How ‘Rap God’ Eminem got his iconic stage name

By Malavika Pradeep

Published Oct 18, 2022 at 08:48 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

When American rapper and record producer Eminem (stylised as EMINƎM) gripped hip hop in middle America and started gobbling up pop culture in 1999, his transgressive works were accused of “promoting torture, incest, murder, rape, and armed robbery.” At the time, Billboard condemned him for making “money off the world’s misery” while culture warrior Lynne Cheney told a Senate hearing: “It is truly astonishing to me that a man whose work is so filled with hate would be so honoured by his peers.” It’s safe to say that if Twitter had existed back then, the rapper would have been cancelled in all universes belonging to the multiverse.

Over time, however, Eminem’s global success broke racial barriers to the acceptance of white rappers in the industry. ‘Rap God’ entered the Guinness Book of Records for featuring the most words (1,560) in a hit single as the icon made his blockbuster debut and went on to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with an estimated worldwide sales of over 220 million records.

As the best-selling rapper recently celebrated his 50th birthday on 17 October 2022, many fans continued to cast doubt on the origin of his stage name and the story of how it all began. Well, let’s set the record straight once and for all.

Eminem, born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, first started writing raps when he was in high school. At the age of 14, he began performing with his peer Mike Ruby and the duo adopted the stage monikers ‘Manix’ and ‘M&M’ (an acronym derived from his real name). The rapper then sneaked into neighbouring high schools for lunchroom freestyle rap battles and attended open mic contests at the Hip-Hop Shop on West 7 Mile Road, considered to be ground zero for the Detroit rap scene.

During the early years of his career, Eminem also went by MC Double M—a title he used during the formation of New Jacks alongside DJ Butter Fingers (Manix’s twin brother). His birth name, Marshall Bruce Mathers III, has also cropped up several times in his work, most prominently in the 2000 studio album The Marshall Mathers LP and The Marshall Mathers LP 2 in 2013.

Then, the rapper went on to create his “evil alter ego” called Slim Shady which was notably more explicit than Marshall Mathers and Eminem. While Marshall Mathers is the side of him that raps about his hardships and frustrations while growing up, Eminem shows off his charisma and motivation. In contrast, Slim Shady addresses everything from violence and drug use to rape and poverty.

On these terms, fans have pointed out how songs like ‘Mockingbird’ and ‘When I’m Gone’ are works of Marshall Mathers, ‘Rap God’ and ‘Just Lose It’ belong to Eminem, and ‘Evil Twin’, ‘My Name Is’ and ‘Insane’ exude pure Slim Shady energy.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Marshall Mathers (@eminem)

Back to the rapper’s initial stage moniker ‘M&M’. It was the name’s connection to a popular chocolate treat that subjected it to another period of refinement. It seems that the 8 Mile star preferred the look of the name when it was written phonetically, and so ‘Eminem’ was born.

Now that this important piece of musical history is addressed, I recommend you to think twice before tweeting claims like “I was today years old when I realised EMINEM stands for ‘Every Mother Is Nice Except Mine’.” Although the rapper in question wouldn’t care less, his alleged Illuminati android clone might have other plans.

Keep On Reading

By Charlie Sawyer

Gypsy Rose Blanchard says husband Ryan Anderson’s D is fire after trolls call him a creep

By Abby Amoakuh

Gen Z just played a crucial role in South Korea finally banning the dog meat industry

By Abby Amoakuh

Alabama Barker denies claims she has had a lot of plastic surgery in major clapback

By Abby Amoakuh

Nara Smith’s braids are causing outrage on TikTok. Here’s why

By Abby Amoakuh

Gen Zers are locked into career echo chambers. Here’s how to get out of them

By Charlie Sawyer

Michelle Troconis found guilty of conspiring with late boyfriend to murder his estranged wife Jennifer Dulos

By Charlie Sawyer

Taylor Swift fans call Travis Kelce walking red flag after Super Bowl LVIII moment

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Female students fear harassment after all-male committee form pro-life society in Manchester

By Abby Amoakuh

Why did Jennifer Coolidge shout out evil gays in her Emmys 2024 acceptance speech?

By Abby Amoakuh

Reese Witherspoon reveals upcoming Legally Blonde prequel series

By Charlie Sawyer

This Saltburn-inspired cocktail containing Jacob Elordi’s bathwater is going viral on TikTok. Ew

By Charlie Sawyer

Legit or not? Debunking the latest viral £50 Temu free money giveaway

By Alma Fabiani

The rise, fall, and resurgence of the tramp stamp: How Gen Z are reclaiming lower back tattoos

By Fleurine Tideman

Revving my engines: Can women find F1 drivers sexy and simultaneously enjoy the sport?

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

After becoming Elvis Presley, Austin Butler reveals why he couldn’t do method acting for Dune: Part 2

By Abby Amoakuh

Ballerina, beauty queen and Mormon: Who is Ballerina Farm owner, Hannah Neeleman?

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

WWE star invites Drake and Kendrick Lamar to settle their beef in the wrestling ring

By Charlie Sawyer

Kim Kardashian becomes Balenciaga brand ambassador one year after child abuse controversy

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Former boy band member accuses Taylor Swift of performing demonic rituals at concerts

By Charlie Sawyer

25-year-old Republican politician tells Americans not to be weak or gay in campaign video