Considered one of the greatest rappers of all time, Eminem has long established his credentials in the hip hop community, despite initial skepticism from fellow artists. Today few dispute the designation, and he's been dubbed "The King of Hip-Hop." In late 2014, Eminem will join up with Rihanna for a brief outing dubbed the "Monster Tour," which will see the duo visit each other's home cities. See below for upcoming tour dates and listings of Eminem tickets.
Amidst a tough home life, Eminem's first venture into rapping occurred at the age of 14, when he and friend Mike Ruby began performing as stage names Manix and M&M. He and another friend, the late rapper Proof, performed at the Hip-Hop Shop, a local Detroit venue. Later the two were recruited into several rap groups, but eventually Eminem and Proof formed D12, which still tours and records albums to this day.
Around the same time D12 formed in 1996, Eminem released his debut solo album, Infinite. The record failed to gain much attention, which led him to shift his work to the more over-the-top violent and moody style for which he is now known. He developed an alter-ego, Slim Shady, though which he could channel the themes. He also developed a storytelling element to his lyrics. These changes first appeared in Slim Shady EP, released in 1997. The same year, he traveled to Los Angeles for the Rap Olympics, which led to his discovery by Interscope CEO Jimmy Iovine and producer Dr. Dre.
Eminem went from unknown underground rapper to worldwide sensation and controversy-maker nearly overnight after releasing The Slim Shady EP in 1999. Eminem's first major-label album to feature his new style, it sold over a million copies in the first 10 days alone. It also provoked outrage because of the lyrical content, with some of them labeled misogynistic and homophobic. Despite the criticisms, the album quickly turned Eminem into one of the hottest artists of the year, and he launched tour to support it.
In the following several years, Eminem grew into one of the leaders of hip hop, releasing The Marshall Mathers LP (2000), The Eminem Show (2002), and Encore (2004) to great acclaim. The albums have collectively sold over 58 million copies worldwide since 2000. Continuing to invite controversy, Eminem was nearly always in the press for some feud or another, based on a diss in one of his songs, or an article highlighting violent lyrics. Still, Eminem's professional fortunes remained as strong as ever.
The same wasn't as true of his personal life. Already having faced issues with substance abuse in the run-up to his debut success, and years afterward, the issues came to a head in 2007 during a hiatus. Over the course of the next several months, Em sobered up, mentored by friend Elton John.
By 2009, Slim Shady was back with his sixth album, Relapse. Though not as successful as his past albums, the effort did get Eminem back into the public consciousness. It was followed up by Recovery in 2010, the album for which Em was considered to be back to form. He also went on a tour dubbed "Home and Home" with Jay-Z, visiting both artist's home cities of New York and Detroit. His eighth album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, released in 2013, was also met with mostly positive reviews.