All the citizens of Detroit know exactly who Slim Shady is and the impact that he has had on the major city and the music industry.
According to the infamous song, The Real Slim Shady, there’s a Slim Shady in everyone.
The original Slim Shady has changed vastly from who he once was and has come out of the decades of learning to be a much better person and stronger family man.
Who Is Slim Shady?
Slim Shady is the alter ego of, Marshall Mathers, also known as Detroit rapper Eminem, which comes from his 1999 album The Slim Shady LP.
Through Slim Shady, Eminem could discuss harsher topics such as drugs, rape, and even murder.
While Eminem was supposedly a law-abiding citizen at the time, Slim Shady was proud of his violent and sadistic tendencies.
This was the album that showed just how far Eminem was willing to go with his lyrics.
This brash, angry rapper had been trying to build up a career, but couldn’t even make enough money to support himself, his wife, and their daughter.
After returning from a rapping competition where Eminem had won second place, he came home to find that his family had been evicted from their Detroit apartment.
Having grown up in a rough urban area, Eminem was able to break back into the apartment and went to sleep on the floor.
However, his life was about to completely change when Dr. Dre listened to one of his demos.
It was that year when Dr. Dre executive produced The Slim Shady LP and made a star out of the previously amateur rapper.
The album’s single My Name Is made waves on MTV and rap radio stations around the country.
When the album debuted, it was the second-highest selling album of that year.
Many of his fans see this as the point where Eminem truly created an identity as the rapper who was willing to rap about whatever he wanted, without the fear of ruining his career.
Despite having plenty of angry parents trying to ban his music from being sold and blaming him for children becoming disrespectful, Eminem was still able to thrive in the world of hip hop and would continue to be around for the next 20 years.
How Growing Up In Detroit Influenced His Music
Eminem was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, and lived there until he was 11 years old.
His mother, Debbie Nelson Mathers, had moved him and his siblings to Warren, one of the cities surrounding Detroit.
To help him process the feelings of moving to a new place and then being relentlessly bullied, Eminem began rapping when he was 14.
He became a part of a rap duo and became an active member of the battle rap scene of Detroit.
To give fans a clearer idea of how Eminem has grown to see Detroit, Felix & Paul Studios and Eminem released the Marshall from Detroit virtual reality experience.
The player is taken through a crisp winter night in Detroit alongside radio host Sway Calloway and Eminem himself.
Throughout the experience, Eminem walks you through the crucial places of his past.
Many of the buildings are now abandoned or demolished, but the rapper still takes the time to reminisce about the way Detroit once was.
Although Eminem has a deep unconditional love for the city, he isn’t afraid to talk about the shortcomings that have resulted in the decay of some parts of the city.
The city was once a bastion of musical innovation, but it would go on to experience an infamous bankruptcy that it is still rebuilding from.
During the virtual reality experience, Eminem talks about the change he’s experienced since growing up around Detroit.
Like the city, Eminem has taken time to heal and doesn’t have the same rage that used to drive his music before.
The rage he once felt has been replaced with a passion for a better future for future generations and the city of Detroit.
Eminem may have traveled around the world, but there is no place that serves as a larger inspiration for him than Detroit.
His Struggle With Drug Addiction
While the success that Eminem found was able to alleviate his financial stress, it opened up a whole new world of anxieties.
During the 1990s and early 2000s, mental health was still an incredibly taboo subject, and mental health practices were only beginning to become what they are today.
Rather than seeing a therapist or a psychologist about his problems, Eminem turned to prescription drugs to alleviate his anxiety symptoms.
The rapper was on a slew of addictive anti-anxiety medications such as Valium and Ambien.
Eminem was taking up to 20 different pills every day and had become a functioning addict, spending every moment of his day high on one prescription or another.
It wasn’t until 2005 that Eminem would check into a rehabilitation center for his substance abuse disorder.
In 2007, Eminem collapsed in his bathroom from an overdose, and he was checked into another rehabilitation center.
He had seen having an addiction as a weakness and was unwilling to admit it was a problem until he began to see what kind of effect it was having on his children.
Once Eminem saw his drug addiction as a disease rather than a character flaw, he began to get more serious about getting the help he needed.
During his recovery process, Sir Elton John became his mentor.
