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Eminem is one of the best rap artists to grace the charts of this music genre’s rather brief history. Like many before him, he has helped shape the field and propel it into the mainstream.
After about two decades of making music, the rapper who once filled the charts with uncontrolled rage has reinvented himself as an artist.
Marshall Bruce Mathers III – more popularly known as Eminem – was born on the 17th of October, 1972 in St. Joseph, Missouri. His father left the family when he was only a baby, so his mother Deborah Mathers had to raise him all by herself.
Since she could barely hold down a job, the family had to move back and forth Missouri and Detroit, Michigan. They stayed in one public housing project after another, while Eminem had to switch schools two to three times a year.
Due to their itinerant lifestyle, the young Eminem didn’t have any close friends growing up. He was an outcast at almost every school—bullied and often beat up.
He went to Lincoln High School in Warren, Michigan. He quit school at 17. Although he didn’t excel in school, he was always good at English. He loved reading comic books and going through the dictionary.
Eminem, the Underground Rap Star
After dropping out of high school, Eminem found another way to pursue his love for language—music.
Hip hop was still on the rise when he dabbled in music, and rap was popular among black communities. Nevertheless, Eminem – who had pale skin and blue eyes – braved the underground rap scene.
He frequently competed in these rap battles, where contenders would take turns freestyling, mostly insulting their opponent. There, he was able to put his affinity for language to good use, and he excelled at it.
Eminem may have been the only white man in Detroit’s underground rap scene, but his beats and rhymes earned him the respect of other artists. For once in his life, he finally got what he deserved—respect.
Eminem discovered that music was something he was truly good at. He became a well-respected rapper in Detroit’s underground scene.
When he first started rapping, he called himself M&M, which is short for Marshall Mathers. This would eventually evolve into his current stage name—Eminem.
Like many musicians, Eminem had to work really hard to land a recording deal. If he wasn’t doing rap battles, he was working odd jobs to make ends meet.
Eminem still didn’t have a record deal when his daughter Hailie Jade Scott was born in 1995. She was the main reason why he never stopped trying. A year after her birth, Eminem produced his first indie album, which he named “Infinite.”
His record was an excellent representation of his wit and prowess in storytelling. In this album, he spoke about all the struggles he faced, following his daughter’s birth. His financial condition would take a turn for the worst in the following years.
The Real Slim Shady
Eminem and his family were forced to move in with his mother sometime in 1997. To cope with his struggles, the rap star came up with his now-famous alter-ego Slim Shady. In the same year, he produced his first extended record titled “Slim Shady EP.”
Eminem also participated in Rap Olympics and earned the second spot. Rap star and founder of Aftermath Entertainment Dr. Dre heard his record and saw potential in the struggling artist.
Two years later, Dr. Dre helped Eminem launch “The Slim Shady LP,” which catapulted the young rapper to fame. Hits like “Guilty Conscience” and “My Name Is” made it one of the most successful records in 1999.
Thanks to his successful album, Eminem was able to launch Shady Records with his friend Paul Rosenberg in the same year.
A year later, he produced another album which he called “The Marshall Mathers LP.” It sold nearly two million copies on the week of its debut. The album contained one of his most popular hits “The Real Slim Shady.”
Eminem, the Rap Star
“The Marshall Mathers LP” album sold more than 19 million copies worldwide. He even received a nomination for Album of the Year and won the Best Rap Album award at the Grammys.
From then onwards, Eminem continued to produce more chart-topping hits. Despite his success, his records were riddled with controversy. Critics were against them because of their offensive lyrical content, which often comes across as misogynistic and homophobic.
Eminem might not have avoided the use of profanity in his latest albums, but he has definitely embraced a more upbeat tune in his more recent music.
