He Rapped His Way To Fame: When A Fatherless Poverty-Stricken Kid Rises To Become The Rap God, The Man Is Called Eminem!


Marshall Bruce Mathers III, famously known by his scaffold repute Eminem, may be one of the most controversial yet legendary rappers who has yet graced the genre.

Arising from the uproar in 1990, it wasn’t until 1999 when the white-skinned rapper joined the US charts with his intriguing horrorcore première album, The Slim Shady LP.

The LP gained Eminem his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and that was his breakthrough into the world of rap and hip-hop music.

His subsequent brace records, The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show, likewise won the Best Rap Album Grammy Awards, making Eminem the preeminent artist to acquire the Best Rap Album for three serial LPs. He is undisputedly one of the best-selling music artists in the world till now and is the best-selling artist of the millennium.

But this fame and accolades weren’t granted for free- beneath there was a journey full of miseries, poverty and depth that can melt even the most hardcore of men present today.

Mathers was born within a poor, working-class family on October 17, 1972, in St. Joseph Missouri.

He spent most of his poverty-stricken infancy alternating between his hometown and Detroit, and initially starting rapping as a teenager under the name M&M, which Mathers took from his own initials. This M&M only got reversed into Eminem when he hit the international boards.

His father left his single mother and he had to endure seeing his mother taking pills and selling her body to sustain the livelihood they were forced into because of unavailability of his father when they needed him the most.

I hate my father and you are no one to judge me. If I were him, I would have at least visit my son once… just once, maybe to see that if he is doing well. But he didn’t.

-Eminem, in a BBC interview.

To defy the inescapable racial limits of being a white rapper, he decided his best strategy was to become a battle rapper and gain the admiration of the clandestine hip-hop audience.

Therefore at the very tender age of 14, he started playing against other Detroit MCs in town clubs, but it wasn’t unto 1995 when he made his recording debut with a group called Soul Intent. The demo acquainted him with a rapper named Proof, who resembled on that single’s B-side, and soon after Eminem and Proof started a new hustle group called D12.

Eminem concurrently prefaced his solo career with the two independent releases Infinte (1996), and The Slim Shady EP (1997).

These albums declared a spread of vehement and knotted lyrics to the counter, most of which were drawn from experiences in his personal life. The secret troubles of his childhood, relationships with his mother, girlfriend and his recent first born daughter, all became central themes in his raps and lyrics.

The dubious moral outlook of many of the cuss and coarse lyrics is rescued by Eminem’s claim to be voicing his thoughts through the character Slim Shady.

Within this persona, he is free to express crude and uncensored thoughts. Whether the content of his raps is sincere, decked or completely invented, only scores to the captivation of the music.

His albums such as Recovery and singles like Love The Way You Lie, Monster, No Love, I Need A Doctor, Rap God etc. are highly applauded for their naked yet honest and inspiring lyrics along with breakthrough musical scores.

His journey to fame has been called blatantly inspiring by many and his followers hold him as one truly inspiring man who rose to the limelight out of nothing but miseries and faced every odd head on that too without any forefather or influential back up in a space as competitive and brutal as Hollywood.

The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed.


Regularly in and out of the spotlight, his overnight success came as a stark contrast to the rough upbringing of his poverty filled childhood.

Although in his tardiest releases a more poignant voice has appeared, he will be treasured for bringing a unique level of raw sentiment and integrity in the mainstream rap genre.

Eminem has today truly vanquished the art of contentious lyric writing and has inspired millions of souls through his honest expression of miseries and rise as one true blue rapper. Whatever be the judgement of his rap executions or the controversies he had faced, one thing is for sure- that the world has now accepted that slum-dwelling poor fatherless child as the original Rap God.