Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), better known by his stage name Eminem or Slim Shady, is a Grammy and Academy Award-winning American rapper, record producer and occasional actor.
He was born in Saint Joseph, Missouri, and was raised in Warren, Michigan and relocated to Detroit, Michigan around the East 8 Mile Rd. & Schoenherr intersection, the same neighborhood where he met his best friend Proof. Mathers got his big break when his talents were discovered by pioneer rapper and producer Dr. Dre, who signed him to his Aftermath Entertainment label, becoming a crossover sensation with his debut single "My Name Is" and simultaneously earning respect for his technical and lyrical ability.
Eminem is noted for his ability to change his vocal pace and style multiple times within one song without losing the beat, and has been praised for his skill in alliteration and assonance; Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney has praised Mathers for his "verbal energy" and for arousing popular interest in poetry and lyrics. Mathers is also infamous for the controversy surrounding many of his lyrics. With the enormous success of his highly acclaimed album The Marshall Mathers LP and its subsequent nomination for four Grammy awards including Album of the Year, critics such as GLAAD denounced his lyrics as homophobic and misogynist, while others protested that it promoted violence.
The most recent release from Aftermath was a greatest hits album from Eminem called Curtain Call: The Hits in 2005, a compilation covering many of his previous commercial hit songs, in addition to three new tracks. Mathers has stated that he is taking a break from solo work, but continues to produce and collaborate with fellow Aftermath artists as well as G-Unit artists and rappers under his Shady Records label.
In 2003 Eminem was named the second most powerful celebrity on the planet. Most recently, on December 5, 2006, Shady Records released Eminem Presents The Re-Up, an album compiled in mixtape format that features Shady Records artist. Having sold over 70 million albums, he's the best selling music artist of the decade so far and also the most commercially successful hip hop artist in history.
By most accounts, the Mathers family was poor. They moved constantly, during which Marshall and his mother often lived in public housing, mobile homes, and under the care of relatives. From time to time they also lived in their car, and in fact this is where Eminem's little brother Nathan Samra-Mathers, was born. During this time, Debbie Mathers was taking the prescription medications Vicodin and Valium; Marshall Mathers later claimed in numerous interviews and songs that his mother was abusing the drugs, to which she retaliated with a lawsuit pressing defamation charges (see below). In the song "Cleaning Out My Closet" (The Eminem Show, 2002), Mathers also accuses his mother of having Munchausen Syndrome, "made to believe I was sick when I wasn't." This was not the first time someone had suggested she had the disorder; a social worker had made similar comments in 1996. Marshall's uncle Ronald "Ronnie" Polkingharn, who was born three months before him on July 27, 1972, introduced Mathers to hip-hop and the two were best friends. On December 14, 1991, 19-year-old Polkingharn committed suicide, an event which Mathers has said was devastating to him and to his entire extended family. Ronnie Nelson's older brother Steven suffered a stroke as a result of the stress. Mathers was so distraught he abandoned his musical career for a year. References to Ronnie's death appear in several songs, including "Stan," "Cleaning Out My Closet," "Mockingbird," "How Come," (by D12) and "My Dad's Gone Crazy." Mathers has a tattoo on his upper left arm that says "Ronnie R.I.P."
Before dropping out of Lincoln High School in Warren at the age of 17 after failing ninth grade three times, Mathers made a number of significant acquaintances at the school, including Evan Perks, a three-time chess champion who was shot in a drive by, the late rapper Proof, who was to become one of his closest friends, and future wife Kimberly Ann "Kim" Scott, with whom he soon developed a long-term relationship. When she became pregnant, Mathers started working on getting a record deal to support his new family; he discusses this in "Never 2 Far" (Infinite, 1996), saying "I got a baby on the way, I don't even got a car.... I still stay with my moms.... We gotta make some hit records or something [because] I'm tired of being broke." When the Infinite album failed to generate the revenue and acclaim he had hoped for, she ended their relationship, preventing him from seeing his newborn child, a daughter named Hailie Jade Scott (born December 25, 1995); distraught, he attempted suicide with an overdose of Tylenol. After the attempt failed, he resumed his efforts to succeed in the music industry and reconcile with his ex-girlfriend.(Linda Swanna) He ultimately succeeded in doing both, marrying her on June 14, 1999, in Saint Joseph, Missouri. Mathers would go on to mention his daughter extensively in some of his songs, including "'97 Bonnie & Clyde" (The Slim Shady LP, 1999), which takes the form of a one-sided dialogue with Hailie, as well as "Hailie's Song" (The Eminem Show, 2002), "Mockingbird" (‘‘Encore’’, 2004), and "When I'm Gone" (Curtain Call: The Hits, 2005), all of which are proclamations of his love and dedication to her. In addition, he samples her voice in the track "My Dad's Gone Crazy" (The Eminem Show, 2002).
