Marshall Bruce Mathers III under the alias of Eminem has become one of the most influential artists of the past few decades. The rap superstar has had many problems in his life and many of his songs are based on his life experience. Many people say this is the reason for his success, that he, unlike most rappers, dealt with issues that are real. Whilst growing up, Marshall had to deal with bullying at school, poor financial security, his mother's apparent drug addiction and his father abandoning them when Marshall was just two years of age. All of these issues became the subjects for some of his biggest hits.
From a young age, he was interested in rap, performing from as early as 13 years old. In 1996 Eminem released his first independent album, 'Infinite'. The album did relatively poorly sales wise, with 500 copies being sold straight out of the back of Eminem's. He became famous around the underground circuit because of his distinctive style and that he was white in a mainly black genre of music. In 1997, Marshall placed second in the Rap Olympics and earned himself a record deal at Interscope under the watchful eye of his mentor Dr Dre.
In 1999 , he released his second major album, entitled 'The Slim Shady LP'. The album went on to become amazingly successful with it's hard hitting lyrics and different and often shocking subjects. The song ''97 Bonnie and Clyde', describes a trip with his daughter Hailie to dispose of the body of his wife Kim.
The year 2000 brought the' The Marshall Mathers LP' and possibly Marshall's most famous song ' The Real Slim Shady' . The is a prime example of his witty lyrics and catchy chorus lines. The album brought two more hits in 'The Way I Am' and 'Stan'. 'Stan' would go on to be perhaps Eminem's most critically acclaimed song, telling the story of a fan so obsessed with Eminem that he kills himself and his girlfriend, who is pregnant with his child. Since the release of this album Eminem has been accused of being a homophobe and a misogynist. The song 'Kim' is a target of the criticism. It ends with Eminem slitting the throat of Kim.
In 2001, Marshall took a break from solo releases to bring his group 'D12' to the music scene. The first single from the album 'Devil's Night' was 'Purple Pills' renamed 'Purple Hills' for radio airplay, as the original name referred to the use of drugs.
When the summer of 2002 came, Eminem released his 3rd major album with the song 'Without Me'. Soon after he released 'Cleaning Out My Closet' and 'White America'. Before releasing more material from the album he starred in the film '8 Mile', based on his early rap career. The soundtrack to the film featured the track 'Lose Yourself' which has become one of Eminem's biggest hits, reaching number one in Britain and America. The film features some of Eminem's rap friends including, the recently deceased Proof, DJ Head, Obie Trice and Xzibit. The film became a surprise hit in the summer of 2002. In 2003 he released some more singles from the Eminem Show, most notably, 'Sing For The Moment' and 'Business'.
Eminem's next album was the 2004 effort 'Encore'. The album spawned two number ones, 'Just Lose It' and 'Toy Soldiers'. The latter effort was an effort from Eminem to stop feuds and rap wars. At the end of the video for the song, rappers such as Tupac Shakur, and Notorious B.I.G are shown. All of these rappers were killed due to rap feuds and used to show what these 'wars' can do. The end of the video is an appeal to all of his enemies to call a truce.
The same year Eminem got back in the studio with his group 'D12' releasing the album 'D12 World' and the single 'My Band' went on to be a huge hit. The single mocks the way that Eminem is the only one to get credit for his music in 'D12' despite being a group of 6 people. The next D12 album is tentatively scheduled for some time in 2006, but now because of the death of member Proof it may be delayed.
In 2005, the rapper released a greatest hits album entitled 'Curtain Call:The Hits' to many fans surprise. Many speculated that Eminem was going to retire. Although he has denied this many times he has said that he will be taking a break from solo releases, to spend time with his family and concentrate on producing rather than recording. The song 'When I'm Gone' from the 'Curtain Call' album is a tribute to his daughter Hailie and is one of only 3 new songs from the Greatest Hits album.
On January 14, 2006 Eminem remarried Kim with now deceased Proof as his best man. Eminem's song 'Mockingbird' from the album 'Encore' was played as they walked down the aisle. It looked as though the pair had finally settled their differences when on April 5th news was leaked that Marshall had filed for divorce papers, just 11 weeks after they had married. In December 2006 the divorce was finalised.
Since 'Encore', Mathers has been relatively quiet. He has featured on the track 'Smack That' by Akon and has produced numerous tracks on Obie Trice's album 'Second Round's on Me'. An album called 'Eminem Presents: The Re-Up' was released at the end of 2006, but wasn't a solo album by Mathers himself but a collaborative effort from Eminem and his friends, D12, Obie Trice, Stat Quo and more. In November the track 'You Don't Know' began appearing on television music channels and radio.
In March of 2007, Eminem and his ex-wife Kim agreed to stop publicly attacking each other, for the sake of their daughter.
- The Slim Shady LP
- The Marshall Mathers LP
- The Eminem Show
- 8 Mile Soundtrack
- Curtain Call: The Hits