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EMINEM FEATURE

While much has been made of the controversy and commercial success of Eminem and his new album, "Slim Shady," little attention has been paid to the complex character behind the Detroit rapper.

Splitting his childhood between the streets of Kansas City and the Motor City, Eminem, a.k.a. Marshall Mathers, was raised by his single mother and never really knew his father. After his family eventually settled down in Detroit when he was 12, Eminem entered an admittedly tumultuous time in his life, and his passion for rap and freestyle soon became the dominant force of his formative years.

The lofty goal of securing renown and respect in rap circles seemed like all but a dream when Eminem released his mundane debut, "Infinite," back in 1996. But the disappointment caused Mathers to tweak his style into the highly animated, sharp-witted flow featured on "Slim Shady."

The young father also focused on winning over the underground hip-hop scene, a move that eventually earned him a spot on the first Lyricist Lounge tour and a friend and mentor in Dr. Dre., who produced several "Shady" tracks.

During a visit to Detroit, MTV News' Kurt Loder joined Eminem for a journey through the rapper's past, and the two discussed Mathers' hard knock life, his 3-year-old daughter, plans for Eminem's upcoming tour and his reaction to the critical outrage sparked by some of his over-the-top lyrics.

Our interview catches up with Eminem as the rapper returns to the house he grew up in, and attempts to persuade its current occupants to let him and Loder come inside for a little tour...




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