Father of Hailie Jade
Hailie Jade Scott Mathers later changed to Hailie Jade Mathers born December 25, 1995, is the daughter of Marshall Bruce Mathers III (Eminem), a successful rapper, and his two time ex wife Kimberly Anne Scott. Her full name is Hailie Jade Scott. Her last name is Scott because when she was born Kim had full custody of her. The songs "Mockingbird" on Eminem's album Encore and "Hailie's Song" on The Eminem Show are dedicated to Hailie. The Slim Shady LP is also dedicated to her.
Eminem has two tattoo's dedicated to Hailie. One is on his upper right arm which is a portrait of her. The other one is on his lower right arm that says Hailie Jade. "Hailie's Song" involves a sample of Hailie's laugh in the second verse.
Hailie went to the premiere of 8 Mile with Eminem last year
Eminem wrote "Hailie's Song" so he could keep it in the vault for Hailie to hear when she gets older. That changed when he ended up playing it for Hailie and she really liked it. He said he was a little embarrassed to put it out at first.
Hailie joined her father personally in the hook for "My Dad's Gone Crazy" on the album The Eminem Show.
She also features prominently as a character in a number of his other songs, most notably in "'97 Bonnie & Clyde" on The Slim Shady LP, which is a fictional account of Eminem dumping Kim's dead body into a lake, accompanied by Hailie. She is also referenced in Eminem's 2005 single "When I'm Gone, aswell as Lose Yourself and Forgot About Dre."
Hailie is now 11 years old and is still living with Eminem.
Eminem has repeatedly stated she is the most important person in his life. The "Mockingbird" music video appears to feature home movies of Halie Jade and her cousin, Alaina (referred to as Lainy in the song). The more recent videos have the faces of the girls edited out. Alaina has recently been adopted by Eminem and is now legally Hailie Jade's sister. Hailie also has a half sister named Whitney, whom her mother Kim Mathers concieved after her first divorce from rapper Eminem.
Hailie has never met her grandmother. Kim told Eminem to send Hailie to stage school, but he refused because he thinks a normal education is important for Hailie. Eminem makes clean versions of his songs just for Hailie. Hailie has a half younger sister named Whitney who was born last year. Em built a home studio just so he could be at home with Hailie when he's working. Hailie is very close friends with Chloe Greenfield, who played Lilly in 8 Mile. Eminem picks Hailie up from school every day. Hailie's favorite TV shows are Power Puff Girls, Hey Arnold, and Dora the Explorer.
Interested in rap from a young age, Eminem began performing as early as 13, later gaining some popularity with the group Soul Intent. In 1996, he released an independent underground album named Infinite The album received no airplay and a mixed critical response, with people claiming Eminem's rapping style sounded too similar to Nas and AZ. It was after this that drugs, drama and negativity spread in his life. Mathers followed Infinite with The Slim Shady EP demo, which saw his lyrics take a decidedly darker turn, in songs like "No One's Iller" and "Murder Murder", the latter in which he talks about having to commit crimes to feed his daughter. He became famous in the hip-hop underground because of his distinctive, cartoonish style and the fact that he was white in a predominantly black genre. Fellow rapper Snoop Dogg refers to him as rap's "great white American hope" in the song "Bitch Please II" on Eminem's Marshall Mathers LP.
Eminem had done a notable amount of work with fellow Detroit MC Royce da 5'9" early in his career. They referred to themselves as Bad Meets Evil, with Eminem playing the evil and Royce playing the bad in the song of the same name on The Slim Shady LP. Royce da 5'9" and Eminem were considered to be two of the best underground MCs in Detroit and were both respected for their battling skills. The Jay-Z song "Renagade" uses Eminem's verses from a song originally done with Royce called "Renegade". The song's first verse ends with the words, "Royce, he's the king of Detroit..." which was replaced with Eminem making beat box noises for Jay-Z's "Renagade" (note that the two songs are spelled slightly differently). Eminem makes a reference to Jay-Z using his verses in a song when he claims "Go bring Jay-Z, tell him I'm a ghost-write for him on Dre's beats" from "Stir Crazy" that he recorded with The Madd Rapper.
