How Eminem became an icon of business
(Credit: Alamy)


How Eminem became an icon of business

Eminem is one of the most accomplished men in hip-hop. Since 1999, the rapper (real name Marshall Mathers) has been bringing us outlandish and experimental hip-hop. From the The Slim Shady LP to Relapse, the Detroit rapper has always made sure to make music that is true to himself, and as one of the first white artists from the genre to gain mainstream success and respect, Mathers has become one of the greats. 

Raised in Detroit before his Slim Shady LP release in late 1999, Mathers was a musical genius on the verge of suicide due to his extreme poverty. The rapper lived in the ‘8 Mile’ area of Detroit, meaning he lived near the road that divides Detroit. The 8-mile-long M102 motorway (colloquially referred to as ‘8 Mile’) is an infamous highway known for segregating the metropolitan area of Detroit. 

Detroit’s inner city is rundown, and residents are primarily African-American. On the other side of the 8 Mile road, middle-class white neighbourhoods thrive. The road marks one of the steepest income divides in America. Although Mathers could have been better off, Detroit was a musical hotspot during the late 1980s and early 1990s. House music was the most prevalent genre in the city. However, there was still a thriving underground hip-hop scene.

As an adolescent, Mathers attended battle rap events in the city and had his music doing the rounds locally. However, it would take an Interscope A&R intern to spot the young rapper at the 1997 Battle Rap Olympics for him to sign with Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine at Aftermath Records.

In 1999, Eminem exploded onto the scene with his Slim Shady LP. Unphased by his skin colour, he was ubiquitous in hip-hop and persistent in his aim to prove that he was a certified rapper. By 2002, he became one of the highest-selling hip-hop artists ever. Since then, he has continued to release music with an extraordinarily high work rate. 

Ever since his arrival Eminem has dominated hip-hop. With his final musical endeavour being his 2022 album, Curtain Call 2, Eminem’s rap career was around 23 years in length. However, since then, Mathers has continued to take on all sorts of ventures in and outside of the music industry.

In this article, we explore some of the businessman’s accomplishments outside of music.

How Eminem turned into a wealthy businessman:

Shady Records

Upon signing to Interscope as part of Aftermath Records in 1997, after the success of his first two commercially released projects Eminem was given the opportunity to run his own record label. Named Shady Records in honour of his alter-ego ‘Slim Shady’ one of the first people he signed was 50 Cent in 1999. Since the turn of the Millennium, Eminem has reaped the rewards of artists on his roster. The label was run by Eminem along with his manager Paul Rosenberg.

Other successful artists who were signed to Shady Records include, Obie Trice, Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf, Conway The Machine. The label also played host to Eminem’s collective D12. Shady Records was a big source of money for Mathers as many successful albums were released through the label including all of his own and even Get Rich Or Die Tryin.

Shade 45

Shade 45 is Eminem’s hip-hop show on Sirius XM Radio (online radio station) it is also simulcast visually on Cable TV number 6045. Founded in 2004, Eminem got some of radio’s biggest hitters to join his network and the channel has become increasingly popular. Oakland radio personality Sway Calloway hosts his Sway In The Morning show on the channel, the legendary Tony Touch is also a DJ on the channel and as it is online radio it is not legally subject to any regulatory censorship making it perfect for hip-hop music.

Behind The Breakfast Club on Power 105.1 and Ebro In The Morning on HOT97 Shade 45 is home to the third biggest hip-hop breakfast show in the US.

8 Mile

8 Mile was a semi-biographical hip-hop drama film loosely based around Eminem’s experiences growing up in Detroit and his involvement in the city’s underground battle rap scene. Written by Scott Silver, with some help from Mathers and directed by Curtis Hanson the film grossed $242.9 million worldwide.

The film also had an accompanying soundtrack. Featuring songs from Eminem and several artists on Shady Records including D12 and 50 Cent the soundtrack for the film 8 Mile: Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture was certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA.

The Way I Am

In 2008, Eminem teamed up with Orion Publishing for the release of his autobiography, The Way I Am. A picture-heavy autobiography, Eminem described his life growing up and his crazy journey with The Way I Am. Although it wasn’t a best-seller, it was funny, insightful and well-written, according to fans.

The book featured previously unpublished images of himself as a youngster and photos of his home, his daughter and his family. The rapper also gave fans an insight with behind-the-scenes photos of concerts and his life on the road.

Mom’s Spaghetti

In 2021, Eminem opened a restaurant in his hometown of Detroit. Called Mom’s Spaghetti, the name was inspired by Eminem’s lyrics. In the hit song ‘Lose Yourself’ Mathers raps, “His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy/ There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti.” This is where the name came from.

The restaurant is open to this day and is one of many destinations that tourists go to when they’re in Detroit. Above the restaurant there is a recreation of the trailer Eminem used to live in and a shop selling Eminem records and merchandise from across the years. You can watch an news clip of Eminem of the restaurant’s opening in the video below.