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Eminem's music path

  • Comic writer career

    Comic writer career
    As a child Eminem was interested in storytelling, aspiring to be a comic-book artist before discovering hip hop.
  • First drafts

    First drafts
    Eminem heard his first rap song ("Reckless", featuring Ice-T) on the Breakin' soundtrack, a gift from his mother's half-brother Ronnie Polkinghorn, who later became a musical mentor to him.
    When his mother left to play bingo, he would blast the stereo and write songs.
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    Rap Character

    Struggling to succeed in a predominantly black industry, Eminem was appreciated by underground hip hop audiences.
    When he wrote verses, he wanted most of the words to rhyme; he wrote long words or phrases on paper and, underneath, worked on rhymes for each syllable. Although the words often made little sense, the drill helped Eminem practice sounds and rhymes.
  • Battle Rapping & EMINEM's meaning

    Battle Rapping & EMINEM's meaning
    At age 14, Eminem began rapping with high-school friend Mike Ruby; they adopted the names "Manix" and "M&M", the latter of which evolved into "Eminem".
    Eminem sneaked into neighboring Osborn High School with friend and fellow rapper Proof for lunchroom freestyle rap battles. On Saturdays, they attended open mic contests at the Hip-Hop Shop on West 7 Mile, considered "ground zero" for the Detroit rap scene.
  • Joining the New Jacks rap group

    Joining the New Jacks rap group
  • First run-in with the law

    First run-in with the law
    Eminem was arrested for his involvement in a drive-by shooting with a paintball gun. The case was dismissed when the victim did not appear in court.
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    INFINITE's background

    Eminem cooked and washed dishes for minimum wage at Gilbert's Lodge restaurant. His boss described him as a model employee, as he worked 60 hours a week for six months after Hailie's birth. He was fired shortly before Christmas, and later said, "It was, like, five days before Christmas, which is Hailie's birthday. I had, like, forty dollars to get her something." After the release of Infinite, his personal problems and substance abuse culminated in a suicide attempt.
  • Joining another group: Soul Intent

    Joining another group: Soul Intent
    After the New Jacks disbanded he joined Soul Intent, who released a single on their 1995 self-titled EP featuring Proof. Eminem and Proof then teamed up with four other rappers to form The Dirty Dozen (D12), who released their first album Devil's Night in 2001.
  • Release of INFINITE (the first album)

    Release of INFINITE (the first album)
    Infinite is the debut studio album by American rapper Eminem. Released by Web Entertainment.
    The copies were made on cassette and vinyl, and Eminem sold them out of the trunk of his car in Detroit.
    Infinite was a commercial failure, selling around 1,000 copies. Retrospectively, the album received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its lyrical content while criticizing the album's production.
  • Rap olympics & meeting Dr. Dre

    Rap olympics & meeting Dr. Dre
    After he was evicted from his home, Eminem went to Los Angeles to compete in the Rap Olympics, an annual, nationwide battle rap competition. He placed second, and a copy of the Slim Shady EP was sent to Interscope Records. Company CEO Jimmy Iovine played the tape for record producer Dr. Dre, founder of Aftermath Entertainment.
    Dre recalled, "In my entire career in the music industry, I have never found anything from a demo tape or a CD. When Jimmy played this, I said, 'Find him. Now.'
  • Release of Slim Shady LP

    Release of Slim Shady LP
    Slim Shady EP is the 1997 debut, through the Detroit-based record label Web Entertainment. Slim Shady EP helped Eminem gain the interest of Jimmy Iovine (co-founder of Interscope Records) and West Coast hip-hop producer Dr. Dre, who subsequently signed Eminem to his Aftermath Entertainment record label, and served as executive producer on his major-label debut album The Slim Shady LP (1999). Dre also served as executive producer on Eminem's later albums.
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    Introduction to Slim Shady

    Eminem first introduced his "Slim Shady" persona on this EP. His lyrics are a marked departure from those found on Infinite, featuring constant references to drug use, sexual acts, mental instability, and over-the-top violence. Another departure was his exploration of more serious themes of dealing with poverty, his direct and self-deprecating response to criticism, and of marital and family difficulties.
  • Shady Records Foundation

    Shady Records Foundation
    Shady Records is an American record label founded by Eminem and his manager Paul Rosenberg, after the highly successful release of The Slim Shady LP.
    Signed acts include Eminem himself, D12, Yelawolf, Bad Meets Evil, Westside Gunn, Conway, Hall N' Nash and Boogie, while former acts include 50 Cent, Obie Trice, Stat Quo, Bobby Creekwater, Cashis and Slaughterhouse.
    It was also the label to be contracted for putting together the soundtrack to the Eminem-starring film 8 Mile.
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    MM LP's background

