"Sometimes you just feel tired, you feel weak. When you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up. But
you gotta search within you. You gotta find that inner strength and just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation
to not give up and not be a quitter no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse."
This is the intro to Eminem's song "Till I collapse" featuring Nate Dogg on his latest LP "The Eminem Show".
But these are more than just lyrics. Eminem gives this pep talk to himself on a regular basis while looking into his bathroom
mirror and some days he needs to feel these words more than others do. He never knows what each day will bring, how many hoops
he'll have to jump through and how many tasks he'll have to juggle. Every day is a three-ring circus for him. I know what's
going on in his head and in his heart. I'm the one he calls from LA and wakes up at , after he just
signed a new artist to his record label and he's so excited. I'm the one he vents to when his family, his ex-wife, or even
Dr. Dre is getting on his last nerve. I've been the one he calls when he's feeling unsure of himself. I have been his best
friend and now I'm cleaning out my closet.
You know him as Eminem. I
know him as Marshall Bruce Mathers III. Only those on his payroll call him "M". Marshall was born on
October 17, 1972, one week before me. I remind him all the time how
he is the older one! Aging is a terrifying thing to Marshall. He dreads getting older. In fact,
he likes that the media thinks he is a year younger than he really is. "Every year counts" he told me once. We joke about
him turning 29 again; he usually laughs it off. Marshall is worrying. To him, if he doesn't
have his youth, he doesn't have a career. He worries that the population of hip-hop artists is getting larger and the average
artist is getting younger. This "aging thing" is just one of the many pressure he faces everyday.
Other problems include his ex-wife, his mother, the daily drama at home, trouble with the
media, lawsuits and probation. His demanding schedule and fatherhood also make Marshall feel weak and
want to fall flat on his face and collapse.
Marshall and I go back to
KennedyElementary School in Warren, MI. Although neither
of us attended that school after the third grade, we both ended up at Lincoln Jr High School and later at LincolnSenior High
School. Marshall dropped out in the ninth grade. The
reason he gave was that our English teacher Mr. Panza told him that he would never amount to shit. It was that year that he
started hanging out with my cousin Kim Scott.
Kim and I are not
blood-related cousins, thank God! We just grew up together, calling each other's parents "Aunt" and "Uncle". I've known her
and her twin sister Dawn since we were 8 and 10 years old. Our mothers are best friends and Bingo buddies. It's through Kim
that I was able to know Marshall. You will find
out later, that being a part of his world has been hell, yet I do not regret getting to know the real Marshall Mathers. Marshall is a very troubled
but funny guy. You could go as far as to say he's "goofy". He's incredibly talented, often free-stylin around the house. I
am always amazed how if you give him a sentence he will run with it inventing quick but humorous lyrics making everyone laugh.
He does hilarious impressions, his best is, Kermit the Frog.
cooking dinner one day, in his ClintonTownship home, and hearing
this weirdo start running through the house yelling, "I...want to be an Air Force Ranger!" I swear you can't help but laugh!
He is such a little boy sometimes; he even has a silly laugh that he only does when he is especially amused. He makes it a
point not to smile with his teeth showing. Actually, its hard for him to smile at all for any camera at any time. Its weird,
and it bugs me I think it has something to do with his image, wanting to look the part of a gangster and all. I guess some
people can't look tough and smile at the same time. I just stopped taking pictures of him. I figured if I wanted a thugged
out picture of Eminem, I would download one off the internet. I happen to like the real Marshall better.
The Marshall I know is a
real character. I mean, he's notorious for mooning people, sticking his naked cheeks up against the glass windows while we
are all swimming. Some people laugh, others are shocked. His daughter, Hailie Jade just says "Oh Daddy, you're being stupid!"
She is the one he's trying to amuse most of the time. He chases her around the house calling for her in a creepy voice while
she runs giggling and screaming. He finds it his job to make that little girl laugh. Sure, he could afford to hire a clown.
