I could never understand why such a smart and capable talker did not turn his talents to the broader world around him but remained satisfied to concentrate on our little trio.
Nor could I understand why he picked me to be his friend. I was just an ordinary kid who liked to read books and listen to music and didn't stand out in any way that would prompt someone like Kizuki to pay attention to me.
We hit it off straight away, though. His father was a dentist, known for his professional skill and his high fees. The three of us spent a lot of time together, but whenever Kizuki left the room, Naoko and I had trouble talking to each other.
We never knew what to talk about. And in fact there was no topic of conversation that we had in common. Instead of talking, we'd drink water or toy with something on the table and wait for Kizuki to come back and start up the conversation again.
Not that we were incompatible: we just had nothing to talk about. Naoko and I saw each other only once after Kizuki's funeral. I tried raising several different topics, but none of them led anywhere.
And when Naoko did talk, there was an edge to her voice. She seemed angry with me, but I had no idea why. We never saw each other again until that day a year later we happened to meet on the Chuo Line in Tokyo. Naoko might have been angry with me because I, not she, had been the last one to see Kizuki.
That may not be the best way to put it, but I more or less understood how she felt. I would have swapped places with her if I could have, but finally, what had happened had happened, and there was nothing I could do about it. It had been a nice afternoon in May. After lunch, Kizuki suggested we skip classes and go play pool or something.
I had no special interest in my afternoon classes, so together we left school, ambled down the hill to a pool hall on the harbour, and played four games. When I won the first, easy-going game, he became serious and won the next three. This meant I paid, according to our custom. Kizuki didn't make a single joke as we played, which was most unusual.
We smoked afterwards. He died that night in his garage. He led a rubber hose from the exhaust pipe of his N to a window, taped over the gap in the window, and revved the engine. I have no idea how long it took him to die. His parents had been out visiting a sick relative, and when they opened the garage to put their car away, he was already dead. Kizuki had left no suicide note, and had no motive that anyone could think of.
Because I had been the last one to see him, I was called in for questioning by the police. I told the investigating officer that Kizuki had given no indication of what he was about to do, that he had been exactly the same as always. The policeman had obviously formed a poor impression of both Kizuki and me, as if it was perfectly natural for the kind of person who would skip classes and play pool to commit suicide.
A small article in the paper brought the affair to a close. Kizuki's parents got rid of his red N For a time, a white flower marked his school desk. In the ten months between Kizuki's death and my exams, I was unable to find a place for myself in the world around me.
I started sleeping with one of the girls at school, but that didn't last six months. Nothing about her really got to me. I applied to a private university in Tokyo, the kind of place with an entrance exam for which I wouldn't have to study much, and I passed without exhilaration.
The girl asked me not to go to Tokyo - "It's miles from here! I wanted to begin a new life where I didn't know a soul. And so we parted.
Thinking about all the things that made her so much nicer than the other girls at home, I sat on the bullet train to Tokyo feeling terrible about what I'd done, but there was no way to undo it. I would try to forget her. There was only one thing for me to do when I started my new life in the dorm: stop taking everything so seriously; establish a proper distance between myself and everything else.
It seemed to work at first. I tried hard to forget, but there remained inside me a vague knot of air. And as time went by, the knot began to take on a clear and simple form, a form that I am able to put into words, like this: Death exists, not as the opposite but as a part of life. Death exists - in a paperweight, in four red and white balls on a pool table - and we go on living and breathing it into our lungs like fine dust. Until that time, I had understood death as something entirely separate from and independent of life.
The hand of death is bound to take us, I had felt, but until the day it reaches out for us, it leaves us alone. This had seemed to me the simple, logical truth. Life is here, death is over there. I am here, not over there. The night Kizuki died, however, I lost the ability to see death and life in such simple terms. Death was not the opposite of life. It was already here, within my being, it had always been here, and no struggle would permit me to forget that.
When it took the year-old Kizuki that night in May, death took me as well. I lived through the following spring, at 18, with that knot of air in my chest, but I struggled all the while against becoming serious. Becoming serious was not the same thing as approaching the truth, I sensed, however vaguely.
But death was a fact, a serious fact, no matter how you looked at it. Stuck inside this suffocating contradiction, I went on endlessly spinning in circles. Those were strange days, now that I look back at them. In the midst of life, everything revolved around death.
I suppose I can call it a date. I can't think of a better word for it. As before, we walked the streets. We stopped somewhere for coffee, walked some more, had dinner in the evening, and said goodbye. Again, she talked only in snatches, but this didn't seem to bother her, and I made no special effort to keep the conversation going.
We talked about whatever came to mind - our daily routines, our colleges; each a little fragment that led nowhere. We said nothing at all about the past. And mainly, we walked - and walked, and walked.
Fortunately, Tokyo is such a big city we could never have covered it all. We kept on walking like this almost every weekend. She would lead, and I would follow close behind.
Naoko had a variety of hairslides and always wore them with her right ear exposed. I remember her most clearly this way, from the back. She would toy with her hairslide whenever she felt embarrassed by something. And she was always dabbing at her mouth with a handkerchief. She did this whenever she had something to say.
The more I observed these habits of hers, the more I came to like her. Naoko went to a girls' college on the rural western edge of Tokyo, a nice little place famous for its teaching of English. Nearby was a narrow irrigation canal with clean, clear water, and Naoko and I would often walk along its banks. Sometimes she would invite me up to her flat and cook for me.
It never seemed to concern her that the two of us were in such close quarters together. She led a spare, simple life with hardly any friends. No one who had known her at school could have imagined her like this. Back then, she had dressed with real flair and surrounded herself with a million friends.
When I saw her room, I realized that, like me, she had wanted to go away to college and begin a new life far from anyone she knew. We were all supposed to go somewhere more chic. You know what I mean? Little by little, she grew more accustomed to me, and I to her. When the summer holidays ended and a new term started, Naoko began walking next to me as if it were the most natural thing in the world to do.
