Eminem and the Rap Genre essay


Eminem, born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, is an American songwriter, rapper, record producer, and an actor who has brought great changes into the rap music industry. He is a great musician notwithstanding his humble beginning. Additionally, Eminem's rap music has been regarded as controversial and usually intended to achieve a certain objective. Initially, his rhyming style lacked the comically violent aspect gained under the influence of modern rappers like Esham and Nas, for which he later became known. The following paper analyzes the personality of Eminem, his rise to fame as well as discusses his controversial music style.


Hip hop music, sometimes referred to as rap music, is considered to be the most provocative and controversial musical genre that appeared and started to develop from the end of the 20th century to the beginning of the 21st century. As mentioned in the famous 60-minute interview conducted by Cooper, Eminem was the top selling artist of the past decade. However, despite receiving various awards, the rapper was often criticized due to the blasphemous verses of his songs. Therefore, Eminem is someone who has made significant change in our culture, particularly through his life story that represents an extraordinary success against all odds and appeals to individuals who appreciate his music style as well as those who do not.

Success Story

Eminem acknowledges that most of his works are about his character and his life. According to Cooper, for one to comprehend Eminem’s success story and define his challenges and persistence, it is necessary to look at his past. Eminem was raised in the conditions that an average boy would never wish for himself. Instead, his life since childhood was marred by the constant challenges that ranged from a broken home to a mother with personality disorder who caused many troubles to her son. There were times when Eminem lived from hand to mouth in the deepest suburbs and relied on the social welfare to make ends meet. As the musician and his mother lacked a permanent residence, they kept moving from place to place. Therefore, the future musician also faced harassment in the various schools that he attended because the boy was shy. Besides, in the 60-minute interview, it is stated that Eminem in his life had struggled with addiction for over five years, and his comeback into the limelight was shaky.

In the beginning of his career, the rapper’s primary desire was not fame, wealth, or recognition that many musicians of his caliber usually aspired to, but respect. The fight for respect, and later recognition, gave him the urge to overcome the challenges and win against all odds. As Molanphy argues, the above-mentioned factors are critical components in realizing how an individual can rise from the state where he has nothing to the position of a very wealthy man.

Beginning of the Career

Successful individuals at certain point of lifetime faced the roughest days which were not similar to the others. Regarding Eminem, after leaving high school, he did not stop having faith in his dream. Particularly, he could overcome challenges by competing in local rap contests while being still a teenager. The amusing fact is that at the time, for one to be declared the winner, he or she had to present the cleverest rhymes and the worst insults.

According to Holly, the genre was characterized by the inclusion of such elements as violence and drug use. This aspect explains the reasons for creating the most profane rap at that time. Besides, Eminem had to struggle vigorously to earn respect because he was the only colored rapper competing in the contests. Cooper argues that Eminem made a great contribution to the culture of rap because it started to be regarded as a black man’s genre. The rapper faced the resistance when he started his career; however, he was brave enough to understand that racism in the industry had no grounds and that everybody just as he himself who had the talent, had the right to perform. Therefore, Eminem realized that he was in the equal position to rap on the stage. The most significant point about Eminem's life is that he started from scratch and had to overcome numerous challenges that many other artists would not cope with.

The rise to stardom and the ability to change the culture view on his approach to music are for the most part attributed to his talent to tell stories through music as well as to the fast creation of the wordplay. The musician is a perfect manifestation of the saying that nothing is impossible, and all that is required in order to achieve success is hard work and the desire to learn.

Sherell states that rap can be used as an educative method as well. In particular, Eminem has opted to teach the masses about the drug addiction after his recovery. The rapper shows on his example that the impossible on the first sight is in fact possible; this has changed the view of many different individuals on challenges which they can fight, and finally, succeed.

According to Hasted, despite his controversial lyrics, Eminem's career development is something that people can learn from. Many critics believe that Eminem's early music was mainly intended to settle a score with his adversaries, especially with his mother. However, it is the way how the musician has influenced on the music industry that should be of concern: the rapper’s challenging life and the path to stardom were the main reason for such significant impact. Considering the same, unlike his father who left the boy in his early days, Eminem has a kind heart whereby he would not want anyone to go through the events that he went through.

Many critics have regularly dispraised Eminem's choice of language; they have claimed that his lyrics calls for violence against women as well as gays, and that it affects younger generation. However, at the same time, Eminem has promoted significant development in the culture where he has clearly defined the role of parents in families and their responsibilities in raising their children. Simply stated, according to him, individuals should differentiate between career and personal life because the conflict may arise. According to Hiatt, although Eminem had many ill-wishers, the star acknowledged that he had no problem with anyone, and many of the accusations were false.

The innovations brought by Eminem to the rap industry have changed the popular view of a rather harsh genre to the one that is offering help to the people who need it. Cooper argues that through his rap, Eminem has shown the readiness to help the individuals who were in similar situations like demonstrated in his song, “Not Afraid”. To illustrate, his album Recovery deals with the addiction problem, and his efforts to conquer it represent a rather positive change comparing to the popular profane music. According to Ryan, the question remains whether the original hip hop has radically changed with the beginning of Eminem’s career.


In conclusion, Eminem has played a significant role in the alteration of the music industry, particularly the rap genre. One of the biggest impacts made by Eminem on the industry is that the culture of inclusivism has been enhanced. Therefore, now there exist rappers of every color unlike in the past, when only one race dominated in the genre. The musician has also made significant changes in the style: rap transformed from violent and intimidating genre into the one used to inform others of existing challenges in life. Eminem has used his music to assist other people who might be undergoing similar problems. The profane lyrics typical for the genre also conveys its special sense: through it, Eminem has made it obvious that it is the responsibility of each parent to play their role in the upbringing of their kids. Besides, in his music, Eminem urges people to separate career from personal life and values.

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Eminem and the Rap Genre essay

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