Fighting his drug addiction was an uphill battle that saw the support of his loved ones, doctors, and multiple 12-step program groups.
Eminem quickly came to find that being able to describe his honest feelings in his music was serving as an excellent recovery tool.
As of 2021, Eminem has celebrated 12 years of sobriety and is quick to give honest answers about the struggles of substance abuse disorder.
He hopes his story inspires others to get help.
Always Willing To Pick A Fight
Eminem has never been afraid to tell people exactly how he feels about them, whether it is to their face or in one of his infamous diss tracks.
It doesn’t matter if the person is a rapper or not, Eminem has always been willing to pick a fight.
One of the people who is brought up in Eminem’s song The Real Slim Shady is Christina Aguilera.
The reason Slim Shady had his sights set on the pop star was that she leaked the information surrounding his secret wedding to his high school sweetheart.
In 2012, Machine Gun Kelly referred to Eminem’s daughter as “hot as f***”, which didn’t sit well with her father.
Eminem immediately banned Machine Gun Kelly’s music from being played on his Eminem’s Shade 45 radio station.
The pair of rappers have been releasing diss tracks about each other for years now, and it doesn’t seem like there will ever be an end to their hostility towards each other.
However, most fans believe that Eminem has been doing a better job with the diss tracks.
Eminem has also picked a fight with the former front man of House of Pain, Everlast.
The beef started when Eminem failed to recognize Everlast in a hotel lobby and Everlast took shots at both Eminem and his daughter, Hailie.
Eminem fought back with the songs I Remember and Quitter.
The two rappers wouldn’t get along until they both appeared on Busta Rhymes’s Calm Down.
One of his most infamous beefs is with Insane Clown Posse, starting when they turned down his invitation to open for one of his shows.
Eminem later claimed that he and his friends chased the rap duo out of a Detroit nightclub with paintballs, but Insane Clown Posse claims that never happened.
His Music Before Recovery
Eminem started his career with his 1996 album Infinite, which was produced by his former bandmates Mr. Porter and Proof of D12.
Many early onlookers criticized the production quality of the album, but nobody could deny the lyrical talent that Eminem had.
Infinite was followed up by Eminem’s breakout album The Slim Shady LP that came out only three years later.
With Dr. Dre’s help, Eminem was able to get the production quality he needed to match his skill and capture the attention of hip hop lovers all over the world.
This album took Eminem from amateur rapper to hip hop superstar, selling 18 million copies around the world and earned the rapper the 2000 Grammy for Best Rap Album.
Rolling Stones would later be considered one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, placing 275th on the list.
By 2000, Eminem had released his third album The Marshall Mathers LP.
The album had a theme of anxiety and reaching a breaking point, which reflected how Eminem was feeling at the time with his sudden stardom.
In 2002, The Eminem Show had earned him his third Grammy for Best Rap Album in a row.
However, Eminem would fall short on his next album Encore.
The album was able to sell 11 million copies out of anticipation for what the rapper would do after his movie 8 Mile and the song Lose Yourself had earned him an Oscar, but the album wasn’t up to his audience’s expectations.
After struggling with his drug addiction and having a critically failed album, Eminem had taken a four-year break before returning in 2009 with his album Relapse.
It sold 608,000 copies in the first week alone, debuted as the number one song on Billboard’s 200 charts, and won Eminem his fourth Grammy.
Healing Alongside His Music
For his 2010 album Recovery, Eminem decided to take a different approach with his music and decided to embrace some more pop elements into his music.
To help introduce him to a new crowd, he did songs with P!nk, Rihanna, and Lil’ Wayne.
Recovery was the bestselling album in the United States that year and sold 10 million copies worldwide.
It was also the album to earn him his fifth Grammy for Best Rap Album.
His 2013 album The Marshall Mathers LP2 showed that Eminem had no interest in slowing down his musical role, having the album debut as the second most popular album of that year.
This album served as a sequel to his 2000 album.
Sadly, Eminem didn’t find the same level of success with his 2017 release Revival.
The album had themes that reminded his fans that he wasn’t as wild and young as he used to be, even if that’s how he first grabbed their attention.
Fans couldn’t complain about the all-star lineup of guests on the album, but they didn’t like the new direction Eminem was going in.
