How a scammer once tricked Eminem into thinking he had a record deal
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How a scammer once tricked Eminem into thinking he had a record deal

Detroit lyricist Eminem (real name Marshall Mathers) has become one of the most successful rappers in the world concerning record sales. His 2002 album, The Eminem Show, until recently, was the highest-selling hip-hop album of all time and the ‘Stan’ emcee has several diamond-certified singles under his belt.

However, before the 8 Mile creator got discovered by an Interscope A&R intern at the 1997 Battle Rap Olympics, he was a struggling artist in desperate need of money and hungry for recognition. 

However, before the emergence of Aftermath and Jimmy Iovine, after Eminem released his debut studio album Infinite in 1996, Mathers was scammed by a Detroit native who promised him a guaranteed record deal. Still, the ‘My Name Is’ rhymer believed he was getting signed.

Without naming the individual, during an interview with the hip-hop media outlet XXL, Eminem revealed the fraudster who tricked him was an affiliate of the Bass Brothers duo, with whom he was working during the mid-1990s. Explaining the situation, Mathers detailed, “We had somebody at this hip-hop label who said they wanted to sign me when I was working with the Bass Brothers.”

He continued, “I made three or four songs, and we gave it to this guy and found out that he worked in the mail room, and he wasn’t really who he said he was.” This scam had given Mathers an ember of hope, which was quickly put out.

Revealing that the fraudster’s hoax caused him a great amount of grief, Mathers disclosed, “I was at the lowest point. I didn’t even know what I was going to do because it didn’t look like it was going to happen. I’m 24 years old, and I got a baby to take care of, and all I want to do is rap, but it didn’t look good. I was super depressed.”

Fortunately, Mathers was unknowingly saved by a label intern in the crowd at the LA Rap Battle Olympics in 1997, after which Mathers’ demo quickly ended up in the hands of Dr Dre and was, shortly after, signed by him.

You can listen to the Slim Shady EP, which the Bass Brothers executively produced, in the video below.