While the two were great friends and had mutual respect for one another both personally and musically, they eventually had a falling out. Royce later had an altercation with D12 and made numerous songs defaming and disrespecting the group; however, very few lines were aimed at Eminem himself, none of which were direct attacks. The relationship between the two is unknown at the moment but no talks of a collaboration have surfaced. Recent rumors suggest that the argument was subdued prior to Proof's death.
It is said that rap artist and producer Dr. Dre found Mathers' demo on Interscope Records president Jimmy Iovine's garage floor. While this did not directly lead to a recording contract, Dr. Dre agreed to sign Mathers when he won second place versus Otherwize, (some sources say it was, in fact, MC Juice who defeated him, but this was at Scribble Jam) at the 1997 Rap Olympics freestyle battle. Other sources state that an executive at the offices of Interscope handed the demo to Iovine who passed it to Dre, which resulted in a contract.
At Aftermath/Interscope, Mathers released The Slim Shady LP, which went on to be one of the most popular albums of 1999, going triple platinum by the end of the year. It moved nearly 1.5 million units in its opening week. With the album's enormous popularity came controversy surrounding many of the album's lyrics. In "'97 Bonnie and Clyde", he describes a trip with his infant daughter, disposing of the body of his wife. Another song, "Guilty Conscience," ends with him encouraging a man to murder his wife and her lover. "Guilty Conscience" also marked the beginning of the powerful friendship and musical bond that Dr. Dre and Eminem would share. The two label-mates would later collaborate on a line of hit songs, including "Forgot About Dre" and "What's The Difference" from Dr. Dre's highly acclaimed album 2001.
The Marshall Mathers LP was released in May 2000, quickly selling two million copies. It was the fastest selling rap album of all time. The first single released from the album, the hit: The Real Slim Shady, was a huge hit, thanks in part to the catchy rhythm and chorus line, "Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?" (adapted from the catch phrase of the TV quiz show To Tell the Truth). It also created some buzz by insulting celebrities and making dubious claims about them; he implies, among other things, that Christina Aguilera performed oral sex on Fred Durst (of Limp Bizkit) and Carson Daly (of MTV's Total Request Live). "The Real Slim Shady" is widely considered to be Eminem's "signature" and best commercial single. In his second single, "The Way I Am," he reveals to his fans the pressures from his record company to top "My Name Is" and sell more records, and dismisses the alleged controversial link between music such as that of Marilyn Manson and shootings such as Columbine High School as absurd, instead blaming the parents. In the third single, "Stan" (which samples Dido's "Thank you"), Eminem attempts to deal with his new-found fame, taking on the perspective of a deranged fan who kills himself and his pregnant girlfriend, mirroring "'97 Bonnie & Clyde" on The Slim Shady LP. To this date, "The Marshall Mathers LP" is widely considered to be Eminem's greatest achievement, and a hip-hop classic.
Mathers' third major album, The Eminem Show, was released in summer 2002 and proved to be another smash hit for the rapper shooting to number one on the charts and selling well over 1 million copies in its first week of release. It featured the single "Without Me", an apparent sequel to "The Real Slim Shady", in which he makes derogatory comments about boy bands, Limp Bizkit, Moby, and Lynne Cheney, among others. The album reflected on the impact of his rise to fame, his relationship with his wife and daughter, and his status in the hip-hop community. He also addresses the charges he faced over assaulting a bouncer he saw kissing his wife in 2000. While there is clear anger present on several tracks, this album was considerably less inflammatory than the previous, and as such did not face any protests of misogyny and homophobia that had plagued The Marshall Mathers LP.
2004 saw the release of Mathers' fourth major album, Encore. The album was another chart-topper for the rapper, driven by the formulaic single "Just Lose It", notable for its lampooning of Michael Jackson. Despite the comedic theme of the lead single, Encore also had its fair share of serious subject matter, including the poignant anti-war track "Mosh". By the end of 2005 Mathers was back with a new single, "When I'm Gone", recorded for the greatest-hits set Curtain Call: The Hits.
