The average rapper wouldn't be able to grace the pages of
Rap Pages, VIBE, Spin, The Source, URB and Stress and go on
a national tour months before their major-label debut album
is released. Then again, Eminem isn't an average rapper. He's
The impending release of the Slim Shady LP, his first set
on Aftermath/Interscope Records, already has underground hip-hop
heads fiending for Eminem. Chock full of dazzling lyrical
escapades that delve into the mind of a violently warped and
vulgar yet extremely talented wordsmith, the 14-cut collection
contains some of the most memorable and demented lyrics ever
For Eminem, his potentially controversial and undoubtedly
offensive songs will strike a chord with a multitude of hip-hop
loyalists who believe they have little to lose and everything
"I'm not alone in feeling the way I feel," he says. "I believe
that a lot of people can relate to my sh*t--whether white,
black, it doesn't matter. Everybody has been through some
sh*t, whether it's drastic or not so drastic. Everybody gets
to the point of 'I don't give a f**k.'"
Those words are more than just a slogan for the Detroit resident.
"I Just Don't Give A F*ck" and "Brain Damage" are the two
songs comprising Eminem's initial single from the Slim Shady
LP. Each tune is sure to paralyze meek listeners with their
relentless lyrical assault. Produced primarily by long-time
collaborators FBT Productions, the Slim Shady LP also features
beatwork from Aftermath CEO Dr. Dre. The N.W.A. alum handled
beats for "My Name Is" (the second single), "Guilty Conscience"
and "Role Model."
Dr. Dre was so impressed after hearing Eminem freestyling
on a Los Angeles radio station that he put out a manhunt for
the Michigan rhymer. Shortly thereafter, Dre signed Eminem
to his Aftermath imprint and the two began working together.
Thoroughly impressed with Eminem's previously released independent
Slim Shady EP, Dre said they would include many of the EP's
tracks on the album.
"It was an honor to hear the words out of Dre's mouth that
he liked my sh*t," Eminem says. "Growing up, I was one of
the biggest fans of N.W.A, from putting on the sunglasses
and looking in the mirror and lipsinking to wanting to be
Dr. Dre, to be Ice Cube. This is the biggest hip-hop producer
But like many other rappers, Eminem's rise to stardom was
far from easy. After being born in Kansas City and traveling
back and forth between KC and the Detroit metropolitan area,
Eminem and his mother moved into the Eastside of Detroit when
he was 12. Switching schools every two to three months made
it difficult to make friends, graduate and to stay out of
Rap, however, became Eminem's solace. Battling schoolmates
in the lunchroom brought joy to what was otherwise a painful
existence. Although he would later drop out of school and
land several minimum-wage-paying, full-time jobs, his musical
focus remained constant.
Eminem released his debut album, Infinite, in 1996. Desperate
to be embraced by the Motor City's hip-hop scene, Eminem rapped
in such a manner that he was accused of sounding like Nas
"Infinite was me trying to figure out how I wanted my rap
style to be, how I wanted to sound on the mic and present
myself," he recalls. "It was a growing stage. I felt like
Infinite was like a demo that just got pressed up."
After being thoroughly disappointed and hurt by the response
Infinite received, Eminem began working on what would later
become the Slim Shady EP -- a project he made for himself.
Featuring several scathing lines about local music industry
personalities as well as devious rants about life in general,
the set quickly caught the ear of hip-hop's difficult-to-please
"I had nothing to lose, but something to gain," Eminem says
of that point in his life. "If I made an album for me and
it was to my satisfaction, then I succeeded. If I didn't,
then my producers were going to give up on the whole rap thing
we were doing. I made some sh*t that I wanted to hear. The
Slim Shady EP, I lashed out on everybody who talked sh*t about
By presenting himself as himself, Eminem and
his career took off. Soon after giving the Rap Coalition's
Wendy Day a copy of the Infinite album at a chance meeting,
she helped the aspiring lyrical gymnast secure a spot at the
Coalition’s 1997 Rap Olympics in Los Angeles, where he won
second place in the freestyle competition. During the trip,
Eminem and his manager, Paul Rosenberg, gave a few people
from Interscope Records his demo and he made his major radio
debut on the world famous Wake Up Show with Sway and Tech.
Realizing that this was the opportunity of his lifetime, Eminem
delivered a furious medley of lyrics that wowed his hosts
and radio audience alike.
"I felt like it's my time to shine," Eminem says of that performance.
"I have to rip this. At that time, I felt that it was a life
or death situation."
Eminem would soon record the underground classic "5 Star Generals."
This record helped establish him in Japan, New York and Los
Angeles. It also helped him earn a spot on the inaugural Lyricist
Lounge tour, which took him to stages from Philadelphia to
Set to take the hip-hop world by storm with his unique lyrical
approach and punishing production, Eminem and his Slim Shady
LP are sure to have listeners captivated.
"I do say things that I think will shock people," he says.
"But I don't do things to shock people. I'm not trying to
be the next Tupac, but I don't know how long I'm going to
be on this planet. So while I'm here, I might as well make
the most of it."
Bio Courtesy of Official Site Eminem.com