I want to deliver more material for the fans this year like I originally planned ... Hopefully these tracks on The Refill will tide the fans over until we put out Relapse 2 next year ... 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.
Marshall Bruce Mathers III was born on October 17, 1972, in St. Joseph, Missouri, the only child of Marshall Bruce Mathers Jr. and Deborah Rae "Debbie" Nelson. His mother nearly died during her 73-hour labor with him. Eminem's parents were in a band called Daddy Warbucks, playing in Ramada Inns along the Dakotas–Montana border before their separation. Bruce left the family, moving to California and having two other children: Michael and Sarah. Debbie later had son Nathan "Nate" Kane Samara. During his childhood, Eminem and Debbie shuttled between Michigan and Missouri, rarely staying in one house for more than a year or two and living primarily with family members. In Missouri, they lived in several places, including St. Joseph, Savannah, and Kansas City.
As a teenager, Eminem wrote letters to his father; according to Debbie, all came back marked "return to sender". Friends and family remember Eminem as a happy child, but "a bit of a loner" who was often bullied. One bully, De'Angelo Bailey, severely injured Eminem's head (mentioned in his song "Brain Damage"); Debbie filed a lawsuit against the school in 1982, which was dismissed the following year. Eminem spent much of his youth in a working-class, primarily black, Detroit neighborhood. He and Debbie were one of three white households on their block, and Eminem was beaten by black youths several times. As a child he was interested in storytelling, aspiring to be a comic-book Artist before discovering hip hop. Eminem heard his first rap song ("Reckless", featuring Ice-T) on the Breakin' Soundtrack, a gift from Debbie's half-brother Ronnie Polkinghorn, who later became a musical mentor to him. When Polkinghorn committed suicide in 1991, Eminem stopped speaking for days and did not attend his funeral.
Eminem's home life was seldom stable; he frequently fought with his mother, whom a social worker described as having a "very suspicious, almost paranoid personality". When her son became famous, Debbie was unimpressed by suggestions that she was a less-than-ideal mother, contending that she sheltered him and was responsible for his success. In 1987, Debbie allowed runaway Kimberly Ann "Kim" Scott to stay at their home; several years later, Eminem began an on-and-off relationship with Scott. After spending three years in ninth grade due to truancy and poor grades, he dropped out of Lincoln High School at age 17. Although he was interested in English, he never explored literature (preferring comic books) and disliked math and social studies. Eminem worked at several jobs to help his mother pay the bills, later maintaining that she often threw him out of the house anyway. When she left to play bingo, he would blast the stereo and write songs.
Eminem has been scrutinized, as a Rapper and personally. He was married twice to Kimberly Anne "Kim" Scott. He met Kim in high school while he stood on a table with his shirt off rapping LL Cool J's "I'm Bad". Kim and her twin sister Dawn had run away from home; they moved in with Eminem and his mother when he was 15, and he began an on-and-off relationship with Kim in 1989. Their daughter Hailie was born on December 25, 1995. The two were married in 1999 and divorced in 2001. Although Eminem told Rolling Stone in 2002, "I would rather have a baby through my penis than get married again", he and Kim briefly remarried in January 2006. He filed for divorce in early April, agreeing to joint custody of Hailie. He also has custody of Dawn's daughter Alaina and Whitney, Kim's daughter from another relationship. In early 2010, Eminem denied tabloid reports that he and Kim had renewed their romantic relationship, however in the same statement his representative also confirmed that they now maintain a friendly relationship. He had legal custody of his younger half-brother Nathan. In his 2014 song "Headlights", Eminem apologized to, and reiterated his love for, his mother.