Here are 87 amazing quotes from Eminem:
“God gave you them shoes to fit you, so put them on and wear them. Be yourself man, be proud of who you are. Even if it sounds corny, don’t let no one tell you, you ain’t beautiful.” – Eminem
“The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed.” – Eminem
“Cause sometimes, you just feel tired. Feel weak. And when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up. But you gotta search within you. You gotta find that inner strength, and just pull that shit out of you. And get that motivation to not give up and not be a quitter.” – Eminem
“Everybody has goals, aspirations or whatever, and everybody has been at a point in their life where nobody believed in them…But when I say I’m going to do something, I have to do it.” – Eminem
“I realized, ‘Yo, I can’t do anything in moderation. I don’t know how.” – Eminem
“If there’s not drama and negativity in my life, all my songs will be really wack and boring or something.” – Eminem
“I try to treat all the money I’m making like it’s the last time I’m going to make it.” – Eminem
“I started learning how to not be so angry about things, learning how to count my f—ing blessings instead. By doing that, I’ve become a happier person, instead of all this self-loathing I was doing for a while.” – Eminem
“Success is my only option, failure’s not.” – Eminem
“If you have enemies, good that means you stood up for something.” – Eminem
“Behind every successful person lies a pack of haters.” – Eminem
“Love is just a word, but you bring it definition.” – Eminem
“Don’t let them say you ain’t beautiful. They can all get fu#ked just stay true to you.” – Eminem
“Dealing with backstabbers, there was one thing I learned. They’re only powerful when you got your back turned.” – Eminem
“When you’re a little kid, you don’t see color, and the fact that my friends were black never crossed my mind. It never became an issue until I was a teenager and started trying to rap.” – Eminem
“It sometimes feels like a strange movie, you know, it’s all so weird that sometimes I wonder if it is really happening” – Eminem
“I’m just a little bit sicker than the average individual I think.” – Eminem
“Imma be what I set out to be without a doubt undoubtedly.” – Eminem
“You’d have to walk a thousand miles in my shoes just to see what its like to be me!!” – Eminem
Don’t let them tell you ain’t beautiful.” –Eminem
“But music is reflection of self, we just explain it, and then we get our checks in the mail.” – Eminem
“Sometimes I feel like rap music is almost the key to stopping racism.” – Eminem
“Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity. To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment. Would you capture it or just let it slip?” – Eminem
“Before I was famous, when I was just working in Gilbert’s Lodge, everything was moving in slow motion.” – Eminem
“That’s why we seize the moment try to freeze it and own it, squeeze it and hold it.” – Eminem
“You better lose yourself in the music, the moment. You own it, you better never let it go. You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo” – Eminem
“You can try and read my lyrics off of this paper before I lay ’em, But you won’t take the sting out these words before I say ’em” – Eminem
“It was my decision to get clean, I did it for me. Admittedly I probably did it subliminally for you.” – Eminem
“Yeah, it’s been a ride I guess I had to go to that place to get to this one. Now some of you might still be in that place. If you’re trying to get out, just follow me, I’ll get you there.” – Eminem
“Why be a king, when you can be a god?” – Eminem
“You don’t get another chance. Life is no Nintendo game.” – Eminem
“We’ll walk this road together, through the storm. Whatever weather, cold or warm.” – Eminem
“I don’t do ‘black music,’ I don’t do ‘white music’…I make fight music, for high school kids.” – Eminem
“And I am, whatever you say I am. If I wasn’t, then why would I say I am?” – Eminem
“The moment I used my adversity to my advantage, my career exploded.” – Eminem
“Thanks cuz your hate is what gave me this strength.” – Eminem
“A normal life is boring.” – Eminem
“They can trigger me. But they’ll never figure me out.” – Eminem
“I say what I want to say and do what I want to do. There’s no in between. People will either love you for it or hate you for it.” – Eminem
“If people take anything from my music, it should be motivation to know that anything is possible as long as you keep working at it and don’t back down.” – Eminem
“Nobody likes to fail. I want to succeed in everything I do, which isn’t much. But the things that I’m really passionate about, if I fail at those, if I’m not successful, what do I have?” – Eminem
“People can try to reinvent themselves. I don’t think you can really change who you are, though, because who you are is pretty much where you came from and what you’ve done up to now.” – Eminem
“You can make something of your life. It just depends on your drive.” – Eminem
“Be proud of who you are.” – Eminem
“In my mind I’ma fighter, my heart’s a lighter, my soul is the fluid. My flow sparks it right up.” – Eminem
“You gotta find that inner strength and just pull that s**t out of you. And get that motivation to not give up and not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall on your face and collapse.” – Eminem
“We sing for these kids who don’t have a thing.” – Eminem
