Marshall Bruce Mathers III, commonly known as Eminem, was born on October 17, 1972, as Marshall Bruce Mathers III (Ace Showbiz, 2018). Eminem’s father, Marshall Mathers Jr., was never known to Eminem since he abandoned them when he was still young. Eminem had tried to contact him severally, but it was in vain.
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Eminem was raised by his mother, Deborah Mathers, who kept on switching jobs between Missouri, Michigan and Detroit and she kept on moving with Eminem. In his school years, he would transfer to different schools two to thrice per year due to the numerous movements because of his mother’s change of employment.
As a result of the numerous shifts from one town to another, Eminem was not able to keep close friends receive harsh treatment at each new school that he reported to. In some instances, Eminem recalled being beaten up in bathrooms, hallways and shoved into lockers (Sule, & Inkster, 2017). In his songs, Eminem mentions that he was being accused of addiction to prescription drugs by his mother, more so; in his lyrics, he sings about his mother subjecting him to physical and emotional abuse. However, his mother denied the allegation and filed a suit against her son and went ahead with filing for $10 million defamation lawsuit against Eminem. The case got settled for more than $24,000.
He failed around three times in his ninth grade while attending Lincoln High School in Warren, Michigan, and at the age of 17 he decided to dropped out of school. Marshall had a liking for language, where he could read comic books and sometimes study the dictionary, despite being poor in school. Eminem always felt that despite his grades being bad, he was ever good at English with many vocabularies at his disposal. Through the emerging hip-hop genre of music, Eminem felt that he would express his passion for language to release the anger he had accumulated in his youthful years. In the early 1990s, Eminem joined N.W.A., a Los Angeles’ controversial gangster crew (Ace Showbiz, 2018).
At the time Eminem was venturing into rap music, most people producing rap music were blacks, but Eminem had pale white skin and blue eyes. He would engage in rap battles where two rappers would join in to take turns in insulting one another (Sule & Inkster, 2017). From the name Marshall Mathers, M&M was Eminem’s stage name and it was later written phonetically as “Eminem”. In 1995, Eminem dated Kim Ann Scott,and had a daughter by her named Hailie Jade Scott. The birth of Haile inspired him to write and make music a living, and in 1996, he released his first rap album infinite.
After the release of his first album, Eminem released The Slim Shady EP’ a year later and it was discovered by Dr. Dre and his former rap group N.W.A. In the year 1997, Eminem became second runners up in Rap Olympic MC battle. Dre was so happy with Eminem that he allowed him into his Interscope Records Label. After working two years with Dr. Dre, Eminem gained instant success after releasing The Slim Shady LP.’ In May 2000, Eminem’s song in The Way I Am’ in his second album sold over 19 million copies all over the world and also helped him win the Grammy award of best rap album (Sule & Inkster, 2017).
Eminem and Kim Mathers had been married until 2000 when they divorced, but they still maintained an on and off the relationship. However, the two remarried in 2006 and had numerous fights over the custody of their daughter Hailie, and this led into Eminem slipping into alcoholism, prescription painkillers, sleeping pills, and addiction. In December 2007, he almost died after he overdosed but was saved by getting to the hospital two hours later. In early 2008, Eminem was to recover from addiction to drugs and alcohol, and he returned to music recording. His new album Relapse’ was released in 2009 and 2010; he released an album Recovery’ which narrated his struggles with addiction the experience that he had in rehabilitation (Sule & Inkster, 2017).
How Eminem’s life fits in the stages of theorist Erikson and things that hindered or helped the person through the stage
Eminem’s life can fit in the steps of theorist Erikson, which focus on Love and Intimacy VS Isolation. As per this stage, Eminem lacked parental love when his father abandoned them, and his mother did not show him so much of motherly love (Ace Showbiz, 2018). Also, he experienced isolation when he could not keep close friends and ended up an introvert, and this affected him, and even in his adult life, he experiences a lot of problems in his relationships especially in marriage.
Using Alfred alder’s ‘individual psychology,’ is there a theme that runs through Eminem’s life? Does alder’s birth order has anything to do with Eminem’s life?
Individual psychology checks generally on a person’s whole environment, including the people that one associates with. The individual psychology by Alder applies on Eminem where one looks at Eminem’s’ environment wholly to explain his life. For instance, his adult addiction life can be linked to the younger years of his experience of his mother’s addiction in early years (Ace Showbiz, 2018).
One Jungian theme that narrates Eminem’s life is the persona, which represents how people present themselves to the world (Parta, 2013). In his ninth grade, Eminem failed three times and ended up dropping out of school at 17 years. Despite the poor grades and how the world viewed him in regards to his performance in school, Eminem went against all odds and took on his strength which was English language, and used it in the composition of rap songs which has made him a famous rapper in the world today.
