Eminem Was Bullied Back In High School
Eminem's brilliance and popularity is a given. Over the years, he's become one of the most successful rappers of all time. And he doesn't look like slowing down any time soon.
Recently, after being announced as a headline act for this year's Reading and Leeds Festivals, his previous ambitions went viral. It turns out that long ago he didn't have any aspirations to be a rapper and instead wanted to be a comic book artist.
He's been passionate about comics for a long time, which goes a long way to explaining the 'Mosh' video and The Slim Shady Show series.
If you're unaware of The Slim Shady Show, it's basically a series which was uploaded to the internet (and later to DVD) which feels kind of like South Park. In fact, in the first episode, Eminem visits the town and it's all kinds of weird.
Each episode is around five minutes long, and features Eminem himself, as well as Paul Rosenberg and Xzibit.
However, I think the most interesting thing has to be that Marvel featured Eminem as a character in one of their Punisher comic books. And it's very strange.
It came out back in 2009, just after Eminem finished his five-year hiatus and was about to release Relapse.
Eminem's youth was often spent in wander, proven by his imagination which has now been well documented via songs, films and comic books.
But when he was in school he was bullied. This is something you wouldn't expect given his ability to rip anyone to shreds.
A throwback picture of the musician, which was reportedly taken in 1990, when he was 18, may explain a few things.
Nice pink shirt, Em.
According to reports, Marshall's mother, Debbie Nelson, unsuccessfully sued the Roseville school district for not protecting her son. She claimed that the extent of the bullying towards his son caused him headaches, nausea, and antisocial behaviour.
Around this time, under the alias M&M, he would often sneak into Osborn High School to have lunchtime freestyles, but faced struggles because he was white and trying to partake in a predominantly black music scene.
In the song 'Brain Damage', on his 1999 album The Slim Shady LP, Em expands on his experiences with bullies. The tune focuses on DeAngelo Bailey, a school friend who was a janitor living in Roseville, Michigan at the time the song was released.
The entire second verse of the song depicts a young Eminem being shoved into lockers, having his nose broken and being choked until he runs home to his mum, who thinks he's on drugs.
"Way before my baby daughter Hailey/I was harassed daily by this fat kid named D'Angelo Bailey/An eighth grader who acted obnoxious, cause his father boxes/so everyday he'd shove me in the lockers/One day he came in the bathroom while I was pissin'/And had me in the position to beat me into submission/He banged my head against the urinal til he broke my nose/Soaked my clothes in blood, grabbed me and choked my throat," the verse begins.
Credit: Interscope Records
In 2001 Bailey actually sued the artist over the track, filing a $1 million lawsuit and accusing him of slander and invasion of privacy.
The case was upheld in 2003, with a judge determining that the lyrics were so exaggerated that they could in no way be believed to be recalling a genuine event. Bailey had also previously admitted to bullying Eminem at school in an interview with Rolling Stone.
The verdict was upheld in 2005, and Bailey's lawyer ruled out any further appeals.
Unsurprisingly, this wasn't the only court case to come out of The Slim Shady LP. On the major label debut there were 182 swear words, which is quite an incredible feat. Of the 22 songs, most referenced drug use, misogynies, domestic abuse, murder and a no fucks given attitude. So, it's not hard to see why he pissed people off.
One of the other lawsuits was from his own mother, who sued him for the line: "I just found out my mom does more dope than I do" in 'My Name Is'.
The other came from Harlene Stein, who accused both Eminem and Dr Dre of using an unauthorised sample of 'Go Home Pigs', which was written by her late husband, in the song 'Guilty Conscience'.
Not one bit of any of that bothered Marshall Mathers. He could have pissed off every single person on Earth and it wouldn't have mattered. Just years before he was 'white trash' (by his own admission), and then he had gone from an underground rapper to a rap phenomenon. His dream had come true.
His success is mainly down to hard work. When his mother would leave him at home to go to bingo, he'd sit and blast music, perfecting his lyrics.
This was the same in the jobs he'd have. Although he'd never be in his employment roles for long, he'd use his breaks to write music. He also did this during the filming of 8 Mile. In between takes was the only time he had to work on his tracks, so that's when he did it. There was no time off.
Of course, in among all the hard work, there were problems. He has never shied away from the fact that he struggled with drug addiction.
The rapper allegedly had addictions to prescription meds like Vicodin, Ambien and Valium. According to him, he'd take a "ridiculous amount [...] I could consume anywhere from 40 to 60 Valium [in a day]."
Eventually, after piling on a load of weight because he would simply sit around taking drugs then binge on fast food, he overdosed on methadone in 2007. He reportedly bought it from a dealer who had told him it was 'just like Vicodin'. Incredibly, he took the equivalent of four bags of heroin which left him 'two hours from dying'.
Luckily he was able to kick the drugs in rehab, with help from close friend Elton John.
Eminem will apparently release a new album this year, as well as perform at the Reading and Leeds Festivals.
Featured Image Credit: Imgur