Eminem has had what can only be described as a breathtaking journey in his career. From being homeless, working fast food jobs and battle-rapping in the grimiest parts of Detroit, the young man was quickly flung into fame and was soon a Diamond-certified artist.
The rapper (real name Marshall Mathers) has always remained open about his struggles and has always been brutally honest with himself and others. From his tenuous relationship with his mother, Debbie Mathers, to his battles with addiction, the rapper had tribulations.
However, none of it can overshadow his vast success within hip hop. Before the release of his Slim Shady LP in late 1999, Mathers was a musical genius on the verge of suicide due to his extreme poverty. The rapper had been on the underground scene in Detroit for years and, before signing with Dr Dre, was in the middle of a breakdown.
Eminem’s debut independent album, Infinite, performed horribly, receiving little to no airplay by DJs in his city, and as a white rapper, everybody wrote Mathers off as a parody. Primarily operating as a battle rapper, Mathers was encouraged to compete at the 1997 Rap Olympics.
Here, he was unknowingly saved by a label intern in the crowd. Mathers’ demo quickly ended up in the hands of Dr Dre and was, shortly after, signed by him. As an artist of Aftermath Records, Mathers was encouraged by Dre to create a proper body of work to be commercially released.
This was the moment that Slim Shady was born. The Slim Shady LP exploded into the mainstream and became certified triple platinum by the end of the year. From here, Mathers became unstoppable and, for a decade, was one of hip hop’s best-selling artists. Despite its triple-platinum status, The Slim Shady LP was just the first step, in 2000 The Marshall Mathers LP was released, and that was a new level for Mathers, and his single ‘The Real Slim Shady’ was a smash hit, below you can see rare behind the scenes footage from the video shoot.