Eminem’s Scots heritage rapped up

A HIGHLAND film company has discovered that Eminem, the world’s most famous – and infamous – rapper, is actually a Scot.

The Black Isle firm Move On Up traced hip-hop star Eminem’s ancestors back more than 200 years for a television programme and found he has Scottish blood on both sides of his family.

On his father’s side, the company found a Peter Mathers, from Pennsylvania, who married a Scottish woman.

The singer, who was born in Detroit, is also descended from Ailsa McAllister, an Edinburgh woman born in 1847, on his mother’s side.

The star’s real name, Marshall Mathers III, is his most obvious link to Scotland, as the name originates from the Barclay clan.

The television programme, Eminem’s Celtic Connections, also compares the superstar with Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns.

Maureen White, who directed the programme,

said: “Eminem is truly and definitely Scottish in his genes.

“We managed to get his family tree to him and it is just a case of whether he picks up on it or not.”

She added: “We could not get anyone to say a bad word about him. The general response was regardless of what you think of him, the man is a genius.

“He is saying our society is misogynistic, racist and homophobic. Just because a singer sings in the first person it does not mean that those views expressed are his own.

“We are posing the question whether an expression of someone’s creativity is nature or nurture,” Ms White said.

“Is it important that Eminem has Scottish genes or is it because he is white trailer-trash, or is it a combination of those factors?

“We make a comparison between Eminem and Burns – and a former professor of English at Cambridge University says they can stand side by side.

“It is like Burns in his day was shunned because he had a child and all of a sudden society decided they didn’t like him any more. Eminem is certainly a man for a’ that.”

Don Coutts, the owner of Move On Up, says he is a fan of the controversial star. He added: “He is a very talented guy and I have become a big fan since doing the film.

“His record company know we are making it but I don’t think they wanted to get involved because they tend to like things they can control.

“We interviewed a woman from the Burns Society and she spoke away about Eminem. She didn’t think people in 200 years would be celebrating an Eminem night.

“Personally I think he is a genius. I have all his stuff, and everything he says in interviews is always way out there. He gives you a lot of material to work and play with.”

Eminem’s Celtic Connections is presented by Zevi Watmaugh and will be broadcast on BBC2 on 30 Novemb

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