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A protégé of Dr. Dre, rapper Eminem emerged in 1999 as one of the most controversial rappers to ever grace the genre. Using his biting wit and incredible skills to vent on everything from his unhappy childhood to his contempt for the mainstream media, his success became the biggest crossover success the genre had seen since Dre's solo debut seven years earlier. The controversy over his lyrics was the best publicity any musician could afford, and being the first Caucasian rapper to make a significant impact in years may have given him a platform not afforded to equally talented African-American rappers. A gifted producer as well, his talents always seemed overshadowed by his media presence, which was a mix between misunderstood genius and misogynistic homophobe. Both may be true, but his message spoke to legions of disaffected youth who had few role models in the rap world who could relate to the white lower-class experience. He was born Marshall Mathers in St. Joseph, MO (near Kansas City), spending the better part of his impoverished childhood shuttling back and forth between his hometown and the city of Detroit. Initially attracted to rap as a teen, Eminem began performing at age 14, performing raps in the basement of his high school friend's home. The two went under the names Manix and M&M (soon changed to Eminem), which Mathers took from his own initials. Due to the unavoidable racial boundaries that came with being a white rapper, he decided the easiest way to win over underground hip-hop audiences was to become a battle rapper and improv against other MCs in clubs. Although he wasn't immediately accepted, through time he became such a popular attraction that people would challenge him just to make a name for themselves.

His uncle's suicide prompted a brief exodus from the world of rap, but he returned and found himself courted by several other rappers to start groups. He first joined the New Jacks, and then moved on to Soul Intent, who released Eminem's first recorded single in 1995. A rapper named Proof performed the B-side on the single and enjoyed working with Eminem so much that he asked him to start yet another group. Drafting in a few other friends, the group became known as D-12, a six-member crew that supported one another as solo artists more than they collaborated. The birth of Eminem's first child put his career on hold again as he started working in order to care for his family. This also instilled a bitterness that started to creep into his lyrics as he began to drag personal experiences into the open and make them the topic of his raps.

A debut record, 1996's Infinite, broke his artistic rut but received few good reviews, as comparisons to Nas and AZ came unfavorably. Undaunted, he downplayed many of the positive messages he had been including in his raps and created Slim Shady, an alter ego that was not afraid to say whatever he felt. Tapping into his innermost feelings, he had a bounty of material to work with when his mother was accused of mentally and physically abusing his younger brother the same year. The next year his girlfriend left him and barred him from visiting their child, so he was forced to move back in with his mother, an experience that fueled his hatred toward her and made him even more sympathetic toward his brother. The material he was writing was uncharacteristically dark as he began to abuse drugs and alcohol at a more frequent rate. An unsuccessful suicide attempt was the last straw, as he realized his musical ambitions were the only way to escape his unhappy life. He released the brutal Slim Shady EP, a mean-spirited, funny, and thought-provoking record that was light years ahead of the material he had been writing beforehand. Making quite the impression in the underground not only for his exaggerated, nasal-voiced rapping style but also for his skin color, many quarters dubbed him the music's next "great white hope."

According to legend, Dr. Dre discovered his demo tape on the floor of Interscope label chief Jimmy Iovine's garage, but the reality was that Eminem took second place in the freestyle category at 1997's Rap Olympics MC Battle in Los Angeles and Iovine approached the rapper for a tape afterward. It wasn't until a month or two later that he played the tape for an enthusiastic Dre, who eagerly contacted Eminem. Upon meeting, Dre was taken back by his skin color more than his skill, but within the first hour they had already started recording "My Name Is." Dre agreed to produce his first album and the two released "Just Don't Give a Fuck" as a single to preview the new album. A reconciliation with his girlfriend led to the two getting married in the fall of 1998, and Interscope signed the rapper and prepared to give him a massive push on Dre's advice. An appearance on Kid Rock's Devil Without a Cause only helped the buzz that was slowly surrounding him.

The best-selling Slim Shady LP followed in early 1999, scoring a massive hit with the single and video "My Name Is," plus a popular follow-up in "Guilty Conscience"; over the next year, the album went triple platinum. With such wide exposure, controversy ensued over the album's content, with some harshly criticizing its cartoon-ish, graphic violence; others praised its edginess and surreal humor, as well as Eminem's own undeniable lyrical skills and Dre's inventive production. In between albums, Eminem appeared on Dre's Dr. Dre 2001, with his contributions providing some of the record's liveliest moments.

The Marshall Mathers LP appeared in the summer of 2000, moving close to two-million copies in its first week of release on its way to becoming the fastest-selling rap album of all time. Unfortunately, this success also bred more controversy, and no other musician was better suited for it than Eminem. Among the incidents that occurred included a scuffle with the Insane Clown Posse's employees in a car stereo shop, a bitter battle with pop star Christina Aguilera over a lyric about her fictional sexual exploits, a lawsuit from his mother over defamation of character, and an attack on a Detroit club goer after Eminem allegedly witnessed the man kissing his wife. Fans ate it up as his album stood strong at the top of the charts. But the mainstream media was not so enamored, as accusations of homophobia and sexism sprung from the inflammatory lyrics in the songs "Kill You" and "Kim." It was this last song that ended his marriage, as the song's chosen topic (violently murdering his real life wife Kim Mathers) drove his spouse to a suicide attempt before they divorced. Eminem toured throughout most of this, settling several of his court cases and engaging a mini-feud with rapper Everlast.

The annual Grammy Awards nominated the album for several awards, and to silence his critics the rapper called on Elton John to duet with him at the ceremony. In 2001, he teamed with several of his old Detroit running buddies and re-formed D-12. Releasing an album with the group, Eminem hit the road with them that summer and tried to ignore the efforts of his mother, who released an album in retaliation to his comments. After getting off of the road, he stepped in front of the camera and filmed 8 Mile, a film loosely based on his life directed by the unlikely fan Curtis Hanson (Wonder Boys). His constant media exposure died out as well, leaving him time to work on new music.

When he re-emerged in 2002, he splashed onto the scene with "Without Me," a single that attacked Moby and Limp Bizkit and celebrated his return to music. Surprisingly, the following album, The Eminem Show, inspired little controversy. Instead, the popular second single "Cleanin' Out My Closet" told of his dysfunctional childhood and explained his hatred toward his mother in a mannered, poignant fashion. And being Eminem, he followed this up with an appearance at MTV's Video Music Awards that inspired boos when he verbally assaulted Moby for no apparent reason.


Eminem Court Case Ends In Stalemate


Controversial rapper EMINEM's Manhattan Federal Court case with THE SOURCE magazine neared its conclusion yesterday (16MAR05) with both sides claiming victory.

The STAN star sued for copyright infringement after the hip-hop publication printed lyrics recorded by a then angst-ridden teenage Eminem in which he labelled black girls "dumb".
The 32-year-old's lawyer DONALD DAVID says, "There is nothing left to win. The judge already decided we have the copyright, and he awarded us $131,000 in sanctions. So the case has no purpose anymore."

The Source co-owner DAVID MAYS also left the court in triumphant mood:

"They want this withdrawal so they can avoid the public embarrassment of having Eminem on trial in New York."

Mays contends the fate of the lawsuit will be decided next week (21MAR05) when Judge GERARD LYNCH rules whether the case has been withdrawn "with prejudice". The magazine would then be free to publish Eminem's lyrics.

He adds, "We have been vindicated whichever way it goes."