She saw me as a friend now, I concluded, and walking side by side with such a beautiful girl was by no means painful for me. We kept walking all over Tokyo in the same meandering way, climbing hills, crossing rivers and railway lines, just walking and walking with no destination in mind.
We forged straight ahead, as if our walking were a religious ritual meant to heal our wounded spirits. If it rained, we used umbrellas, but in any case we walked. Then came autumn, and the dormitory grounds were buried in zelkova leaves. The fragrance of a new season arrived when I put on my first pullover. Having worn out one pair of shoes, I bought some new suede ones. I can't seem to recall what we talked about then. Nothing special, I expect. We continued to avoid any mention of the past and rarely spoke about Kizuki.
We could face each other over coffee cups in total silence. Naoko liked to hear me tell stories about Storm Trooper. Once he had a date with a fellow student a girl in geography, of course but came back in the early evening looking glum.
Each time the photo changed in his absence, Storm Trooper became upset. They're all nice pictures. You should be grateful. Not many things succeeded in doing that, so I talked about him often, though I was not exactly proud of myself for using him this way. He just happened to be the youngest son in a not-too-wealthy family who had grown up a little too serious for his own good. Making maps was the one small dream of his one small life.
Who had the right to make fun of him for that? By then, however, Storm-Trooper jokes had become an indispensable source of dormitory talk, and there was no way for me to undo what I had done. Besides, the sight of Naoko's smiling face had become my own special source of pleasure. I went on supplying everyone with new stories. Naoko asked me one time - just once - if I had a girl I liked. I told her about the one I had left behind in Kobe. I don't know, sometimes I think I've got this hard kernel in my heart, and nothing much can get inside it.
I doubt if I can really love anybody. She didn't ask me more than that. I could sense her breathing through the thick cloth of her duffel coat. She would entwine her arm with mine, or cram her hand in my pocket, or, when it was really cold, cling tightly to my arm, shivering. None of this had any special meaning.
I just kept walking with my hands shoved in my pockets. Our rubber-soled shoes made hardly any sound on the pavement, except for the dry crackling when we trod on the broad, withered sycamore leaves. I felt sorry for Naoko whenever I heard that sound. My arm was not the one she needed, but the arm of someone else. My warmth was not what she needed, but the warmth of someone else. I felt almost guilty being me.
As the winter deepened, the transparent clarity of Naoko's eyes seemed to increase. It was a clarity that had nowhere to go. Sometimes Naoko would lock her eyes on to mine for no apparent reason. She seemed to be searching for something, and this would give me a strange, lonely, helpless sort of feeling. I wondered if she was trying to convey something to me, something she could not put into words - something prior to words that she could not grasp within herself and which therefore had no hope of ever turning into words.
Instead, she would fiddle with her hairslide, dab at the corners of her mouth with a handkerchief, or look into my eyes in that meaningless way. I wanted to hold her tight when she did these things, but I would hesitate and hold back. I was afraid I might hurt her. And so the two of us kept walking the streets of Tokyo, Naoko searching for words in space. The guys in the dorm would always tease me when I got a call from Naoko or went out on a Sunday morning.
They assumed, naturally enough, that I had found a girlfriend. There was no way to explain the truth to them, and no need to explain it, so I let them think what they wanted to. I had to face a barrage of stupid questions in the evening - what position had we used?
What was she like down there? What colour underwear had she been wearing that day? And so I went from 18 to Each day the sun would rise and set, the flag would be raised and lowered. Every Sunday I would have a date with my dead friend's girl. I had no idea what I was doing or what I was going to do. For my courses I would read Claudel and Racine and Eisenstein, but they meant almost nothing to me.
I made no friends at the lectures, and hardly knew anyone in the dorm. The others in the dorm thought I wanted to be a writer because I was always alone with a book, but I had no such ambition.
There was nothing I wanted to be. I tried to talk about this feeling with Naoko. She, at least, would be able to understand what I was feeling with some degree of precision, I thought. But I could never find the words to express myself. Strange, I seemed to have caught her word-searching sickness. On Saturday nights I would sit by the phone in the lobby, waiting for Naoko to call. Most of the others were out, so the lobby was usually deserted.
I would stare at the grains of light suspended in that silent space, struggling to see into my own heart. What did I want? And what did others want from me? But I could never find the answers. Sometimes I would reach out and try to grasp the grains of light, but my fingers touched nothing.
I read a lot, but not a lot of different books: I like to read my favourites again and again. Scott Fitzgerald, Raymond Chandler, but I didn't see anyone else in my lectures or the dorm reading writers like that. They liked Kazumi Takahashi, Kenzaburo Oe, Yukio Mishima, or contemporary French novelists, which was another reason I didn't have much to say to anybody but kept to myself and my books.
With my eyes closed, I would touch a familiar book and draw its fragrance deep inside me. This was enough to make me happy. Gatsby stayed in first place for a long time after that.
I would pull it off the shelf when the mood hit me and read a section at random. It never once disappointed me. There wasn't a boring page in the whole book. I wanted to tell people what a wonderful novel it was, but no one around me had read The Great Gatsby or was likely to.
Urging others to read F Scott Fitzgerald, although not a reactionary act, was not something one could do in When I did finally meet the one person in my world who had read Gatsby, he and I became friends because of it. His name was Nagasawa. He was two years older than me, and because he was doing legal studies at the prestigious Tokyo University, he was on the fast track to national leadership. We lived in the same dorm and knew each other only by sight, until one day when I was reading Gatsby in a sunny spot in the dining hall.
He sat down next to me and asked what I was reading. When I told him, he asked if I was enjoying it. This happened in October. The better I got to know Nagasawa, the stranger he seemed. I had met a lot of weird people in my day, but none as strange as Nagasawa. He was a far more voracious reader than me, but he made it a rule never to touch a book by any author who had not been dead at least 30 years.
