Eminem: Rap's Bad Boy? Who is a modern day role model for the youth of the 21st century?

Essay by sludeHigh School, 12th gradeA+, May 2003

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Not all people are role models. Some people can bring a bad first impression from someone, and yet, still be looked up to. "I'm not alone in feeling the way I feel," Eminem says. "I believe that a lot of people can relate to my [music]--whether white, black, it doesn't matter. Everybody has been through some [hard times], whether it's drastic or not so drastic. Everybody gets to the point of 'I don't [care anymore]'" These are the words of the hotly debated and bluntly controversial rapper Eminem, also known as Marshall Mathers. At first glance, his music will seem to most as crude and tasteless. However to his audience, which happens to be the youth of America, he tells of hard times that befall most of us. Whether it is trouble at school, trouble with family, or just everyday things, there is a song for everyone to relate to.

Born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, October 17th, 1972, as a child he spent most of his time moving back and forth between the Kansas City and the Detroit metropolitan area. A fan of rap music ever since a child, he began performing at age 14. Eminem first arrived on the music scene in 1996 as a solo artist with his LP, Infinite. This was soon followed by his first big hit, The Slim Shady EP. Both releases made quite a splash in the hip-hop underground and Eminem was soon to become hailed by the hip-hop magazine, The Source as rap music's "great white hope." Driven by the success of his hit single, "My Name Is," his album shot to the No. 2 spot on the Billboard chart in a few weeks. This album eventually went triple platinum and earned Marshall two Grammy Awards. Eminem proved he was not a...