Eminem took a hiatus from 2005-2008, causing some to speculate he was ending his solo rap career after a very successful six-year run. A greatest-hits album was released late 2005, after which Eminem announced he was not planning on retiring, merely taking a break to assess his future plans. In late 2008, his label finally confirms a new record is on the horizon. In early 2009, Eminem himself confirms he will be releasing two albums: Relapse amd Relapse 2, with the former hitting the streets May 15 and the latter scheduled for later in the year.
Eminem lightens up his shock-factor tone a bit on this album; however, his parody of Michael Jackson in the song "Just Lose It" draws vocal criticism from many celebrities as well as a ban of the video by several outlets. Em also takes on then-President George Bush with the strongly negative single/video "Mosh," released right before the 2004 election.
2002 The Eminem Show
Eminem's fourth release went on to become the best-selling album of that year. He continues to receive fire for his controversial subject matter, as well as his jabs at prominent pop-culture figures. He wins the Best Rap Album Grammy yet again for this record. Also notable this year is the film release 8 Mile, which stars Em and is said to be autobiographical (although Eminem himself says it is not--merely a general representation of growing up in Detroit). The song "Lose Yourself" is included on the movie soundtrack.
2000 The Marshall Mathers EP
Eminem's third studio release was record-breaking--earning a spot in the World Book Of Records for fastest-selling hip-hop album. It has been certified nine times platinum. The album came under considerable fire for controversial lyrics, including an protest against it by GLAAD for perceived homophobia. Eminem answers this charge by performing with the openly gay Elton John at the 2001 Grammy Awards (where the album was nominated for four awards and won Best Rap Album). Another source of controversy is the song "Kim," in which Eminem fantasizes vividly about murdering his wife. Late in the year he is granted his own label, Shady Records, by Interscope. In 2001, he introduces his rap collective D12 to fans at large.
1999 The Slim Shady LP
Released on Aftermath, this marks Eminem's official commercial debut and second studio album. The catchy single "My Name Is" (with corresponding humorous video) introduced him to the music world at large. Hugely popular, the album has been certified five times platinum and won a Grammy for Best Rap Album.
1997 The Slim Shady EP
Eminem first introduced his "Slim Shady" persona on this EP, which was also released on Web Entertainment. He takes a lyrical leap to much more controversial subject matter; including drugs, sex, violence, mental instability, and maritial issues. The EP is met with much more favorable critical interest, including that of hip-hop legend Dr. Dre, who signs Eminem to his Aftermath label.
Eminem (now professionally known by this spelling) releases his first full-length album on the Bass Brothers' indie label, Web Entertainment. The record gains mixed reviews plus disapproval from the hip-hop community, plus accusations that he is ripping off other rappers' styles.
1972 Marshall Bruce Mathers III is born
The man who will eventually be known to the world by his artist name "Eminem" is born in Missouri. His father abandons the family shortly after his birth. Mathers moves around the midwest with his mother through his childhood; finally settling in a Detroit suburb. As a teenager he begins expressing interest in hip-hop, performing at age fourteen under the pseudonym "M&M." In 1992 he signs to FBT Productions, run by brothers Jeff and Mark Bass, who become his mentors. He joins the group Soul Intent around 1995.