27 Fascinating Facts You Didn't Already Know About Eminem

Eminem isn't just one of the best rappers working right now, he's arguably one of the best rappers of all time. The man redefined rap in his early game and continued to do it as he evolved and matured. He changed how rap music was perceived by the mainstream and brought shock rap to the masses, while preaching some important messages.  

Marshall Mathers (as he is legally known) has had a crazy and phenomenal stint in the rap game. After fighting his way to the top in the underground hip-hop clubs of Detroit, he rose to win an Oscar and become one of the most well-known rappers of his time. Eminem is a force of nature and he doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon.

But who is Eminem? Who is this notoriously private and shy rapper (regardless of his loud persona and even louder lyrics) deep down? We've poured through interview after interview for some of the best Eminem stories that really paint a picture of the man, compiling Eminem trivia, quotes, and anecdotes. Consider this your own personal Eminem Wiki page!

  • He Has the Biggest Vocabulary on the Pop Charts

    After looking at 93 top artists in over 25 genres of music, a study found that Eminem had the widest vocabulary. Coming in hot at a whopping 8,818 unique words used, Eminem topped Jay Z (6,899 unique words), Tupac (6,569 unique words), Kanye (5,069 unique words), and Bob Dylan (4,883 unique words). The study also looked for lyrical density and new word interval.

    Source: CNN
  • Before He Cut His First Album, He Made $5.50 an Hour

    Back in 1992, Eminem signed with FBT records after years of barely scraping by, trying to make ends meet. For a time, he worked as a cook and a dishwasher at Gilbert's Lodge, a small family restaurant in Michigan, making a mere $5.50 an hour.

    Five days before Christmas, and soon after releasing Infinite in 1996, he was fired from the restaurant; it also happened to be his daughter's birthday. He wrote "Rock Bottom" right after that.

    Source: Rolling Stone
  • Elton John Is His Unofficial Sobriety Sponsor

    Eminem told Rolling Stone:

    I speak to Elton [John]. He's like my sponsor. He usually calls me once a week to check on me, just to make sure I'm on the up-and-up. He was actually one of the first people I called when I wanted to get clean. He was hipping me to things, like, 'You're going to see nature that you never noticed before.' Sh*t you'd normally think was corny but that you haven't seen in so long that you just go, 'Wow! Look at that f*cking rainbow!' Or even little things – trees, the color of leaves. I f*cking love leaves now, man. I feel like I've been neglecting leaves for a long time.

    Source: Rolling Stone

  • He Squatted in His Old Apartment the Night Before He Was Discovered by Dre

    Eminem experienced what every musician dreams of... happenstance discovery. He was at the LA Rap Olympics and was noticed by someone in the mailroom at Interscope, who then managed to get his mixtape to Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. The two loved it (and mixtapes rarely ever turn into much).  

    What's even crazier is that the night before, he had to break into his own place, from which he'd just been evicted. "I had to break in," he says. "I didn't have anywhere else to go. There was no heat, no water, no electricity. I slept on the floor, woke up, went to L.A. I was so pissed."

    Source: Rolling Stone
  • He's a Classic Video Game Fiend

    In addition to loving comic books, Eminem also has a soft spot for classic video games. His studio lobby is littered with full size classic arcade machines. Including but not limited to: Frogger, Donkey Kong, and Space Invaders. He became obsessed after watching the documentary King of Kong  and even had two of his machines signed by the film's subject and game record holder, Steve Wiebe.

    Source: Rolling Stone
  • He Wrote "Lose Yourself" on Set the of 8 Mile

    Everyone knows "Lose Yourself" - it's not just one of Eminem's best songs... it's one of the best rap songs in history. Apparently, he cranked it out in one take, cutting the song during a brief break from filming. "He came in and laid down all three verses in one take," recalled engineer Steven King. "Jaws dropped – we were like, 'Oh, my God!' This story had been building up in him."

    Source: Rolling Stone