Life is too short. If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. That's the world of hicks and slobs. Real people would be ashamed of themselves doing that. Haven't you noticed, Watanabe? You and I are the only real ones in this dorm. The other guys are crap.
I know. I can see it. It's like we have marks on our foreheads. And besides, we've both read The Great Gatsby. Two years? Fitzgerald's advanced. Nagasawa was known for being smart. He breezed into Tokyo University, he got good marks, he would take LP) Civil Service Exam, join the Foreign Ministry, and become a diplomat. He came from a wealthy family. His father owned a big hospital in Nagoya, and his brother had also graduated from Tokyo, gone on to medical school, and would one day inherit the hospital.
Nagasawa always had plenty of money in his pocket, and he carried himself with real dignity. People treated him with respect, even the dorm Head. When he asked someone to do something, the person would do it without protest.
There was no choice in the matter. Nagasawa had a certain inborn quality that drew people to him and made them follow him. He knew how to stand at the head of the pack, to assess the situation, to give precise and tactful instructions that others would obey. Above his head hung an aura that revealed his powers like an angel's halo, the mere sight of which would inspire awe in people for this superior being.
People I hardly knew treated me with a certain respect because of it, but what they did not seem to realize was that the reason for my having been chosen was a simple one, namely that I treated Nagasawa with none of the adulation he received from other people.
I had a definite interest in the strange, complex aspects of his nature, but none of those other things - his good marks, his aura, his looks - impressed me. This must have been something new for him. There were sides to Nagasawa's personality that conflicted in the extreme.
Even I would be moved by his kindness at times, but he could just as well be malicious and cruel. He was both a spirit of amazing loftiness and an irredeemable man of the gutter. He could charge forward, the optimistic leader, even as his heart writhed in a swamp of loneliness. I saw these paradoxical qualities of his from the start, and I could never understand why they weren't just as obvious to everyone else. He lived in his own special hell. Still, I think I always managed to view him in the most favourable light.
His greatest virtue was his honesty. Not only would he never lie, he would always acknowledge his shortcomings. He never tried to hide things that might embarrass him.
And where I was concerned, he was unfailingly kind and supportive. Had he not been, my life in the dorm would have been far more unpleasant than it was. Still, I never once opened my heart to him, and in that sense my relationship with Nagasawa stood in stark contrast to me and Kizuki.
The first time I saw Nagasawa drunk and tormenting a girl, I promised myself never, under any circumstances, to open myself up to him.
There were several "Nagasawa Legends" that circulated throughout the dorm. According to one, he supposedly once ate three slugs. Another gave him a huge penis and had him sleeping with more than girls. The slug story was true. He told me so himself. Started in April and finally came to a head in September. As first-year representative I went to work things out with the third-years.
Real right-wing arseholes. They had these wooden kendo swords, and "working things out' was probably the last thing they wanted to do. So I said, 'All right, let's put an end to this. Do what you want to me, but leave the other guys alone. And I swallowed 'em. The way it slides down your throat and into your stomach I wanted to puke but I fought it.
I mean, if I had puked 'em up, I would have had to swallow 'em all over again. So I kept 'em down. All three of 'em. What else could I do? Not even the third-years. I'm the only guy in this place who can swallow three slugs. I just went to the dorm's communal shower with him.
He had a big one, all right. But girls was probably an exaggeration. Come with me next time. I'll get you one easy as that. It was easy. Almost too easy, with all the excitement of flat beer. We went to some kind of bar in Shibuya or Shinjuku he had his favouritesfound a pair of girls the world was full of pairs of girlstalked to them, drank, went to a hotel, and had sex with them.
He was a great talker. Not that he had anything great to say, but girls would get carried away listening to him, they'd drink too much and end up sleeping with him. I guess they enjoyed being with somebody so nice and handsome and clever. And the most amazing thing was that, just because I was with him, I seemed to become equally fascinating to them. Nagasawa would urge me to talk, and girls would respond to me with the same smiles of admiration they offered him.
He worked his magic, a real talent he had that impressed me every time. Compared with Nagasawa, Kizuki's conversational gifts were child's play. This was a completely different level of accomplishment. As much as I found myself caught up in Nagasawa's power, though, I still missed Kizuki. I felt a new admiration for his sincerity. Whatever talents he had he would share with Naoko and me alone, while Nagasawa was bent on disseminating his considerable gifts to all around him.
Not that he was dying to sleep with the girls he found: it was just a game to him. I was not too crazy about sleeping with girls I didn't know. It was an easy way to take care of my sex drive of course, and I did enjoy all the holding and touching, but I hated the morning after.
I'd wake up and find this strange girl sleeping next to me, and the room would reek of alcohol, and the bed and the lighting and the curtains had that special "love hotel" garishness, and my head would be in a hungover fog. It's the worst day of the month for me.
I would have preferred not to spend the whole night with them, but you can't worry about a midnight curfew while you're seducing women which runs counter to the laws of physics anywayso I'd go out with an overnight pass. This meant I had to stay put until morning and go back to the dorm filled with self- loathing and disillusionment, sunlight stabbing my eyes, mouth coated with sand, head belonging to someone else. When I had slept with three or four girls this way, I asked Nagasawa, "After you've done this 70 times, doesn't it begin to seem kind of pointless?
There is absolutely nothing to be gained from sleeping with one strange woman after another. It just tires you out and makes you disgusted with yourself. It's the same for me. Hey, you know that thing Dostoevsky wrote on gambling? It's like that. When you're surrounded by endless possibilities, one of the hardest things you can do is pass them up. See what I mean? The sun goes down. The girls come out and drink.
They wander around, looking for something. I can give them that something. It's the easiest thing in the world, like drinking water from a tap.
Before you know it, I've got 'em down. It's what they expect. That's what I mean by possibility. It's all around you. How can you ignore it? You have a certain ability and the opportunity to use it: can you keep your mouth shut and let it pass? His womanizing was the reason Nagasawa lived I Hate Your Guts - Various - True Horror (Vinyl a dorm despite his affluent background.
