Eminem Facts: Do You Really Know The Rapper?

The Slim Shady LP was Eminem’s debut studio album, which dropped in 1999, and ever since then, he has been a chart-topping successful rapper who has given us honesty and some of the most iconic verses we’ve ever heard. While you think you’re a big fan, we’re going to test your Eminem knowledge with these facts: do you really know the rapper? 

There’s Only One Book He’s Read From Front to Back (allegedly)

1999 – LL Cool in Baltimore, Maryland. Image source: Kingkongphoto & www.celebrity-photos.com from Laurel Maryland, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

To start off our list, did you know there’s only one book (allegedly) that Eminem has read from front to back? The book was Make My Own Rules, which was written by LL Cool J, who is another rapper that had hits including Mamma Said Knock You Out. In the book, he talks about how you should always stay true to who you are and keep everything real, even if you’re chasing success.

His Mom Sued His School

In 1982, Eminem’s mother sued his school because he was being bullied by a guy named D’Angelo Bailey. He would go on to rap about the incident in the song Brain Damage, and later on, Bailey would admit to the bullying but sue the rapper, claiming this song harmed him and his reputation. 

Eminem Loves The Dallas Cowboys 

September 23, 2012 – Championship banners at the Dallas Cowboys stadium. Image source: Mahanga, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Even though Eminem is famously from Detroit, Michigan, his favorite NFL team is and has been the Dallas Cowboys since he was young. 

Slim Shady Was Created On The Toilet 

Slim Shady is Eminem’s alter ego, and one twist about this is that he thought of this character while he was on the toilet, which makes it even more entertaining to think about. 

Eminem Has The Biggest Vocabulary In Rap

Eminem - Rap God (Explicit)

A study looked at 25 different genres of music, which included more than 93 artists, and found Eminem holds the biggest vocabulary in rap. He used over 8,818 different words in his music, whereas 2Pac used 6.569, Jay-Z used 6,899 varied words, and Bob Dylan only used 4,883 words.

Eminem Failed Ninth Grade Three Times

The fact that Eminem has the biggest vocabulary in rap is quite a feat given that he failed ninth grade three times, and then dropped out of school altogether. 

He Isn’t Tech Savvy And Doesn’t Use The Computer

While we expect that people under a certain age are computer savvy, Eminem is one of the younger people who are actually not. He mentioned he doesn’t know how to use a computer nor does he have the desire to ever learn.

September 12, 2009 – Keyboard of an HP Pavilion Entertainment PC notebook computer. Image source: Carissa Rogers, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

He also mentioned he would just look at the comments about himself all day if he knew how to do it and that it would just make him crazy, so he avoids the Internet unless he’s with his friends. It’s widely thought that someone is behind the scenes, possibly a paid assistant, who is responsible for updating his social media for him. 

Eminem Lied To Kim To Get Hailie’s Part For 97 Bonnie and Clyde 

Eminem - 97' Bonnie & Clyde (Explicit)

Eminem wrote the song 97 Bonnie And Clyde, which is about him killing Kim, who was his wife at the time. In the track, his daughter plays herself, but he didn’t tell Kim that Hailie had a part in the song. Instead, to get her recording done for the track, he lied to his wife and said that they were just going over to Chuck E. Cheese for a while. 

He Was Fired From His Restaurant Job Right Before Christmas 

Eminem worked as a dishwasher and cook at a family-owned restaurant in Michigan back in 1996. He wasn’t making much money, about $5.50 an hour, and five days before Christmas, he was abruptly fired from his job. The worst part was it was actually his daughter’s birthday too, and he had just released Infinite. Being fired from this job around the holidays led him to write Rock Bottom. 

Eminem Used To Be M&M

Most people know Eminem’s real name is Marshall Mathers III, so for a while before he became Eminem, he was going by M&M. While you might think it’s for the candy, it was actually just a shorthand of his real name.

Lose Yourself Was The First Time a Rap Song Won an Academy Award 

Eminem - Lose Yourself

In 2003, the track Lose Yourself won an Academy Award for Best Original Song, which was the first time that a rap track had won the prestigious award. Fresh off of the movie 8 Mile, Eminem didn’t even show up at the Academy Awards, which led to a co-writer, Luis Resto, getting up on stage and accepting the award on the rapper’s behalf.