But he is her clown! I believe that the world has already seen a glimpse of what a cheeseball Marshall can be. Look
at a few of his videos. He's a lunatic! A lot of what is portrayed in his videos Marshall throws in on
the spot; or ad-libs. That is amazing considering how nervous he gets. I think that everyone handles nervousness in different
ways and he is able to be more humorous when he is not comfortable. Besides his videos, there is a cartoon that was created
for him, The Slim Shady Show, which was based on his humor. It shows how weird and hilarious he really is. He does the voices
for different characters, and has input on the storylines. Now, some of its humor is a little bizarre, and generally, not
for kids, but many people would say he is a genius.
as a genius spilling his guts through his pen, living life as one of the worlds most publicized celebrities, Marshall is the most loving of fathers I've ever known. His
world revolves around his little girl. Whatever will put a smile on her face, he'll do. During the holiday season last year,
he hired a horse drawn carriage to drive Hailie, my two daughters, him and I around all the mansions in Manchester Estates
where he lives. There were times when he should be working in the studio. Instead he would go out and jump on the trampoline
or play with Hailie and her Barbie dolls because that's what would make her happy. He doesn't even employ a nanny. Some people
say it's because he is too cheap, I think it's because he has never found a nanny good enough for his daughter. If his child
wants to do something, he'll find a way to get it done. A lot of the times he would call me to fulfill her wishes. He would
call me late on a work night to bring my kids over because that is what Hailie wanted. He would call sometimes and tell me
to change my plans because Hailie wanted us all to go to the movies together. He even puts up with Kim's mouth and bites his
tongue for the sake of his princess. Hailie is the reason he has been civil to Kim. There is only one human being that Marshall will ever live
to please, and that is Miss Hailie Jade.
Marshall is so crazy
about his child that he has to talk to her several times a day. He has called me from Japan, Australia, Sweden, and all over
the U.S. because he wanted me to track down Hailie for him since
Kim likes to shut off her cell phone and ignore his calls. She does this when she is out on the town or just wants to be a
bitch. She knows it is torture for him not to talk his little girl.
man even has a hard time sleeping at night. He needs a fan blowing in a certain way just to relax. He has to have complete
darkness, and he must have his daughter with him. She's like his little blonde-haired teddy bear. Sometimes he would have
to beg her repeatedly to sleep in his room especially when my 7-year-old daughter would stay the night. On those nights, Hailie
would not sleep with her daddy unless my daughter did too. The next morning I'd go over there and find them all crashed out
in his room. He never cared, as long as Hailie was happy. No matter how many Hollywood women come
his way, no matter what demands Kim makes, no one will ever stand above Hailie Jade. He would give anything, even his life,
for her. I may find a lot of faults with Marshall, but I have to say I wish more fathers
were like him.
I am proud of the changes he made in himself since
his run in with the law back in 2000. He has told me stories of his "old life" when he wasn't such a good father. He's always
been good to Hailie, but he was not always responsible in his decision making. He admitted his massive drug use early on in
his career and told me stories about this trips to Mexico (to smuggle
in vicodin). "That's how bad my addiction was. I would stuff bags of it into my socks to get through customs." Those days
seem to be over. There were times when weed was offered to him at parties, I've witnessed him turn it down. Of course, it
had a lot to do with his probation and surprise drug tests, but still, he is a long way from being like the "old Marshall". In his way
of thinking is, "My daughter is too important to me. I can't go to jail."
really bothers Marshall that the public
sees him as a bad father. He acts like he doesn't care what anyone thinks, but I can tell it does when it comes to his job
as a dad. I try to tell him not to listen to what other people say. I've sent him cards and notes telling him that he is a
very good father. Next to my husband, Marshall is the best father I know.
Marshall was worried
about doing a track with Hailie. She appeared on "I Think My Dad's Gone Crazy" on his new LP. Marshall was afraid
the media would use the song against him, calling him a negligent father for putting his 6 year old on his new CD. "Hailie
would always know her daddy loved her enough to do a song with her" he said. She had a ball making that track and thinks she
is a star! Marshall said in a MTV interview that he is scared because she
has such a star quality in her already. Marshall had to come up with an explanation
for Hailie. In the beginning of the song, it sounds like he is snorting coke. He just tells her that he's blowing his nose.
He is trying to keep her a little girl and not give her too much grown up information. He especially refuses to let her know
her mother has had a cocaine addiction. I really admire him for that. Marshall is the more
mature parent of the two.
Marshall is great to all kids. Whenever he
sees a little kid, he stops and makes it a point to have a conversation and play with him. He told me once about how he stopped
to talk to a kid back stage at one of his concerts. He was like, "hey little girl, how's it goin?" When the kid spoke and
he realized it was LiL Bow Wow. He was like "oops!" But that's just Marshall. He thinks
all kids are cool! My three kids adore Marshall and he always tells me how "incredible"
he things they are. He is their "Uncle Marshall" and that's the way it's been for the past two years and that's how it will
always be in their hearts. It's heartwarming and adorable how my kids find it very important to buy him Christmas, birthday
and Father's Day gifts. Do not think a holiday goes by that he does not spoil the shit out of them just as he spoils his little
Last Christmas he gave them a ton of toys including a collector's Eminem
action figure the boxes were autographed to each one and signed "Love, Uncle Marshall". Easter is the same way. They all get
their own huge baskets of candy and toys. He even has the kids accustomed to walking in, going to the refrigerator and taking
whatever they want at his house. I tried to correct them once for doing that but he yelled at me. "Take whatever you want",
he said. If they happen to want something he does not have, which is rare, he would send his assistant and body guard, Dewayne,
to go get it. My kids came to know that they'd get spoiled when they went to Uncle Marshall's house. I just made sure they
would never too used to it! There are certain kids at that house that eventually grew to be spoiled brats and I refused to
let that happen to mind.