Mathers was no stranger to drugs and alcohol, as suggested by a large number of his songs, including the acclaimed "Drug Ballad", "These drugs" (with D12) and "Under the Influence." The song "I'm Shady" (The Slim Shady LP, 1999) includes the explanatory line "well, I do take pills (ecstasy or prescription drugs), don't do speed / don't do crack, don't do coke / I do smoke weed / don't do smack / I do do shrooms, do drink beer / I just wanna make a few things clear." Other tracks do suggest cocaine use, although he has never been in a law enforcement incident involving drugs. However, with the sentence of two years of probation taking effect in 2001, during which he was subject to mandatory regular drug testing, his recreational drug use was put to an end. This fact is supported with references to his drug use in his music, which all but disappeared after 2001, and comments by late band mate Proof, who states that Mathers "sobered up". However, with rising pressures and workload in his professional career, he found it difficult to get the rest he wanted, and turned to Zolpidem sleeping pills for relief. His use of the drug eventually became so severe, that in August 2005, he cancelled the European leg of his ongoing tour, and checked into a drug rehabilitation clinic for treatment.
Remarriage and second divorce
Mathers remarried Kim on January 14, 2006 in Michigan. His best man was longtime friend and D12 member Proof (who was shot to death in a Detroit night club three months later), while Kim's maid of honor was their daughter Hailie. They walked down the aisle to Mathers' song "Mockingbird." Guests at the wedding included the other members of D12, as well as the members of G-Unit. Kim's mother attended the wedding, while Mathers' mother did not. However, less than 11 weeks after remarrying Kim, he filed for divorce at the Macomb County clerk's office, citing "a breakdown in the marriage relationship," (which, in Michigan, is the only reason one can give for cause of divorce.) On April 5, 2006, the news was leaked to the Detroit Free Press and MTV's Total Request Live.
In 2005, some industry insiders speculated that Mathers was considering ending his rapping career after six years and several multi-platinum albums. Speculation began in early 2005 about a double-disc album to be released late that year, rumored to be titled The Funeral. The album manifested itself under the name Curtain Call: The Hits, and was released on December 6, 2005 under Aftermath Entertainment.
In July 2005, the Detroit Free Press broke news of a potential final bow for Mathers as a solo performer, quoting members of his inside circle who said that he will begin to fully embrace the role of producer and label executive. The Free Press, Mathers' hometown paper, wrote that the aptly titled Encore album would now stand as his final solo album.
Mathers announced via MTV News that he does not plan on retiring soon, though he is planning on taking a break to produce music. He is still uncertain whether another album will be released, but his career has not come to a full stop. He is continuing to work out of the spotlight, including producing the Redman album Red Gone Wild.
At "Anger Management" in Madison Square Garden and Atlanta's HiFi Buys Amphitheater, he openly announced that he is not retiring and indicates this is all just gossip by saying the moon exploding is a more credible rumor. However, many still speculate that he will be retiring and the announcement at Madison Square Garden was only a ploy to distract the fans.
Adding to the already feverish rumors from fans, Mathers released a track on Curtain Call entitled "When I'm Gone." The lyrics feature the topic of Slim Shady's destructive power over Marshall Mathers' life, and talks of laying his alter ego to rest, one line featuring the lyrics "I turn around, find a gun on the ground, cock it/ Put it to my brain, scream 'Die Shady!' and pop it. *gun fires*"
On December 6, 2005, the day of Curtain Call's release, Mathers denied that he was retiring on Detroit-based WKQI's "Mojo in the Mornin'" radio show, but implied that he would at least be taking a break as an artist, saying, "I'm at a point in my life right now where I feel like I don't know where my career is going ... This is the reason that we called it 'Curtain Call,' because this could be the final thing. We don't know."
Eminem has had some activity since the release of Curtain Call. Eminem also rapped a verse in a live performance of Busta Rhymes' "Touch It" remix at the 2006 BET Music Awards on June 27, 2006.
On August 15, 2006, Obie Trice released Second Round's on Me. Eminem produced 8 tracks on the album. He was also featured in the song "There They Go".
Eminem is featured in a new Akon single "Smack That" which will appear on Akon's new album Konvicted. He also appears in the video with a new tattoo and a green polo. According to Akon, Eminem has cancelled his retirement plans and is making a new album. He said, "Eminem told me he was getting bored with everything, which is why he took a break. But he's back working on an album and I've got some records ready for him to use on it. We've talked about doing something together for so long, but our schedules made it impossible. It was our chemistry that got him out of retirement." On the 19th November Smack That topped the Official UK Singles Chart and claimed Eminem his 7th UK Number One Single.
