Eminem BioThe rise of Eminem from humble origins to the top of the rap world was far from easy. It took grit, it took determination, and, most of all, it took talent.
Eminem, born Marshal Mathers on October 17, 1972, became interested in rapping while attending high school in Detroit, Michigan. Though there was initial resistance to the idea of a "white rapper," through perseverance he gradually gained acceptance, performed with local groups, and eventually cut independently his first solo album Infinite in 1996.
"A lot of my rhymes are just to get chuckles out of people. Anybody with half a brain is going to be able to tell when I'm joking and when I'm serious." ~ Eminem
He came to the attention of Interscope's Jimmy Iovine in 1997 in L.A. while competing in the Rap Olympics. He finished second in the freestyle category. Iovine later played Eminem's tape for Dr. Dre who loved it and wasted no time contacting Eminem and arranging a meeting. It has been reported that Dre was taken aback when he found out he had been dealing with a white boy, but, regardless, he didn't let it interfere with their mutual purpose. Within minutes, they had begun recording "My Name Is."
The collaboration with Dr. Dre was fruitful to say the least. Dre produced The Slim Shady EP in 1998. Behind it, Eminem quickly rose to national prominence. The Slim Shady LP (Buy Album) followed in 1999 and brought Eminem two grammys, one for Best Rap Solo Performance for the single "My Name Is," and one for Best Rap Album of 1999. In 2001, he teamed up with Dre again contributing a track, "Forgot About Dre," to a Dre album. For that contribution, he won another grammy, this one for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.¹
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