We bust 8 crazy myths about Eminem
From his Slim Shady persona to his controversial lyrics, Eminem has made a career out of confounding the tabloid media, leading to a career’s worth of myths and rumours. With his new album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 due out on November 2 and following today’s news that he’ll tour Australia in March, we decided it was time to bust eight of the most popular tall-tales about the real Slim Shady.
1. Eminen was a fat, house-bound recluse
Following the death of his best friend and collaborator Proof in 2006, Eminem disappeared from the public eye. Stories swirled about the rapper’s deteriorating mental state and ballooning weight, with tabloids reporting that Eminem had become a virtual recluse who spent his days watching TV and shoveling junk food. These reports were echoed by his estranged mother Debbie Mathers in her book My Son Marshall. “He orders fillet steak takeout from an expensive restaurant almost every evening,” she wrote. “He’s put on so much weight that he’s causing all sorts of health problems for himself.” While the tabloids (and his Mum) led fans to believe Eminem’s weight had blown-out to Vegas Elvis proportions, it was all a bit of a beat up. His mate 50 Cent later clarifed the rapper had simply chubbed-up a bit after hurting his knee playing basketball.
2. George W. Bush called Eminem “the most dangerous threat to American youth since Polio”
First published in London’s Daily Mail in February 2001 (a few week’s after Bush’s inauguration) there is (sadly) absolutely no evidence that Dubya ever compared Eminem to polio. Despite this, numerous UK press outlets continued to publish the “quote” for a good part of the next decade, until it was officially debunked by Snopes.
3. The FBI are suss on Slim Shady
While they may not consider him as dangerous as polio, the US Government admitted to keeping an eye on the rap star after he released the 2003 track ‘We As Americans’ which contains the line: “I don’t rap for dead presidents, I’d rather see the president dead.”
4. Eminem got busy with Mariah Carey
Did they or didn’t they? The supposed bedroom antics of Em and M sold countless tabloid magazines in the late noughties, and to this day no one really knows who to believe. The long (and surprisingly complex) history of their union started in 2001 when the stars met to discuss a possible collaboration for Carey’s Charmbracelet album. Eminem told the world they hooked up but Mariah denied it, and then they spent the next decade arguing about it. The whole spectacularly ridiculous fight culminated when Carey dressed up as an Eminem look-a-like in the video for her 2009 single ‘Obsessed’. Em responded with the song ‘The Warning’ which contains the lyrics “Listen, girly/Surely you don’t want me to talk about how I nutted early ‘cos I ejaculated prematurely and bust all over your belly”. And no one ever spoke about it ever again. Ever.
5. Eminem’s mum sued him for 10 million dollars
Ever the nurturer, Eminem’s Mum did sue her son for “slander” following the release of The Slim Shady LP. However, the sum of money she walked away with was much smaller than the widely reported amount of $10 million. In 2001 Debbie Mathers was awarded US $25,000 for her efforts, but ordered to pay Em’s court costs, she walked away with a measly $1600. Just enough money to get to work on that manuscript about her son’s life.
6. Hailie Mathers is all grown up and loves posting selfies on Twitter
Over the last 12 months not one, but two Twitter accounts – @hailiejade_x and @Angry_Blonde – were created claiming to belong to Eminem’s daughter Hailie Mathers, who has been the subject of dozens of her father’s songs over the years. Both accounts published “selfies” of pretty blondes who looked vaguely like a grown-up version of Hailie, and both accounts fooled numerous US media – including E news and Huffington Post – into believing they were the real deal. But the world did finally get to see what the real Hailie Mathers, now aged 17, looks like when she was crowned homecoming queen of her High School just last last month.
Fake Hailie Mathers
Real Hailie Mathers
7. Dr Dre discovered Eminem after finding a copy of the Slim Shady EP on the floor of his gym
There are dozens of myths surrounding the first meeting of legendary hip-hop producer Dr Dre and his protÃ©gÃ©e Eminem, but disappointingly the truth does not involve Dre finding a demo at his local gym. Rather, Interscope employee Jimmy Iovine saw Eminem at the Rap Olympics and passed on a copy of the Slim Shady EP to Dre, who liked what he heard. And the rest, as they say, is history.
8. Eminem is dead (presumably stabbed by a crazed fan)
Everyone loves a good celebrity death hoax and Eminem has been the subject of dozens. In February this year a picture of a CNN-looking news site with the headline “Rap legend, Eminem, found dead in his home after a suspected overdose” started doing the rounds on Twitter. Despite there being no other reports about the death, the image spread so fast his reps were forced to confirm the rap star was indeed fact alive and breathing.
A few months later Em was the subject of another hoax. A post appeared on Facebook of a man’s graphically knifed back, accompanied by the words: “Rapper Eminem left nearly DEAD after being stabbed 4 times in NYC!” A rep from Interscope once again denied the death, telling SPIN Magazine “These happen all the time. He’s fine.” Well, that’s a relief.
The Rapture Festival:
Wednesday, February 19 – Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Thursday, February 20 – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Saturday, February 22 – ANZ Stadium, Sydney