Synopsis by Nathan Southern
The Kansas City-born Caucasian rapper Eminem (aka Marshall Mathers) shot into the public eye (and onto the charts) in 1997 with the Slim Shady EP -- a work that enabled the artist to vent his darkest and most tumultuous emotions through the album's eponymous alter ego. Eminem won the 1997 Rap Olympics MC Battle in Los Angeles -- an unsurprising accomplishment, given the artist's prior climb to success by aggressively winning "rap battles" -- and the gangsta rap artist and movie star Dr. Dre (Training Day, Coming to America) subsequently taking him on as a protégé. Under the mentorship of Dre, Eminem instantly became an international sensation -- and also a wellspring of controversy, for raps that his detractors attacked as misogynistic and ultra-violent, even while such fans as Paul McCartney praised his inventive and clever lyrics and Elton John performed a duet with him at the 2000 Grammy Awards. That year's Marshall Mathers LP became the fastest-selling rap album in history, instantly making Eminem a multi-millionaire and an international phenomenon. The 2001 film 8 Mile, helmed by L.A. Confidential director Curtis Hanson and starring Eminem, dramatized Mathers' life story. Now, two EPs later (the 2002 Eminem Show and the 2004 Encore), the exclusive home video release Music Box Biographical Collection: Eminem presents an hour-long documentary overview of this hotly debated musician's life. Featuring incredibly rare archival footage, this program covers Mathers' life, from his impoverished roots in Kansas City and Detroit to his journey to music superstar at the tender age of 25, and the controversies in his private life (such as his widely-publicized divorce from Kim Mathers) and his appearance in the Hanson film.