My guess is to why he loves kids so much is probably because
he is a big, overgrown kid! You can tell that as soon as you walk into his house! He had a movie theater built into his basement
after his studio addition was finished. This is no average movie theater. This one has curtains that open up while dimming
the lights, fiber optics on the ceiling that sparkle like stars, and all the seats are miniature recliners. He even has a
popcorn popper, soda fountain, and nacho dispenser. Even I feel like a kid when we're in there! Next to the theater is the
game room with 8 arcade games, a pool table, air hockey, jukebox and a giant Spiderman statue. It's like heaven for any kid.
You should see kid's faces as soon as they walk in!
Not all this is just, because Marshall is a big kid, but also because he wants to give Hailie
everything he never had when he was growing up. Many times, we would share stories of our childhood and what he and I went
through. We definitely have a lot in common and we both have the same goal, to make our kids childhood better than our own.
I admire that in him. I just wish he would be careful not to give too much. Whatever she bugs for, she get.
Friends over late at night, All the Mountain Dew and candy she wants at , drive thru Taco Bell almost every single day, it does
not matter what she wants, she gets it. I have told him many times Hailie has him wrapped around her finger because daddy
cannot say "no". I said, "Say it with me now, N-O!" He says, "I know. I'm working on it". Hopefully he realizes that there
really is a difference between a happy child and a spoiled child. If he doesn't, he is not going to listen to anyone who tells
him so. Some people say he just gives her whatever she wants just to shut her up. I know he does it out of love. He wants
to give her the world on a silver platter. I just hope he doesn't over do it. He may regret it one day.
I know that the rest of the world doesn't know the Marshall I know. You
will find Marshall's real personality, versus the public persona, isn't
flashy or provocative. If the whole world knew who he really was, he might not need protection against the harsh world of
"gangsta rappers", the media or even his verbally abusive ex-wife. He keeps only a small close circle of friends. I'm sure
he thinks it wouldn't be good for his image if you all knew the real "Eminem". He feels that if people try to fuck with his
world now, imagine if he didn't have that thug image.
In his world of
battles with other artists, legal battles with his own family, and trying to make a living, Marshall feels he must
put on the "criminal/gangster" mask. He feels that it comes with the territory. He knows his time is now and this is his place
in history. He feels very lucky to have a career as red-hot as his. He has to play his part every step of the way. Having
to change, who he is, is just one sacrifice Marshall has to make. He finds it a worthwhile
change. To be able to ride the ride while he's hot, I suppose he does what he has to. Even hide away his true identity. Like
Spiderman, his favorite comic book hero, Marshall has two personalities. Not every...
...thing for people to do to let other in. It's especially
hard when you're Marshall Mathers. especially because everyone wants to be around you for the wrong reasons. Everyone but
me. I'm one of the few people who've never asked for anything from him. I just wanted him to see that I was "real". I'm actually
going to miss being there for him. I won't miss the complicated shit and problems created by his family and Kim, but I will
miss our late night talks over bowls of cereal at 2 or I won't miss the feeling of being taken for granted, like an unpaid nanny would feel. Yes, I
did feel like an unappreciated nanny although I was always known as "Auntie" to Hailie and introduced as "Marshall's friend".
I never wanted anything from him but respect and he knew that. But somehow
that was too much to ask for. One bad thing about Marshall that had a
hand in the destruction of our friendship. What might eventually destroy him, is the "circle" of people around him. Mr. Bad
Ass Rapper who publicly has a big mouth and is quick to jump on people and fight behind a pen, still let's those he loves
control him. As I told him a million times, until that part of him changes, he will always live caged up and he will never
Although he has a hard time dealing with his complicated life and all
the bullshit people, Marshall still wants the same thing most everyone else wants. From reading this book and learning from
the decisions he makes, the lifestyle he lives and the people he surrounds himself with, I'm sure you'll figure out what makes
him tick as well. I want to change the way you see him. I want you to meet The Real Slim Shady.
…Thanks to the Anti Kim Mathers board for this last part