Eminem At His Most Revealing In 'Mockingbird': Lens Recap

Rapper co-directs clip, shares personal home-video footage.

He's already cleaned out his closet, dissed his mom and ex-wife on record and laid his life story out for everyone to see in "8 Mile." The only thing left for Eminem to reveal were his home movies, which he does in the "Mockingbird" video, one of the most personal views we've ever gotten into the life of a rapper — or any popular music star.

"The idea was originally Em's," said Quig, the clip's co-director, of the home-movie treatment for the song that laments missing out on so much of his daughter's life. "He came to me with the idea, and we talked about how he imagined it in his head. He wanted the images to match exactly what his words were speaking."

Em approached Quig a few days after Christmas with a somewhat overwhelming 25 hours worth of VHS footage that he'd borrowed from family members and had shot himself over the past few years. "I worked around the clock through the holiday week, including New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, to get the first edit done," said Quig, who runs Detroit's Chrome Bumper Films. The rapper trusted Quig, who says he's worked with Em in some capacity on nearly all of his videos, to handle the sensitive tape and edit it down to a manageable length.

Most of the clips focus on Em's niece, Laney, and daughter, Hailie, who appears in several shots with her mother, the rapper's ex, Kim Mathers. (The faces of both children were blurred out in the most recent footage to help protect their privacy.)

We see Hailie celebrating her second birthday, playing with Kim in the backyard and opening Christmas presents, some of which only appear to be from her dead-broke, not-yet-famous dad, as alluded to in the song. We also see Em watching the footage by himself in what seems to be the screening room of his Detroit mansion.

"Having the home movies was cool on its own, but I had thrown in a few examples of how I saw him being intercut throughout the video," Quig explained. "I needed something to sew it together, so I cut in [sample] footage from TV and movies that showed a person watching a projector. This was the best way to show him what I meant, and he totally got it. The funny part is that Em had the same idea."

Quig said that the pair unintentionally came up with a new way of making videos: Edit in existing footage to match the narrative, then shoot only what you need to fill in each section. "It's like a live storyboard put to music," he said.

The only glitch, though, was that Em's label wanted the pair to also shoot some footage of him rapping along to the track, either seated in the screening room or on the streets of Detroit.

"It would have looked corny," Quig said. "What was he going to do, be in the chair singing the song? So we showed them how it looked, and they agreed."

While Em was willing to reveal a lot of himself — even paging through a real photo album that Hailie made for him as a gift — exposing the world to his actual home was not part of the equation. "We rented a house and designed it according to our vision," Quig said.

"The idea was to create a mood of aloneness. Here is a man that has reached every height possible as a singer/performer. The room was to display his storybook life — awards, trophies, gold records ... [his] wealth and fortune. Here Em is looking back on moments when he potentially wasn't present, due to his love of hip-hop and hardworking values to create something for his daughter Hailie's future."

After a headline about Kim Mathers' release from prison on drug charges flashes onscreen, the video has footage of Hailie greeting her mother at the door. Though Quig was not at liberty to discuss who supplied and signed off on all the footage, he said that everyone and everything shown in the video had to be cleared.

For an artist who has tried hard to walk the fine line between exposing everything about himself and keeping his home life off camera, Quig said he thought Em achieved exactly what he wanted to with "Mockingbird."

"Marshall is huge in the visual department," he said. "The amount of detail he sees and how things [transition] from one scene to the next ... he could be a director on a regular basis. He really sees the whole picture, no matter what he's working on."

Eminems Long Lost Sister Found


Superstar EMINEM has a long-lost sister who he has never met.

SARAH MATHERS was at a family barbecue when she first noticed the SLIM SHADY star on the TV - but remained unconvinced the controversial rapper was the same son her father MARSHALL MATHERS II had abandoned 31 years ago.
STAN star Eminem, whose real name is MARSHALL MATHERS III, was raised by his mother DEBBIE after his parents split when he was six-months-old.

Sarah, 23, says, "I'd known all my life that I had another brother, but Eminem? They'd got to be kidding.
"I giggled at the thought of it, then went back to join the rest of my family.

"But when my dad saw the resemblance between the two men (Eminem and half-brother MICHAEL), he didn't brush it off.

"He phoned his great-aunt EDNA, who'd helped look after Dad's oldest son before he split from his ex-wife, and she told him it was Marshall Mathers. Eminem was my brother."

Eminem's New Music Video, 'Mockingbird,' Will Premiere Online Exclusively on MSN Music on Feb. 21, 2005

World Online Premiere of Eminem's New Music Video Marks Another Online Premiere of Universal Music Group Video Content on MSN Music

MSN(R) Music will be the exclusive destination for fans to see the world online premiere of rapper Eminem's new music video, "Mockingbird," at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time Monday, Feb. 21. Eminem fans who visit MSN Music, at http://music.msn.com/music/topvideos , will be among the first in the world to watch this video, which is highly anticipated by music fans because it features personal footage of the artist's family.(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO )

"We are excited to be first place in the world that you can watch Eminem's newest music video online," said Rob Bennett, senior director of MSN Entertainment. "MSN Music is about helping music fans find the music and videos they love, and by working with an industry leader like Universal Music Group, we are helping fans more fully enjoy their favorite music."

The world premiere of "Mockingbird" is a result of close collaboration between MSN Music and Universal Music Group (UMG) that allows music lovers to stream UMG artists' latest creations. Last week, MSN Music and Universal Music Group premiered a new video from UMG artist Beck titled "E-Pro."

Bonding With Eminem

Smack dab in the middle of Eminem’s new video for the hit song "Mockingbird" is an unforgettable face that defines Detroit television news.

In the video for the song, Bill Bonds will be a part of Eminem’s intimate footage, which fans will see for the first time. The video includes home movies with his daughter, niece, and ex-wife.

"He said to his crew and a great crew, all people about your age, very talented men and women, that I was part of his growing up, because your mom (7 anchor Diana Lewis) and I were on television together, and he wanted me to be part of his story," Bonds said Friday.

"They called and said that Eminem is doing something special. This is kind of the story of his life: his ups, his downs, his victories, his defeats, his version of the America in which he grew up."

It’s an America that Bill says is much different from his younger days, and Eminem is just the mockingbird to sing about it.

"I was really very thrilled and very complimented because this is a very gifted kid," Bonds said. "This kid is a one-man Motown."

Eminem Airs Candid Home Video Footage In New Video

Eminem's new video for upcoming single MOCKINGBIRD features home movie family footage of the rapper, his ex-wife KIM MATHERS and daughter HAILIE before he was famous.

The song, dedicated to his daughter and niece LANEY, features Eminem recalling his tough days as a dad and how he explained his ex-wife's incarceration for drug offenses to the girls.

Young, Stefani and Eminem win

Will Young took the award for Best British Single for the track Your Game at the Brit Awards.

His award, presented by actress-turned-singer Minnie Driver, was followed by the gong for Best Pop Act, won by McFly, presented by model Jodie Kidd.

McFly beat Westlife, Natasha Bedingfield, Girls Aloud and Avril Lavigne to the award.

Young beat Jamelia, Shapeshifters, LMC vs U2, and Band Aid 20's Do They Know It's Christmas to win the Best British Single award.

Gwen Stefani won the award for International Female Solo Artist, beating Kylie Minogue, Kelis, Anastasia and Alicia Keys.

Stefani who spent 17 years as lead singer of ska-pop-punk-rockers No Doubt before going solo, arrived on stage with an entourage of Japanese women dressed in sailors' outfits.