Worried that Nagasawa would do nothing else if allowed to live alone in Tokyo, his father had compelled him to live all four years at university in the dormitory. Not that it mattered much to Nagasawa. He was not going to let a few rules bother him. Whenever he felt like it, he would get an overnight permission and go girl-hunting or spend the night at his girlfriend's flat.
These permissions were not easy to get, but for him they were like free passes - and for me, too, as long as he did the asking. Nagasawa did have a steady girlfriend, one he'd been going out with since his first year.
Her name was Hatsumi, and she was the same age as Nagasawa. I had met her a few times and found her to be very nice. She didn't have the kind of looks that immediately attracted attention, and in fact she was so ordinary that when I first met her I had to wonder why Nagasawa couldn't do better, but anyone who talked to her took an immediate liking to her.
Quiet, intelligent, funny, caring, she always dressed with immaculate good taste. I liked her a lot and knew that if I could have a girlfriend like Hatsumi, I wouldn't be sleeping around with a bunch of easy marks. She liked me, too, and tried hard to fix me up with a first-year in her club so we could double-date, but I would make up excuses to keep from repeating past mistakes.
Hatsumi went to the absolute top girls' college in the country, and there was no way I was going to be able to talk to one of those super-rich princesses. Hatsumi had a pretty good idea that Nagasawa was sleeping around, but she never complained to him. She was seriously in love, but she never made demands. I had to agree with him. It didn't pay much, but the work was easy - just watching the place three nights a week - and they let me buy records cheap.
I wrapped it myself and added a bright red ribbon. She gave me a pair of woollen gloves she had knitted. The thumbs were a little short, but they did keep my hands warm. I stayed in Tokyo, too, working in the record shop right up to the end of the year. I didn't have anything especially fun to do in Kobe or anyone I wanted to see.
The dorm's dining hall was closed for the holiday, so I went to Naoko's flat for meals. On New Year's Eve we had rice cakes and soup like everybody else.
A lot happened in late January and February that year, At the end of January, Storm Trooper went to bed with a raging fever. Which meant I had to stand up Naoko that day. I had gone to a lot of trouble to get my hands on some free tickets for a concert. She had been especially eager to go because the orchestra was performing one of her favourites: Brahms' Fourth Symphony. But with Storm Trooper tossing around in bed on the verge of what looked like an agonizing death, I couldn't just leave him, and I couldn't find anyone stupid enough to nurse him in my place.
I bought some ice and used several layers of plastic bags to hold it on his forehead, wiped his sweating brow with cold towels, took his temperature every hour, and even changed his vest for him.
The fever stayed high for a day, but the following morning he jumped out of bed and started exercising as though nothing had happened. It was hard to believe he was a human being. This made me mad. I wanted to grab his radio and throw it out of the window, but instead I went back to bed with a headache. It snowed several times in February. Near the end of the month I got into a stupid fight with one of the third-years on my floor and punched him. He hit his head against the concrete wall, but he wasn't badly injured, and Nagasawa straightened things out for me.
Still, I was called into the dorm Head's office and given a warning, after which I grew increasingly uncomfortable living in the dormitory. The academic year ended in March, but I came up a few credits short. Get Known if you don't have an account. Daring to be stupid since the 80's! Below: His current appearance, starting from Running With Scissors. When Kurt finally watched the music video, his former bandmate confirmed that he was on the floor laughing so hard from the video.
Al has since disowned "It's Still Billy Joel to Me" although Joel himself admitted to loving the parody, and he even performed it a few times. Adam Westing : Pal. Plays a version of himself who is Julia Sweeney 's husband in Work in Progress. Affectionate Parody : Most of his original works fall under Affectionate Parody. Michael Jackson gave Al permission to parody any of his work that he wanted for the rest of his life. The only condition was that Al not record a version of his "Black or White" parody titled "Snack All Night" as he felt it would cheapen the message of the song.
Al agreed and plays the song only at his live shows. The only song for which he didn't have permission was "Amish Paradise", but there was nothing malicious about it; a miscommunication led Al to believe he actually did have permission, and by the time it was cleared up, it was too late. Coolio the original artist got over it and gave Al a hug. As I Hate Your Guts - Various - True Horror (Vinyl put it, "I doubt I'll be invited to Coolio's birthday party, but at least I don't have to wear a bulletproof vest to the mall anymore.
After several hours of backlash, it was revealed that the manager never gave her the song to listen to, out of the assumption she would hate it. Of course, this turned out to be completely untrue; upon actually hearing it, Gaga not only loved it, but considered it an "expansion" of her original song— while the original was a straight-up celebration of alternative lifestyles, Gaga considered the parody a celebration of her own Cloud Cuckoolander -ness.
Lady Gaga : I actually really appreciate the philosophy behind the song. It's actually very empowering, I think. And he's, in a way, although he's parodying the song, he's kind of standing up for me.
And I never would have said no to that. And I never did say no to it. He shops at discount stores, not just any will suffice; He has to find a bargain 'cause he won't pay retail price. He never acts meshugga and he's hardly a schlemiel; but if you wanna haggle, oy, he'll make you such a deal!
Don Pardo : "That's right, Al! You lost! And let me tell what you didn't win! But that's not all! You also made yourself look like a jerk in front of millions of people. And you brought shame and disgrace on your family names for generations to come!
You don't get to come back tomorrow! You don't even get a lousy copy of our home game! You're a complete loser!!! Or play some Tiffany, on eight-track or CD Or scrape your fingernails across the board Or tie me to a chair, and kick me down the stairs Just please don't play that stupid song no more!
It kind of upsets me. From his beard to his boots, he was covered with ammo. Like big fat drunk disgruntled Yuletide Rambo.
