Some artists are motivated by fame, riches or access to the good life. But for Eminem, the drive to succeed, whether it was with his 1999 debut, The Slim Shady LP,, or his upcoming 10th album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2 , has always come down to one thing: his daughter Hailie Scott.
For the past 14 years, Eminem has rapped about his mother, his estranged wife Kim and various showbiz enemies that were in his sights. But one topic he always goes back to with a sense of affection and deep love is his 17-year-old first born.
When we sat down with Em in 2002 to chop it up about his The Eminem Show album, he made one thing very clear. “Hailie is … whether she’s with me or not she’s with me every day … she has been my main source of drive and motivation,” said Marshall.
That was never more true than when Hailie was first born, before Em had a career, or a place to live, or a roster of friends and collaborators that included Dr. Dre, Rihanna, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar. “I think that really kicked me in the ass harder than anything was knowing that and, ’How am I going to raise her?'” he said. “She’s always been the driving force for me to stay busy, stay focused and always been my number one reason for fear of failure.”
It’s was, and is, a powerful motivation for Mathers, who said at the time that he couldn’t fail because there was no way he was going to have her grow up and not be able to say that her dad succeeded in achieving his hip-hop dreams.
“When I talk about her … I talk about her a lot … the truth is she’s all I got in this world,” he said. “If everything ended tomorrow, she’s all that I have.” That inspiration has clearly served him well over the years, landing him a spot as one of the best-selling rappers of all time thanks to a tenacity and vision that has never wavered .