ROCHESTER, MI—Hip-hop artist Marshall Mathers, a.k.a. Eminem, said he was left wholly terrified today after meeting his daughter Hailie’s new boyfriend Justin. MTV's 16 and Pregnant spun off into Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2 starring Farrah Abraham, Catelynn Lowell, Amber Portwood, Maci Bookout, Jenelle Evans, Chelsea Houska.
Rolling Stone cover story features Eminem. The following is an article from the April 2.
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Rolling Stone. This issue is available online in Rolling Stone’s digital archive. Click here to subscribe. The Michigan rapper, who calls himself Eminem — and whose debut, The Slim Shady LP, sold 4.
Detroit grill before his obscenity- strewn, gleefully violent, spastic, hilarious and demented rhymes landed him in the studio with rap honcho Dr. Dre. The blue- eyed MC is dealing with the instant fame and simultaneous criticism well enough — much better, actually, than he is dealing with the fifth of Bacardi he downed an hour ago. On a chilly Friday night in New York, he emerges bleary- eyed from the bathroom in his manager's office. Feel good now, though.
Eminem has three club gigs tonight, and the first one starts in less than an hour. The crew (nine, including DJ Stretch Armstrong and Dennis the security guard) ambles toward the elevator. Downstairs awaits Eminem's partner in rap, Royce the 5'9. Em hops into a giant white limo as fellow honky Armstrong cops a rhyme from. Eric Clapton's Cream.
A minute later there's a knock on the window and one of Royce's posse gives Em the first of the three hits of ecstasy he will consume over the course of the night. Down it goes in a swallow of ginger ale as the car zooms off toward Staten Island.
Out on New Dorp Lane, there is a crowd of kids, a mere fraction of the number already inside the Lane Theater. The all- ages show is packed, and Eminem is the evening's main course. The mob is being controlled by the club's security, but when the rapper moves inside, the burly dudes are no match for the crush of shouting teens.
Everywhere, kids have tiny glow sticks in their mouths, which, here in the dark, look like neon braces. At the back of the club, up a ladder, is the minute dressing room, where the very proud owner of the club is waiting. It's her fourteenth birthday. Hey, say hi to her and her friends. He owns this audience.
These predominantly white kids know every word, every nuance, and can't get enough. If Slim Shady's rhymes about sex with underage girls (. In fact, the filthier the material, the louder the cheers. On The Slim Shady LP, Eminem says, .
Eminem has been condemned as a misogynist, a nihilist and an advocate of domestic violence, principally in an editorial by Billboard editor in chief Timothy White, who attacked The Slim Shady LP as . That doesn't mean younger kids won't get it, but I'm not responsible for every kid out there. I'm not a role model, and I don't claim to be. Later on, at Manhattan's Sound Factory, Em will win over a mostly black audience. He will be greeted with indifferent stares that will melt into smiles, then rump- shaking abandon by the end of his four- song set. The rapper will top off the evening — well, the morning by that point — entertaining doelike women and spiky- haired guys at the trendy mecca called Life, where a table often model types will be evicted so that Em and his friends may kick back.
Right about now, though, a roomful of Staten Islanders is going berserk. In the silence between songs, a young girl in the front row who's wearing a white baby T screams, . Big mistake. The girl lays a kiss on his lips and sets off the girl next to her, who tears Eminem's head away and kisses him full on the mouth. When he sits at the front of the stage, his pants are pulled at and his crotch is grabbed.
The only reason he is here at all is that this date was booked before his debut album entered the charts at Number Two. The demand for the record at stores around the country was so great that Interscope shipped more than I million copies — extraordinarily rare for a first record.
Eminem has similarly conquered MTV: Since the January release of the wise- ass video for . And now, three months later, despite the fact that he's never headlined for any length of time, the rapper has been offered slots on every summer tour except CSNY's. Eminem empties a water bottle on the heads of the audience, drops his pants, waves his middle finger around, and the show is over. He is whisked into a waiting car through a back alley.
The police have been called to keep things orderly as the limo moves off into the night. At the curb, a girl who looks no more than fourteen shouts, .
He has been booed on the mike and told repeatedly by black hip- hoppers that he should stop rapping and go into rock & roll. Dre, about the race card. If there were too many other voices, the stories wouldn't go right. But that world is exactly why the hip- hop underground loves Em. His off- the- beat flow, way- off- the- beat lyrics and loony- tunes presentation place him in a class by himself. Em isn't trying to be Jay- Z, DMX or 2. Pac; he's trying to be the Roadrunner, turning his enemies' anvils back on themselves with split- second trickery.