Eminem was soon signed to Jeff and Mark Bass's FBT Productions, and recorded his debut album Infinite for their independent Web Entertainment label. The album was a commercial failure upon its release in 1996. One lyrical subject of Infinite was his struggle to raise his newborn daughter, Hailie Jade Scott Mathers, on little money. During this period, Eminem's rhyming style, primarily inspired by Rappers Nas, Esham and AZ, lacked the comically violent slant for which he later became known. Detroit disc jockeys largely ignored Infinite, and the feedback Eminem did receive ("Why don't you go into rock and roll?") led him to craft angrier, moodier tracks. At this time Eminem and Kim Scott lived in a crime-ridden neighborhood, and their house was robbed several times. Eminem cooked and washed dishes for minimum wage at Gilbert's Lodge, a family-style restaurant at St. Clair Shores. His former boss described him as becoming 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. By March 1997 he was fired from Gilbert's Lodge for the last time, and lived in his mother's mobile home with Kim and Hailie.
After he was evicted from his home, Eminem went to Los Angeles to compete in the 1997 Rap Olympics, an annual, nationwide battle rap competition. He placed second, and Interscope Records staff in attendance sent a copy of the Slim Shady EP to company CEO Jimmy Iovine. Iovine played the tape for record Producer Dr. Dre, founder of Aftermath Entertainment and founding member of hip-hop group N.W.A. 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.'" Although his associates criticized him for hiring a white Rapper, he was confident in his decision: "I don't give a fuck if you're purple; if you can kick it, I'm working with you." Eminem had idolized Dre since listening to N.W.A. as a teenager, and was nervous about working with him on an album: "I didn't want to be starstruck or kiss his ass too much ... I'm just a little white boy from Detroit. I had never seen stars, let alone Dr. Dre." He became more comfortable working with Dre after a series of productive recording sessions.
After Eminem's Multi-Platinum record sales, Interscope offered him his own label; he and Paul Rosenberg founded Shady Records in late 1999. Eminem signed his Detroit collective, D12, and Rapper Obie Trice to the label and signed 50 Cent in a 2002 joint venture with Dr. Dre's Aftermath label. In 2003, Eminem and Dr. Dre added Atlanta Rapper Stat Quo to the Shady-Aftermath roster. DJ Green Lantern, Eminem's former DJ, was with Shady Records until a dispute related to the 50 Cent-Jadakiss feud forced him to leave the label. The Alchemist is currently Eminem's tour DJ. In 2005 Eminem signed another Atlanta Rapper, Bobby Creekwater, and West Coast Rapper Cashis to Shady Records.
He was the bestselling Artist from 2000 to 2009 in the US according to Nielsen SoundScan, and has since sold 47.4 million albums sold in the country. With global sales of 220 million records, he is one world's best-selling artists of all time. Eminem has over ten billion views of his music videos on his YouTube Vevo page. In 2010, Eminem's music generated 94 million streams (more than any other musical artist), and in May 2014 Spotify called him the most-streamed Artist of all time. According to Billboard, two of Eminem's albums are among the top-five bestselling albums from 2000 to 2010. "Love the Way You Lie" (11× platinum) and "Not Afraid" (10× platinum) are certified Diamond by the RIAA, making him the first Artist with two digital diamond-certified songs in the US. In the UK, Eminem has sold over 12.5 million records. As of June 2014, Eminem is the second-bestselling male Artist of the Nielsen SoundScan era, the sixth-bestselling Artist in the United States and the bestselling hip-hop Artist, with sales of 45.1 million albums and 42 million tracks (including 31 million digital single certifications). Eminem has had ten number-one albums on the Billboard 200: seven solo (five original albums and two compilations), two with D12 and one with Bad Meets Evil. The Eminem Show, The Marshall Mathers LP, and Encore were ranked the third-, seventh- and fortieth-bestselling albums of the 2000–2009 decade, respectively. Eminem has had 13 number-one singles worldwide. Eminem has been credited of rising the careers of rap proteges such as 50 Cent, Yelawolf, Stat Quo, Royce da 5'9", Cashis, Obie Trice, Bobby Creekwater, and rap groups such as D12 and Slaughterhouse.
After small roles in the 2001, film The Wash and as an extra in the 1998 Korn music video for Got the Life (during which he gave the band a demo tape), Eminem made his Hollywood debut in the quasi-autobiographical 2002 film 8 Mile. He said it was a representation of growing up in Detroit rather than an account of his life. He recorded several new songs for the Soundtrack, including "Lose Yourself" (which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2003 and became the longest-running #1 hip hop single in history). Eminem was absent from the ceremony, and co-composer Luis Resto accepted the award.
