Transformation Tuesday: Eminem

November 5, 2013


Every story has a beginning, middle and end. For Marshall Bruce Mathers III, better known as Eminem, October 17, 1972 was the beginning of a story that will go down in history as forever changing the game. As the child of parents in a band that played in Ramada Inns along the Dakota-Montana border, Eminem was born with music flowing through his veins. As the story continues, Eminem has become one of the greatest rappers in the industry.

Signed to FBT Productions, Eminem recorded his debut album, Infinite in 1996, under the independent label Web Entertainment. With rhymes inspired by Nas and AZ, Infinite covered Eminem’s struggles of raising his newborn daughter while on limited funds. Eminem didn’t receive the expected feedback on Infinite as it was largely ignored by DJs in Detroit, causing Mathers to develop his ultra-violent alter ego Slim Shady. Slim Shady is a “drug-dealing, bloodthirsty thug, who spits furious rhymes about murder, rape and drugs,” who taps into Eminem’s rage. As the snow melted and the flowers began to bloom in spring 1997, Eminem headed back to the studio to record his debut EP, The Slim Shady EP. With constant references to sexual acts, over-the-top violence, drug use, and mental instability, The Slim Shady EP was released in February 1999 as Eminem’s major-label debut. The EP went on to become on of the most popular albums of 1999, hitting triple platinum by the year’s end.

Eminem started the 2000s off on the right foot, releasing The Marshall Mathers LP, which went on to sell 1.76 million copies in the first week. The first-week sales broke records previously held by Snoop Dogg as the fastest-selling hip-hop album and Britney Spears as the fastest-selling solo album in United States history. With tracks including “The Real Slim Shady,” “The Way I Am,” and “Stan,” Eminem faced plenty of backlash due to the album, which has been certified 10x Platinum by the RIAA. Two years later, Eminem released his third major album, The Eminem Show, which reached number one and sold well over 1.3 million copies in its first full week. Reflecting the impact of his rise to fame, his status in the hip-hop community, and his relationship with his wife and daughter, The Eminem Show has been certified 10x Platinum by the RIAA.

As 2002 continued, Eminem expanded his horizons and made his official Hollywood acting début in 8Mile. The semi-autobiographical film is said to be a representation of growing up in Detroit. Spending time in the studio, Eminem recorded several new songs for the soundtrack, including “Lose Yourself,” which would go on to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2003. In 2004, Eminem released Encore, his fourth major album also hitting the top of the charts. In the summer of 2005, Eminem embarked on his first United States concert run in three years with 50 Cent, G-Unit, Lil Jon, D12 and more.

May 19, 2009 was the release date for Eminem’s Relapse, selling more than 5 million copies worldwide and re-establishing Mathers’ presence in the hip-hop world. Seven months later, on December 21st, Eminem released Relapse: Refill, a re-release of Relapse with seven bonus tracks. On June 18, 2010, his seventh studio album, Recovery was released.  Selling 741,000 in its first week, Recovery became Eminem’s sixth consecutive No. 1 album in the United States and helped the Detroit native become the first artist in Nielsen SoundScan history to have two year-end best-selling albums.


Today, November 5th, marks the beginning of Eminem’s next chapter with the release of his eighth studio album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2. Revealed during the 2013 Video Music Awards, The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is a sequel to his previously released The Marshall Mathers LP. The album has been on the top of the iTunes charts since its announced pre-sale. Still sitting at the top, The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is definitely an album that everyone needs to listen to!

Throughout life, the story changes; people develop and grow into more diverse and complex personalities that learn from their past in order to better their future. As Eminem continues to expand his musical talents, we sit back and watch to see where this journey is going to take us. His transformation has been an incredible experience and we’re rooting for the best! Send us a tweet at @weknowthedj to let us know your thoughts on Eminem!


Meg C. (@megchamp07)


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