He's also probably the only MC in 1. His rhymes are jaw- droppingly perverse, bespeaking a minimum- wage life devoid of hope, flushed with rage and weaned on sci- fi and slasher flicks. And in the midst of the splatter is Marshall Mathers. Songs like . But songs like . It's fucking bananas.
Scary shit, too, 'cause you can fall just as quick as you went to the top. Em is like a class clown with a lot on his mind: When he's on, nothing escapes the cross hairs of his snottiness, but when he's off, no one is included in his thoughts. He keeps the world at bay with humor and an ever- growing list of character voices, including a roguish Scotsman, a Middle Eastern cab driver and a sleazy lech.
He slips into these voices constantly, even in the midst of heart- wrenching stories about his childhood. Today he is chipper and apparently no worse for wear after just two hours of sleep and no breakfast. He is bound for his hometown of Detroit for three days off before heading to Mexico to perform on MTV's Spring Break '9. Chicago for more album promotion. The rapper is no stranger to moving around.
He and his mother shuttled between Missouri and Michigan, rarely staying in one house for more than a year or two, and finally settled down when Marshall was eleven. It was the start of a life full of enough screaming fights and sordid dramas that, at the tender age of twenty- four, Eminem is ready for his own Behind the Music.
But what happened depends on whom you ask. To hear him tell it, his life up until now has been nonstop hard knocks, beatings from bullies and brawls . Marshall got jumped a lot. I flipped them off back, they drove away, and I didn't think nothin' of it. Then he pulled out a gun.
I ran right out of my shoes, dog. I thought that's what they wanted. His mother, Debbie Mathers- Briggs, on the other hand, denies both of these characterizations, claiming that her unending love and financial support got Eminem through the dog days. It's a story that would make Jerry Springer salivate, but let's just stick to the facts: (1) Eminem has never met his father; (2) he spent his formative years living in a largely black lower- middle- class Detroit neighborhood; (3) he dropped out of high school in the ninth grade; (4) he and his baby's mother have been breaking up and making up for the past eight years; and (5) he loves their three- year- old daughter, Hailie Jade, more than anybody else in the world.
Eminem's parents were married, his mother says, when she was fifteen and his father was twenty- two. Marshall III was born two years later.
His parents were in a band called Daddy Warbucks, playing Ramada Inns along the Dakota- Montana border. But their relationship went sour. The couple split up, and Debbie and her son lived with family members for a few years before settling on the east side of Detroit.
Marshall's father moved to California. As a teen, the future Eminem sent his dad a few letters, all of which, his mother claims, came back .
They would have taken him out, too. Ten years later, when Ronnie committed suicide, Eminem was devastated. Soon enough he was ready to test his skills by sneaking into neighboring Osborne High School with his friend and fellow MC, Proof, for lunchroom rap throw- downs. I've always been a smartass comedian, and that's why it wasn't a good album.
Motherfuckers was like, 'You're a white boy, what the fuck are you rapping for? Why don't you go into rock & roll?' All that type of shit started pissing me off. I had, like, forty dollars to get her something. I wrote 'Rock Bottom' right after that. It was high time for Em to write some of the wrongs in his life, and Slim Shady was just the cat to right them.
At the top of the shit list was his grade- school nemesis, D'Angelo Bailey. Yes, the bully who gets it with a broomstick in . Everything in the song is true: One day he came in the bathroom, I was pissing, and he beat the shit out of me. Pissed all over myself. But that's not how I got really fucked up. You know, bully- type things.
We was having fun. Sometimes he'd fight back — depended on what mood he'd be in.
When we didn't see him moving, we took off running. We lied and said he slipped on the ice. He was a wild kid, but back then we thought it was stupid. Hey, you have his phone number? At the time, he was scrounging more than ever. He and his girlfriend, Kim, had been living with their baby in crack- infested neighborhoods.
A stray bullet flying through the kitchen window and lodging in the wall while Kim was doing dishes wasn't the worst of it — they had been adopted by a crackhead. But then he came back again and took everything but the couches and beds. The pillows, clothes, silverware — everything. We were fuckin' fucked. There was no heat, no water, no electricity. I slept on the floor, woke up, went to L.
A. I was so pissed. After the first round, he yells, 'Just give it to the white boy. Give it to the white boy.'. Not only could he have used the first- place prize, 5. Rolex, but he wasn't used to taking second.
Well, Eminem lost the battle, but he won the war. A Shady EP given to a few Interscope staffers soon made it into the hands of co- head Jimmy Iovine. While Em was in L. A., Iovine and Dr. Dre took a listen.
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