Wearing a low-cut top and Puffball skirt, she said: "I have been inspired by British groups while growing up, during my whole life. To be sharing the stage with these people is such an honour."

Eminem won the award for Best International Male over former Beach Boys' star Brian Wilson, Kanye West, Tom Waits and Usher. He sent over a message of thanks on video.

Eminem set to star in a horror movie

Eminem is set to star in a horror movie along with his D12 bandmates.

The rap star and the five other group members have been signed up to appear in 'Devil's Night', scheduled for release in 2005.

It is as yet unknown exactly what role the star will play, but, according to reports, he is delighted to be acting again. Eminem's movie debut, in the semi-autobiographical '8 Mile', was praised by critics and launched the star to a larger audience.

As well as agreeing to star in 'Devil's Night', D12 and Eminem are also set to appear in 'Runyon Cash', a rap-based movie named after the street they all grew up on.
The news of the movie deals come in the wake of the rap star revealing he is launching his own radio station, 'Sirius'.

The controversial performer has launched the station as a reaction to the amount of censorship his songs receive on American radio stations.

In the past, many US stations which played the rapper's controversial songs - often littered with profanities - received large fines and many refused to play his music. However, the new station will only be available as a subscription service on satellite radio - a private industry in the US - where swearing and controversial lyrics are allowed to be broadcast.


Sirius In Deal With U2, Eminem Label Interscope

Doers and doings in business, entertainment and technology: 's future employer and Eminem's current one grew a bit closer Monday. Sirius Satellite Radio (nasdaq: SIRI - news - people ) announced an exclusive marketing and promotional pact with Interscope Geffen A&M Records and its chairman, Jimmy Iovine. Led by Chief Executive Mel Karmazin, Sirius is in a constant struggle to close the gap with XM Satellite Radio (nasdaq: XMSR - news - people ), the top orbital broadcaster. Monday's pact takes another step in that direction: The deal will give Sirius marketing and promotional inroads with Interscope artists, including Celtic warblers U2, ska group No Doubt and hip-hop cash cows 50 Cent and Eminem. In addition, Iovine will be a creative adviser and consultant in the development of Sirius programming. He already knows some of the astronomical turf: Last year, he helped broker a deal for Eminem to co-produce a rap channel on Sirius called Shade 45. Sirius Chief Financial Officer David Frear declared earlier this month that the company had a "blowout" holiday season. The CFO said he expects fourth-quarter numbers to show a big improvement over the third quarter. The leadership may have a bit to do with it: Karmazin worked at length in radio before serving as Viacom (nyse: VIAb - news - people ) president, then joining Sirius. Among many others, current Viacom employee Stern--never one to offer saccharine--had high praise for his former boss.

Eminem & 50 Cent sign UK act

Eminem and 50 Cent have made an unknown homeless British singer the first signing to their new record label.

The two rappers have made Grant Harvey - who is one half of R'n'B duo Tilda - their latest prodigy and are grooming him for pop success. Harvey was first spotted by Eminem's aides singing on the streets of Los Angeles, where he was sleeping rough and desperately trying to raise money, and was invited to perform for the two hip hop stars at their studio.

When 50 Cent and Eminem saw Harvey, and singing partner Daniel Booker, perform they were offered a contract on the duo's new label, G-Unit Soul, on the spot. Harvey said: "We met up in London and moved to LA to try to make it. We were even homeless for a while and at one time were living with a pimp. We were close to quitting but now things are happening thanks to 50 and Em."

The label, which will focus on finding new R'n'B talent rather than rap, is Eminem's latest side project - he was responsible for turning the 'In Da
Club' singer into a worldwide star. Eminem and 50 are so excited by their new act they are both tipping Harvey to become the first British artist to break into the multi-million dollar US urban market.

The Source of beef: Eminem's video

The beef goes on between rival rappers Eminem and Ray Benzino.

"[Eminem] is a coward and p--," says Benzino, co-owner of The Source magazine, who has a new video mocking Slim Shady. "If he and I are ever face to face, I'm going to smack the s-- out of him."

On his recent track, "Like Toy Soldiers," Eminem claimed he wanted to put an end to hip-hop hostilities. The song's video depicted the fictional murder of his buddy Proof by a masked gunman.

Benzino claims the shooter in that video "is supposed to be me." He also takes offense at Eminem's referring to him as "a 'receptionist.' He's still being a disrespectful little f--."

In retaliation, Ragin' Ray uses his own rap, "Look Into My Eyes," to return the fire. The track's video has someone named "Jimmy" - Benzino confirms he means Jimmy Iovine, the head of Eminem's label, Interscope Records - arrange for Benzino to be killed.

Benzino also alleges Interscope has pressured BET not to air his video.

"BET says it doesn't want to get in the middle," says Benzino. "But they play Eminem's video every day. Eminem can do a parody of Michael Jackson, but as soon as someone makes a little parody of him, he can't take it."

An ally of Eminem denies the "Toy Soldiers" video was about Benzino.

"It's about beefs in general," he says. "Benzino is trying to us use Eminem's CD to push his own."

Eminem claims responsibility for John Kerry's defeat!

Eminem believes that might have been a reason behind John Kerry's defeat in the 2004 US presidential elections.

The rapper has said that he could have won Kerry enough vital votes to swing the election in his favour if he had released the controversial anti-Bush single 'Mosh' sooner, rather than releasing it just before America voted in November 2004.

"I do have a bit of regret about that. We did our best to get it out as soon as we could. But do I wish it could have come out two weeks earlier? Yes," he was quoted by the FemaleFirst, as saying.

50 Cent Pokes Fun At Eminem In Rapper Peace Bid


50 CENT has criticised his mentor EMINEM for releasing a record urging rappers to end their wars - insisting SLIM SHADY isn't being realistic.

The outspoken New Yorker, who has had a long-standing feud with JA RULE among others, pokes fun at Eminem for releasing hopeful hit LIKE TOY SOLDIERS in the pages of hip-hop magazine XXL.
He states, "I don't think Em is realistic. On certain levels, he's being logical.
Anybody, like I said, would want to avoid those type of situations.

"Em's seeing if it's possible to not have these issues. Why? Because he makes hit records."


Fame Sucks! Pity Me!

It's hard being famous. No, really, it can suck, OK? Britney Spears will tell you, and so will other stars ... just turn on the radio.

Britney's "My Prerogative," Gwen's "What You Waiting For?," Lindsay's "Rumors" and Paris' soon-to-come cover of David Bowie's "Fame" all have one thing in common: the singer's love/hate relationship with fame. For fans, it can be hard to take this kind of bellyaching — don't these people have anything else to sing about? They've spent years clawing their way to celebrity, and they're complaining it isn't all it's cracked up to be?
as the nature of fame changed, with the rise of celebrity-oriented magazines like Us Weekly and cable channels like VH1, E! and, um, MTV, total saturation coverage has taken over, and today's stars don't like it. "Leave me alone!" Michael Jackson screams. "Whatchulookinat?" Whitney Houston demands to know. Is there anything that can be done to help these victims of fabulousness? We can try.
Victim: Eminem
Songs: "The Way I Am," "Stan," "Mockingbird"
The message: It's out of his control, this fame thing. Selling 8 million albums, scoring one magazine cover after another — he hates it all. Really.
His problem: Em doesn't seem to know what he wants to be — a serious artist, an angry young rap rebel or a class clown who trades in pee-pee jokes. This stuff's hard.
The solution: Get real. You can't continue posing as a ticked-off underdog when you're making millions of dollars, and once you pass 30, the pee-pee jokes aren't really all that funny anymore. Which leaves serious artist. You've got the talent.

