LOS ANGELES – Eminem’s musical journey began with starving desperation in a remote studio on 8 Mile Road. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
The Detroit rapper was presented with one of the most triumphant moments of his highly decorated career at the lengthy, star-studded Rock Hall of Fame ceremony at the Microsoft Theater. Eminem, Dr. Dre, who joined Ed Sheeran and Steven Tyler at the concert, became the 20th Detroit visitor in the organization’s 36-year history.
“I realize what an honor it is to be here tonight and what a privilege it is to make the music I love – the music that basically saved my life,” Em said. , wearing a black leather hat. And wear glasses to read a handwritten acceptance speech.
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Eminem has long been uncomfortable in the celebrity spotlight, and he proved it Saturday by refusing to walk the red carpet and rarely looking up during his speeches. “I’m not crazy about that part,” he said, pointing to his notes.
Instead of devoting most of his time to his career achievements, he spent about half of his time honoring hip-hop “breakthrough artists” who inspired his career. For 3 1/2 minutes he recited a spelling list of more than 100 names, famous and obscure – and moved into a rhythmic flow as he rattled them off.
“I wouldn’t be what I am without him,” she concluded. “I’m a high school dropout from a hip-hop background, and these are my teachers. It’s just like my night.
The nearly six-hour performance in Eminem’s segment included encores from Duran Duran, Pat Benatar, Carly Simon, Lionel Richie, The Eurythmics and Dolly Parton.
It was a relevant issue on Saturday night, including Duran Duran’s shocking revelation that guitarist Andy Taylor was suffering from terminal prostate cancer.
Parton, still humbled and still a little confused from her Rock Hall induction, delivers a new song with a vintage rock ‘n’ roll feel.
John Mellencamp, who received unsolicited respect from attorney Allen Grumman, seemed to have Kanye West’s recent controversy in mind when he denounced anti-Semitism in a scathing speech: “Anyone who talks like that (go to Satan).”
The Hall of Fame ceremony will air Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. on HBO and is also available to stream on HBO Max.
Eminem, the Rock Hall’s seventh hip-hop honoree, is a longtime associate of Dr. Dre performed in front of an audience made up of his daughter Hayley, manager Paul Rosenberg, producers Jeff and Mark Bass and other Michiganders who have played a significant role in his career.
Dre’s eight-minute introduction made Eminem, the unlikely white rapper, the best-selling artist in hip-hop history and one of the best-selling men in music history.
Dre shares what he first did with Eminem’s music in the late ’90s.
“Well I guess I didn’t know then because I thought if you were a good rapper you had to be black,” Dre added.
According to Dre, Eminem doesn’t care about sales numbers and other industry metrics.
“The most important thing for him is that he gets the respect of his peers for being one of the best at it,” Dre said. “This unlikely, blue-eyed Detroit native turns everything we thought we knew about hip-hop on its head and forced us to confront our own prejudices, not just gender, but all of us.”
During his live performance on Saturday, backed by the event’s house band, Eminem walked on stage with longtime friend Dean Porter cheering him on and DJ Alchemist trailing the yacht behind him.
His mixtape opened with 1999’s “That’s My Name,” followed by “Rap Gods,” a rapid-fire stunner and tongue-twisting vocals that rocked the Microsoft Theater. stage five hours after the Hall of Fame show began.
Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler was a surprise guest when he took the stage with his scarf-covered mic and contributed a rendition of “Dream On” to Eminem’s “Song for the Moment.” Ed Sheeran made his next unannounced cameo on acoustic guitar when he provided Dido’s vocals on “Stan”.
“Forever” and “No Fear” complete the set, which Eminem considers essential and compelling in his music. He hasn’t given a major concert in more than three years – partly because of the pandemic – but showed on Saturday that he can rise to the occasion when the need arises.
His honor in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which gives him a permanent place in the Cleveland Museum of Art, is a testament to his far-reaching musical influence, both artistically and commercially.
Eminem joins the list of RRHOF artists entering their first year of eligibility 25 years after their first commercial release, and is the only one of Saturday’s graduates to hold the position.
His case was the 1996 career album Infinite, recorded at his home studio on 8 Mile Road and 500 records and 500 tapes pressed, which he did not release at the time. “Unknown” came three years before Eminem exploded onto the world stage and became the best-selling musical of the early 2000s.
His ear for hip-hop authenticity was complemented by a distinctive flair with a swinging flow seen in Jay-Z’s Saturday Night video tribute. Armed with the alter ego Slim Shady, his music veers between funky, dark, somber and vulnerable, eventually leading to his signature loss – his role in the 20-year-old movie 8 Mile. Earlier in the cinema. This week.
Eminem turned 50 last month, a milestone in his life that adds gravitas to the impressive persona of his early years. However, he was the youngest among the seven talents on Saturday.
Born Marshall Mathers in Kansas City and raised in the Detroit suburbs and in a troubled family, his music differs from the Motor City music tradition, being aggressive, colorful and shocking.
Backstage Saturday, a Detroit colleague, Alice Cooper, praised the versatility of Eminem’s work.
“He was very funny,” Cooper said. “I don’t think he gets the credit for his humor that he deserves.”
The lavish Hall of Fame holidays were a far cry from Emmy’s busy life in the ’90s, when he was a young father and aspiring rapper, often struggling for gas money and diapers. But he kept it real and simple at Saturday’s event, realizing that who he is, where he comes from, is important.
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Contact Brian McCollum, music writer at the Detroit Free Press: 313-223-4450 or [email protected].
This article originally appeared in the Detroit Free Press: Eminem Accepts “Music That Saved My Life” at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction