“My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge...”- “Criminal”, from “The Marshall Mathers LP”
An average rap artist wouldn’t be able to grace the covers of VIBE, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Spin while on a national tour months before their major debut album is released. An average rapper couldn’t say that he’s collaborated with Dr. Dre, Elton John, and Dido, all in the same year. Then again, Marshall Mathers III, better known as Eminem isn’t your average rapper. No other artist has ever been the center of such heated and conflicting debates. He’s hailed as brilliant by some critics and deemed as indecent and disgusting by others. But the controversy isn’t as simple as that. This is an artist and a man who is as complex as he is talented. “...no labels wanted to sign me, almost gave up... until I met Dre, the only one to look past, gave me a chance, and I lit a fire up under his ass...”- “White America” Eminem was born in Kansas City, Missouri. During his early years Marshall Mathers and his mother moved between Kansas and Michigan until the age of twelve when they settled in east Detroit. During these years there would be much turbulence to get through. Tragedies including the suicide of his beloved cousin Ronnie and being abandoned by his father threw his world into what could’ve been an irrevocable downward spiral. They would prove to be haunting to the tortured youth. Without stability finding friends and staying out of trouble became all but impossible. Yet the one solace he discovered was rap music. Even while dropping out of high school and working several full time, low pay jobs, he kept an unwavering focus on his music. Between 1995 and 1997 he worked on and released the albums “Infinite” and “Slim Shady EP”. Both were considered failures which was disappointing to Eminem who was desperate to be embraced by the Motor City’s hip hop scene. Then in late 1997 while performing on, “The Wake Up Show” with Sway and Tech...
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