Many fans claimed that it didn’t have the same Eminem feel, even if they were okay with him going in a new direction.
To cover up for his previous album, Eminem quickly released Kamikaze in 2018.
With the failure of his last album, Eminem brought back that anger and feistiness that his music had become best known for.
This album showed Eminem that the old ways were what worked best for his audience, earning him a certified platinum album and becoming one of the best rap albums of 2018.
In 2020, Eminem released two albums called Music to Be Murdered By and Music to Be Murdered By—Side B.
His Charity Work Around Detroit
There are very few things in his world that Eminem loves more than his hometown of Detroit, often silently giving to charitable organizations around the metro area and starting his own charity to focus on helping disadvantaged and at-risk youth.
Through the Marshall Mathers Foundation, Eminem has given sizable donations to different Detroit causes in hopes of rebuilding the city like he was able to rebuild himself.
Eminem prefers to give to charities silently, but there is often someone to spill the beans about where hundreds of thousands of dollars randomly came from.
The goal of much of Eminem’s charity work is to give the children of Detroit the opportunities that he never had and to help them grow into adults who can help change the future of their hometown.
He looks to give Michigan kids better outlets for their time by donating to athletic and hobby-based organizations.
Eminem also gives money to help local teenagers prepare for college and helps ease the pain of children who are in crisis situations, whether it’s poverty, illness, or family problems.
He also pumps a lot of his money into Michigan food banks, homeless shelters, and AIDS-related charities like the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Another way that Eminem looks to help Detroit is by bringing in more businesses to plant locations and their own charity efforts.
He has brought in companies such as Carhartt and even convinced fellow rapper Royce to join his Marshall Mathers Foundation.
Whether it’s by signing shoes, donating famous outfits, or just giving the money directly, Eminem always goes big when donating to charities around Michigan.
For a 2014 Giving Tuesday, he matched donations made to Wolverine Human Services up to $100,000.
To incentivize his fans to donate, fans who donated more than $10 had a chance to win autographed merchandise.
Starting Shady Records
Eminem founded Shady Records in 1999 alongside his manager Paul Rosenburg, following the massive success of Eminem’s second album, The Slim Shady LP.
Although the record label started to focus on the production of Eminem’s music, they have since signed on nine different acts.
The artists under Shady Records include Bad Meets Evil, Boogie, The Dirty Dozen, Slaughterhouse, Westside Gunn and Conway, and Yelawolf.
The record label also used to represent 50 Cent, Obie Trice, Stat Quo, Bobby Creekwater, and Cashis.
Shady Records helps run the Shade 45 radio station through Sirius Satellite Radio.
The record and media company also partially manages XXL magazine, one of the most popular urban life and rap magazines.
With help from Anger Management tours, Eminem’s record label even has its hand in its artists’ tours.
The Detroit-based record label hopes to show the world just how Detroit does music and management.
When Eminem and Shady Records look to sign on a new act, the main things that they look for in a musician are raw talent, high-level fundamental skills, and an understanding of the mechanics of music.
They want all of their artists to succeed in the musical world and want to make sure that they are prepared for what lies ahead.
Shady Records aren’t ones to hunt down the next greatest artist or regularly sign on new artists.
They prefer to keep their artist list small because it better fosters an environment with plenty of collaboration.
Another important goal of Shady Records is to find musicians who understand or look to understand the points of view of their fellow musicians.
Because Shady Records loves it when its artists collaborate, it wants to make sure that the new artist it brings in gets along with all of its older artists.
Opening Up Mom’s Spaghetti
After donating copious amounts of spaghetti to health care workers all over Detroit, Eminem felt it was finally time to open up Mom’s Spaghetti as a full-time restaurant.
Previously, the restaurant had appeared as a pop-up restaurant at his shows in 2017.
Eminem teamed up with a Detroit restaurant group in order to make Mom’s Spaghetti a reality, and the citizens of Detroit came out in hoards to try the rapper’s window-served restaurant.
By creating a window-served restaurant, Mom’s Spaghetti serves as a safe place to dine during the pandemic and lowers costs of business with a small storefront.
For the opening of the restaurant, Slim Shady himself came in to serve elated fans and work alongside the staff of Mom’s Spaghetti.
Eminem is always glad to spend more time in Detroit, helping the community.