    Eminem, who had previously struggled to provide for his daughter Hailie, noted a drastic change in his lifestyle. In June 1999, he married his girlfriend Kimberly Ann "Kim" Scott, the mother of Hailie. The rapper became uncomfortable with the level of achieved fame and reflected, "I don't trust nobody now because everybody I meet is meeting me as Eminem...I don't know if they are hanging with me 'cause they like me or because I'm a celebrity or because they think they can get something from me"
  • Release of Slim Shady EP

    Release of Slim Shady EP
    The album was one of the year's most popular albums (certified triple platinum by the end of the year). Its popularity was accompanied by controversy over its lyrics; in "'97 Bonnie and Clyde" Eminem describes a trip with his infant daughter when he disposes of his wife's body, and in "Guilty Conscience" which encourages a man to murder his wife and her lover. "Guilty Conscience" marked the beginning of a friendship and musical bond between Dr. Dre and Eminem.
  • Appearing in the Up in the Smoke Tour

    Appearing in the Up in the Smoke Tour
    The Up in Smoke Tour was a West Coast hip hop tour in 2000 which was headlined by Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg, also featuring artists Ice Cube, Eminem, Proof, Nate Dogg, Kurupt, D12, MC Ren, Westside Connection, Mel-Man, Tha Eastsidaz, Doggy's Angels, Devin The Dude, Warren G, TQ, Truth Hurts, Xzibit, The D.O.C., Hittman, and Six-Two.
  • The 1st Anger Management Tour

    The 1st Anger Management Tour
    The inaugural Anger Management Tour, originally targeted at both rap and rock fans, was founded and started by Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach and Eminem.
    In the first tour, most of the concerts were extremely long, due to the number of artists that were chosen to headline. Many of the them were praised for the production value and how each artist played like it was their own tour. Many critics agreed:one of the great things about the concerts were that they felt like they were made up of mini concerts.
  • Release of Marshall Mathers LP

    Release of Marshall Mathers LP
    The third studio album was recorded over a two-month period in several studios in the Detroit area, and during this time, Eminem felt significant pressure to improve upon the success of his previous record. Released a year after Eminem's breakout The Slim Shady LP, it features more introspective lyricism including the rapper's response to his sudden rise to fame and controversy surrounding his lyrics. Musically, the album has been associated with the genres of hardcore hip-hop and horrorcore.
  • Book 'Angry Blonde'

    Book 'Angry Blonde'
    In the book Eminem comments on songs that he wrote, almost solely on those that have received controversy for explicit lyrics as well as several pictures that had not been previously published. The songs' lyrics are listed in the work uncensored (leading to the book being sold with a Parental Advisory sticker), with Eminem's personal take on each one. Songs listed in the book include "Kim", "The Way I Am" and "The Real Slim Shady".
  • Performing with Elton John at Grammy

    Performing with Elton John at Grammy
    Eminem performed with Elton John at the 43rd Grammy Awards ceremony, with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation condemning John's decision to perform with Eminem. Entertainment Weekly placed the appearance on its end-of-decade "best-of" list: "It was the hug heard 'round the world. Eminem, under fire for homophobic lyrics, shared the stage with a gay icon for a performance of "Stan" that would have been memorable in any context."
  • The 2nd Anger Management Tour

    The 2nd Anger Management Tour
    In the summer of 2002. Eminem told LAUNCH, "It's basically the same thing that it was the last Anger Management Tour without Limp Bizkit... Papa Roach are still cool though."
  • Eminem Show's release

    Eminem Show's release
    In an interview with The Face magazine in April 2002, Eminem said that he treated the album like it was a rock record, in terms of production; incorporating the use of guitars while still having elements of hip-hop. He said that he wanted to capture the '70s rock vibe, which he felt "had this incredible feel", for most of the record. He said that he "tried to get the best of both worlds" on the album.
  • Filming of '8 Mile'

    Filming of '8 Mile'
    A musical drama film starring Eminem, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy, Michael Shannon, and Kim Basinger. The film is based loosely on Eminem's actual upbringing, and follows white rapper B-Rabbit(Eminem) and his attempt to launch a career in a genre dominated by African-Americans. The title is derived from 8 Mile Road, the highway between the predominantly black city of Detroit and Wayne County and the predominantly White Oakland County and Macomb County suburbs. It was filmed mostly on location.
  • In remembrance of Tupac

    In remembrance of Tupac
    Eminem, a lifelong fan of Tupac, provided production work for three tracks on the Tupac Resurrection soundtrack. He would follow this up the next year by producing 12 of the 16 tracks on Tupac's Loyal to the Game album.
  • 'Threatening' the President

    'Threatening' the President
    On December 8, 2003, the United States Secret Service said that it was "looking into" allegations that Eminem had threatened the President of the United States.
    The cause for concern was the lyrics of "We As Americans" ("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"), which was later released on a bonus CD with the deluxe edition of Encore.
  • Opposition to Bush's elections

