Eminem isn’t just one of the best rappers working right now, he’s arguably one of the best rappers of all time. The man redefined rap in his early game and continued to do it as he evolved and matured. He changed how rap music was perceived by the mainstream and brought shock rap to the masses, while preaching some important messages.
1.His Different Names Represent Different Personas
2.He Has the Biggest Vocabulary on the Pop Charts
3.Elton John Is His Unofficial Sobriety Sponsor
4.Before He Cut His First Album, He Made $5.50 an Hour
Back in 1992, Eminem signed with FBT records after years of barely scraping by, trying to make ends meet. For a time, he worked as a cook and a dishwasher at Gilbert’s Lodge, a small family restaurant in Michigan, making a mere $5.50 an hour.
Five days before Christmas, and soon after releasing Infinite in 1996, he was fired from the restaurant; it also happened to be his daughter’s birthday. He wrote “Rock Bottom” right after that.
5.He Squatted in His Old Apartment the Night Before He Was Discovered by Dre
Eminem experienced what every musician dreams of… happenstance discovery. He was at the LA Rap Olympics and was noticed by someone in the mailroom at Interscope, who then managed to get his mixtape to Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. The two loved it (and mixtapes rarely ever turn into much).
What’s even crazier is that the night before, he had to break into his own place, from which he’d just been evicted. “I had to break in,” he says. “I didn’t have anywhere else to go. There was no heat, no water, no electricity. I slept on the floor, woke up, went to L.A. I was so pissed.”
6.His Best Friend’s Death Sent Him Into a Downward Spiral
Eminem’s best friend and fellow D12 member, Proof, was gunned down in a club in 2006 sending him into a rough downward spiral. Eminem always referred to Proof as his rock, someone reliable on whom he could always count. When he passed, he turned to drugs and drinking, hardly ever getting out of bed; he even gained around 80 pounds.
“I got up to between 220 and 230, about 80 pounds heavier than I am now. I was going to McDonald’s and Taco Bell every day. The kids behind the counter knew me – it wouldn’t even faze them. Or I’d sit up at Denny’s or Big Boy and just eat by myself. It was sad. I got so heavy that people started to not recognize me. I remember being somewhere and overhearing these kids talking. One of them said, ‘That’s Eminem,’ and the other said, ‘No it’s not, man – Eminem ain’t fat.’ I was like, ‘Motherf*cker.’ That’s when I knew I was getting heavy.”
7.The Beastie Boys Were a Huge Inspiration to Him
8.Eminem’s Mother Sued Him for $10 Million
The fall before the Slim Shady LP was released, his Mother, Debbie Mathers-Briggs, sued the rapper for $10 million citing a defamation of character (and to this day, claiming everything Eminem said on his records was untrue, and that he grew up in a drug free household). The court eventually settled on $250,000.
“How does it feel? It feels like $hit. How would you feel? One thing I can tell you is that every single word I said about my mother and my upbringing was true.”
9.The Director of Training Day Wanted Eminem for the Ethan Hawke Part
10.He Doesn’t Know How to Use a Computer
11.Crazy Fans Forced Him to Sell His First Home
In 2002, he told MTV, “The first big-ticket item that I bought was a house. When I first started seeing money, I treated that like it was the only house I would ever buy and the only royalty check that I would ever get. That’s how I treat every [check]. The truth is, you don’t know what’s gonna happen tomorrow. This is a crazy ride and nothing is guaranteed. I could wake up tomorrow and this could all be over. You have to invest.”
“At the time I bought it, I had no idea how famous I really was. It was across the street from a trailer park and we had kids coming across all day knocking on the door. We had a pool in the backyard, kids were jumping in the pool. It was crazy. The house was on a main road so we had people whipping in my driveway like, “Em, what up?” I literally couldn’t go outside my house. So we deaded that real quick, sold the house, lost money and bought a new house. That’s probably the best investment I’ve made, my new house.”
He now lives in the above home, purchased in 2003. It was previously owned by the former CEO of K-Mart.