The Real Marshall Mathers What is the genuine Marshall Mathers like? If people look past the surface, they will find a nice person. It’s only when he’s backed into a corner that he retaliates. He’s one of the most controversial singers out there today. You don’t have to like him but you can’t ignore him. Eminem, (Em), a.k.a., Slim Shady, a.k.a. Marshall Bruce Mathers III was born in Kansas City, Missouri but he and his mother shuttled back and forth between Missouri and Michigan, rarely staying in one house more then a year or two. Marshall has never met his father to this day because his parents split and his dad moved to California. They finally settled down in Detroit, Michigan when Marshall was eleven. They moved to the east side of Detroit when he was twelve, switching schools every two to three months, making it difficult for Marshall to make friends, stay out of trouble, and graduate. The East Side is a largely black, low-middle class Detroit neighborhood. They were the only white family on their block. After failing the ninth grade for the third time, he finally gave up and dropped out of school. (www.eminem.com/bibliograghy, 1) Marshall has had it rough from the beginning but things only got worst when he and his mother moved to the “black” side of Detroit. There was bound to be some confrontations and obstacles in his path. One of his worst nemeses of high school was a black guy named D’Anglio Bailey, although no one called him that. One day he came into the bathroom when Eminem was urinating and D’ Anglio beat the crap out of him, Em urinated all over himself. He’s the bully that gets the broomstick in the song “brain damage”. But the thing that really hurt him was one day during recess in the winter; Em was taunting a younger friend of D’Anglio. He came running from the other side of the playground and hit Em so hard into the snow bank that he blanked out. Em was sent home and his ear started to bleed and he was taken to the hospital. He had a cerebral hemorrhage and was in and out consciousness for five days. The doctors didn’t think Marshall would make it. Later on, Em was walking home from school when a car full of black males gave Em the finger, so Em gave them the finger right back. Thinking nothing of it he kept on walking without knowing that the car had pulled over a block up the street and was waiting for Em. One of the guys came up and hit him in the face, knocking him to the ground. He then pulled out a gun, so Em ran right out of this shoes, thinking that that’s what they wanted, but when he came back the next day, they were still stuck in the mud, that’s how he knew it was racial. Although, he did make friends while living with Detroit, Em was the only white guy in an all black gang. Most of which are still rapping with him, appearing in his CD’s, as D-12. One of the more awful things that happened to him was his relationship with his girlfriend, Kim. Em was living on the East Side, while Kim lived on the West Side. In order to see her, had to stride through all black neighborhoods, in which he got beat up regularly and was shot at once. There relationship has been off and on. Em has a daughter, Halie Jade, who he loves more than anything else in the world. Even though Em and Kim have had have been through a lot together they have also had their disagreements and have since split. After Em took Halie to the studio where he recorded a song in which he kills Kim tried to commit suicide but survived and filed for divorce. There’s no doubting that Eminem had it tough growing up in an all black neighborhood, his only solace from all his troubles was rapping. The very first rap song Em ever listened to was “Reckless”, a track featuring Ice-T, which his uncle Ronnie gave him. His uncle Ronnie ended up killing himself. Em was so devastated he didn’t talk for days and didn’t go to the funeral. (www.eminem.com/bibliography, 1) Nowadays, it’s hard for Em to walk down the street in his old neighborhood without getting mobbed by his fans. It’s gotten so bad that he’s had to move to a gated property outside Detroit. Although, Em hasn’t always been this popular while rapping. He picked up a pencil and became to write when he was fifteen. He started to rap on a local radio station with this small production company called Web Entertainment. They put out a record called Infinite in 1996. Em was desperate to be embraced by Detroit’s hip-hop scene; unfortunately, Em rapped in such a way that people accused him of sounding too much like Nas and AZ. “Infinite was me trying to figure out how I wanted my rap style to be, how I wanted to sound like on the mic and present myself. It was a growing stage. I felt like Infinite was like a demo that just got pressed up. I had nothing to lose but everything to gain. If I made an album for me and it was to my satisfaction, then I succeeded.” (www.eminem.com/bibliography, 1) After Em’s first failed record was over, things took a turn for the better when Marshall met Slim Shady. An alternate personality Em met while sitting on the john one day. Slim Shady was created to take revenge on the world as well as act as a defense mechanism. He suddenly started to write songs about his life and his high school nemeses. In 1997, the night before Em left for the Rap Olympics in L.A, Em had to break into his own house because there was an eviction notice and he had nowhere to go. Em had no heat or water or electricity. Forced to sleep on the floor, Em woke up angry and ticked off. There was this black guy in the front row of the crowd yelling just give to the white boy. It’s over. Give it to the white boy’. While Em may have lost the battle he won the war. Em didn’t lose when Dr. Dre took a listen to Eminem on a demo tape. (Dr. Dre is the Godfather of Rap). “In my entire career in the music industry, “Dre says” I have never found anything on a demo tape of a CD. When Jimmy played this, I said, Find him, Now!'” (www.eminem.com/bibliography, 1). It’s been mostly downhill from there with his music career. His debut record The Slim Shady LP sold 480,000 copies in the first week.