And he smiled as he said with a twinkle in his eye. He was kind of a jerk, he was kind of a bore. But the women would scream when he walked in the door. And I'm a big fan of the band, too. I gave her a penetrating stare, which could only mean "You are my answer, my answer to everything Which is why I'll probably do very poorly on the written part of my driver's test".
I lost one of my socks in the drier I can't find my wallet and my hair is on fire. By the way, if you walked in late, allow me to reiterate the name of this movie is Spy Hard. They call it Spy Hard. You're watching Spy Hard. It's the theme from Spy Haaaaaaaaa Al: No, but I think Bubbles is here. It's a fact, I'm a quack The disgrace of the A.
I'd rather spend eternity eating shards of broken glass Than spend one more minute with you [ Cause I'm stranded all alone In the gas station of love And I have to use the self-service pumps. Weird Al: "And then And the little kid in back of me kept throwin' up the whole time I pointed to the side of my mouth, as a way of indicating "Hey, I think you got something on the side of your mouth".
I hopped up and I said: "I don't know, do you want to get something delivered? I wanna be your Krakatoa Let my lava flow all over you I wanna be your anaconda And your heat-seeking missile too I wanna be your beef burrito Am I making this perfectly clear?
I wanna be your love torpedo Are you picking up the subtle innuendo here? Eminem made his debut in the film industry with the musical drama film 8 Mileplaying a fictionalized version of himself, and his track " Lose Yourself " from its soundtrack won the Academy Award for Best Original Songmaking him the first hip hop artist ever to win the award. He has also developed other ventures, including Shady Recordsa joint venture with manager Paul Rosenbergwhich helped launch the careers of artists such as 50 CentYelawolf and Obie Triceamong others.
In addition to his solo career, Eminem was a member of the hip hop group D He is also known for collaborations with fellow Detroit-based rapper Royce Da 5'9" ; the two are collectively known as Bad Meets Evil.
He was the best-selling music artist in the United States of the s and the best-selling male music artist in the United States of the s, third overall. Billboard named him the "Artist of the Decade — ". He has had ten number-one albums on the Billboard —which all consecutively debuted at number one on the chart, making him the first artist to achieve this  —and five number-one singles on the Billboard Hot Eminem was born on October 17, in St.
Eminem's father, known as Bruce, left the family, moving to California  after having two other children: Michael and Sarah.
In Missouri, they lived in several places, including St. Joseph, Savannah and Kansas City. As a teenager, Eminem wrote letters to his father. Debbie said that they all came back marked "return to sender". Debbie filed a lawsuit against the public school for this in The suit was dismissed the following year by the Macomb County, Michigan judge, who said the schools were immune from lawsuits.
As a child, he was interested in storytelling, aspiring to be a comic book artist before discovering hip hop. His uncle was close to the boy and later became a musical mentor to him.
When Polkingharn committed suicide inEminem stopped speaking publicly for days and did not attend his funeral. She continually made him believe he was sick when he was not. In his song " My Mom ", he says his mother had a valium addiction and would sprinkle valium on his food when he was a kid — "The water that I drank, fuckin' peas in my plate, she sprinkled just enough of it to season my steak" — to keep him under control.
He also claims this is how he became addicted to valium. Eminem's home life was seldom stable; he frequently fought with his mother, whom a social worker described as having a "very suspicious, almost paranoid personality". When her son became famous, Debbie dismissed criticisms, saying that she had sheltered him and was responsible for his success.
Several years later, Eminem began an on-and-off relationship with Scott. Although interested in English, Eminem never explored literature preferring comic books and he disliked math and social studies.
He later said she often threw him out of the house anyway, often after taking most of his paycheck. When she left to play bingo, he would blast the stereo and write songs. The case was dismissed when the victim did not appear in court. Eminem was soon signed to Jeff and Mark Bass's F. Productions and recorded his debut album Infinite for their independent Web Entertainment label. During this period, Eminem's rhyming style, primarily inspired by rappers NasEsham and AZlacked the comically violent slant for which he later became known.
Clair Shores. I had, like, forty dollars to get her something. Eminem attracted more attention when he developed Slim Shadya sadistic, violent alter ego.
The character allowed him to express his anger with lyrics about drugs, rape and murder. After he was fired from his job and evicted from his home, Eminem went to Los Angeles to compete in the Rap Olympicsan annual, nationwide battle rap competition.
Drefounder of Aftermath Entertainment and founding member of hip hop group N. Dre recalled, "In my entire career in the music industry, I have never found anything from a demo tape or a CD. When Jimmy played this, I said, 'Find him. Although his associates criticized him for hiring a white rapper, he was confident in his decision: "I don't give a fuck if you're purple; if you can kick it, I'm working with you. I'm just a little white boy from Detroit. I had never seen stars let alone Dr.
Although it was one of the year's most popular albums certified triple platinum by the end of the year he was accused of imitating the style and subject matter of underground rapper Cage. Dre and Eminem. The label-mates later collaborated on a number of hit songs " Forgot About Dre " and "What's the Difference" while also providing uncredited vocals on "The Watcher" from Dr.
It sold 1. Baby One More Time for fastest-selling solo album. Although Eminem parodied shock rocker Marilyn Manson in the music video for "My Name Is", they are reportedly on good terms; Manson is mentioned in "The Way I Am", appeared in its music video and has performed a live remix of the song with Eminem. Eminem, under fire for homophobic lyrics, shared the stage with a gay icon for a performance of "Stan" that would have been memorable in any context.
The Eminem Show was released in May It was another success, reaching number one on the charts and selling over 1. The Eminem Showcertified Diamond by the RIAA, examines the effects of Eminem's rise to fame, his relationship with his wife and daughter and his status in the hip hop community, addressing an assault charge brought by a bouncer he saw kissing his wife in InEminem, a lifelong fan of Tupac provided production work for three tracks on the Tupac Resurrection soundtrack.
