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Decades: 1990s 2000s
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Marshall Bruce Mathers III, 17 October 1973 (1972 is also cited by some sources), Kansas City, Missouri, USA. This white rapper burst onto the US charts in 1999 with a controversial take on the horrorcore genre, and by the start of the new millennium was firmly established as one of America’s most fêted and successful modern songwriters.

Mathers endured an itinerant childhood, living with his mother in various states before eventually ending up in Detroit at the age of 12. He took up rapping in high school before dropping out in ninth grade, joining ad hoc groups Basement Productions, the New Jacks, and D12. The newly named Eminem released a raw debut album in 1997 through independent label FBT. Infinite was poorly received, however, with Eminem earning unfavourable comparisons to leading rappers such as Nas and AZ. His determination to succeed was given a boost by a prominent feature in Source’s Unsigned Hype column, and he...

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