Eminem and Source Co-Owner Exchange Angry Words At Detroit Radio Station

Confrontation takes place after David Mays makes comments during on-air interview.
It seems that there is no resolution in sight in the ongoing verbal feud between Eminem and The Source. On Tuesday evening in Detroit, Em and Source co-owner David Mays got into an off-air verbal confrontation at radio station WDTJ-FM.
Reports are still coming in, but according to sources close to the altercation, Mays was being interviewed at the station for an evening radio program. Some of Mays' words were directed toward the Motor City SoundScan king.

Shortly thereafter, Eminem arrived at the station with approximately 10 men. While sources say that no violence took place, there was plenty of shouting and four-letter words being flung.

Last week, the long-running beef heated up in the wake of a song and video made by Source co-owner Benzino (see "Eminem 'Never Wanted To Squash The Beef,' Benzino Says; Fires Back In New Video").

Neither Eminem, his reps, nor spokespeople for WDTJ would comment on the matter. Wednesday night, though, Mays told MTV he was shocked to see Eminem in the flesh.

"I wasn't expecting for him to show up; he doesn't go anywhere in public," Mays said. "Nobody ever sees this guy. People were like, 'Is it really him?' I don't understand what his purpose was. I'm up there by myself, he had all his people."

Mays said the confrontation was brief, lasting all of two minutes. Like his partner Benzino, Mays says he wants to have another face-to-face with Slim Shady, but next time he hopes it's to sit down and discuss hip-hop.

"My attorneys are sending correspondence to his attorneys relating to this thing as well as the ongoing lawsuit," Mays revealed (see "Eminem's Lawsuit Against The Source Going To Trial"). "The point of it is that we need to have a real discussion. People in business, men, human beings, resolve differences. These people can't come to the table and discuss issues."

Eminem's Lawsuit Against The Source Going To Trial

Judge handed down ruling on Monday.
Eminem and The Source magazine will finally get to settle their beef ... at least in court, that is.

On Monday, New York federal court judge Gerald E. Lynch ruled that Slim Shady's copyright-infringement lawsuit against the hip-hop publication would go to trial.
The trial is the latest development in the ongoing war of words between Em and The Source owners Ray Benzino and Dave Mays. The suit itself stems from the magazine's release of excerpts of two of Eminem's early recordings where the rapper can be heard making offensive comments about black women (see "The Source Digs Up Tape Of Eminem Using Racial Slurs").

At first, Judge Lynch granted the rapper and his Shady Records an injunction that blocked The Source from releasing a CD with the freestyle (see "Judge Halts Distribution Of Eminem's Controversial Freestyle"). Less than a week later, however, Lynch lifted the injunction, ruling that the magazine could release a small portion of the track (see "Source Can Release Excerpts Of Eminem's Controversial Rap"). Eminem's lawyers appealed this decision.

"This case is about freedom of the press, freedom of speech and the way that he and Shady [Records] have tried to suppress those freedoms," Dave Mays said. "These guys are trying to use the courts and their finances to stop us from doing what every other press outlet does on a daily basis."

Representatives for Eminem and Shady Records declined to comment.

Ironically, Eminem has lately been talking about quashing beefs. In fact, the rapper said he was ready to settle all of his rivalries late last year.

The owner of Eminem's 'Slim Shady' studio found dead

The owner of a recording studio where Eminem recorded his best-selling Slim Shady LP has been found shot dead on the premises.
AJ Abdallah, who was 36, was discovered by a business colleague at the Detroit studio on Tuesday. It is thought he had been dead for at least two days.

Eminem recorded The Slim Shady LP at the studio in 1997. Since it was released in 1999, it has sold more than five million copies.

Police suggested that a robbery may also have taken place at the studio, saying that some equipment used there was missing.

However, they said they had yet to determine a motive in the killing, adding Mr Abdallah had not reported any problems or threats to the studio.

"He did record for rappers, gangster rap and hip-hop but we haven't found anyone who had any particular problem with him yet," said a police spokesman.

Mr Abdallah lived in a two bedroom apartment above the studio on Eight Mile Road, the Detroit street which inspired the title of Eminem's 2002 film 8 Mile.

Last month he announced plans to sell the studio, saying that he was planning on spending more time in New York.

It was put up for auction on the website eBay, with an asking price of $215,000 (£160, 868).


Eminem's Class Act

If you see a rapper reading books to your class and joining you on school trips, don't worry, it's just Eminem. Apparently the foul-mouthed rapper has been dispelling his hardcore image by joining his daughter Hailie's school trips and reading to her class mates!

Em said: "In school, when they have plays and field trips, I don't miss them. Even if I've got to deal with craziness. Last year I went and read to the class. Two books. It was reading month or something."

We can picture it now: "Yo, little Red Riding Ho' went out to the woods..."

Father Mathers

He might not be flavour of the month in the Jackson household but Eminem will surely win some people over with his efforts on being a responsible dad.

Em - who has full custody of his niece Alaina and half custody of his daughter Hailie - told Rolling Stone that no matter how busy he is, he won't leave his kids' commitments to 'his people'.

He said: "In school, when they have plays, field trips, all that stuff, I don't miss them, even if I gotta deal with the craziness. And the teachers are really good about telling the kids, 'When Hailie's dad comes in, he's Hailie's dad, Mr. Mathers.' Last year I went and read to the class. Two books. It was reading month or something."

Aw! Give the guy a Parental Advisory sticker.

Eminem is a perfect dad to his daughter!

Eminem never misses his daughter’s school plays – and has even read story books to her class.

The controversial rap star, who has joint custody of eight-year-old Hailie with ex-wife Kim Mathers and full custody of niece Alaina, also eight, is such a devoted dad he gets involved with school life.

He revealed to Rolling Stone magazine: “In school, when they have plays, field trips, all that stuff, I don't miss them, even if I’ve got to deal with the craziness.

And the teachers are really good about telling the kids, ‘When Hailie's dad comes in, he's Hailie's dad, Mr. Mathers.’
“Last year I went and read to the class. Two books. It was reading month or something.”

Eminem Becomes A Priest

Hip-hop star Eminem's music has earned him a new title -- honorary priest of anti-violence UFO cult, the Raelian Movement.
The rapper's latest track, "Mosh," which denounces war in Iraq and President George W. Bush, has won praise from the group's founder Rael, formerly known as Claude Vorilhon.

In a statement Rael says of the video, "This is wonderful. It will help reach millions of young people, who are otherwise uninterested by politics because they see the lies and hypocrisy coming from Washington, remember the truth about violence.

"This video wisely illustrates the effectiveness of 'fear campaigns,' whether imposed locally or nationally, and shows that fear campaigns make people do anything a government tells them to. Fear is the basis of racism and violence, and governments know how to capitalize on this very well.

"Rappers are never afraid of controversy and this is a great example of freedom of speech, which, if the Bush administration has its way with the Patriot acts, will be taken away from U.S. citizens.

Additionally, it would be wise for the American population to realize the stunning similarities in the current U.S. atmosphere of blind patriotism and the beginnings of Nazi Germany."

Rael founded the controversial movement -- whose followers believe they're descendants of aliens -- in 1973, after he claimed to have had a UFO encounter.