    Opposition to Bush's elections
    "Mosh" is a protest song by Eminem released as the second single from his fifth studio album, Encore (just prior to the 2004 presidential election).
    The video for the song is available for free on the Internet and encouraged voters to vote George W. Bush out of office. The song was excerpted from Eminem's album, Encore, not yet released at the time the video was made available to the public. G-Unit rapper Lloyd Banks also appears in the video.
  • Launch of Shade 45 Channel

    Launch of Shade 45 Channel
    Shade 45 is a music channel that plays uncensored hip-hop by Eminem, Shady Records and other artists (Drake, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Travis Scott, Action Bronson, Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Tech N9ne, & Schoolboy Q). It airs on Sirius XM Radio 45 and Dish Network 6045, the producer is Eminem.
    Eminem also established a new morning show, Sway in the Morning, a lively morning show that airs at 8:00 a.m. every Monday-Friday.
  • Release of Encore

    Release of Encore
    The album contains several lyrical themes: Eminem's relationship with his ex-wife, Kim, ("Puke", and "Love You More"), their daughter Hailie Jade Mathers ("Mockingbird"), his childhood ("Yellow Brick Road"), his relationships with his parents ("Evil Deeds"), and opposition to then-American President George W. Bush.
    Similar to Eminem's previous album, The Eminem Show, Encore opens with a skit called "Curtains Up", indicative of the start of the show, and "Curtains Down", indicative of the end.
  • The 3rd Anger Management Tour

    The 3rd Anger Management Tour
    The third tour took place in the summer of 2005. 50 Cent missed the tour's first two stops because of a scheduling conflict; he was tied up shooting his film debut. Ludacris filled in on those dates. The European part of the tour was cut short due to the exhaustion of Eminem, the tour founder, and his addiction to sleeping pills.
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    Rumours about retiring

    In 2005, industry insiders speculated that Eminem was considering ending his rapping career after six years and several Multi-Platinum albums. Rumors began early in the year about a double album to be released late that year, entitled The Funeral.
    In July the Detroit Free Press reported a possible final bow for Eminem as a solo performer, quoting members of his inner circle as saying that he would embrace the roles of producer and label executive.
  • Release of Curtain Call: The Hits

    Release of Curtain Call: The Hits
    Curtain Call: The Hits is the first greatest hits album by Eminem. It was released under Aftermath Entertainment, Shady Records, and Interscope Records. The album collects Eminem's most popular singles, as well as four new songs, including a live version of "Stan", featuring English singer and songwriter Elton John from the 43rd Grammy Awards, plus new songs "Fack", "When I'm Gone" and "Shake That" featuring Nate Dogg.
  • Answer to the rumours

    Answer to the rumours
    The day of Curtain Call: The Hits's release, Eminem appeared on WKQI's "Mojo in the Morning" show. Denying that he was retiring, he suggested he would take a break as an artist: "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 Presents: The Re-Up

    Eminem Presents: The Re-Up
    Eminem Presents: The Re-Up is a hip hop compilation album performed by various artists of American record label, Shady Records. The album features performances by Shady Records artists Eminem, D12, 50 Cent, Obie Trice, Stat Quo, Bobby Creekwater and Cashis.
    The album began as a street mixtape project; an underground, unofficial CD with raw production values. "But what happened is that the material was so good and the tracks were getting produced like a regular album", Eminem said.
  • Good news

    Good news
    In September 2007, Eminem called New York radio station WQHT during an interview with 50 Cent, saying that he was "in limbo" and "debating" about when (or if) he would release another album: "I'm always working – I'm always in the studio. It feels good right now, the energy of the label. For a while, I didn't want to go back to the studio ... I went through some personal things. I'm coming out of those personal things [and] it feels good."
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    Coming back

    In Sep'08 Eminem appeared on Shade 45:"Right now I'm kinda just concentrating on my own stuff, for right now and just banging out tracks and producing a lot of stuff. You know, the more I keep producing the better it seems like I get 'cause I just start knowing stuff." In Dec'08, he provided more details:"Me and Dre are back in the lab like the old days, man. Dre will end up producing the majority of the tracks on 'Relapse'. We are up to our old mischievous ways ... let's just leave it at that."
  • Relapse's release

    Relapse's release
    Relapse is the sixth studio album by Eminem and it was his first album of original material since Encore (2004), following a four-year hiatus from recording.
    Recording sessions for the album took place during 2007 to 2009 at several recording studios, and Dr. Dre, Mark Batson, and Eminem handled production. Conceptually, Relapse concerns the ending of his drug rehabilitation, rapping after a non-fictional relapse, and the return of his Slim Shady alter-ego.
  • Following Refill's release

    Following Refill's release
    The album was a re-release of Relapse with seven bonus tracks. Eminem described the CD:
    I want to deliver more material for the fans this year like I originally planned ... I got back in with Dre and then a few more producers, including Just Blaze, and went in a completely different direction which made me start from scratch. The new tracks started to sound very different than the tracks I originally intended to be on Relapse 2, but I still want the other stuff to be heard.