Today in Hip Hop History: October 17, 1972
Marshall Bruce Mathers III, aka Eminem aka Slim Shady, was born in St. Joseph, Michigan in 1972. Eminem is the best selling artist of the 2000s in the United States across all genres. He is a member of the Detroit hip hop supergroup D12 and one half of the hip hop duo Bad Meets Evil, alongside Royce Da 5’9″. After his emergence in the late 1990’s due to Dr. Dre, Eminem has become one of the greatest rappers to ever pick up the mic.
Eminem began his hip hop career like most; starting with buddies Proof and Manix, then moving up to freestyles and battle raps. He gained popularity among the underground scene in Detroit and was recruited by several rap groups. The first group that he joined to release a record was Soul Intent, who released a self-titled EP in 1995. He soon signed a deal to his group mate’s record label and released his first project, Infinite, in 1996.
Among the lack of success from Infinite, Eminem developed Slim Shady as his alter ego to add a fascinating aspect to his rap persona. He record his Slim Shady EP, participated in a battle rap tournament and sent the tape to someone within Interscope for exposure. Jimmy Iovine showed the tape to Dr. Dre and they immediately began working on his debut album. The rest is history.
Eminem is without a doubt one of the greatest and most known hip hop artists of all time. From the period of 2000 to 2010, he sold an estimated 172 million records. He has over 5 billion views of his music videos on YouTube. He’s 83rd on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artist of All-Time and 79th on VH1’s same list. He’s the first artist in the U.S. with two digital RIAA Diamond certified songs. The list of the man’s accolades goes on and on. Happy birthday Slim Shady!