Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), known by his primary stage name Eminem, or by his alter-ego Slim Shady, is an Academy Award- and Grammy Award-winning American rapper, record producer and actor.
Eminem quickly gained popularity in 1999 with his major-label debut album The Slim Shady LP. The following album, The Marshall Mathers LP, became the fastest-selling hip hop album in history, followed by an increasing amount of popularity, critical praise, as well as controversy.
Throughout his career, Eminem has developed into one of the most popular rappers of all-time, and is planning on releasing his first album since 2004, Relapse, in 2009. Marshall Bruce Mathers III was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, the son of Deborah Mathers-Briggs and Marshall Bruce Mathers, Jr. Shortly after his birth, his father abandoned his family. Until he was twelve, Marshall Mathers and his mother often moved between St. Joseph; Kansas City, Missouri and Warren, Michigan, a Detroit suburb. As a teenager, Mathers became interested in hip hop, performing amateur raps at age fourteen under the pseudonym “M&M” and joining the group Soul Intent around 1995, when his first single was released. Although a student at Lincoln High School in Warren, he frequently participated in freestyle battles at Osborn High School across town, gaining the approval of underground hip hop audiences. After repeating the ninth grade twice due to truancy, he dropped out of high school at age 17. Since 1992, Mathers had been signed to FBT Productions, run by brothers Jeff and Mark Bass. Mathers also held a minimum-wage job of cooking and dishwashing at the restaurant Gilbert’s Lodge at St. Clair Shores for some time. In 1996, his debut album Infinite, which was recorded at the Bassment, a recording studio owned by the Bass brothers, was released under their independent label Web Entertainment. Eminem recalls: “Obviously, I was young and influenced by other artists, and I got a lot of feedback saying that I sounded like Nas and AZ.
Infinite was me trying to figure out how I wanted my rap style to be, how I wanted to sound on the mic and present myself. It was a growing stage. I felt like Infinite was like a demo that just got pressed up.” Subjects covered in Infinite included his struggles with raising his newborn daughter Hailie Jade Scott while on limited funds. Early in his career, Eminem collaborated with fellow Detroit MC Royce da 5’9″ under the stage name Bad Meets Evil.