Eminem will have to split his time between celebrating the #1 debut of his D12 crew and hatching a plan to help young people in his community.
The rapper was sentenced Thursday (June 28) to a year of probation on weapons charges stemming from an argument last year with an associate of rivals Insane Clown Posse. He faced up to five years behind bars, but for the second time in three months he avoided jail time by receiving probation.
Dressed in a black suit and tie, Eminem (born Marshall Mathers) appeared solemn as Oakland County (Michigan) Circuit Court Judge Denise Langford Morris handed down his sentence.
The 28-year-old rapper, whose lyrics have been targeted as violent and homophobic, has 21 days to submit a plan to Langford Morris proposing a form of community service that will be "impactful to young people." The plan must meet her approval, and he must also pay $2360 in fees, according to a court clerk.
Eminem pleaded no contest last month to a felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon and a misdemeanor charge of brandishing a firearm in public. The incident took place on June 3, 2000, when the rapper got into an altercation with Insane Clown Posse associate Douglas Dail outside a Royal Oak, Michigan, car stereo shop.
At one point during Thursday's hearing, Langford Morris held up a stack of letters, saying that some requested her to wash Eminem's mouth out with soap, others requested a life sentence, and others asked her to make him write a clean song, according to Eminem's attorney, Walter Piszczatowski. The judge also stressed the seriousness of the probation, warning the rapper not to mess up.
Borrowing a line from "The Real Slim Shady," Langford Morris told Eminem, "Don't misstep; don't fall down. ... Now it's time for you to please stand up." She later said, "You are extremely lucky, sir, that no one was injured or killed." This latest sentence will run concurrently with the two years of probation he received in April for separate weapons charges, and it carries many of the same restrictions, including bans on using alcohol or drugs and engaging in threatening or violent behavior. In addition to the community service, however, the new sentence also requires Eminem to get approval from Langford Morris to travel out of the state.
Eminem's previous conviction, which required him to undergo counseling, involved a June 4 incident in which Eminem was accused of attacking a man he saw kissing his then-wife outside a Detroit nightclub (see "Eminem Gets Two Years' Probation In Weapon Case"). In exchange for his guilty plea to a weapons charge, prosecutors dropped assault charges in that case.
D12's debut album, Devils Night, sold just under 372,000 copies in its opening week, catapulting the group to the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart (see "D12 To Top Albums Chart With Devils Night"). Three members of D12 attended the hearing, as did his half brother, his nephew, his aunt and more than 25 fans.
Eminem and cross-town clowns ICP have a longstanding rivalry both on record and off. In May, Douglas Dail's brother William Dail allegedly choked an Eminem fan until he blacked out after an ICP show in Omaha, Nebraska (see "Manager Charged With Choking Eminem Fan"). William Dail has pleaded not guilty to assault and battery charges, and the case is set for trial in Douglas County Court on July 31.