Once one of the angriest men in rap, Eminemhas, throughout his glittering career, fantasised in his lyrics about killing his ex-wife Kim, been sued by his mum, entered rehab for sleeping pill addiction, been arrested for pulling a gun and enjoyed ongoing public feuds with his ex-girlfriend Mariah Carey and rap outfit, Insane Clown Posse.
But as his latest album Recovery spawns hit after hit, the 37-year-old star has started opening up about the real Marshall Mathers and the childhood events that defined him.
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As well as being dad to 14-year-old daughter Hailie Jade with his ex-wife Kim, Marshall is also adoptive father to Whitney, Kim’s child from a previous relationship; Lainey, Kim’s sister’s daughter, and is also the legal guardian of his half-brother Nathan. And after his own father abandoned the family when he was just 18 months old, the rapper is fiercely protective of his extended brood. “If my kids move to the edge of the earth, I’d find them,” he said. “No doubt in my mind. No money, no nothing. If I had nothing, I’d find my kids.” Adding of his own father’s abandonment, “There’s no excuse.”
And the rapper says that his swear word-littered lyrics stay on stage – “Profanity around my house? No. I don’t cuss,” he insisted. “I’m a parent; I have daughters. I mean, how would I really sound as a person like walking around my house [saying], ‘B****, pick this up?’”
‘I’m Not Filled With Hate’
Often accused of misogyny, Eminem spoke out to refute allegations that he hates any section of society, insisting, “I don’t have any problem with nobody, you know what I mean? Like, I’m just… whatever.” Also claiming that the colour of his skin meant he was singled out for attention when it came to his lyrics, he told US show 60 Minutes, “There are certain rappers that do and say the same thing that I’m saying and you don’t hear anyone saying anything about that.
Is it because of the colour of my skin? Is it because of that you are paying more attention?”
‘Growing Up Was Hell’
Dragged from pillar to post by his mother, the singer revealed, “I would change schools two, three times a year and that was probably the roughest part.” Adding, “[I got] beat up in the bathroom, beat up in the hallways, shoved in the lockers, just, for the most part, being the new kid.”
And Marshall revealed that, after failing ninth grade three times at the age of 15, that he quit school but always loved English, and would brush up on his word skills by reading the dictionary.
“There was certainly a rebellious youthful rage in me,” he revealed. “People [are] telling me, ‘You don’t belong and you’re not gonna succeed because you’re this colour.’ Then you want to show those people that you can and you will.”