Encorereleased inwas another success. Its sales were partially driven by the first single, " Just Lose It ," which contained slurs directed toward Michael Jackson. On October 12,a week after the release of "Just Lose It," Jackson phoned Steve Harvey 's radio show to report his displeasure with its video which parodies Jackson's child molestation trialplastic surgery and the incident when Jackson's hair caught fire during the filming of a commercial.
We want the pass back". So the irony of this situation with Michael is not lost on me. Despite its lead single's humorous theme, Encore explored serious subject matter with the anti-war song " Mosh ," which criticized President George W.
Bush as "This weapon of mass destruction that we call our president," with lyrics including "Fuck Bush. When they break in, it is learned that they are there to register to vote; the video ends with "VOTE Tuesday November 2. Eminem began his first US concert tour in three years in the summer of with the Anger Management 3 Tourfeaturing 50 CentG-UnitLil JonD12Obie Trice and The Alchemistbut in August he canceled the European leg of the tour, later announcing that he had entered drug rehabilitation for treatment of a "dependency on sleep medication.
This is the reason that we called it 'Curtain Call' because this could be the final thing. We don't know. In AprilProofwho was Eminem's childhood friend, was murdered. In SeptemberEminem called New York radio station WQHT during an interview with 50 Cent, saying that he was "in limbo" and "debating" about when or if he would release another album: "I'm always working — I'm always in the studio. It feels good right now, the energy of the label. For a while, I didn't want to go back to the studio I went through some personal things.
I'm coming out of those personal things [and] it feels good. Eminem appeared on his Shade 45 Sirius channel in Septembersaying: "Right now I'm kinda just concentrating on my own stuff, for right now and just banging out tracks and producing a lot of stuff. You know, the more I keep producing the better it seems like I get 'cause I just start knowing stuff.
Dre will end up producing the majority of the tracks on 'Relapse'. We are up to our old mischievous ways According to a March 5, press release, Eminem would release two new albums that year. Relapsethe first, was released on May 19; its first single and music video, " We Made You ", had been released on April 7. It sold more than five million copies worldwide. He landed buttocks-first on Eminem, who stormed out of the ceremony; three days later, Eminem said that the stunt had been staged.
On November 19, he announced on his website that Relapse: Refill would be released on December The album was a re-release of Relapse with seven bonus tracks, including " Forever " and "Taking My Ball". Eminem described the CD:. I want to deliver more material for the fans this year like I originally planned Hopefully, these tracks on The Refill will tide the fans over until we put out Relapse 2 next year I got back in with Dre and then a few more producers, including Just Blaze, and went in a completely different direction which made me start from scratch.
The new tracks started to sound very different than the tracks I originally intended to be on Relapse 2but I still want the other stuff to be heard. On April 14,Eminem tweeted : "There is no Relapse 2". Although his followers thought he was not releasing an album, he had changed its title to Recovery and confirmed this by tweeting "RECOVERY" with a link to his website. He said:. I had originally planned for Relapse 2 to come out last year.
But as I kept recording and working with new producers, the idea of a sequel to Relapse started to make less and less sense to me, and I wanted to make a completely new album.
The music on Recovery came out very different from Relapseand I think it deserves its own title. Recorded from toRecovery was released on June Recovery remained atop the Billboard chart for five consecutive weeks of a seven-week total. Billboard reported that it was the best-selling album ofmaking Eminem the first artist in Nielsen SoundScan history with two year-end best-selling albums. As of November 21, [update]the album had US sales of three million copies.
B and Keyshia Cole. Later that year, he performed at the Activison E3 concert. The first two concerts quickly sold out, prompting an additional show in each city.
Unlike the original, Rihanna is the lead vocalist and it is sung from the female perspective. Dre and Skylar Grey. Eminem announced on May 24,that he was working on his next album,  scheduled for release the following year.
According to a press release, the first single from Eminem's eighth album would be released soon. Its standard version had 16 tracks and the deluxe version included a second disc with five additional tracks. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 was Eminem's seventh album to debut atop the Billboard and had the year's second-largest first-week sales.
The first American artist with seven consecutive UK number-one albums, he is tied with The Beatles for second place for the most consecutive chart-topping UK albums. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard chart, with first-week sales ofcopies in the United States. The Official Eminem Box Seta career-spanning, disc vinyl box set, was released on March 12, Eminem is the executive producer of the soundtrack on the sports drama Southpawwith Shady Records.
The first single from the soundtrack called ' Phenomenal ' was released on June 2, The interview streamed online on the Beats 1 radio on  July 1, Eminem appeared on the public access show Only in Monroeproduced in Monroe, Michigan and was interviewed by guest host Stephen Colbert for an episode that aired July 1, In the episode Eminem sang snippets of Bob Seger songs at Colbert's prompting and briefly discussed Southpaw.
In the song, Eminem calls the newly elected President Donald Trump a "bitch" and also raps about raping conservative social and political commentator Ann Coulterwho is a Trump supporter, with a variety of foreign objects. Coulter responded to the lyrics, stating, "I think it's unfortunate that the left, from Berkeley to Eminem with his rap songs, has normalized violence against women, as Eminem has done. Starting in late OctoberEminem and Paul Rosenberg began teasing what fans speculated was the title of a new album titled Revivalin the form of advertisements for a fake medication of the same name.
Dre posted a video confirming the album's release date as December 15, On January 5,the second single " River " was released, which featured Ed Sheeran. As a result, he became the first musical act to have eight entries in a row debut atop the chart. On August 31,Eminem released his tenth studio album and first surprise album Kamikazemaking it his second full-length studio album in 8 months. Recorded from tothe album features guest appearances by Young M.
Subsequently, Eminem became the first artist to have ten consecutive albums debut at number one in the US and one of six artists to have released at least ten US number-one albums. The lyrics of "Unaccomodating", in which Eminem referenced the Manchester Arena bombingdrew significant criticism, with many critics finding the lyrics objectionable. The mayor of Manchester denounced the song's lyrics, describing them as "unnecessarily hurtful and deeply disrespectful. The video features Mike Tyson and Dr.
