Eminem, named Marshall Mathers by birth, was born on October 17, 1972, in Missouri. He is an American rapper who rose to fame with his notorious and influential music. At the age of 44, Mathers is the seventh richest rapper in the world with a net worth of $210 million as of 2019. He is also known as ‘The Slim Shady’ after his 1999 major-label debut. It was Eminem who brought English rap as a mainstream recognition with his brilliant albums. He has been nominated for acclaimed honors and awards like Grammy and even Oscars for his work. The rap-singer has been mostly in talks or we would say gave way to outrage from some suburban parents and politicians alike for his controversial, violent and sometimes subversive lyrics.
No matter what way he chooses, he reaches the audience with his rap and that makes his success undeniable. Though many rappers rose to success over the years Eminem still holds the title of the rapper with a highest-selling rap album, ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’.
The Controversial Success Story of Eminem and His Net Worth by 2019
Eminem’s Early Life
Born in St. Joseph, Mo., Marshall Mathers’ father abandoned him and his mother when he was an infant. Eminem a.k.a. Mathers has said in many of his interviews that he use to write letters to his father who lived in California with his two other kids but all the letters came back addressed ‘return to sender’. He had a troublesome childhood with a mother suffering from mental illness and a victim of abuse. She failed to have a long-term job. Most of his childhood days were spent under the care of his uncle, aunt and half-brother.
As he was always on the move throughout his childhood, Mathers hardly had any friends in the 30 schools he attended. When he was in a school in Detroit, his classmates bullied him and the worst was the incident of flipping him on his head which took him to the hospital for a cerebral hemorrhage. He struggled in and out of consciousness for almost 5 days.
Another phase of his childhood struggle was failing the ninth standard thrice but it was not that Marshall was not interested in anything. He had a great interest in storytelling and comic books before it landed upon rap. His passion for comic books and rap made him study dictionaries and improving his command of the language. Music was his love from a very young age, he used to listen to his uncle play Ice-T’s feature ‘Reckless’. He made his first rap at the age of 14 when he started participating in rap battles in Detroit. When 17, he dropped out of the school in Michigan and started doing odd jobs to make ends meet for his family while investing time for his passion for rap.
It was a long road with steep turns and obstacles on the way that leads Eminem to the heights of success. He worked as a cook, factory-worker and dishwasher after dropping out of the school. All this while, when he was struggling with these odd jobs, he made efforts to close a record deal. With all these happening, he got into a relationship with Kim Scott, a runaway who moved in with Mather and his mother when he was 15 and she 13. The two even had an unplanned child Hallie Scott in the year 1995 while their relationship went on and off over the years.
Talking about the rap scene in his life, he started with underground rap battles in Detroit and made a name in the city. Following his mark of good reputation in the underground rap scene of Detroit, he released his independent label album, ‘Infinite’. Despite his name in the rap scene, the album turned out to be a commercial flop and failed to make a mark even in Detroit. It brought little attention to Mathers talent as the raps in the album focused more on his struggles raising his child which still prevails in his raps but the comic violence was missing then.
His first musical endeavor was a big flop. Filled with disappointment and self-doubt, he utilized his time outside his weekly 60 hours of cooking and dishwashing, to create a more aggressive, harsher and angry style to use in the creation of his ruthless alter-ego, Slim Shady. Then? He lost his job.
He was 25 and without any income. Kim left him with their daughter and he started developing a dependency on pain killers. Mathers once tried taking his life with an overdose of Tylenol. Thanks to the Gods in heaven, it didn’t work and they got a call from the rising rap star advocate of the time, Wendy Day. He gave him news of the 1997 Rap Olympics in Los Angeles. The hope of winning the $500 prize and a Rolex watch made Eminem take the decision of entering into the competition.
One night before the event, Eminem got an eviction notice at his house and not having any place to go, he spent the night on the unheated floor of his previous residence. On reaching the Rap Olympics, he breezed from one round to another with legendary rap battles until the round with a local battle rapper, Otherwise. He lost the round and left the stage in disappointment. Before leaving, he met an employee of Interstate Records, a Jimmy Lovine label, who asked for a copy of ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’.
The CD, call it his fate, reached Dr. Dre, the platinum-selling rapper, Interstate Record member and N.W.A veteran. Impressed by the very first minute, Dre has away all the circulating doubts of working with a white rapper and asked Eminem to flow in. he was now in Dr. Dre’s studio, rhyming his future single hit, ‘My Name Is’. Dre was immensely convinced and asked him to start working on Slim Shady LP and the rest is all history.
Slim Shady LP, released in 1999, was his first major hit. Eminem never looked back from there and came up with hit rap albums and single hits. He has collaborated with various artists like Ed Sheeran, Lil Wayne, Drake, Rihanna and 50 Cent. and even worked in a movie based on his life story. He has released several albums and sold more than 40 million copies, let alone in the U.S.
Controversy in Eminem’s Life
Eminem has been the target of criticism since his ‘Guilty Conscience’. It first invaded the air in 1999 through his lyrics. It reflected unrepentant misogyny and homophobia. He, through his songs advocated violence against the LGBTQ community and women. Eminem has been known for his outspoken defense claiming the sheer difference between his artistic persona and his personal views. In Grammys, he performed with Elton John to show his support for the gay community. All this supposedly good work was perceived in the wrong way leading to controversy. People couldn’t overlook the impact of his strong, directed and violent lyrics on young listeners.
A congressional investigation was initiated by Lynne Cheney in the year 2000 that aimed in curtailment of Eminem’s music marketing. She labeled him as a ‘violent misogynist’ and after the 9/11 terror war, any prevailing political focus was washed away from the violent media content. But, the press had no intention to look over it.
From the Pitchfork to the NME to the New York Times, everyone was pointing at the rapper. Eminem, on the other side, was trying to present a mature version of himself but he still failed to give away his old habits of including, homophobia, violence, misogyny in his lyrics.
Eminem’s Net Worth, Awards and Achievements
Even after so many controversies, now which have been a part of all his music endeavors, Eminem has made a mark in the rap industry. HE is today, one of the most successful rappers with a net worth of $210 million. He is next to the big names in the rap scene of the United States such as Jay Z, dr. Dre, and Kanye West. Dr. Dre has been his friend, longtime collaborator and mentor, being an important part of Eminem’s success story. A part of Eminem’s income also comes from other ventures like audio gear, clothing lines and investment portfolios.
Awards and Honors
- Billboard Music Awards – Album of the Year (The Eminem Show, 2002)
- Billboard Music Awards – Top Rap Artist (2014)
- Brit Awards – Best International Male Solo Artist (2003, 2004)
- Academy Awards – Best Original Song (Lose Yourself, 2003)
- MOBO Awards – Best International Act (2010)
- Billboard Music Awards – Artist of the Decade (2009)
- Vibe Magazine Special Awards – Best Rapper Alive (2008)
- Grammy Awards – Best Rap Album (Recovery, 2011)
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