Eminem Slept Through The 2003 Academy Awards 

Speaking of Lose Yourself winning an Academy Award, Eminem slept through the show because he did not think he would win. He thought there was no point in staying awake and watching the show because he thought there would be actors who were going to win instead. 

Eminem Suffers From Bipolar Disorder 

While we have heard about Eminem’s drug use and addiction over the years, a lot of people don’t know that he was diagnosed as bipolar, which does have a hand in him becoming a substance abuser. He began using drugs because he was trying to self-medicate his bipolar disorder since he would go weeks where he wouldn’t eat or sleep and have mood swings.

February 25, 2017 – A tablet showing the definition of bipolar disorder. Image source: Nick Youngson, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

He ended up overdosing in 2007, which almost killed him, and he stepped away from music for a while. He is now living a sober life and focusing on healthier and more positive ways to manage his bipolar disorder. 

He Had To Sell His First House After Becoming Famous 

Once Eminem made considerable money, he used it to purchase a house, but that didn’t last long. He had to sell his house not too long after moving in because fans were pulling into his driveway and even getting into his pool! 

Eminem Was Heavily Influenced By The Beastie Boys 

June 25, 2009 – Beastie Boys. Image source: Maddy Julien, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In a Rolling Stone article, Eminem mentioned how the Beastie Boys were a heavy influence on his getting into rap music and was a huge inspiration. He listened to an album by the band in 1986, which is what inspired him to start rapping, and that’s when he started to go to school and perform freestyle raps. 

He’s Had Over 90 Songs On The Billboard Hot 100 Chart

Eminem - Not Afraid

Eminem has had several hits throughout his career, and in total, has had 95 tracks hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Five songs would land at number one on the Billboard chart, including famous hits such as Lose Yourself, Love The Way You Lie, Not Afraid, Crack A Bottle, and The Monster. 

Rihanna Was Chosen by Eminem Himself 

Eminem - Love The Way You Lie ft. Rihanna

Since we just mentioned Love The Way You Lie, which featured Rihanna, now would be a good time to mention that Eminem was the one who chose her when he began writing this now-famous song, which also features Megan Fox in the music video. He had loved Rihanna’s work, and she was in his mind as he was writing the track, and ever since then, they have collaborated on numerous songs together. While never confirmed, allegedly Love The Way You Lie is about Rihanna and Chris Brown. 

He Was The First White Person To Be On The Covers Of The Source And XXL Magazines

Eminem became the first white person to ever appear on the cover of XXL and Source magazines. You may not know about The Source, which is a magazine that focuses on entertainment and hip hop and is traditionally focused on Black entertainment. In 1998, he was featured in the magazine, and then in 2002, he landed on the cover of both The Source and XXL, which was the first time a white person had been on either magazine cover. 

Elton John Is Unofficially Eminem’s Sponsor And Helped Him Through His Addiction 

June 20, 2009 – Elton John in Skagerak Arena, Skien, Norway. Image source: Ernst Vikne, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sir Elton John and Eminem have been friends for decades, and when the rapper was battling substance abuse, including with Vicodin and Ambien, the singer was there to help him out. John not only gave him advice and love during those times of struggle but has maintained a close relationship with Eminem in a sponsor-like role. He calls the rapper regularly, and when Eminem wanted to get sober, it was John whom he called for help. 

The First Rap Song He Heard Was By Ice-T

Reckless (feat. The Glove, Dave Storrs)

Eminem was introduced to rap music in 1981 by his uncle, Ronnie, and the track he heard was Reckless by Ice-T. This would become a pivotal moment for him, who was only nine at the time, as he had never heard rap music until that particular moment. 

He Enjoys Retro Video Games Like Donkey Kong 

August 21, 2012 – 1981 Nintendo original Donkey Kong logo. Image source: Joho345, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Even though Eminem might not be a computer nerd, he does enjoy playing some of the retro video games out there such as Donkey Kong, Frogger, and Space Invaders. He has arcade machines in his studio where he can play anytime he wants. He even had Steve Wiebem, the Donkey Kong record holder, sign two of his arcade machines. 