Eminem In Cosmetic Spending Binge

Controversial hip-hop star Eminem revealed a softer side to his personality during a recent trip to Britain by spending $108,000 on beauty products.
The 31-year-old favored goods made by M-ACTIV after he sent out members of his entourage to scope out London's top salons and treatment centers.

An insider in the rap star's camp confides, "It's quite funny because no one thinks of Marshall as the posing, pampering sort. But he's quite concerned with his appearance -- more so really because he's in the public eye and subjected to a grueling working regime.

"When he arrived in London from the MTV Awards in Rome, Marshall was really affected by the cold and asked us to find something for his skin. He knew the gig on [permanently moored ship] HMS Belfast would be cold and he wanted to protect himself.

"But when he tried M-ACTIV's stuff, he asked for vanloads from the whole range. I think he reckons the brand's scientific spin makes it a bit more macho. No one can call Marshall a wuss. He just wants to keep looking good and reckons it takes years off him."

Eminem Makes Santa's 'Nice' List, Hits #1 On Albums Chart

Despite spending the majority of 2004 baiting everyone from Michael Jackson to George W. Bush, it looks like Eminem still found a way to make it onto Santa's "nice" list.

His Encore album benefited the most from the Christmas-week sales, moving more than 429,000 copies to land the #1 spot on next week's Billboard albums chart, according to SoundScan. It's the third time in the past six weeks that Em has topped the chart, and thanks to all those frantic last-minute shoppers, sales of Encore have now moved past the 3 million mark.

Also benefiting from the holiday spend-a-thon was Now 17, which sold more than 356,000 copies to hold steady at #2 for a second week, proving once and for all that if you don't know what to buy your kid sister, a compilation of radio hits will do just fine. Or you could get her some socks ... kids love socks.

The sales gap between the #3 and #4 albums is tighter than Ebenezer Scrooge's wallet, as U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb edges out Destiny's Child's Destiny Fulfilled by fewer than 1,000 copies (350,000 to 349,000). Bomb has proven to be anything but, having now sold more than 2 million copies. And Fulfilled continues to work its way up the chart (after a #19 debut back in November), posting an impressive 30 percent sales increase.

Shania Twain's Greatest Hits moves up one spot to #5, selling more than 346,000 copies, while 2004's just-crowned champ, Usher (see "Usher's Confessions The Most Shipped Album Of 2004"), jumps three to #6, selling more than 315,000 copies of the aforementioned Confessions.

The top 10 is rounded-out by permanent resident Toby Keith, whose Greatest Hits 2 sold more than 282,000 copies to land at #7; the dynamic duo of Jay-Z and Linkin Park, who sold more than 282,000 copies of Collision Course to check in at #8; Green Day's American Idiot at #9 (also with sales of more than 282,000 copies); and Ludacris' Red Light District, which sold more than 258,000 copies.


Eminem's new life as Mr. Mom

This was a Thanksgiving scene worthy of the Puritans: Eminem celebrating over a quiet, catered dinner at home alongside his loved ones, including his exwife Kim, their daughter Hailie Jade, 8, and his 8-year-old niece Alaina. Okay, the home was his $4-million Hollywood Hills mansion, and the guest list included his bodyguard Sugar, but it was still a far cry from the foul-mouthed Eminem of recent years -- a sign that the rap star is growing up.

Today the once-controversial performer -- real name Marshall Mathers, 32 -- is a doting father to Hailie Jade, and a father figure to Alaina, whom he legally adopted years ago (Alaina's mother is Kim's sister Dawn). He admits: "Once I hit them gates where I live, that's when I'm Dad. Taking the kids to school, picking them up, teaching them the rules." As for Kim, 29, Eminem says, "It's a love-hate relationship, and it will always be that. We're talking about a woman who's been part of my life since I can remember."

Eminem and Kim met as kids, started dating in the late '80s, married in '99 and divorced in 2001 -- but those dates only touch on the ups and downs of their years together. In addition to frequent public arguments and break-ups, the two have independently run afoul of the law. In April 2001, the rap star was sentenced to two years probation for a 2000 assault against a man whom he found kissing his wife. The following June, Eminem faced a possible five years in jail after brandishing a gun at the manager of a rival Detroit rap group. He never went to prison; a Michigan judge gave him one year probation instead. "Nothing woke me up more than standing in front of a judge and my life in his hands," says the reformed rapper.

Kim's troubles are more recent. Last year she was arrested in a drug raid and sentenced to 120 days in prison. She agreed to go to rehab in exchange for a shorter sentence, but was arrested again when she went on the lam. Kim entered rehab again, at Minnesota's Hazelden Foundation. She was released after a month, reportedly clean, on Oct.13.

Now, Eminem is determined to put his trouble with the law, and with Kim, behind him -- for the sake of his daughter and his niece.

"I don't want to go out and get caught up in the party scene any more," he says. "Hailie is far more important." A source close to the family adds that while there's no chance he and Kim will rekindle their romance, "Marshall will always care deeply about Kim's health and well-being."

Wonder raps Eminem

Steve Wonder has blasted Eminem’s recent attack on Michael Jackson.

The rapper ridiculed Jackson in the 'Just Lose It' video by poking fun at his reputed plastic surgery, an accident he suffered when his hair caught fire and his recent troubles.

However, Wonder has hit out the star saying: "Kicking someone when he's down is not a good thing." He told Billboard: "I was disappointed that he would let himself go to such a level."

The soul legend also commented on the rapper’s music, saying: "I have much respect for his work, though I don't think he's as good as 2Pac." Wonder said the white rapper was a hypocrite because he owed his success to poor and black people. The musician added: "He has succeeded on the backs of people predominantly in that lower pay bracket, people of colour. So for him to come out like that is bull."

Eminem is the most controversial rapper ever

The cheers from the fans, the props from his peers, the headlines trumpeting his name — at any given moment, the world's most controversial rapper would give it all up. If Eminem ever felt that his eminence was jeopardizing his relationship with his daughter, he would gladly close the curtain on his career and be Marshall Mathers — caring daddy, loving uncle and supportive big brother — 100 percent of the time.

Luckily for the hordes of followers who listen on tenterhooks as Em lobs his barrages of breathtaking flows (just check his delivery on "Rain Man" and "My 1st Single," from his new album, Encore), the MC hasn't yet reached the breaking point, and is still willing to juggle life as überstar and family man. Still, the Motor City motormouth isn't living a life of bliss by any means. He has the King of Pop PO'ed, the owners of The Source still don't like him, and the guy he backed for president didn't win. And with albums by Nas, Snoop Doog, T.I., Ludacris, Cam'ron, Trick Daddy, Fabolous, Lil Jon and Ja Rule all dropping in the fourth quarter along with Encore — Em's first-ever end-of-the-year release — he has his most comp ever.

Life is no cakewalk for the kid, now 32, who once dreamt of earning a couple of hundred dollars per show. Recently MTV News' Sway sat down with Em — on the 50-yard line of Detroit's Ford Field, no less — to discuss his beef with Ja Rule and the Inc., how he keeps it tight with the Shady/ Aftermath/ G-Unit collective, why the re-election of George W. Bush is a "letdown," and why Marshall is finding the sentiment of "mo money, mo problems" as true as it ever was.
Sway: On your new album, Encore, you have "Mosh," which is probably the most political I've seen you get. You actually put yourself out on a limb and made some serious statements.

