Anyone who grew up in the ’90s knows about Marshall Mathers’ Slim Shady past. The iconic rapper, who’s best known by his stage name Eminem, is no stranger to the mass media.
His troubled relationships with women, his struggles with drug addiction, and his hot-tempered nature have earned him a spot in the limelight. What can we say? We love the drama.
As if all that wasn’t enough, Eminem gave to us the gift of 8 Mile…a biopic about his hard upbringing in Detroit, Michigan, and how he started rap battling his way to becoming the star he still is today.
For many ’90s kids, Eminem provided a sounding board for pent-up teen angst, but now that we’re a bit older, we have to wonder: where’s Slim Shady at these days?
See for yourself and SHARE with all the fans.
Marshall Bruce Mathers III was born on October 17, 1972, in St. Joseph Missouri.
His early life was fraught with the pain he’d later use as creative inspiration. His father wanted nothing to do with him, so his mother raised him on her own. She struggled to hold down a job for more than a few months at a time, though, so the young Slim Shady in-the-making spent much of his early years moving in between housing projects in Missouri and Detroit.
Moving so much in his youth meant Marshall never felt settled and never made close friends. Instead, he was bullied for being the new kid.
He’s since rapped about this time as one of the most turbulent in his life. He claimed his mother was addicted to prescriptions and abused him both emotionally and physically. These accusations would later cost the rapper $25,000 in a $10 million defamation suit his mother filed against him…but we’re getting ahead of ourselves, aren’t we?
As Marshall grew older, things only got harder for him.
While attending Lincoln High School in Michigan, he failed the ninth grade three times. He always loved English, though. Despite that, the would-be rapper called it quits with school at the young age of 17. His mom had taken in a runaway teen girl, who would later become his wife, Kim. He’d go on to work as a dishwasher and get shot by a gang. Then, his brother-like uncle Ronnie would kill himself, leaving a lasting impact on the would-be rapper. Ronnie was the one who introduced Marshall to rap.
Marshall then took his passion for words to the streets.
His angry lyrics fit right into the angsty rage that characterized much of the late ’80s and early ’90s rap scene. It’s here that he began to make the connections that would help him penetrate the market as a white rapper.
Marshall’s thick skin and uncrushable spirit helped him climb the social ladder and become one of the most respected figures in Detroit’s underground rap scene.
It’s here that he adopted the stage name Eminem, the phonetic way to say his initials.
At this stage in his life, Eminem would become the father to little Hailie Jade Mathers.
It’s also around this time that the relationship with his mother grew worse. She’d start accusing him of battery. She’d then be accused of abusing Eminem’s half-brother, and lose and regain custody all within about a year. Eminem released his first album, Infinite, and sold about 500 copies…from the back seat of his car. Marshall’s initial lack of success meant he’d have to go back into the kitchen…this time as a cook.
While working as a cook, he won second place in a Rap Olympics in L.A.
Less than a year later, in February of 1998, he’d sign with Dr. Dre.
On Feb. 23, 1998, he dropped The Slim Shady LP. Then, on June 6, 1999, he married Kim.
Things were looking up for him. He then released The Marshall Mathers LP and sold 1.75 million copies. He’d reached star status. Things would take another turn for the worse, though…
In June of 2000, Eminem caught Kim cheating and beat the man in a public brawl that landed him with three years probation.
Not long after, Kim tried to commit suicide. Then, he divorced her. Next, his mom showed up again and sued him. The turmoil began to take its toll.
Over the next few years, Eminem would have many ups and downs with Kim, prescription drugs, and the law.
The struggle started catching up to him. Eminem went through yet another breakup with Kim, drug addiction, and released several more albums…and a feature film in 2002 explaining it all.
The media went into a frenzy time and time again with all sorts of accusations coming at the star.
He was accused of defaming a past bully of his, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears…the list goes on. Due to the violent nature of his lyrics, women’s groups and the LGBTQ community begin to protest at every chance they got.
In 2005, Eminem enters rehab and donates $200,000 to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
He remarries Kim, and they separate not long after. Between 2006 and 2009…he goes pretty darn quiet.
He goes through a major look change from the iconic bright blonde to a natural brunette. He bursts back onto the scene with his album Relapse.
It makes #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. He continues rapping about his struggles and releases yet another album: Recovery.
His looks begin to change even more as he matures.
Almost overnight, he’s transformed. He’s back to blond, too.
This is Eminem today:
He’s now an accomplished rapper, writer, producer, and actor. He and Kim are not currently together.