“Trust is hard to come by. That’s why my circle is small and tight. I’m kind of funny about making new friends.” – Eminem
“I was poor white trash, no glitter, no glamour, but I’m not ashamed of anything.” – Eminem
“Hip-hop is ever changing but you’ll always have the pack. And you’ll always have those people who are separated from the pack.” – Eminem
“Sporadic thoughts will pop into my head and I’ll have to go write something down, and the next thing you know I’ve written a whole song in an hour.” – Eminem
“The writing process, the way I go about it is I do whatever the beat feels like, whatever the beat is telling me to do. Usually when the beat comes on, I think of a hook or the subject I want to rap about almost instantly. Within four, eight bars of it playing I’m just like, ‘Oh, OK. This is what I wanna do’.” – Eminem
“Honestly, I’d love to be remembered as one of the best to ever pick up a mic, but if I’m doing my part to lessen some racial tension I feel good about what I’m doing.” – Eminem
“I don’t think I’ve ever read poetry, ever. I’m not really book-smart.” – Eminem
“There was certainly, like, a rebellious, like, youthful rage in me. And there was also the fact of no getting away from fact that I am white, and you know, this is predominantly black music, you know.” – Eminem
“Five or six songs leaked from the original version of ‘Encore.’ So I had to go in and make new songs to replace them.” – Eminem
“I have a slight bit of OCD, I think. I’m not walking around flipping light switches. But when I say I’m going to do something, I have to do it.” – Eminem
“I need to keep working on myself for a while.” – Eminem
“Yeah, I did see where the people dissing me were coming from. But, it’s like, anything that happened in the past between black and white, I can’t really speak on it, because I wasn’t there. I don’t feel like me being born the color I am makes me any less of a person.” – Eminem
“Say there’s a white kid who lives in a nice home, goes to an all-white school, and is pretty much having everything handed to him on a platter – for him to pick up a rap tape is incredible to me, because what that’s saying is that he’s living a fantasy life of rebellion.” – Eminem
” Ultimately, who you choose to be in a relationship with and what you do in your bedroom is your business.” – Eminem
“Hip-hop saved my life, man. It’s the only thing I’ve ever been even decent at. I don’t know how to do anything else.” – Eminem
“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
“I didn’t have nothin’ going for me… school, home… until I found something I loved, which was music, and that changed everything.” – Eminem
“It creeps me out sometimes to think of the person I was. I was a terrible person. I was mean to people.” – Eminem
“I was a smart kid, but I hated school.” – Eminem
“Anybody with a sense of humor is going to put on my album and laugh from beginning to end.” – Eminem
“There was a while when I was feeling like, ‘Damn, if I’d just been born black, I would not have to go through all this’.” – Eminem
“I stopped watching TV because of ‘The Wire.’ Like, ‘The Wire’ ruined everything for me because I don’t even want to watch anything else now.” – Eminem
“You know, not to sound corny or nuthin’, but I felt like a fighter comin’ up, man. I felt like, you know, I’m being attacked for this reason or that reason, and I gotta fight my way through this.” – Eminem
“Rap was my drug.” – Eminem
“The emotions in a song – the anger, aggression – have got to be legitimate.” – Eminem
“I’ve accomplished enough with the music that I haven’t had to go out there and do other things to over-saturate.” – Eminem
“Honestly, I never really put the mic down.” – Eminem
“I felt like I had a really bad case of writer’s block… Music is so therapeutic for me that if I can’t get it out, I start feeling bad about myself – a lot of self-loathing.” – Eminem
“Why is it so hard for people to believe that white people are poor?! I wouldn’t say I lived in a ghetto; I’d say I lived in the ‘hood. The same friends I had back then are the same people on tour with me now.” – Eminem
” I want to solidify as an artist and show that as I grow as a person and make mistakes and learn from them, I’m going to grow artistically.” – Eminem
“Well, I’m working all the time to stay out of trouble!” – Eminem
“I do say things that I think will shock people. But I don’t do things to shock people. I’m not trying to be the next Tupac, but I don’t know how long I’m going to be on this planet. So while I’m here, I might as well make the most of it.” – Eminem
“Certainly I’m not going to sit on the Internet all day and read what Sam from Iowa is saying about me. But I’m a sponge. I’ve always been a sponge.” – Eminem
“Throughout my career, I fed off the fuel of people not being able to understand me.” – Eminem
“I’m very much a creature of habit.” – Eminem
“I always say this about my music, and music in general: Music is like a time capsule. Each album reflects what I’m going through or what’s going on in my life at that moment.” – Eminem
“I think my first album opened a lot of doors for me to push the freedom of speech to the limit.” – Eminem
“I’ve been running a lot, taking care of myself.” – Eminem
“The album requires a certain focus of mine that I can’t really explain – let’s just say it’s all I can really do while I’m doing it.” – Eminem
“I always felt that if I was going to do a movie, I wanted it to be authentic.” – Eminem