Eminem, the crude, angry, motor-mouthed icon of his generation, has a spot on “Rolling Stone’s” list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. He’s a rapper, producer, record executive, songwriter, and actor. His career took off in 1999 with “The Slim Shady LP,” which earned him a Grammy for Best Rap Album. His most recent studio album, “Kamikaze,” came out in August 2018. He’s had a number of legal issues over the years and has struggled with prescription drug addiction. Eminem celebrates a birthday on October 17.
Key Moments in Eminem's Life
- October 6, 2017
At the BET Hip Hop Awards, Eminem performed this freestyle rap during which he vocally criticized President Trump. Video of the rap went viral and proved the enduring relevance of Eminem's confrontational style.
- November 8, 2002
Eminem's hit movie premiered in theaters. Its plot draws heavily from Eminem's upbringing and early career — telling the story of a white working-class boy from the Detroit trailer parks trying to make it big in the rap game.
- February 23, 1999
"The Slim Shady LP"
Eminem's major-label debut, "The Slim Shady LP," generated rave reviews and huge sales. It would go on to win Best Rap Album and be the first of three consecutive diamond-selling albums for Eminem (a new world-record for a male artist).
Eminem Met Dr. Dre
Video of Eminem's performance in a rap battle wound up in the hands of N.W.A. founding member Dr. Dre, who simply told his assistant:"Find him. Now." Dre would go on to produce Eminem's major-label debut, "The Slim Shady LP."
How to Celebrate Eminem's Birthday
Host your own rap battle
Eminem built his rap career on the strength of his performance in underground rap battles, as seen in the quasi-autobiographical "8 Mile." Spin up a beat and try it out. You never know — you could be the next huge rap talent!
Watch "8 Mile"
The movie is a great demonstration of Eminem's rapping skills as well as the natural charisma that made him a star.
Put on some Eminem records
Eminem's many chart-topping classics, including "The Slim Shady LP," "The Marshall Mathers LP," and "Relapse," have charted the star's artistic growth over his long career. Just make sure the kids aren't in the room when you put them on!
Eminem's 4 Weirdest Feuds
Soft-spoken electronic musician Moby spoke up about Eminem's perceived misogynistic and homophobic lyrics. In response, Eminem offered to fight Moby at the 2002 Video Music Awards.
Triumph the Insult Comic Dog
The notoriously sarcastic puppet ribbed Eminem over his feud with Moby at the 2004 Video Music Awards in a segment that MTV ultimately chose not to broadcast Eminem later insulted the dog back on his track "A** Like That."
"Weird Al" Yankovic
The parody songster obtained Eminem's permission to record a parody of Eminem's hit "Lose Yourself," which he planned to accompany with a video and promote as his new album's lead single. However, Eminem refused to let Weird Al record a video, citing concerns about harm to his image. Yankovic later trashed the rapper in an "Al TV" segment for MTV.
President George W. Bush
In 2003, the Secret Service grappled with allegations that Eminem had threatened President Bush in the song "We As Americans," which contained the lyrics "I don't rap for dead presidents / I'd rather see the president dead." Bush never responded directly, but Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, scolded Eminem for encouraging violence against political figures.