Eminem: Even though Bush has been re-elected, my message for "Mosh" was not only to get people out there and vote but ... People have kind of sensed my stance a little bit since Bush took office, with what's going on in the war and what he's got our country into. I felt like I'd be letting a lot of people down if I did not speak out. And that's the way I still feel. Again, it's one man's opinion. It's my opinion and, last time I checked, freedom of speech [meant] to say what I felt.

Sway: What do you think about Bush's re-election?

Eminem: We got to see. Hopefully, he can live up to what he's promised us. He's promised us in the past. Hopefully, [Bush] can basically figure something out with this war, start pulling our troops out, because people want an explanation. They want to know. I kind of felt like Kerry could have been that hope to pull the troops out. I felt like [the election] was a big letdown.

Sway: Can we expect to hear more politically themed records in the future?

Eminem: We'll have to see. It depends on the state of the world. I usually try not to get too political; usually, I try to stay away from it. My music is based on trying to get people's minds off the problems that are going on. Make emotional music, whether it's happy or it's sad. Whatever it is, strike a chord in some way, but usually to get your mind off something — for that average teenager to be able to go into his or her room, lock the door, throw on a record and just forget about everything. That's how my music has been based so far. But "Mosh," I just felt it at the time; I wanted to get it off my chest. That's been the story since my career began.

Sway: One of your other MO's is poking fun at iconic figures. When the "Just Lose It" video came out, you caught flack from some fans and other entertainers, but the most notable was the King of Pop himself. How do you respond to Michael Jackson's statement that you attacked him, and does that influence what you do next?
Eminem: Well, the way I've always taken it is step-by-step. But as far as the Michael Jackson thing, that was never intended to be anything more than just a pun. Like, the whole concept of the video was supposed to be Eminem over here doing the one-man show, dressing up as '80s pop icons, and then the club next door was supposed to be me in the "8 Mile" club.

So it's spoofing the movie, it was spoofing pop icons from the '80s, and there was nothing that we did in the video that I felt wasn't true about Michael Jackson. With you saying that I've become a target for people to take shots at, I have. So when I f--- up or I do something that people don't agree with, then I become the target. So you've got to be able to take it as well as dish it out, and if you're going to dish it out, you got to be able to take it.

Sway: Michael retaliated by speaking out publicly against you. Will you get into an exchange of words or music with him?

Eminem: No, I wouldn't. It wasn't even intended to be that way. In all honesty, his personal business and what he's got going on, I'm neither here nor there with it. I'm not the one to judge. But as far as his music, the man is a legend. Everybody out there who is anywhere near our age range grew up listening to Michael Jackson. I mean, there was a point in time where Michael Jackson was more popular than the president. People would know who Michael Jackson was bebefore they would know the president's name.
Sway: There's some real beef you address on the album, particularly "Like Toy Soldiers." You break down the whole saga of the war of words between your camp, Ja Rule, the Inc. Records and The Source.

Eminem: "Toy Soldiers" is about walking away from the beef. Just like, "Look, I'm done. This is the last thing I've got to say, let me get this off my chest, and from our side, we're walking away from it. You guys can keep saying what you want to say and keep attacking us. Do your thing. If that's what you feel, if you want to spend all your energy and place it into one person instead of focusing on yourself, then do that." But that's my way of saying I'm turning my back on it.

Sway: In the song, you also say that you and Dre actually sat down with 50 before you signed him and told him he didn't have to respond to Ja.

Eminem: Yeah, we did. We sat down with 50 and we asked about the beef between him and Ja and he said everything was cool from his end. One of the things Dre said that stuck in my mind: "We don't want to buy a problem." You know, we're not really looking to start no beef. We're usually not the beef-starters, despite the little stabs taken at pop singers and all that stuff. That's not real beef; that's ha-ha-ha funny
Sway: There's some real beef you address on the album, particularly "Like Toy Soldiers." You break down the whole saga of the war of words between your camp, Ja Rule, the Inc. Records and The Source.

Sway: A crew of so many superstars usually doesn't stay cohesive for too long, but the Shady/ Aftermath/ G-Unit triangle has stayed strong. What's the secret?

Eminem: I think the secret to it is basically loyalty. When me, Dre, and 50 get in a room it's no envy, no jealousy, it's not somebody trying to outdo the next person. I'm not trying to make a beat that's better than the one Dre just made. That's what happens with a lot of crews. It's like somebody may get a little more light than the other person and then that person gets jealous and wants to go off on their own and create more light for themselves. We really don't trip off of it at all. We get in the room, we talk, we shoot the sh--. I mean, Dre saved my life. Just that alone is enough for me to respect that man for the rest of my life.

Sway: Obviously, one the records from Encore that has been getting attention is the title track, which features yourself, Dre and 50. Is that going to be the next single?

Eminem: We're still working out what's going to be the next single, but we released that on 12-inch [vinyl, to DJs]. It's definitely a nice collaboration. I feel like it's me, Dre and 50 coming together. You can't really hear it the way that it's mixed, but it's me and 50 singing the hook together. 50 does the lows and I do the highs on the chorus, me and Dre going back and forth.

Sway: What's that like? The record sounds like you guys were having a lot of fun while making that record. When the three of you guys are in the studio, what is that like? Is there a lot of jokes being cracked, somebody passing gas — or is it serious?

Eminem: It's all of those. You know, like I said, we shoot the sh--. We mess around, we do the chitchat and the jokes. And when it's time to get down to business, we get down to business. When we know we got something, we knock something out, then it's back to the jokes and back to the vibing. It's got to be fun. If it's tense in there, it's not going to work. If you create a tense work environment you're not going to have a work environment, period. It's just going to crumble, you're going to leave the studio at the end of the day with nothing.

Sway: On "Encore," you say you don't want to leave without saying goodbye. When you do finally bow out of the game, what do you want your legacy to be?

Eminem: If my contribution to this game is that a 40-something-year-old person walks up to me saying, "Yo, you made me like hip-hop" — if I get that one person that says, "Since I listened to you, you turned me on to rap. Now I went and bought Nelly's album, I went and bought Jay-Z's album." Whatever my contribution, if it's that, then so be it. Whatever it is to help the growth of hip-hop. From pioneers since Run-DMC to the Beastie Boys to LL, they all had a part to play. I may have a role in little Jeremy from Idaho, who we don't know about right now, who is 13 years old and coming up, that next white kid or that next rapper, period. I just want to keep hip-hop expanding and keep it moving for that next generation.
Sway: It seems like you've gone through a serious evolution since the days of "Just Don't Give a F---" and "My Name Is." Back then it was Slim Shady, Eminem, Marshall Mathers. Now, your music sounds like the person you really are. Is this who we're seeing now? Is this who you are?

Eminem: I mean, a lot of times, people ask me, "Who is Slim Shady? Who is Eminem? Who is Marshall?" The best way that I can define it is, Slim Shady is the guy on a song like "Rain Man," which is on the new album, who is saying the most ridiculous stuff you can think of — stuff you can't even imagine somebody saying. Then there's Eminem, who is conscious of the outcome and this is how he really feels. Then there's Marshall, who goes home at night and is the real person outside of entertainment, who struggles with the fame and dealing with going from where I really came from to now.

Sway: Is it a real struggle? I mean, do you lose sleep thinking about that?
Sway: It seems like you've gone through a serious evolution since the days of "Just Don't Give a F---" and "My Name Is." Back then it was Slim Shady, Eminem, Marshall Mathers. Now, your music sounds like the person you really are. Is this who we're seeing now? Is this who you are?