As of June 12,it has Similar to Eminem's previous two albums, it was released without any prior announcement. Polo G and Mozzy were featured in the song. The song was released on September 30, DreKendrick LamarMary J. Bligeand Snoop Dogg. Eminem uses alter egos in his songs for different rapping styles and subject matter.
In this persona, his songs are violent and dark, with a comic twist. An argument after the album's release prompted Eminem to use the Kaniff character on Marshall Mathers and later albums except Encore and Recovery.
Aristotle, angry with Eminem's use of his character, released a mixtape in his Kaniff persona ridiculing him. Eminem is considered unusual in structuring his songs around the lyrics, rather than writing to beats. He said about producing his own music, "Sometimes, I may get something in my head, like an idea or the mood of something that I would want, and I'm not always gonna get that by going through different tracks that other people have made.
They don't know what's in my head. I think maybe it helps, a little bit, with diversity, the sound of it, but also, I would get something in my head and want to be able to lay down that idea from scratch. Despite Eminem never using it, Necro still said positive things about Eminem and would appear on Shade45 years later.
As a white performer prominent in a genre influenced by black artists, Eminem has been compared, much to his chagrin,  to Elvis Presley and has lyrically been compared to the aforementioned to Bob Dylan. Following Eminem's multiplatinum record sales, Interscope offered him his own label; he and Paul Rosenberg founded Shady Records in late Eminem signed his Detroit collective, D12 and rapper Obie Trice to the label and signed 50 Cent in a joint venture with LP).
Dre's Aftermath label. InEminem and Dr. The Alchemist is currently Eminem's tour DJ. The project began as a mixtapebut when Eminem found the material better than expected he released it as an album. After their debut, D12 took a three-year break from the studio. They reunited in for their second album, D12 Worldwhich included the hit singles " My Band " and " How Come ".
Studio and they were working on an album with Eminem on at least three songs. Bizarre reported that he was still part of the group and that the album was scheduled for a release. After small roles in the film The Wash and as an extra in the Korn music video for " Got the Life " during which he gave the band a demo tapeEminem made his Hollywood debut in the semi-autobiographical film 8 Mile.
He said it was a representation of growing up in Detroit rather than an account of his life. He recorded several new songs for the soundtrack, including " Lose Yourself " which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in and became the longest-running No. Eminem voiced an aging, corrupt, Ebonics-speaking police officer in the video game 50 Cent: Bulletproof and guested on the Comedy Central television show Crank Yankers and a Web cartoon, The Slim Shady Show  He was signed to star in an unmade film version of Have Gun — Will Travel and was considered for the role of David Rice in the film Jumper.
In a interview with Jonathan Rosshe stated "You know, I love music so much. This is my passion, this is what I want to do. Not saying that I won't do a movie ever again, but this is me. During an interview with the main character, Dave Skylark James FrancoEminem satirically comes out as gay. On November 21,Eminem published Angry Blondea non-fiction book featuring a commentary of several of his own songs, along with several previously unpublished photographs.
Detailing his struggles with poverty, drugs, fame, heartbreak and depression, it includes stories of his rise to fame, commentary about past controversies and original lyric sheets from " Stan " and " The Real Slim Shady ".
In the first, a one-minute spot for Lipton 's Brisk iced tea, he is a claymation figure. He established the Marshall Mathers Foundation to aid disadvantaged youth. The foundation works in conjunction with a charity founded by Norman Yatooma, a Detroit attorney. Eminem has expressed his political views in multiple songs. However, instead of endorsing presidential candidates, he has primarily focused on criticizing candidates. The first was " Mosh ", which was released ina few weeks before the United States presidential election and heavily criticized then-president George W.
However, he did not directly endorse John Kerry in the song, either. In the freestyle, he expressed support for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the National Anthem protests and expressed his displeasure for any of his fans that support Trump.
Eminem has been scrutinized, both as a rapper and personality. Mathers and Scott were married in and divorced in Their daughter Hailie was born on December 25, Although Eminem told Rolling Stone in"I would rather have a baby through my penis than get married again," he and Kim briefly remarried in January He filed for divorce in early April,  agreeing to joint custody of Hailie.
Eminem also has custody of his sister-in-law Dawn's daughter,  and Kim's child from another relationship. In earlyEminem denied tabloid reports that he and Kim had renewed their romantic relationship; however, in the same statement, his representative also confirmed that they now maintain a friendly relationship.
In his song " Headlights ", Eminem apologized to and reiterated his love for his mother. Eminem has spoken publicly about his addiction to prescription drugs, including VicodinAmbien and Valium. An associate gave him an Ambien tablet which "knocked [him] out", encouraging him to obtain a prescription. This was Eminem's first experience of drug addiction, which would affect him for several years.
Near the end of production on Encorehe would "just go into the studio and goof off [with] a pocketful of pills".
Eminem began taking the drugs to "feel normal", taking a "ridiculous amount [ Vicodin, maybe Eminem's weight increased to pounds kg and he was regularly eating fast food: "The kids behind the counter knew me — it wouldn't even faze them. Or I'd sit up at Denny's or Big Boy and just eat by myself. It was sad. In DecemberEminem was hospitalized after a methadone overdose.
He had first bought from a dealer who had told him it was "just like Vicodin, and easier on [your] liver". He continued to buy more until he collapsed in his bathroom one night and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors there told him he had ingested the equivalent of four bags of heroin and was "about two hours from dying".
After missing Christmas with his children, Eminem checked himself out of the facility, weak and not fully detoxed. He tore the meniscus in his knee after falling asleep on his sofa, requiring surgery; after he returned home, he had a seizure.