Producer Swizz Beatz has also said in an interview that he has sent some new tracks to Eminem.
On December 5, 2006, Eminem released an album compilation entitled Eminem Presents The Re-Up which will feature artists from the Shady Records roster. Currently the first confirmed single is "You Don't Know" which features 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and new artist Cashis.
With the enormous popularity of The Marshall Mathers LP, the controversy surrounding him grew even larger, especially when it was nominated for a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Though Mathers had always claimed that his lyrics were not meant to be taken seriously, and that he had nothing against homosexuals or women, the gay rights group GLAAD organized a boycott of the Grammys. Mathers responded to this by rapping "Stan" on-stage with openly gay singer Elton John, ending the performance by hugging John. This gesture failed to appease many of his critics. He said he did not know Elton John was gay, but he told Kurt Loder after the awards show that he respected him: "Of course I'd heard of Elton John," Eminem said, "but I didn't know he was gay. I didn't know anything about his personal life. I didn't really care, but being that he was gay and he had my back, I think it made a statement in itself saying that he understood where I was coming from."
In the midst of the Benzino-Eminem beef, Benzino found two tapes of a young Eminem rapping what could have been believed to be racist. Among the two songs, Eminem said, "I don't like that nigger shit" and also that "black girls only want your money." As soon as the songs became public, Eminem immediately released an apology for the controversial songs. Eminem would again apologize for the lyrics in the song "Yellow Brick Road" off his album Encore. Eminem tried to explain how the songs came to being made in that the first song was him trying to sound "whack." The second he said he did after a bad breakup with a girlfriend who was black. Immediately after the release of Eminem's first apology, Def Jam CEO Russell Simmons came out in accepting Eminem's apology and since then, with the exception of Benzino, other rappers have mostly forgotten or simply dropped the issue.
Violence towards women
The two 'eye-opening' songs most often cited as examples in The Marshall Mathers LP of Mathers' supposed misogyny were "Kill You" and "Kim." Critics claimed the former portrayed extremely violent abuse against women in general and contained a line about him raping his own mother. The latter is not so much a song as it is a reenactment of a fictional fight between him and his wife, although his shouted, hoarse lines do rhyme. Despite his conflicting expressions of love and hate throughout the track, he ends up slitting Kim's throat at the end, accompanied by cries of "Bleed, bitch, bleed!" Several people objected to the graphic description of domestic violence. On the clean version of the CD, the track was removed and replaced with a song almost entirely devoid of profanity called "The Kids."
Criticism of other artists
Eminem's provocative style has resulted in a number of high-profile feuds erupting between the rapper and some of his music industry peers. He has at one time or another had disputes with artists including Ja Rule, former Source magazine co-owner Raymond "Benzino" Scott, Everlast, Royce Da 5'9", Canibus, Insane Clown Posse, Vanilla Ice, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Will Smith, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Fred Durst, DJ Lethal, Jermaine Dupri, Moby, Nelly, Limp Bizkit, Esham, Cage and Christina Aguilera.
Criticism of George W. Bush
On December 8, 2003, the United States Secret Service admitted it was "looking into" allegations that Mathers had threatened the President of the United States after the unreleased song "We As Americans" leaked onto the Web. The lyrics in question: "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...". The song was being recorded to possibly be on Encore, but wound up on a bonus CD accompanying the album instead. The second use of the word "dead" was backmasked in that version. The skit was also used in Immortal Technique's song "Bin Laden", stated near the end. Immortal Technique also attacks the president on the song.
On October 26, 2004, a week before the U.S. presidential election, 2004, Eminem released the video for his song titled "Mosh" on the internet. The song features a very strong anti-Bush message, with lyrics such as "fuck Bush" and "this weapon of mass destruction that we call our president." The video features Mathers gathering up an army of people presented as victims of the Bush administration and leading them to the White House. However, once the army breaks in, it is revealed that they are there to simply register to vote, and the video ends with the words "VOTE Tuesday November 2" on the screen.
After Bush won the election, the video's ending was changed to Eminem and the protesters invading while Bush was giving a speech.