Eminem: I mean, a lot of times, people ask me, "Who is Slim Shady? Who is Eminem? Who is Marshall?" The best way that I can define it is, Slim Shady is the guy on a song like "Rain Man," which is on the new album, who is saying the most ridiculous stuff you can think of — stuff you can't even imagine somebody saying. Then there's Eminem, who is conscious of the outcome and this is how he really feels. Then there's Marshall, who goes home at night and is the real person outside of entertainment, who struggles with the fame and dealing with going from where I really came from to now.

Sway: Is it a real struggle? I mean, do you lose sleep thinking about that?
Eminem: I always feel like what drives me is wanting your kids to have everything that you didn't have growing up. And in doing so, you become as unmaterialistic as I feel that I am. I want my kids to have the perfect life. You want your kids to have everything you never had, so you got to keep going 'cause you feel like if you lose it ... I mean, it's definitely good to plan ahead and to be smart business-wise and to be able to put away for my daughter's college fund. I got other family members I got to take care of. But also you do feel sometimes like you're neglecting the quality time. That's why it's so important for me to equal out and balance that with the level of fame that I've gotten.

And if there ever comes a day that I would have to pick one or the other, I already know what it would be. I would walk away from all of this if I had to.

Eminem's '' Encore'' is too offensive for New Zeland

Eminem’s latest album Encore was too offensive for The CD and DVD Store, a 25 outlet chain in New Zealand. The chain has a poster campaign in shop windows to discourage people from buying the rapper's latest album. “We'd rather not make money selling you this stuff but if you do want this album, buy it here and we will donate $6 for every copy we sell," the poster reads. The chain is refusing to display the album and will only sell copies to customers who request it. Almost all of the proceeds The CD and DVD Store makes off of the copies they do sell will be donated to a women's refuge charity and a suicide prevention organization.

Eminem appears naked in his latest music video

The rap star strips down to nothing but his socks and trainers in the video for his forthcoming single. The singer, who caused controversy at this year's MTV Movie Awards when he bared his bottom, is seen running through the streets of Los Angeles naked. And onlookers claim Eminem - real name Marshall Mathers III - may have had an all-over body wax, as his body looks extremely smooth.

The single is the first to be released from his fourth album, 'Encore'. Meanwhile, Eminem's teenage brother, Nate Mathers, recently confessed he dates his famous sibling's "leftovers".
The 18-year-old - who has recorded a rap CD in a bid to follow in Eminem's footsteps - admitted he uses his older brother's fame to woo women.

He bragged at the time: "I'm the luckiest guy around. I know any time I hang with Eminem there'll be girls around. I'm not too proud to pick up his leftovers. The girls dig me. When they find out my who my brother is they go nuts. You wouldn't believe some of the wild stuff these girls will do once they realise my last name is Mathers."

Eminem ''banned'' from mimicking Michael Jackson

Eminem was reportedly banned from mimicking Michael Jackson in his MTV Europe Awards performance last night (18.11.04). The controversial rap star was planning to dress up as the troubled singer - complete with wig and fake nose - to open the prestigious ceremony at Rome's Tor Di Valle.

Eminem, whose band D12 won the Best Hip-Hop award, wanted to mock Jackson's performance of 'Earth Song' at the 1996 Brit Awards, where he was surrounded with children. But organisers reportedly warned the rapper - who dresses as Jackson in the video for 'Just Lose It' - not to, fearing it would be too offensive.
However, although he reluctantly agreed to scrap the parody, Eminem still managed to cause controversy with his performance of new song 'Like Toy Soldiers'. As he was rapping, dozens of children dressed in army gear and carrying fake guns emerged from a Panzer tank and stormed the stage. Eminem continued to be surrounded by kids - this time dressed in hip-hip clothes - as he sang his chart-topping hit 'Just Lose It'.

In the song, the star takes a pop at Jackson's recent child molestation charges, rapping: "Come here little kiddie, on my lap. Guess who's back with a brand new rap? And I don't mean rap as in a case of child molestation accusation."

Eminem new disc plus web encores

Eminem's chart-topping new album is accompanied by all kinds of new-media tools and toys, reflecting the growing popularity of listening to music without using a stereo. Fans who buy the Shady/Aftermath/Interscope release "Encore" can choose from two versions: a standard one or a collector's edition with such extras as three additional tracks and the license to download a free ring tone of "Just Lose It." Everyone who buys "Encore" -- which sold more than 711,000 copies during its first four days in stores -- also is entitled to get additional exclusive content by visiting Eminem's official Web site simultaneously with having the disc in their PC's drive. That verifies that they have purchased a genuine copy of the release and creates a unique fan identity on the computer.

Eminem's new album ''Encore'' tops US chart

Eminem's latest album has soared to the top of the US chart after just three days on sale in record shops. Encore is now a chart-topper on both sides of the Atlantic following its debut at number one in the UK. The fourth album from the rap star was on sale for two days before it outsold all of its rivals.

Its US debut was one of the biggest of the year so far, shifting 700,000 copies. US albums are usually sold for six days ahead of the chart. The album was released early in an effort to combat both physical and online piracy. The Oscar-winning musician's sales in the UK reached 122,500 copies, a week after lead track Just Lose It topped the singles chart. His last album The Eminem Show from 2002 managed to top the charts in the US after just one day of official sales. But it is quite commonplace for rap albums to hit the streets a day or two before the official release.

The opening sales of Encore have been exceeded this year only by Usher's Confessions with 1.1 million copies, Feels Like Home by Norah Jones (1 million copies) and country star Tim McGraw's Live Like You Were Dying (766,000 copies). Eminem's album includes the track Mosh, which is a tirade against US President Bush and the presence of US troops in Iraq.

Eminem's New Album: Encore

eminem new album encore

November 12, 2004.

In a mere five years, Eminem has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, won nine Grammys (as many as Jay-Z and OutKast combined) and an Academy Award, and has arguably been the most discussed, dissected, revered, and reviled pop culture icon since Madonna. Hence, an album from the Detroit rapper isn't just another high-profile release, it's regarded as a kind of cultural event. Which, to be frank, is a bit of a head-scratcher. Through his first three major-label releases -- 1999's "The Slim Shady LP," 2000's "The Marshall Mathers LP," and "The Eminem Show" in 2002 -- the rapper hasn't exactly been a paragon of artistic evolution. With a few exceptions, such as 2000's "Stan," he's remained the whimsical miscreant who hates his mother, loves his daughter, and can't get along with his ex-wife. Now 32, Eminem is still the bullied boy turned bully who continues to have a persecution complex roughly the same size as the moon.

On "Encore," his new album due in stores today (because of piracy concerns, its release was moved from Nov. 16), Eminem sounds as if he's fighting to balance being a responsible adult with his malevolent snarkiness. Torn between becoming the man he needs to be and the icon his fans want him to be, he has created an album with an uneasy tension that is more distracting than involving.

Throughout much of "Encore, " Eminem, to borrow a line from Ricky Ricardo, comes across as a man with "a lot of 'splainin' to do." Several of the songs are stuffed with so many words, they almost come across as sessions on a therapist's couch. Always a wordy guy, Eminem here positively spills with observations, thoughts, and assessments about subjects ranging from President Bush to the tiresome sideshow of his various beefs with other rappers.

