The mind of Eminem is a menagerie. For 20 years, we've been treated to the fractured artistic psyche of his alter egos. There is Eminem the rapper, balancing between the stark reality of his impoverished Detroit and the corrupting allure of fame. There is Marshall Mathers, or the internal conscious. Lastly, we have Shady, the chaotic id.
The majority of Eminem's existence since the release of the Slim Shady EP in 1997 has revolved around his need for acceptance. In Em's first MTV interview from 1999, the skinny, platinum-blond Detroit rapper candidly describes his fight for respect.
"I didn’t just want to be thrown out there, you know what I mean?" said Em at the time. "Like a milk bone or like somebody that, Vanilla Ice and, like, just start at the top or whatever. You know what I mean? I want that foundation. I want the respect. I'm in it for like — I ain’t in this for the money. You know what I mean? I don’t give a fuck about money. I’m in it for the respect."
Arguably, that same fight is one he is waging on his ninth studio album, Revival. Watch the visual essay above as we delve into the reason why Eminem created Slim Shady and why he arguably doesn't need him anymore.