Will the Real Slim Shady please stand up?
He’s standing up alright. Eminem, who goes by the alter ego of Slim Shady, won Artist of the Year at the first Youtube Awards, which were streamed live from Pier 36 in New York on Sunday. On the same day, the world-famous rapper and music producer also clinched the No 1 spot in the UK charts with his new single, The Monster, his first big hit since 2006. The track, which features Rihanna, is on Eminem’s eighth studio album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, which is released this week.
Marshall Mathers being his real name…
Spot on. Marshall was born in Missouri into a life of poverty and rapping became an escape route. He would take part in rap battles under the stage name M&M, which he later changed to Eminem. In 1996 he released his first album, Infinite, to little critical acclaim. Then came The Slim Shady LP. Slim was a far more aggressive and raw character than Eminem and the album was picked up by Dr Dre and released in 1999 to huge commercial success. The rest, as they say, is history.
Ok, so tell me more about the Youtube Awards
They were all about innovation and creative director Spike Jonze wanted the event to be as spontaneous as possible. Hosts Jason Schwartzman and Reggie Watts had to improvise from a list of bullet points and live music videos were created on stage. The winners were decided by YouTube users: Eminem was the most watched, shared, liked and subscribed-to artist on the website.
But hasn’t he been a bit quiet over the past few years?
Not exactly. The rapper took an official hiatus between 2005 and 2009 and his last album, Recovery, was released in 2010. In the interim he has been on a worldwide tour and has appeared in documentaries, including How To Make Money Selling Drugs.
How did he collect the award?
During the evening, he performed his song Rap God alongside Denaun Porter, who is his hype man or backup rapper. In true Eminem fashion he said, “I just wanna say real quick thanks to all the fans, everyone who voted. To YouTube, I’m out, peace!”