By now, many are familiar with his anti-Bush rant, "Mosh," which was leaked before Election Day, but that track doesn't really reflect the rest of "Encore." Never overly concerned with the ills of the world, Eminem is at least focused on clarifying some situations that have plagued him in recent years. On "Like Toy Soldiers," he breaks down the dispute between his pal 50 Cent and Ja Rule, as well as his own problems with Ray Benzino of The Source magazine. He sounds weary from all the nonsense, although time and future mix-tapes will tell if his actions match his sentiments. On "Yellow Brick Road," he issues yet another apology for disparaging remarks he made about black women in an unreleased song he made years before he hit the mainstream.

But any conciliatory gestures give way to the puerile "Puke," which begins with the sound of someone repeatedly throwing up. After that stomach-churning intro, the song becomes the latest chapter in hip-hop's longest-running soap opera: "The Young and the Ridiculous," or Eminem and Kim, his ex-wife and the mother of his only child

After all, what would an Eminem album be without his latest baby mama drama? On "Puke," it's Kim who makes him sick and gets slammed with a number of unprintable names, but at least he simply wishes her dead and doesn't off her as he's done in past songs such as " '97 Bonnie & Clyde" and "Kim." Still sick, perhaps, but for Eminem, it's almost a sign of maturity.

He delves further into their incendiary relationship on "Crazy in Love" (not the Beyonce song). Here, boosted by a sample of Heart's "Crazy on You," Eminem talks about their love-hate relationship, their codependency, and his and Kim's frightening ability to push each other's buttons. One minute he's threatening to choke her, while a verse later he calls Kim "the air that I breathe," even though they are divorced, and says, "I believe if you ever leave me, I'd probably have no reason to be." It's a revealing song for a man who usually prefers to hide behind misanthropic bluster.

"Mockingbird" concerns the true love of Eminem's life -- his daughter, Hailie. In the emotional song, he offers comfort for her mother's absence (Kim's drug and legal problems briefly landed her in jail) and apologizes for the times he's away from home and on the road. It's poignant, but near the track's close, it's almost as if Eminem remembers that his fans want him to spit venom, not Hallmark sentiments. After gently telling his daughter that he'll buy her a mockingbird and diamond ring, he tacks on a taunt:

And if that mockingbird don't sing and that ring don't shineI'm-a break that birdy's neckI'd go back to the jeweler who sold it to yaAnd make him eat every carat, don't [expletive] with dad.Such lyrics highlight this album's creative fault lines. There are several indications that Eminem wants to shed his barbed-wire brattiness, but he's also shackled to understanding that it's a big part of his appeal.

"Eminem has been so consistent in his career up to this point, he just has to keep going," says Emil Wilbekin, former editor in chief of Vibe magazine. He says Eminem has been "a genius" but adds, "Musically, Eminem has boxed himself into a corner, and it will be hard for him to evolve musically into something else."

To wit, he lets fly on "Rain Man," making fun of easy targets such as Jessica Simpson. But some may have a hard time finding humor in jokey references to the late Christopher Reeve -- "I won't stand for this, and Christopher Reeve won't sit for this," he raps, and later adds "I killed Superman." It's cheap and unnecessary, yet Eminem knows a lot of his fans will eat it up.

Dr. Dre, who produced several tracks, appears on the song, and 50 Cent, Obie Trice, and Nate Dogg also take turns throughout the album. But Eminem remains at center stage, even though with 20 tracks and skits (enough with the silly phone messages already!!) "Encore" runs too long.

Though Eminem has yet to recapture the audacity and spark of "The Slim Shady LP," it's unlikely this album will slow down his momentum. Yet his act is wearing thin -- even his once-sharp provocations have lost their sting. If he wants to continue one of the most successful careers in hip-hop history, he'll need to find a new formula, as "Encore" comes dangerously close to running on fumes.


Eminem creates his own party, The Shady Party

Rap superstar Eminem made a rare live performance at a secret concert in New York city.
The rap icon appeared at Manhattan's Roseland Ballroom in front of 2,500 fans who won tickets on local radio stations, and announced that he has set up his own party in the run up to the American election -- the Shady Party.

Fans were decked out with Shady National Convention signs, buttons and stickers, and Eminem appeared sporting pink bunny rabbit slippers, a dark blue suit, white shirt and red tie.

The secret show drew in a plethora of celebrities including Bono, Redman, Obie Trice and Mystikal -- and they witnessed Donald Trump introducing the 32-year-old as Marshall Mathers III.

On taking the stage, Eminem announced, "I've witnessed the political rhetoric in this country -- did I pronounce that word right? Rhetoric? So I've created my own party, the Shady party"

He then went on to perform over 20 songs, many of which are taken from his upcoming album, Encore. Eminem also performed a series of collaborations with D12, Proof, Busta Rhymes and 50 Cent.

Eminem says enough beef

No more beef. Eminem says he's officially done going back and forth with his nemeses the Inc. and Ray Benzino of The Source. There's a track on Em's Encore LP where he raps about his much discussed beefs from the last couple of years, revealing their origins, how he felt when they jumped off and most importantly, why he's done with the quarreling.

"When I say 'toy soldiers,' the phrase, it's symbolic to all of us in this rap game (see "Eminem Album Preview: Has Success Spoiled Shady?"); just being pawns almost, it feels like," Eminem explained a couple of weeks ago, standing in the middle of Detroit's Ford Field. "A lot of times when rappers have beef, their sales incline. So meanwhile big record labels and heads of record labels, they benefit off this. They go home at night and they can sleep. They can rest their heads, and they can rest easy knowing that they are selling records. Meanwhile, we're really out here.

"We're out here, and when we're not out here, some of our people are out here," Em continued. "Usually, nine times out of 10, somebody out of someone's entourage meets up with someone from somebody else's entourage. Usually the innocent people that really ain't got that much to do with it — besides affiliation — end up getting hurt or killed. So ['Like Toy Soliders'] was, metaphorically speaking, my way of saying, 'Before this goes any further, I'm done with it.' "

Fans picket MTV over Eminem video ''Just Lose It''

Jacko fans picket MTV over Eminem video. The protesters, upset that MTV won't stop airing ''Just Lose It,'' get surprise phone call of support from Jackson himself by Gary Susman

On Thursday, Fox News Channel's Geraldo Rivera was covering a protest outside MTV's Times Square studios by a group of Michael Jackson fans, who were upset over MTV's continued airing of Eminem's ''Just Lose It'' video, when he received a cellphone call from none other than the King of Pop himself. During the call, amplified over loudspeakers so that the picketers could hear it, Jackson said he wanted to ''thank my fans for their strong support over the years'' and to echo their condemnation of the video, whose lyrics and images repeatedly mock Jackson.

Unlike BET, which complied with Jackson's request to pull the video from rotation, MTV has not stopped airing the clip, in which Eminem portrays Jackson sitting on a bed with a group of little boys in one scene and having his nose fall off in another. According to Newsday, about 16 fans showed up at the anti-MTV rally. ''We feel as though MTV has a responsibility to the public not to air this kind of video,'' said Vernay Lewis, a Jackson fan club member and an organizer of the rally. ''It's insensitive. It's rude to Michael and his family.''

In his call to Rivera, Jackson made similar comments, saying of Eminem's video, ''I think that it's demeaning and disrespectful, and I also want to make it clear that it's not just about Michael Jackson but about a pattern of disrespect that he has shown to our community.'' (Jackson apparently didn't specify whom he meant by ''our community.'') ''He needs to stop it and he needs to stop it now.'' Rivera replied, ''I believe that you're getting a raw deal, not just by Eminem, but in a lot of other aspects of life that I don't need to mention.'' Um, sounds like you just did, Geraldo.

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