He shared the 2002 Academy Award for Best Original Song for his song Lose Yourself, co-written with Jeff Bass and Luis Resto. His Academy Award win made him the first Rapper to receive this award.
Eminem has received fifteen Grammy Awards, has been praised for his "verbal energy" and lyrical quality and was ranked ninth on MTV's Greatest MCs of All Time list. In 2003, he was thirteenth on MTV's 22 Greatest Voices in Music list and 82nd on Rolling Stone's Immortals list. In 2008, Vibe readers named Eminem the Best Rapper Alive.
After their debut, D12 took a three-year break from the studio. They reunited in 2004 for their second album, D12 World, which included the hit singles "My Band" and "How Come". "American Psycho 2" featuring Cypress Hill member, B-Real, was another popular hit. According to D12 member Bizarre, Eminem was not featured on his album Blue Cheese & Coney Island because "he's busy doing his thing".
In 2005, Eminem was ranked 58th in Bernard Goldberg's book, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America. Goldberg cited a 2001 column by Bob Herbert of The New York Times, in which Herbert wrote "In Eminem's world, all women are whores and he is eager to rape and murder them", and the song "No One's Iller" from the Slim Shady EP as examples of Eminem's misogyny. That summer Eminem began his first US concert tour in three years, with the Anger Management 3 Tour featuring 50 Cent, G-Unit, Lil Jon, D12, Obie Trice and The Alchemist. In August he canceled the European leg of the tour, later announcing that he had entered drug rehabilitation for treatment of a "dependency on sleep medication". Curtain Call: The Hits was released December 6, 2005 by Aftermath Entertainment. During its first week it sold nearly 441,000 copies in the US, and was Eminem's fourth consecutive number-one album on the Billboard Hot 200. The album has been certified double platinum by the RIAA.
On December 5, 2006, the compilation album Eminem Presents: The Re-Up was released on Shady Records. The project began as a mixtape, but when Eminem found the material better than expected he released it as an album. The Re-Up was intended to introduce Stat Quo, Cashis and Bobby Creekwater. While he was recording Infinite, Eminem, Proof and Kon Artis assembled a group of fellow Rappers now known as D12, short for "Detroit Twelve" or "Dirty Dozen", who performed in a style similar to Wu-Tang Clan. In 2001 D12's debut album, Devil's Night, was released. The first single from the album was "Shit on You", followed by "Purple Pills" (an ode to recreational drug use) and "Fight Music". "Purple Pills" was rewritten for radio and television, removing many of the song's references to drugs and sex, and renamed "Purple Hills".
In December 2007, Eminem was hospitalized after a methadone overdose he had first bought from a dealer who had told him it was "just like Vicodin, and easier on [your] liver". He continued to buy more, until he collapsed in his bathroom one night and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors there told him he had ingested the equivalent of four bags of heroin and was "about two hours from dying". After missing Christmas with his children, Eminem checked himself out of the facility weak and not fully detoxed. He tore the meniscus in his knee after falling asleep on his sofa, requiring surgery; after he returned home, he had a seizure. His drug use "ramped right back to where it was before" within a month. Eminem began to attend church meetings to get clean, but after he was asked for autographs he sought help from a rehabilitation counselor. He began an exercise program which emphasized running. Elton John was a mentor during this period, calling Eminem once a week to check on him.
Eminem's autobiography, The Way I Am, was published October 21, 2008. Detailing his struggles with poverty, drugs, fame, heartbreak and depression, it includes stories of his rise to fame, commentary about past controversies and original lyric sheets from "Stan" and "The Real Slim Shady". An autobiography of Eminem's mother (My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem) was published the following month, in which Debbie Nelson describes her childhood and adolescence, meeting Eminem's father and her son's rise to (and struggles with) fame.