On October 12, 2004, a week after the release of "Just Lose It", Eminem's first single off Encore, Michael Jackson called into the Los Angeles-based Steve Harvey radio show to report his displeasure with the video, which parodies Jackson's child molestation trial, plastic surgery, and an incident in which Jackson's hair caught on fire while filming a Pepsi commercial in 1984. The lyrics to "Just Lose It" also refer to Jackson's legal troubles. Many of Jackson's supporters and friends spoke out about the video, including Stevie Wonder, who called the video "kicking a man while he's down" and "bullshit", and Steve Harvey who declared, "Eminem has lost his ghetto pass. We want the pass back." In the video, Eminem also parodied Pee Wee Herman, MC Hammer, and a Blonde-Ambition-touring Madonna.
Black Entertainment Television was the first channel to stop airing the video. MTV, however, announced it would continue airing the video, and "Just Lose It" became the #1 requested video on Total Request Live for the week ending October 22. The Source, through its CEO Raymond "Benzino" Scott, wanted not only the video to be pulled, but the song off the album, and a public apology to Jackson from Mathers.
Others dismissed "Just Lose It" as a tame "Weird Al" Yankovic-style knockoff. Regarding Jackson's protest, Yankovic, who parodied the Eminem song "Lose Yourself" on a track titled "Couch Potato" on his 2003 album Poodle Hat, told the Chicago Sun-Times, "Last year, Eminem forced me to halt production on the video for my "Lose Yourself" parody because he somehow thought that it would be harmful to his image or career. So the irony of this situation with Michael is not lost on me".
In summer 2005, Mathers embarked on his first US concert run in three years, the Anger Management 3 Tour, featuring Lil' Jon, 50 Cent and G-Unit, D12, Obie Trice, The Alchemist, and others. In August 2005, Mathers canceled the European leg of the tour and subsequently announced that he had entered drug rehabilitation for treatment for a "dependency on sleep medication."
At the same time as he was entering rehab, his aunt and uncle, Jack and Betty Schmitt, sued him, charging that he had reneged on a promise to build a $350,000 house for them and supply them with money for the house's upkeep. The couple claimed that Mathers had kept the house in his name, and then issued them eviction orders.
Eminem as an actor
Mathers made his Hollywood acting debut with the semi-autobiographical 8 Mile, released in November 2002. He has said the movie is not an account of his life, but a representation of growing up in Detroit. He recorded several new songs for the soundtrack, including "Lose Yourself," which won an Academy Award for Best Song; it was not performed at the ceremony, reportedly because ABC wanted him to perform an edited version.
Mathers has also done some voice acting, both on Crank Yankers and a web cartoon called The Slim Shady Show, which has since been pulled offline and is instead sold on DVD.
Dr. Dre's leading protégé, Mathers succeeded in multi-platinum record sales. He was granted his own record label, a sub-label of Aftermath Entertainment. He and his manager Paul Rosenberg created Shady Records in late 2000. Mathers and Dr. Dre had signed 50 Cent on a joint venture between Aftermath & Shady Records. His own Detroit collective D12 and rapper Obie Trice were signed to the Shady Records label. In 2003, Mathers and Dr. Dre signed on Atlanta rapper Stat Quo to the Shady/Aftermath roster. DJ Green Lantern, the former deejay for Mathers, was signed to Shady Records until a dispute with 50 Cent forced him to depart from the label; he is no longer associated with Mathers. The Alchemist is now officially Mathers' tour deejay. In 2005, Mathers officially signed another Atlanta rapper known as Bobby Creekwater to his label along with west coast rapper Ca$his.
In the Anger Management Tour of 2003 The Alchemist hurt his wrist, preventing him from being the tour's DJ. Clinton Sparks filled in for him, and his name is mentioned on the album numerous times.
Eminem as a producer
Mathers is also active as a producer of rap records. Besides being the executive producer of D12's two albums, Devil's Night and D12 World, he has also executive produced Obie Trice's Cheers and Second Round's on Me as well as 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin' and The Massacre. In addition, Mathers has produced and appeared on several songs by other famous rappers, such as Jadakiss' "Welcome To D-Block", Jay-Z's "Renagade" and "Moment of Clarity" Lloyd Banks' "Warrior Part 2", and "Hands Up", Tony Yayo's "Drama Setter", Trick Trick's "Welcome 2 Detroit," and Xzibit's "My Name" and "Don't Approach Me". Most of The Eminem Show was produced by Mathers himself, with co-production from longtime collaborator Jeff Bass. He also split the production with Dr. Dre on Encore. In 2004, Mathers was the Executive Producer of Tupac Shakur's posthumous album Loyal to the Game with Tupac Shakur's mother Afeni Shakur. He also produced the UK #1 single "Ghetto Gospel" which featured Elton John. On certain tracks on the album, Tupac Shakur's voice was slowed down and digitally altered to match the beat and make him say things like "2005" and "G-Unit," angering many fans. Eminem has named Tupac Shakur as his favorite rapper. He also produced Akon's "Smack That". Also, on the Nas album God's Son, Mathers produces a song called "The Cross".
