described as having a “very suspicious, almost paranoid personality”.
23. When her son became famous, Debbie bristled at suggestions that she was a less-than-ideal mother contending that she sheltered him and was responsible for his success.
24. In 1987, Debbie allowed runaway Kimberly Ann “Kim” Scott to stay at their home.
25. Several years later, Eminem began an on-and-off relationship with Scott.
26. After spending three years in ninth grade due to truancy and poor grades, he dropped out of Lincoln High School at age 17.
27. Although he was interested in English, he never explored literature (preferring comic books) and disliked math and social studies.
28. Eminem worked at several jobs to help his mother pay the bills, later maintaining that she often threw him out of the house anyway.
29. When she left to play bingo, he would blast the stereo and write songs.
30. At age 14, he began rapping with high-school friend Mike Ruby.
31. They adopted the names “Manix” and “M&M”, the latter of which evolved into “Eminem”.
32. Eminem snuck into neighboring Osborn High School with friend and fellow rapper Proof for lunchroom freestyle rap battles.
33. On Saturdays they attended open-mic contests at the Hip-Hop Shop on West 7 Mile, considered ground-zero for the Detroit rap scene.
34. Struggling to succeed in a predominantly black industry, Eminem was appreciated by underground hip hop audiences.
35. When he wrote verses, he wanted most of the words to rhyme. He wrote long words or phrases on paper and, underneath, worked on rhymes for each syllable.
36. Although the words often made little sense, the drill helped Eminem practice sounds and rhymes.
37. As Eminem’s reputation grew, he was recruited by several rap groups; the first was the New Jacks.
38. After they disbanded he joined Soul Intent, who released a single on their 1995 self-titled EP featuring Proof.
39. Eminem and Proof then teamed up with four other rappers to form The Dirty Dozen (D12), who released their first album Devil’s Night in 2001.
40. Eminem had his first run-in with the law at age 20, when he was arrested for his involvement in a drive-by shooting with a paintball gun. The case was dismissed when the victim did not appear in court.
41. Eminem attracted more attention when he developed Slim Shady, a sadistic, violent alter ego.
42. The character allowed him to express his anger with lyrics about drugs, rape, and murder.
43. In the spring of 1997 he recorded his debut EP, the Slim Shady EP, which was released that winter by Web Entertainment.
44. The EP, with frequent references to drug use, sexual acts, mental instability and violence, also explored the more-serious themes of dealing with poverty and marital and family difficulties and revealed his direct, self-deprecating response to criticism.
45. Eminem released The Slim Shady LP in February 1999.
46. Although it was one of the year’s most popular albums (certified triple platinum by the end of the year), he was accused of imitating the style and subject matter of underground rapper Cage.
47. The album’s popularity was accompanied by controversy over its lyrics; in “’97 Bonnie and Clyde” Eminem describes a trip with his infant daughter when he disposes of his wife’s body, and in “Guilty Conscience” which encourages a man to murder his wife and her lover.
48. Guilty Conscience marked the beginning of a friendship and musical bond between Dr. Dre and Eminem.
49. Eminem has been scrutinized, as a rapper and personally.
50. The rapper was married twice to Kimberly Anne “Kim” Scott. He met Kim in high school; he was 15 and she was 13 when he stood on a table with his shirt off rapping LL Cool J’s “I’m Bad”.
51. Kim and her twin sister, Dawn, had run away from home. They moved in with Eminem and his mother when he was 15, and he began an on-and-off relationship with Kim in 1989.
52. Their daughter, Hailie, was born on December 25, 1995. They married in 1999, divorcing in 2001.
53. Although Eminem told Rolling Stone in 2002, “I would rather have a baby through my penis than get married again”, he and Kim briefly remarried in January 2006.
54. He filed for divorce in early April, agreeing to joint custody of Hailie.
55. He has also adopted Alaina, Dawn’s daughter and Whitney, Kim’s daughter from another relationship.
56. In early 2010, Eminem denied tabloid reports that he and Kim had reconciled.
57. He had legal custody of his younger half-brother, Nathan who is also a rapper and is known by his stage name “Nate Kane”.
58. In his 2014 song “Headlights”, Eminem apologized to, and reiterated his love for, his mother.
59. Eminem lied to his baby’s momma, Kim, and said they were going to Chuck E. Cheese in order to record Hailie’s (his daughter) part for the song “’97 Bonnie & Clyde.”
60. He was shot while walking to Kim’s house as a teenager.
61. When Eminem wanted to get clean he called Elton John who then helped him for 18 months to kick his addiction to Vicodin, Ambien and other prescription drugs.
62. Eminem’s song ‘Rap God’ is in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most words in a song (1,560 words in 6:04 minutes at an average of 4.28 words per second).
63. D’Angelo Bailey, who was working as a janitor, sued Eminem for $1 million, claiming that “Brain Damage” hurt his reputation.
64. If you want to be signed to ‘Shady Records’, you have to battle Eminem.
65. Eminem made it to 3rd place on NME‘s ‘Cool List’ in the November 2004 issue.
66. Eminem made an unsigned album before “The Slim Shady LP”, titled “Infinite”. It only sold about 1,000 copies.
67. He wrote the hook for “Just Lose It” in 30 seconds
68. He was still making payments on his trailer home when The Slim Shady LP dropped.
69. Eminem paid $100,000 to settle alleged assault charges to John Guerra after he kissed Eminem’s then wife Kimberley.
70. Eminem claims he had a relationship with Mariah Carey back in 2001. But she denies it.
71. Eminem refused to sing at the Oscars because they wanted him to sing the clean version of ‘Lose Yourself’.
72. He has said that after listening to “My Name Is” and “The Real Slim Shady” a few times, they became “cheesy.”
73. Eminem once took so much Methadone, doctors informed him that he had taken the equivalent of four bags of heroin, and was “about two hours from dying.”
74. Eminem used the word “Nigga” only once in his song Criminal, but he decided to censor it.
75. Eminem was offered the lead role in the 2013 sci-fi movie, Elysium. He was interested but he turned it down due to one major condition not being met: Elysium would have to be shot in his hometown, Detroit.
76. The only book he has read in full is LL Cool J’s ‘I Make My Own Rules’.