Eminem Stays Out of The Limelight At School Functions 

His daughter was crowned Homecoming Queen at school one year, and Eminem watched the proud moment from far away because he did not want to take away attention from his daughter. When he goes to school functions, he would often stay as far back as he could so as to never steal the limelight from his kids, which is very commendable. 

He’s Charitable And A Known Philanthropist 

Eminem supports a lot of charities that are near and dear to his heart, whether it’s a local charity or one that’s known worldwide. He created The Marshall Mathers Foundation and regularly supports Small Steps Projects, The Nine Million Organization, and The Eight Mile Boulevard Association. 

Eminem Did Want To Know Where The Snare Was in Cleanin’ Out My Closet 

Eminem - Cleanin' Out My Closet (Official Music Video)

If you’ve heard Cleanin’ Out My Closet, you may remember Eminem asking where the snare was at the beginning of the song. This wasn’t just something he put into the track, he started to record and was legitimately asking the sound engineer where the snare was because he noticed it was actually muted. 

Eminem Loves Diet Coke 

October 10, 2013 – Two-liter bottles of Diet Coke, caffeine-free Coca-Cola Zero, and caffeine-free Diet Coke on a Target shelf in Wheaton, Maryland. Image source: Ben Schumin from Montgomery Village, Maryland, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Who would have thought that a famous rapper like Eminem loves Diet Coke? He loves the drink so much that he put a Diet Coke fountain in his studio and claims to be a chain Diet Coke drinker but does not drink it from cans because of potential carcinogens found in them. 

Eminem’s Friend And Bandmate Died In a Nightclub Shooting

Late-1990s – Eminem and Proof at Stadthalle Munich, Germany. Image source: Mika Väisänen, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Eminem had another project years ago called D12, and there was a rapper in this group named Proof. He was Eminem’s real-life friend and was even the best man when he married Kim. Unfortunately, Proof died in 2006 while at a nightclub in Detroit, Michigan. Interestingly, the nightclub was on 8 Mile Road, and he succumbed to his injuries from the nightclub altercation, which included three gunshot wounds, at a hospital a short time later.

His Different Personas Are Used For His Characters 

Whether it’s Eminem, Marshall Mathers, or Slim Shady, all of these different characters he’s created are really a part of his personality and represent his various personas. For example, Marshall Mathers is who he is when he goes home since it’s his real name, but Eminem is the rapping part of himself. Slim Shady is the darkest of the three since he’s the attitude-heavy angry man with a violent temper we often hear in his music. 

Eminem No Longer Has Extended Tours 

After going through bouts of drug addiction, Eminem decided that long tours are not beneficial to his health. The grueling long months on the road were a trigger for his addiction and led him to spiral down that path, so he chose to stop these extended tours in order to stay clean.

He Helped Ed Sheeran Unknowingly With Stuttering Issues 

Ed Sheeran Used Eminem’s Songs to Cure His Stutter

On The Howard Stern Show, Ed Sheeran talked about how Eminem indirectly helped him when he was nine to stop stuttering. He had been in speech therapy because of his stuttering, and one day, his uncle brought him The Marshall Mathers LP because his uncle was impressed with Eminem’s music. He started to listen and would spend hours learning the lyrics to the songs and would rap them back and forth, which would eventually help him stop stuttering. 

Ed Sheeran And Eminem Remain Close Friends 

Eminem - Full Live at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2022 Induction ft. Ed Sheeran & Steven Tyler (4K)

Ed Sheeran and Eminem are close friends and have collaborated on songs more than once. He had gone on stage with Eminem to sing Stan and famously did so during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in 2022, which is when the rapper was inducted. The rapper also included the singer’s song The River on his 2017 album called Revival. 

February 26, 2013 – Ed Sheeran. Image source: Eva Rinaldi from Sydney, Australia, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

All of Eminem’s Solo LPs Hit The Billboard 200 Chart At Number One

Every single solo LP that Eminem has released, including The Slim Shady LP, his debut album, went onto the Billboard 200 chart and debuted at the number one position!  

He Turned Down a Lead Role in a Movie in 2013

ELYSIUM - Official Trailer (HD)

In 2013, Eminem was approached to be in Elysium, a science-fiction movie, and would have been the lead character, however, he turned it down after the producers would not allow the movie to be shot in Detroit, which he had requested. 