The Microsystems as one of Bronfenbrenner ecological systems influenced the life of Eminem through his immediate relationship with people around him. Eminem has gone through the bounds of broken relationships, and this may have been contributed by his separation from his father who abandoned him as an infant (Parta, 2013).
In his songs, Eminem occurs as someone who does not discriminate based on sexuality, or uses terms that sound derogatory to homosexuals. He often expresses that men in society should stand up to their fears rather than flee from them. His life reflects masculinity in regards to being wholly confident about one’s sexual orientation. Being strong and confident are somewhat linked to masculinity. Due to his stand on his issue, he often gets into rap battles with other rappers, something that has built him music wise (Ace Showbiz, 2018).
According to Eminem’s mother, it is her parenting style mistakes that contributed to the estrangement between her and her son. To date, the two have a troubled relationship. This adversely impacted Eminem as he lacked parental love, thus; he suffered from psychological torture. Furthermore, they have had feuds, where Eminem was slapped with a $10 million defamation suit by his mother.
The transition of Eminem’s life can be regarded as normative; where he grew up just like a normal child who had gone through a tough childhood (Mooney, 2013). With the kind of life that he had lived, his adult life would have been predicted; especially in the case where he went into addiction and this could have been triggered by his experience with an addict mother in his childhood. The concept of age-grading fits Eminem because his tough childhood influenced him and his behavior during his teenagehood, and afterwards.
In regards to Eminem’s moral and cognitive development, he was generally shaped by the environment that he grew in. For instance, his trouble environment where he was bullied and tortured and this led him into developing an aggressive and angry persona (Mooney, 2013).
Eminem experienced brutality in his young life, and at some point, he mentioned how he was bullied while in school. In those times, he could not do as much since he did not have close friends (Mooney, 2013). As he grew his career as a rapper, his defense strategy became rap battles that he could use to bash his enemies to their silence.
Social networks played a significant role in the life of Eminem. For instance, he grew up knowing not so much about keeping close friends, due to the excessive shifting that his mother did, and this led him to change schools often (Ace Showbiz, 2018). Regarding the physical and psychological aspects, his adult stage is seen having a lot of problems in his relations even with his wife Kim Mathers, with whom they had departed twice and faced a series of break-ups and make-ups. This made him sink into depression and suffer psychologically, whereby he started to abuse drugs and his physical health was negatively impacted.
Eminem’s attachment style can be termed as a disorganized attachment, where there is a lack of attachment behavior between an infant and the parent (Simpson, Rholes, & Guilford Press, 2015). Looking back at his childhood, Eminem’s father left them at a young age, and any attempt to reconnect with him bore no fruit. At the same time, the attachment between the mother and son was shaky and even in adulthood; it could be seen from the songs of Eminem about his mother and the feuds and lawsuits.
Looking at Eminem’s love life, one can conclude that the aspect that led him into finding his mate was his rapping. The two met when Eminem was rapping LL Cool J’s “I’m Bad” standing on a table while shirtless. Therefore, it could be that Kim may have been attracted to him by his rapping technique and they dated, and then later got married (Ace Showbiz, 2018).
Sometimes, marriage and divorce can be contributed by people’s childhood experiences on close up families. Firstly, Eminem never experienced a happy close up family; thus he was a subject of a broken marriage and probably he never understood the significance of a child being brought up by both parents at home. Therefore, this could have contributed to the shaky relationship that he has had with his daughter’s mother, Kim Scotts.
Eminem and Kim have a daughter, Hailie, and two other kids Alaina and Whitney. Thus, there are some parenting styles about Eminem that can be noted, for instance, he dedicated the song Mocking Bird’ to his girls and even went ahead to collaborate with his daughter Hailie in some of his songs (Ace Showbiz, 2018). The parenting style by Eminem, which is indulgent, shows that despite his strained relationship with his father, Eminem is trying hard to be different and offer the best to his daughters.
The theme of generativity can be noted in Eminem’s life, especially where he tries to be a good father to his daughters. From his act as a father figure, the daughters in future will want their children to grow surrounded by fatherly love. Also, through collaborating with his daughter in some songs, the girl gets a chance to nurture her talent and maybe, she may be one of the greatest rappers of tomorrow.
Ace Showbiz. (2018). Eminem Biography.AFS Analytics. Retrieved from https://www.aceshowbiz.com/celebrity/eminem/biography.html.
Sule, A., & Inkster, B. (2017). Eminem’s Character, Stan: A Bio-Psycho-Social Autopsy. Journal of Hip Hop Studies, 4(1), 43-49.
Mooney, C. G. (2013). Theories of Childhood: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.
Parta, M. (2013). Jungian typology and developmental theories of Piaget and Erikson: Typological and pesona development in childhood. Carpinteria, Calif: Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Simpson, J. A., & Rholes, W. S. (Eds.). (2015). Attachment theory and research: New directions and emerging themes. New York: The Guilford Press.
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