His drug use "ramped right back to where it was before" within a month. Eminem began to attend church meetings to get clean, but after he was asked for autographs he sought help from a rehabilitation counselor. He began an exercise program that emphasized running. Elton John was a mentor during this period, calling Eminem once a week to check on him. On April 5,Matthew Hughes broke into Eminem's house, reportedly breaking a kitchen window with a paving stone.
Eminem woke up with Hughes standing behind him and he said that he was there to kill him. Eminem explained, "It says 'maybe. That's why I'm asking you right now. You guys comin' to my release party, or what? We might have, if you would've asked us first, before putting us on the fuckin' flyer like this. Eminem took Bruce's response as a personal offense, subsequently attacking the group in radio interviews.
Insane Clown Posse talked about the feud being squashed in an interview with MTV, saying that Proof squashed the conflict inwhich was followed by a bowling game between members of D12 and Psychopathic Records. We're something different. They could have skipped over us and said forget them, but they included us and said let's squash it. Everlast claimed that while passing by Mathers in a hotel lobby, Mathers gave him a "weird look". The record continued its release without featuring Limp Bizkit, causing the Everlast-Mathers dispute to continue.
This angered Eminem to the point of rage and an insulting track aimed at both Everlast and Limp Bizkit namely Durst and Lethal appeared on D12's mainstream debut, Devil's Nightas the track "Girls". Recently, things seem to have settled and Eminem has no longer been heard insulting Everlast or Limp Bizkit. It is currently unknown if the dispute is resolved. After he was confronted, he said Canibus was "rude" to him.
Eminem agreed, but when he heard the track "Phuck U" from Canibus' album B. He titled the track "U Didn't Care" and it continued to take shots at Eminem. On November 19,Canibus responded with the track titled" Dr. C PhD". Over a year later Eminem released the track "Can-I-Bitch". He attacked Canibus in a humorous matter.
Since then the hostilities have cooled down, but Canibus tried to provoke a re-ignition of it when he leaked a track titled "Air Strike Pop Killer ", that featured vocal parts of D12where Canibus takes shots at Eminem and his deceased friend Proof.
D12 member Swift responded to the record publicly and had the following to say about DZK another rapper featured on the track. They dissed Em, took our verses, and added them to the song, so they can bring traffic and make it seem like we were turning on Em It was a straight hoe move.
The music video for "Just Lose It" generated controversy by parodying singer Michael Jackson's child molestation trial, plastic surgery and an incident in which Jackson's hair caught on fire while filming a Pepsi commercial in Both were only seen on BET: Uncut.
However MTV did not drop it and the video became one of the most requested on the channel. A week after the release of "Just Lose It", Jackson called in to the radio show of Steve Harvey to report his displeasure with the video. It is one thing to spoof, but it is another to be demeaning and insensitive. The video was inappropriate and disrespectful to me, my children, my family and the community at large.
We want the pass back. Ja Rule stated that he had a problem with Eminem and Dr. Dre of signing someone he had conflict with. Gotti claimed to have "legal documents" referring to an order of protection 50 Cent "has on him". Busta Rhymes decided to join the conflict when he was featured on the track "Hail Mary ", with Eminem and 50 Cent. The feud intensified when Ja Rule released a diss called "Loose Change" in which he took shots at 50 Cent and as well Eminem, calling the latter "Feminem" and Dr.
Dre " bisexual " and rapping that Suge Knight knew of Dre "bringing transvestites home". Since then, the rift has cooled down. The track attacked Eminem's "street cred" and accused him of being LP) tool of the music industry. Eminem had been discovered by The Source after writer Rigo Morales featured him in the magazine's famed monthly "Unsigned Hype" column.
In the same year, The Source released an article written by Kimberly Osorio which identified and researched the history of an old demo tape that the magazine discovered where Eminem insulted Black women and used the word "nigger".
The demo featured a song called "Foolish Pride", recorded in the late s when Eminem claimed to have been "dumped" by his African-American then-girlfriend. Benzino would later release more tracks.
While "Superman" was released inCarey released a song entitled "Clown" on her album Charmbraceletreleased inwhich makes similar references in line with her hit " Obsessed ". Eminem's "Bagpipes from Baghdad" from his album Relapse may be his most well-known reference to Carey due to the controversy it caused.
The song disparages Carey and husband Nick Cannon 's relationship. InCarey released "Obsessed", about an obsessed man who claims to have a relationship with her. It contained samples of voice mail recordings which Eminem claimed were left by Carey when the two were together. A little over a year later in SeptemberCannon responded with the song "I'm a Slick Rick", making fun of Eminem. After the release of The Marshall Mathers LPpopular electronic music artist Moby began speaking out against the album's lyrics, citing references to misogyny and homophobia as unacceptable.
InMoby praised Eminem for criticizing then-U. Bush in the song " Mosh ", a track from Encore. Throughout the album, lyrics criticize other musicians, primarily mumble rappers  and several have responded publicly. The track also debuted at number 3 on the Billboard Hotmaking it Eminem's 20th top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot Some of Eminem's lyrics have been considered homophobic and an Australian politician attempted to ban him from the country.
During a 60 Minutes interview, journalist Anderson Cooper explored the issue: . Eminem was accused yet again of using homophobic words in his lyrics in "Rap God" and explained "I don't know how to say this without saying it how I've said it a million times. But that word, those kind of words, when I came up battle-rappin' or whatever, I never really equated those words Inmusicians criticized Eminem's use of the slur " faggot " to describe rapper Tyler, the Creator on the song "Fall", including Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragonscalling the rapper's language "hateful",  and Troye Sivan ;  additionally, guest vocalist Justin Vernon distanced himself from the collaboration due to the message.
However, Eminem is a friend of gay singer Elton John and publicly supports gay rights. I think that everyone should have the chance to be equally miserable, if they want", explaining that his "overall look on things is a lot more mature than it used to be. He pleaded guilty to possession of a concealed weapon and assault, receiving two years' probation ; however, Guerra's assault charge was dropped as part of the plea agreement.
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