Newsweek magazine called him the "heir apparent" to Tupac Shakur-- I don't know how I feel about that comment but the often profane, homophobic, misogynistic, self-loathing rapper is much loved by his fans (if record sales are any indication).

Real Name: Marshall Mathers

Born in Missouri to a poor single mom, Eminem said in an interview with Newsweek that he never met his father. Constant moving meant that he was often the "new kid" at school but instead of just being ignored or made fun of, the puny white kid was regularly beaten by classmates. One beating left him in a coma for five days. During an interview with Howard Stern, he said that his mother was also a mental case who would frequently file bogus lawsuits and emotionally abuse her children.

When he was 12, his mother moved the family to an all-Black housing project in Detroit, where Eminem says he was "saved" by hip-hop. He mastered his MC skills at open mic competitions. As he grew up, he took a series of dead-end jobs and had a kid out-of-wedlock with a girlfriend. "I couldn't afford to buy my daughter diapers and shit," he said to Newsweek. "My girl had to strip to make money." He later tried to kill himself by OD-ing on pills.

In 1997, he recorded a demo and was discovered by veteran producer Dr. Dre who brought him to L.A. He recorded The Slim Shady CD -- which was quickly snapped up by rock and pop radio stations who wouldn't dream of playing rap by Black or Latino rappers. The "Slim Shady" CD took home a Grammy award for Best Rap Album of 1999.

Lately he's built a reputation for mouthing off about other musicians like Will Smith. Christina Aguilera considered suing him over comments he made about her giving a blowjob to Carson Daly. Even his own mother got in the act and filed a suit against him for slandering her name on his records.


His real name is Marshall Mathers, hence the "M & M" name. In truth, this rapper is undoubtedly talented and has got mad flow. He's working with Dr. Dre, who's not unaware of controversy himself, as a former member of NWA. Aside from his talent, the reason Eminem is so hyped is because his lyrics are usually categorized as misogynistic, racist and homophobic. The hateful lyrics have escalated as Eminem has created an alter-ego knows as Slim Shady, who raps about rape, drugs and murder. The other defining thing about Eminem is his avid dislike for pop stars, such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and the Backstreet Boys. He can't stand them because he thinks they all sound the same. Which is true, most pop music deviates little from songs about love. I personally find it ironic, however because I don't think there's much variety in rap, either. Finally, there was a recent spiel concerning Christina Aguilera. From "The Real Slim Shady":

Shit Christina Aguilera better switch chairs with me
So I could sit next to Carson Daly and Fred Durst
And hear 'em argue over who she gave head to first

Aguilera said on MTV to her friends that he was married to his longtime girlfriend Kim even though he rapped about killing her. Apparently, she then said something along the lines of "Don't let your guy disrespect you" to her audience, which supposedly was the reason for the hostility.

The most interesting element of Eminem's music is the multiplicity of narrative identities. Though common in Hip-Hop, the establishment of various distinct lyrical personalities is especially important to an understanding of Eminem's content. The "Slim Shady" persona, for example, is usually the one spewing misogynistic, homophobic, violent rhymes, while "Eminem" and "Marshal Mathers" are more restrained, even occasionally contemplative.

The contemporary post-modern artistic fascination with varying degrees of reality and authenticity can be seen in movies like "Fight Club" and "American Psycho," in which the general frustration of the white male is manifested through an indeterminate mixture of deulsion, fantasy, and violence. At the core of these films is a suggestion that the psychotic machinations of the mind are as real as external reality, and that their influence on one's behavior can be quite profound.

In this context, the varying identities Eminem utilizes seem to be a reflection of his struggle with fragmented, insurgent internal emotions. In the post-modern era, this struggle resonates a great deal with most people (violent high school fantasies, pathologically depraved daymares, etc.)

I'm sick and tired of people attacking Eminem because of his "homophobic" lyrics. I don't even like his rap that much, but other rappers have "homophobic" lyrics too. All the rap greats: Dr. Dre, Ice cube ("I don't know if they're fags or what, search a nigga down and grabbin' his nuts" -Fuck tha police), Notorious BIG ("I stabbed her brother with the icepick,
because he wanted me to fuck him from the back
but Smalls don't get down like that" - Dead Wrong) just to name a few (but I'm not into rap that much). The only reason that these groups are allowed to attack him is because he is white. It wouldn't be PC to question a black rapper about using the word "fag", he's just expressing himself. Eminem needs to be shocking and cause a fuss to be accepted into the mainstream rap crowd. He limited because cannot say words such as "nigger".Some might say "Of course he can get into the mainstream! What about Kid Rock and Fred Durst??" I can truly say that I don't think Eminem wants to get into that crowd. He may not be normal but he still has certified rapper status.

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