Happy Birthday to Eminem who turned 39 on Monday! Marshall Bruce Mathers III was born on Oct. 17, 1972. Ever since then, Slim Shady has become a renowned rapper, record producer, songwriter and actor. Eminem's popularity spawned the success of Detroit, Mich. hip-hop group D12. Eminem is also one half of the Detroit hiphop duo Bad Meets Evil, with Royce da 5'9. Eminem is one of the best-selling artists in the world and, according to Billboard, is the best-selling artist of the 2000s.
Eminem is known for his outside-the-box lyrics and play on homphones -- words that sound the same, but aren't necessarily spelled similarly. He's also known for alluding to his past life events in his songs, centering mostly on events he and his family have been through. For example, Eminem shares custody of his and his ex-wife's daughter, Hailie Jade Mathers. She has often been referenced or featured on various songs including '97 Bonnie & Clyde, Hailie's Song, My Dad's Gone Crazy, Mockingbird, When I'm Gone and Beautiful.
Most recently, Eminem has released two albums, Relapse and Recovery, predicated on the themes of his addiction to prescription drugs, including Vicodin, Ambien, Valium and Methadone.
Eminem will be a memorable rapper because he stood out both lyrically and racially in the hip-hop culture.
Here are his top five memorable singles in tribute of his birthday:
My Name Is
My Name Is was released in 1999, the debut single overall from his major label debut album, The Slim Shady LP. The song was ranked at #26 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s.
Remember the chorus:
Hi! My name is.. (what?) My name is.. (who?)
My name is.. [scratches] Slim Shady
Hi! My name is.. (huh?) My name is.. (what?)
My name is.. [scratches] Slim Shady
The Real Slim Shady
The Real Slim Shady was released in 2000 as the lead single for Eminem's third studio album The Marshall Mathers LP.
It won multiple awards, including the MTV Video Music Awards for Best Video and Best Male Video, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance.
It became Eminem's first song to enter in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 and the first song to reach number one in the UK. It also peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100, giving him his biggest hit up to that point.
The song pokes fun at various singers and celebrities, including Will Smith, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.
Cleanin' Out My Closet
Cleanin' Out My Closet was the second single released in 2002 for Eminem's fourth studio album The Eminem Show.
Unlike the preceding single, Without Me, Eminem departed from his humorous Slim Shady persona to a more serious, introspective tone. Eminem examines his life, reflecting on such topics as his troubled childhood, marital conflicts, and resentful feud with his mother. The song became the second top-ten single from the album (reaching #4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100) and one of the highest-charting singles of his career.
In the same year, Eminem's Lose Yourself, from the 8 Mile soundtrack, became his first number one song on the Hot 100 and remained on the top for twelve weeks. The 8 Mile soundtrack itself peaked to the number one position in the United States, where it sold more than four million of the nine million copies distributed internationally.
Lose Yourself became the first rap song to win The Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2002.
At the Grammy Awards of 2004, Lose Yourself became Eminem's second career nomination for Record of the Year (following Without Me), and the first rap song ever to be nominated for Song of the Year. It won Best Male Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Song, which was a brand new category at the time.
The song's lyrics explicitly sum up the background info about Eminem's character in 8 Mile, Jimmy B-Rabbit Smith, Jr, with the first verse summing up much of the plot of the movie.
Not Afraid is the first single from Eminem's seventh studio album Recovery. The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number one for the week ending May 22, 2010, making it the sixteenth song in Billboard's history to debut at number one and only the second rap single ever to debut at the top spot.
For the 53rd Grammy Awards, the song was nominated for Best Rap Song and won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance.
Lyrically, the song is about Eminem's self-imposed exile and his return free from drugs.