Eminem is one of the greatest artistes of all time. Before we answer the question ‘How Old Is Eminem?’ we will delve a bit into this legendary rapper’s life, childhood, career development, relationship life and rise to fame.
Eminem’s Early Life
His birth name is Marshall Bruce Mathers III.
His Dad’s name’s Marshall Bruce Mathers Jr. and his mom Deborah Rae “Debbie”.
Eminem has a mixed heritage – he’s of German, English, Scottish, German Swiss, Polish and Luxembourgish ancestry.
His parents didn’t have any other child together, so he was the only child from that union.
They belonged to a band named Daddy Warbucks, and played at inns, but separated ultimately.
Eminem had an unsteady childhood. So many things happened during childhood that formed the basis of the rapper’s life and affected his messaging.
Eminem’s Dad left the family and moved away to California. He even had two other children. Mom also had another child.
His mother was always moving with him, rarely settling down for a year in a place. They moved back and forth between Detroit, Michigan, and Missouri.
Eminem had a very rough childhood. He was observed to be a happy child but a loner. Once in school, he got bullied and received an injury as a result of the encounter.
As a teenager, his Mom usually sprinkled valium on his food and he later got addicted to it. Valium is a drug used to treat anxiety disorder and other related psychological and physical symptoms.
Eminem’s Mom was also addicted to this drug. In fact Eminem in his song said that his Mom suffers from Munchasen Syndrome (MSbP).
This condition makes someone who looks after another person to fake health problems in the person who is being looked after.
Eminem said that his Mom always made him believe that he was sick when he wasn’t. Clearly, this affected his childhood in adverse conditions as he would later talk about some of these things in his song ‘My Mom’.
Like earlier stated, childhood didn’t come easy and stable for young Eminem.
At some point he had to drop out of school. This was at age 17, after he kept failing and spending three years in ninth grade because of his poor grades and unusual lifestyle.
His Mom let runaway Kimberly Anne “Kim” Scott live with them at their home. He dated her, but the relationship was on and off. This relationship would later lead to marriage twice.
Growing up, the life at home wasn’t stable and his relationship with his mother had a lot of strains as he often fought with his Mom who was reported to be almost paranoid.
Living and growing up with a mother whom a social worker described as having a “very suspicious, almost paranoid personality” is not a proper environment for a developing child.
Such environment has a toxic effect on the child and this is evident in the things Eminem said in his song ‘My Mom’. We would look into the song later in this article.
It must interest you to know that Eminem and his Mom lived most of his youthful days in a Detroit neighborhood that was predominantly occupied by blacks.
They were among the three white household on the block and he was beaten several times by black youths.
How Eminem Discovered Hip-hop
Eminem didn’t do well at school but he had interest in English and loved storytelling and even aspired to be a comic book artist. This was before he discovered his love for hip-hop.
His Uncle Ronnie Polkingham who later became his musical mentor exposed him to the first rap song he heard.
Ronnie and Eminem got close and close to each other and this affected Eminem when Ronnie committed suicide in 1991.
Eminem didn’t attend his funeral and stopped speaking for days. He was about 19 years old at the time.
How Eminem Started Rapping
Eminem did several jobs to support his Mom with bills even though he was thrown out of the house by his Mom eventually. He’d play loud music and write songs at home whenever his Mom left home to play bingo.
Eminem starting rapping and at age 14, he teamed up with his friend from high school Mike Ruby.
Mike adopted the name “Manix” while Eminem adopted “M&M” when ch represented his initials but would later evolve into ‘Eminem’.
Passion for rap drove Eminem into doing a lot of things while he was young and in school. Alongside his friend and fellow rapper Proof, they’d sneak their way into Osborn High School, a neighboring school for freestyle battles with students in the other school. He also battled at open mic contests. The usual spot spot for these open mic contests was Hip Hop Shop on West 7 Mile, Detroit.
Emerging as rap artiste in a blacks society and blacks dominated industry wasn’t quite easy, but Eminem pulled through and was loved by the underground hip hop audiences.
FAMILY LIFE and RELATIONSHIPS
Eminem has a strained relationship with his mother. At one time, his mother sent him out of the house.
He fought severally with his Mom and has also attributed his bouts with drug addiction with his Mom. In his song he claimed he was addicted to drugs because of his Mom.
Listening to his song ‘My Mom’ you could feel the bitterness running deep he felt for Debbie his mother.
But in 2013, in his song ‘Headlights’, Eminem apologized to his Mom for all the things he said about her. He also confessed his love for her.
One would expect an outburst from any child who had to go through the things Eminem went through.
While there were mixed reactions to ‘My Mom’, fans were also not hesitant in expressing their relief when he released ‘Headlights’.
About the girl his Mom allowed to stay at home with them, he later married her. Well this is how the story goes:
Eminem met Kimberly Anne “Kim” Scott in high school. He was 15 when Scott and her twin sister ran away from home and moved in with Eminem and his Mom.
In 1989, he and Scott started dating. But their relationship was on and off. It wasn’t steady through the years.
