It’s been nearly 20 years since Marshall Mathers was first introduced to the world.
The 1999 release of Eminem’s The Slim Shady LP marked the start of the rappers illustrious (and whirlwind) career that would see its fair share of ups and downs, but there’s surprisingly very little we actually know about the 44-year-old.
Sure, we know about his struggles with sobriety, his controversy sparked by the many offensive and controversial lyrics in his hit songs and his success as an artist—but how much do we know about the real man behind the fame and fortune? Let’s investigate.
First and foremost, Em has never shied from expressing himself when it comes to, well, everything, but especially his relationships with perhaps the two most important women in his life: his mother and the mother of his daughter, Hailie Jade Scott Mathers.
The Grammy-winner has included countless disses towards his mom, Debbie Mathers, on his albums, so much so that she filed a $10 million dollar slander lawsuit against her own son back in 1999.
Two years later, the two settled for a mere $25,000 and have been estranged ever since.
Then there’s Marshall’s highly volatile on-again, off-again relationship with Kim Scott. Lest we forget about the 2000 song named after his ex—where he prolifically describes killing her after a fight. Kim and Marshall first began dating in 1989 and welcomed their only child together on Christmas Day in 1995. The two married in 1999 and divorced two years later.
However, their love story didn’t end there. They remarried in 2006 in a private ceremony…and divorced just months later. During the second divorce proceedings, the two agreed to joint custody of Hailie. The rapper also received custody of Kim’s daughter from another relationship.
While little is known about what lead the two to split for a second time, it’s presumed that Em’s drug abuse may have been one of the factors.
In fact, in December of 2007, the Dr. Dre protégé was hospitalized after a methadone overdose.
In several interviews during promotion for his 2013 album, Recovery, Em explained that he was battling an addiction to multiple prescription medications.
“Xanax, Valium, tomato, tomatoe, it’s the same thing,” he shared with MTV when recalling his 2007 hospitalization. “Had I got to the hospital about two hours later, I would have died. My organs were shutting down. They were gonna put me on dialysis. They didn’t think I was gonna make it. My bottom was gonna be death.”
But, Em says, that his responsibilities as a father are what ultimately motivated him to become sober.
“I’m looking at my kids and [realizing] ‘I need to be here for this.‘”
It was then that he put himself through a self-imposed detox program with the help of none other than Elton John.
Eminem, Elton John, Shocking Grammys MomentsHECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images
The living legend was said to call the rap star once a week to check in on his progress and offer any guidance as needed.
Through church meetings and a rigorous workout schedule, Marshall made a full recovery and continues to remain clean to this very day. The Detroit native is reported to still live in Michigan and gives back to the community that raised him every chance he gets.
He recently privately donated over $200,000 to a local children’s charity, Wolverine Human Services, and has also started his own Marshall Mathers Foundation which is aimed at helping inner city youth in times of crisis.
As of 2017, Eminem has earned worldwide success in many forms. Not only has be won 15 Grammy Awards, an Academy Award for 8 Mile’s “Lose Yourself,” been entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for using the most words in a single song for 2015’s “Rap God,” and much, much more, he’s also been able to keep the public eye relatively away from his day-to-day life.
Despite an impressive 11 million Instagram followers, the rapper posts solely about his career, and never really gets too personal.
According to Forbes, the rapper is worth around $240 million, putting him in the top tier of wealthy rappers with the likes of Usher, Russell Simmons and 50 Cent. (Sure, Jay-Z, Sean “Diddy” Combs and Dre are higher up on the charts…)
Successful endorsements, a booming record label and popular worldwide tours have all contributed to his serious cash flow, despite the fact that he hasn’t released a new album since 2013.
This August, however, he’s set to headline the Reading Festival alongside Muse and Kasabian.
There’s one person who may know who Marshall Mathers is after all: his baby girl.
Wait, did we say baby? Well, she’s not exactly a youngster anymore and her Instagram account has just caught the Internet by storm.
The 21-year-old college student’s ‘gram is filled with selfies, adorable snaps of her with her boyfriend and relatable college moments.
When asked on social media who the most influential people in her life are, Hailie replied:
“My mother and father are because they have pushed me to be the person I am and have given me all the support to achieve what I have.” That says it all, doesn’t it?
It appears that Eminem is more than just a world-renowned rapper, a successful businessman and a doting father; he’s a master at creating his own private world that only a select few have the opportunity of seeing.
So the question remains, will the real Slim Shady please stand up?