In the history of rap, few have ever spit rhymes as well as Eminem, received as much critical acclaim as he has and become one of the top ten richest rappers ever. As of 2019, Money Inc reports he’s worth a hefty $160 million.
In a play off his lyrics, the best part about Eminem is he is not you.
Known for his edgy songs, Eminem—whose real name is Marshall Mathers (My name is—what? My name is—who?) has a harsh exterior but a heart of gold. Underneath his celebrity status, however, he’s able to keep facts about himself discreet and hidden from the public.
It’s time we look at details surrounding this iconic rapper’s life and the things he seems tight-lipped about.
Don’t forget to check out what rules Eminem’s chauffeurs must follow and the cars he bought for himself.
20 He Failed The Same Grade Three Times Before Dropping Out
School isn’t for everyone. Not only did Eminem fail to make it through high school, he didn’t even get past ninth grade. PPcorn reports he was in the ninth grade three times and then dropped out.
Even though life ultimately worked out for Eminem and plenty of people who go through similar situations, he probably doesn't want everyone to know.
19 He Was Shot
Getting shot is like a rite of passage for rap artists, or it at least becomes an event worthy of bragging rights. Eminem checked that box off before his career even started.
NME Music News reports that as a teen, he got shot while going to his girlfriend’s house—and everyone knows he dated Kim, as many of his songs reveal.
18 He Went Into A Coma From Getting Bullied
Even an intimidating personality like Eminem had to deal with bullies as a youngster. According to PPcorn, he had a tough upbringing in Detroit that led to thrashings the star would probably not wish to revisit.
The same source notes he even went into a coma from getting knocked around so badly.
17 Someone Kissed His Ex-Wife—But He Was The One Who Paid For It
There’s a reason Eminem has a reputation for being tough, and it largely stems from what happened when someone kissed his wife.
“I truly believe he was going to kill me,” said John Guerra, who kissed Kim (MTV). NME Music News reports that Guerra took legal action and Eminem ultimately settled by paying $100,000.
16 The Secret Service Had Their Eye On Him
Singing about seeing "the higher-up dead”—who at the time of the song’s release was an important figure—is going to attract attention.
The Secret Service took notice of Eminem’s lyrics in his song “We As American,” and PPcorn reports Eminem was one of their targets for a period.
15 He's A Comic Book Aficionado
Comics have always been of interest for Eminem. Supporting this notion is the fact that he’s got what NME Music News confirms is a huge collection. The same source goes on to note there’s even a collaboration comic featuring him and The Punisher.
Comic book reading isn’t often perceived as going hand in hand with rap music though, which might explain why he’s more hush-hush about it.
14 He Invented Slim Shady On The Loo
Slim Shady, the offensive character Eminem adopts in his songs was a product of a trip to the bathroom. According to News24, one of Eminem’s most prolific inventions happened while he was going number two.
Although Eminem spilled the beans on this one, he probably wishes he could take this sordid detail back.
13 He’s Only Read One Book All The Way Through
If this report is true, Eminem doesn’t seem to be much of a reader. According to NME Music News, the only book he’s read from beginning to end was “I Make My Own Rules” by LL Cool J.
There’s another book Eminem appreciates (revealed down below), though it's unlikely he's read that one completely.
12 His Big Ears Spurred Family Members To Call Him By This Nickname
Part of growing up is getting teased, either for looks or how one behaves. In Eminem’s case, his ears were the cause of others’ teasing.
They were so big, in fact, NME Music News reports that family members called him Mickey, which is a reference to Disney's iconic mouse mascot.
11 His Mom Didn’t Like His Lyrics, So She Took Legal Action
Being a controversial artist, it makes sense that Eminem’s lyrics would rub others the wrong way. One person that took issue was the artist's own mother.
Where she might have taken it too far, however, was in suing the rapper for defamation in what PPcorn reports was supposedly $10 million.
10 Rap Didn’t Interest Him As Much As Comic Books
Eminem is a rapping savant, which is puzzling considering he wasn’t always sold on the art form. According to PPcorn, he was more into comics at a young age than he was rap music.
That narrative sounds conflict with the Eminem the world knows, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he chose not to bring it up very often.
9 A Former Bully Sued Him For $1 Million
Eminem got back at someone that used to bully him through the lyrics of one of his songs, “Brain Damage.” The bully wasn’t through with trying to bully Eminem, however, and he tried to sue Eminem for a whopping $1 million.
Nothing ever came of the lawsuit, but it’s probably not a story Eminem shares openly.
8 He’s Been The Target Of Death Hoaxes
People often spread rumors about famous people, which can easily circulate online. According to NME Music News, there have been at least four instances where news spread that he had passed away.
It’s not Eminem’s fault the public thought he died. It wouldn’t be surprising if he never brought this up considering he doesn't want to accidentally fuel the rumor mill any further.
7 They Bullied Him At A Young Age For His Size
Bullies never have a good reason for doing the things they do. One small reason that drove them to beat up Eminem as a kid, however, was his size. According to NME Music News, Eminem was small and that spurred on others’ bullying of him.
It might still be a sore subject for Eminem even after all his success.
6 He Got Second Place In The 1997 Rap Olympics
Eminem has come a long way since 1997 when he was in the Rap Olympics. According to PPcorn, he managed to get away with second place.
While it served as a launching pad that furthered his career, he didn’t get the top spot, which might explain why he doesn't always advertise it.
5 He Turned Down An Invitation To Perform At The Oscars
Eminem may have embodied some of the lyrics from “Lose Yourself” when he sang, “See dishonor caught up between being a father and a prima-donna.”
According to NME Music News, he turned down the Oscars because they wouldn’t let him sing “Lose Yourself” in all its explicit glory, opting instead he censor out the bad parts.
4 He May Have Secretly Dated A Figure In The Music Industry
Marissa Cirillo played an integral role in helping Eminem become the rap artist he is today. According to NME Music News, she and Eminem supposedly dated but kept the relationship under wraps.
The same source notes that she may have been the inspiration behind Brittany Murphy’s role in 8 Mile as Eminem’s girlfriend.
3 He Used A Dictionary To Improve His Songs
The other book Eminem had in his library, other than LL Cool J’s “I Make My Own Rules,” was the dictionary. NME Music News reports it was pivotal in helping him write verses.
Yet Eminem might not be screaming this fact from atop the rooftops as it has the potential to come across academic, which doesn't vibe well with his image.
2 He’s Charitable And Works With Foundations
Coming from a rough background, Eminem relates to kids who grew up where he’s from. According to PPcorn, he works with charities and foundations in Michigan.
He doesn’t really seem to advertise it, however, perhaps because he’s being modest or just doesn’t want his softer side to conflict with his Slim Shady persona.
1 Elton John Stood By Eminem On His Journey To Recovery
Eminem is open about his life’s challenges. Elton John is a fellow artist who went through similar hardships and was there to help Eminem in his time of need.
“I’ve been helping Eminem in the last 18 months and he is doing brilliantly,” John shared on Radio 5 Live, as per The Guardian, back in 2010.
Sources: Money Inc, The Guardian, PPcorn, NME Music News, MTV, News24