As a cocksure soothsaying statement, “It feels so empty without me” has sure rung true during the past couple of years in hip-hop. No fear, Marshall Mathers III is about to re-up.
As he returns to the public arena, Clash turns stalker to unearth twelve little known facts about the rapper.
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1. As a nine-year-old, Eminem was beaten so badly by a school bully that he spent over a week in a coma. His music has since been credited with helping to bring more than one fan out of similar states, including a twelve-year-old girl who was hit by a car in Northumberland.
2. As a youngster, Marshall harboured ambitions to become a comic book artist rather than a rapper, which explains various animated threads through-out his career, including the Dubya-baiting ‘Mosh’ video and The Slim Shady Show series.
3. The Slim Shady moniker may never have materialised if he’d pursued one of his pre-fame jobs as a cook at a family restaurant in Michigan. Still, you can take the white trash outta the trailer park, but old habits die hard: Em’s a Taco bell man nowadays.
4. Reckon Marshall’s turbulent marriage/divorce seesaw with on/off wife Kim mirrors the family unit’s decline? That’s nothing: his grandmother Betty Hixson comfortably eclipses those antics with five walks up the aisle. Nearly halfway there, Em’…
5. Despite a tearaway image and numerous brushes with the law, Mathers’ didn’t clock his first arrest until aged twenty, appre-hended for shooting at a cop car with a paintball gun. No word on whether the aftermath resembled a scene from Shady’s all-time favourite movie, classic gangster flick 'Scarface', but we’ll take a punt on no…
6. Another blond-bonced establishment upsetter, strip club magnate Peter Stringfellow, shares Eminem’s birthday. Also born on october 17th are Fugees rapper Wyclef Jean, Ziggy Marley and the late motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel.
7. Recently re-crowned King of Pop himself Michael Jackson co-owns rights in Em’s back catalogue, despite publicly pillaring Mr. Mathers for depicting him as a flammable plastic surgery-riddled sex offender in the ‘Just Lose It’ video. When ol’ Wacko and Sony/ATV Music Publishing acquired Famous Music LLC in 2007, the purchase included hits like ‘Without Me’ and ‘The Real Slim Shady’.
8. Moby bears no grudge despite also being on the receiving end of Eminem’s video nasties. “He is, I think, a really remarkably talented MC,” the bald-headed producer admitted last year. “If I was to meet him I would probably compliment him for being so talented. Some of his rhymes are really pretty impressive.”
9. At the risk of branding Eminem a hypocrite, however, he wasn’t so keen on parodies when poodle-haired musical piss-taker ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic came a-calling. Yankovic had permission refused to film a video for ‘Lose yourself’ take-off ‘Couch Potato’. Apparently, Mathers didn’t want to “detract from his image as a serious hip-hop artist”.
10. Adding to the list of musicians rumoured to have attracted attention from the US administration, unreleased Eminem song ‘We As Americans’ purportedly nudged the American secret service awake thanks to lyrics including “Fuck money / I don’t rap for dead presidents / I’d rather see the president dead”. Bush, not Obama, was the target of his ire.
11. Like many artistic types, Eminem is left-handed. If you look hard enough, various writing dexterity clues are buried within his music videos, as well as movie '8 Mile'.
12. Although Marshall Mathers’ iconic stage name is taken from his initials and not, sadly, moreish sugar-covered chocolate treats, one of the best Eminem-inspired works is an M&Ms portrait of the star by Florida artist Enrique Ramos. Assembled from more than eight pounds of sweets, over one thousand M&Ms were used.
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Words: Adam Anonymous
Eminem’s new album ‘Relapse’ is released on May 18th through Interscope/Aftermath/Shady, followed by ‘Relapse 2’ later this year.
Read Clash's review of 'Relapse' HERE. Get loads more Eminem content HERE.