The NFL Pulled His Promos Because of His Explicit Lyrics 

Eminem - My Name Is (Official Music Video)

You may not remember it, but in 1999, Eminem had several promotional spots for the NFL using his song My Name Is. They were pulled once it was known how explicit his lyrics were, with the only surprising thing here being how the NFL didn’t know he had explicit lyrics in his songs in the first place. 

He’s Been Clean And Sober Since 2007 

Talking a little more about his drug addiction, it was the overdose in 2007 that led him to finally clean up for good. Eminem overdosed on methadone, which is commonly given to opiate users to help them stay off drugs, and it was that near-death experience that gave him the strength to stay off Ambien, Vicodin, and Valium for good. 

Eminem Uses The Dictionary To Expand His Vocabulary 

We’ve mentioned Eminem dropped out of high school but has the biggest vocabulary in rap music, and the dictionary likely has a lot to do with his expanded knowledge. He regularly studies words in the dictionary in an effort to put new words into his music, and it just goes to show his commitment to his craft. 

Healthcare Workers Had Spaghetti During COVID Because of Eminem’s Charity Work

Mom's Spaghetti Restaurant - Opening 9/29/21 - Detroit, MI

During the height of the COVID pandemic, Eminem had an idea for a charitable cause and had arranged for spaghetti to be handed out to healthcare workers on the front lines in Detroit, Michigan. Most people will get the reference to spaghetti being a famous lyric from Lose Yourself. 

His Mom Was 15 When She Gave Birth, And She Almost Died 

Eminem’s mom got pregnant with him very young and was only 15 when she went into labor to bring this now-iconic rapper into the world. However, it was a very intense labor that lasted more than 73 hours, and she almost died in the process. 

He Was Arrested When He Was 20 For a Paintball Shooting 

January 28, 2020 – Blasterexpert98. Image source: Alwayne gray, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When we think of drive-by shootings, we think of bullets, but Eminem was arrested for being the driver of a car where paintballs were being shot at people. He was 20 at the time and none of the paintballs burst when they were shot from the vehicle, but he was still arrested anyway. Thankfully, the victim who filed the police report didn’t show up to court, and the case against him was dismissed. 

The Marshall Mathers LP Is Quickest-Selling Solo Album Ever 

When The Marshall Mathers LP dropped in May 2000, it became the quickest-selling solo album ever! More than one million copies of the album were sold in just the first week alone, breaking records and putting Eminem in the history books. Even after Dr. Dre produced the album along with others such as 45 King, no one could have anticipated how fast this album would sell. 

The Truman Show Inspired An Eminem Album 

The Truman Show (1998) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

The Truman Show, which was a movie starring Jim Carrey, is the inspiration behind the title of Eminem’s fourth studio release, The Eminem Show. 

He Was Sued By His Mother 

It’s not every day you get sued by your mother, but that’s exactly what happened to Eminem not too long before his release of The Slim Shady LP. She claimed everything he’d said about her in his songs was false and it never happened and claimed her house was drug-free when he was growing up. She sued him for $10 million and a settlement occurred which paid her $250,000, although the rapper claims everything he had ever said about his childhood and her specifically was true. 

He Googles His Songs To Not Repeat Himself 

When you’ve released as many tracks as Eminem has over the years, it’s not hard to fathom you might forget what you said and what rhymes you used. He has been known to use Google to look at his previous songs and lyrics as he’s writing so that he doesn’t repeat the lyrics or the same rhymes, which is a smart move if we don’t say so ourselves. 

Vanilla Ice Crushed Him 

Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby (Official Music Video)

When he saw Vanilla Ice and heard the hit song Ice Ice Baby, Eminem was very crushed because there was this white rapper who was not good at rapping and made a mockery of white people rapping.

June 24, 2010 – Vanilla Ice concert. Date 24 June 2010. Image source: wonker from London, United Kingdom, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

He would go on to talk about how he was a teenager in 1991 and was just beginning to start rapping while living in a mostly Black area that was low income, and he felt Vanilla Ice was making it harder for him to be taken seriously as a rapper. He would go on to realize that it was more about the person rapping, and he knew he had skills Vanilla Ice didn’t.

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