They got married in 1999 but divorced in 2001. They gave birth to their daughter Hailey. She was born on December 25, 1995.
In 2006, he and Kim got married for a second time. But this time, the marriage barely lasted a year. They got divorced that same year.
In 2010 it was rumored that Eminem and Kim were getting back together on a romantic level but Eminem denied the reports.
Eminem has joint custody of Hailey his daughter, Alaina his former sister-in-law’s daughter, and Whiteney, Kim’s child from another relationship.
Eminem has dated and been with a number of women over the years. Here’s some of the ladies Eminem has had a thing or two with:
Tara Reid an actress, Joy McAvoy another actress, Karrine Stefans, Mariah Carey and Kaya Jones.
While Eminem himself has come out to confirm being with some of this women, we are yet to get a statement from him on others.
Eminem’s Career Beginnings
Mathers released his debut album in 1996. The album was titled ‘Infinite’. Upon release, the album didn’t record commercial nor critical success. He released the album under F. B. T. Productions.
The predominant theme of his lyrics centred around his daughter Hailie and how he raised her on very little source of income.
But before then in 1988, he had his first group called New Jacks and did put together and eponymous demo tape with DJ Butter Fingers.
The following year, they merged with Bassmint Productions and their name changed to Soul Intent later on in 1992.
Alongside rapper Proof and other childhood friends of his, they released a self-titled body of work in 1995.
Eminem made his first music appearance in 1992 in the song Do-Da-Doppity, by Champtown.
In 1996, Eminem came together with other rappers to form D12 and in 2001 they released their first album Devil’s Night.
Eminem’s first album Infinite wasn’t accepted and in that period Detroit DJs avoided the album.
This got him angry, moody and led him to writing more angry themes and moodier tracks.
In 1997, he released his debut EP, the Slim Shady EP.
Slim Shady is an alter ego Eminem developed. This alter ego gave him the liberty to express his anger via his lyrics. He talked about several themes including drugs, rape, murder.
Slim Shady is a sadistic, violent alter ego.
In 1997, Eminem was fired from Gilbert’s Lodge where he cooked and washed for minimum wage. After he was fired, he stayed with his Mom.
But shortly after he was evicted from his home.
After he was evicted, he travelled to Los Angeles to compete in an annual rap battle.
He was placed second at the competition and an intern from Interscope Records who was in attendance got and sent a copy of Slim Shady EP to the company CEO who played the tape for Dr. Dre. That’s how Dr. Dre found Eminem.
Dr. Dre said that in his entire life he has never found anything from a demo tape or a CD but when he listened to Slim Shady EP, he said ‘Find how. Now.”
He ended up hiring Eminem and they worked together on projects and it was in this period that Mathers got his first major music industry success.
In 1999,Eminem released the Slim Shady LP. This project got popular and was really successful. It was certified triple Platinum at the end of the year.
But years later, The Slim Shady LP has been certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA.
In 2001, Eminem released yet another successful album The Marshall Mathers LP. In the first week of release, the album sold over 1 million copies. Singles from the album were also successful despite the controversies surrounding some of them. The Real Slim Shady, The Way I Am, Stan are some of the singles from the album.
Stan stands out as one of Eminem’s most successful tracks. It is ranked 296th on Rolling Stones’s ”500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.
The Marshall Mathers LP was certififed Diamond by the RIAA in 2011 and has sold over 21 million copies worldwide.
In 2001, Eminem performed with Elton John at the 43rd Grammy Awards ceremony. This particular performance provoked an uproar on the media space because Eminem was regarded as homophobic due to the nature of his lyrics, yet he went on the same stage with Elton John who is a known gay icon.
Eminem continued working with and performing with a number of top rappers including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, Ice Cube, Limp Bizkit, Ludacris, etc.
In 2002, ‘The Eminem Show’ was released. It was a huge success. It topped charts, selling over 1 million copies on the first week after release. Eminem carried an angry mood in the greater part of this project. He talked about the effect of fame on him, his relationships, family, and his place in the hip hop community. However the album was a critical success. It has sold over 27 million copies worldwide.
Fall Out With The Law and other Legal Issues
The rapper has had a number of fall outs with the law. Here are a few of them:
Eminem’s first fall out with the law happened when he was 20 years old. He was arrested for being a part of a drive-by shooting with a paintball gun. However, this case was dismissed when the victim failed to appear in court.
In 1999, Debbie (Eminem’s mom) sued him for $10 million dollars for slandering her on The Shady Slim LP. This ended with Eminem paying charges in the tune of $1,600 for her damages.
On June 3, Eminem was arrested during a heated dispute at a car-audio store in Michigan. In the heat, he pulled put an unloaded gun and pointed it to the ground.
Eminem is said to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. He has sold over 220 million records worldwide. Eminem is one of the best-selling music artistes of all time.
He has won so far, 15 Grammy Awards, 8 American Music Awards and so much more.
He was labelled the King of Hip Hop by Rolling Stones.
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Now to the question:
How Old Is Eminem?
He was born on October 17, 1972, in St. Joseph Missouri, an only child from his parents.
At the time of this writing, the star rapper is 48 years old.