Eminem in D12
In 2001, Mathers brought his rap group, D12, to the popular music scene. In 2001, D12 released their hit debut album Devil's Night.
The first single released off of the album was "Purple Pills" (radio named "Purple Hills"), an ode to recreational drug use (although this was preceded in the UK by a song called "Shit on You", which was included on the special edition version of the album). The version of the song released on the radio and music television was heavily rewritten to remove many of the song's obscene lyrics, and renamed "Purple Hills." While the first single was a massive hit, the album's second single, "Fight Music", was not as successful, in part due to its timing in relation to the 9/11 attacks.
After their debut, D12 took a three-year break from the studio, later regrouping to release their sophomore album, D12 World, in 2004, which featured the popular hit single release "My Band." The other members of D12 have also appeared as guests on all of Mathers' albums since The Marshall Mathers LP. D12's third album was tentatively scheduled for a 2006 release. D12 member Bizarre had said that the crew had spent time in the studio. However, it can be expected that the album may be postponed due to the untimely death of D12 member Proof.
Death of Proof
On April 11, 2006, Proof suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head at approximately 4:30am EDT (08:30 UTC) at the CCC Club on 8 Mile Road in Detroit, Michigan after fatally shooting Keith Bender Jr., Proof fired the first shots into Bender's head after taking his pistol and striking Bender several times in the face. The eruption is suspected to have been due to an argument over a game of pool, which quickly escalated. Proof was then allegedly shot by the bouncer Mario Etheridge, Bender's cousin. He was then taken by private vehicle to St. John Health's Conner Creek Campus, an outpatient emergency treatment site, and was pronounced dead on arrival shortly thereafter. Exact details of his death and the events that led to it remain unclear.
He was buried on April 20 in The Fellowship Chapel, Detroit to a full house of 2,000 with thousands mourning outside. Friends like Dr. Dre, D12 and other attended Proof's funeral. Eminem, 50 Cent and Obie Trice read eulogies at the service. An excerpt from Eminem's speech: "I'm sure everybody who has ever met him, even just once, can testify to the fact that he illuminated a room when he walked in it. I believe that Proof loved people and people loved him. He was a magnet. He lured you in. You wanted to learn about him, follow his swagger. Without Proof, there would be no Eminem, no Slim Shady, and no D12." Many rap artists offered their condolences to Proof's family after the passing. Proof is survived by his mother Sherallene; father McKinley; wife Sharonda; sons DeShaun Rice and Elijha Abel; and daughters Katieva Walker, Nassan, and Nyeem.
There are T-Shirts of a picture of Proof as a tribute Proof. In the video of Obie Trice called Cry Now Obie Trice and friends have T-Shirts of Proof on them. In the video Smack That by Akon, Eminem is seen wearing a chain with the letter P on it to always remind him of his best friend and he has tatooed Proof's name on his forearm.
Themes and topics
Eminem's songs typically feature anger, thoughts, questions, and statements about his life. Common topics are:
* Drugs and self-abuse
* His mother and childhood
* Being white in a black business/culture and growing up in a black neighborhood
* His on-again, off-again relationship with Kim Mathers
* Disgust with groupies/dating
* Growing up in poverty-ridden Detroit
* Raising his daughter, Hailie, and niece, Alaina
* The United States and its government
* Lawsuits and criminal cases
* Poking fun at celebrities and American pop culture
* Annoyance and/or amusement with people's literal interpretation of his lyrics
* Ongoing and illogical perpetuation of violence between members of the rap music community
* Soul Intent (1995)
* Infinite (1996)
* The Slim Shady EP (1997)
* The Slim Shady LP (1999)
* The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
* The Eminem Show (2002)
* Encore (2004)
Soundtracks, Greatest Hits, and Compilations albums
* Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture 8 Mile (2002)
* Curtain Call: The Hits (2005)
* Eminem Presents The Re-Up (2006)
* Devil's Night (2001)
* D12 World (2004)
* The Ambition (2007)