“I’m not alone in feeling the way I feel. I believe that a lot of people can relate to my sh*t–whether white, black, it doesn’t matter. Everybody has been through some sh*t, whether it’s drastic or not so drastic. Everybody gets to the point of ‘I don’t give a fu**’.”
Rapper, music producer & actor, Marshall Bruce Mathers III (Eminem), is world-renowned for his unique delivery & eloquence in the art of rap.
But his massive success was not without major hurdles and struggles that he had to overcome. So in this article, we’re gonna explore some significant reasons why his life is an inspiration for all.
1. Rough Childhood
Marshall grew up a poor kid who usually had to stay at public housing projects. The projects are government-driven housing for the economically-disadvantaged in America. They usually harbour gangsters, drug dealers, pimps, prostitutes & such, besides the poor & homeless.
He regularly moved and so was an outcast at every school he attended. Because of this, he didn’t have any close friends and usually kept to himself. He routinely got bullied and harassed – “Beat up in the bathroom, beat up in the hallways, shoved into lockers”, Marshall recounts.
2. Difficult Parents
Em’s father left him when he was a baby. Even though he tried to contact him many times, he refused to reciprocate. Though his mother continued to raise him, Em has implied through his rap that his mom abused him, physically and emotionally, and was addicted to prescription drugs. She could only keep a job for several months at most and thus had to constantly move to new places. This affected Mathers’ personality and caused him to be alone and outcast, as previously stated.
“My fa**ot father must have had his panties up in a bunch
‘Cause he split, I wonder if he even kissed me goodbye
No I don’t. On second thought I just fu**ing wished he would die”
“Now I would never diss my own momma just to get recognition…
But put yourself in my position, just try to envision
Witnessing your momma popping prescription pills in the kitchen…
Going through public housing systems,…
My whole life I was made to believe I was sick when I wasn’t…
Remember when Ronnie died and you said you wished it was me?”
(‘Cleaning Out My Closet’, Eminem)
3. Being White in a Black Rap Scene
Eminem entered the rap scene during a predominantly black period. Having bright white skin and clear blue eyes, he clearly stood out. Nonetheless, his skill in rap battles quickly made him one of the most respected in the Detroit underground rap scene.
His success even before breaking into the mainstream music industry showed that the barrier of race can be broken. Of course, not to ignore the historical struggle black people have faced, but only to recognise that Em didn’t bend to racial stereotypes. He dared to expose his verbal prowess despite being in the racial minority of the passion he was pursuing.