According to a March 5, 2009 press release, Eminem would release two new albums that year. Relapse, the first, was released on May 19; its first single and music video, "We Made You", had been released on April 7. Although Relapse did not sell as well as Eminem's previous albums and received mixed reviews, it was a commercial success and re-established his presence in the hip-hop world. It sold more than five million copies worldwide. During the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, Sacha Baron Cohen descended on the audience in an angel costume. He landed buttocks-first on Eminem, who stormed out of the ceremony; three days later, Eminem said that the stunt had been staged. On October 30 he headlined at the Voodoo Experience in New Orleans, his first full performance of the year. Eminem's act included several songs from Relapse, many of his older hits and an appearance by D12. On November 19, he announced on his website that Relapse: Refill would be released on December 21. The album was a re-release of Relapse with seven bonus tracks, including "Forever" and "Taking My Ball". Eminem described the CD:
In August 2011, Eminem was called the King of Hip-Hop by Rolling Stone, which analyzed album sales, R&B, hip-hop and rap chart positions, YouTube views, social media, concert grosses, industry awards and critical ratings of solo Rappers who released music from 2009 to the first half of 2011. His second major-label album, The Marshall Mathers LP, was the fastest-selling solo album in US history and was ranked one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time by Rolling Stone, Time and XXL. Rolling Stone ranked it the seventh-best album of the first decade of the 21st century. The album's third single ("Stan") is one of Eminem's most critically acclaimed songs, with Pitchfork calling it "a cultural milestone".
Eminem announced on May 24, 2012, that he was working on his next album, scheduled for release the following year. Without a title or release date, it was included on a number of "Most Anticipated Albums of 2013" lists (including MTV); Complex ranked it sixth, and XXL fifth.
Eminem appeared in two commercials which were shown during Super Bowl XLV. In the first, a one-minute spot for Lipton's Brisk iced tea, he is a claymation figure. In the second, a two-minute ad – the longest in Super Bowl history at the time – for the Chrysler 200, Eminem drives through Detroit (with "Lose Yourself" as the soundtrack) to his show at the Fox Theatre.
In January 2014, Bass Brothers announced that D12 had returned to record at F.B.T. Studio and they were working on an album with Eminem on at least three songs. Bizarre reported that he was still part of the group and that the album was scheduled for a 2014 release.
Eminem is the executive Producer of the Soundtrack on the Sports drama Southpaw, with Shady Records. The first single from the Soundtrack called 'Phenomenal' was released on June 2, 2015. Another single, "Kings Never Die" by Eminem featuring Gwen Stefani, was released on July 10, 2015 on YouTube via Eminem's Vevo account. Eminem was the first interview of Zane Lowe in Beats 1. The interview streamed online on the Beats 1 radio on July 1, 2015. Eminem appeared on the public access show Only in Monroe, produced in Monroe, Michigan, and was interviewed by guest host Stephen Colbert for an episode that aired July 1, 2015. In the episode Eminem sang snippets of Bob Seger songs at Colbert's prompting and briefly discussed Southpaw. In June 2015, it was revealed that he will serve as the executive Producer and music supervisor on the TV series Motor City whose premise will be based upon the 2002 film Narc.
In September 2016, Eminem was featured on Skylar Grey's song, "Kill For You", which appears on her album, Natural Causes. On October 19, 2016, Eminem released a new song called "Campaign Speech", a political hip hop song, and announced he was working on a new album. On November 17, 2016, Eminem released a remastered version of 'Infinite' on his YouTube VEVO channel. On November 22, 2016, Eminem released a trailer for a 10-minute short documentary called Partners in Rhyme: The True Story of Infinite.
In September 2017, a company called Royalty Flow (a subsidiary of Royalty Exchange), filed to issue an IPO under SEC Regulation A+ to raise money with the intent of purchasing either 15% or 25% of Eminem’s former production team’s (The Bass Brothers, aka FBT Productions) share of his sound recording royalties.
In 2018, an extended edition of "Nowhere Fast" with Kehlani and a remix of "Chloraseptic" featuring 2 Chainz and Phresher were released from Revival.